California State University-San Marcos: 2020 Requirements, Scores & GPAs

This is the go-to guide for getting into California State University-San Marcos. We suggest you read until the end... Not only will we layout the exact GPA and test scores you should aim for when applying to California State University-San Marcos, but we’ll also offer creative ways to help your application stand out from the pack. We breakdown California State University-San Marcos statistics better than any article out there and show you how these have changed over time. Also, make sure to check out California State University-San Marcos on CampusReel to see what it’s really like here. If you're interesting in transferring to California State University-San Marcos, the read our transfer guide. You can also use the below calculator to help determine your likelihood of acceptance at California State University-San Marcos

What are your chances at California State University-San Marcos?

Your SAT Score
Your ACT Score
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  • Your GPA*
    on a 4.0 scale

    *gpa score is required

    This free college chances tool calculates your acceptance chances at California State University-San Marcos or any other U.S. college

    Please note all chances are estimates based on test score and GPA averages.

    *or select a school above for a specific calculation

    Need chances at another college?

    What GPA do you need to get into California State University-San Marcos?

    California State University-San Marcos’s average GPA is 3.26. California State University-San Marcos does require GPA. This average GPA means California State University-San Marcos is very selective. Often times, schools in this range are trying to increase their selectivity and “prestige”. We can’t read the minds of California State University-San Marcos application readers, but they likely want to increase the average GPA from 3.26 to 3.42 this year - to play it safe, we recommend striving for the 3.42 GPA.

    *BEFORE CONTINUING PLEASE NOTE: GPA and “prestige” DO NOT mean a college is right for you. California State University-San Marcos may seem amazing on paper, but you may hate it... That’s why 700,000 students transfer colleges every year - they end up going to the wrong school. It’s crucial to watch the videos on CampusReel and make sure you can envision yourself on California State University-San Marcos’s campus. These California State University-San Marcos admission statistics do not sufficiently tell you what a college or university is like.

    What is California State University-San Marcos’s acceptance rate?

    Last year California State University-San Marcos’s acceptance rate was 54.04. However, check out how the acceptance rate has changed over time.

    2016 2017 2018
    Acceptance Rate 52.0 % 57.0 % 54.04 %

    As you can see, California State University-San Marcos is getting more and more difficult to get into. If this trend continue it’s likely that California State University-San Marcos will be even more competitive by the time you apply.

    Acceptance rate alone does not indicate your likelihood for getting into California State University-San Marcos - it’s a very high level understanding of the true competition. Use the acceptance rate as a general guide for curating a list of 10-15 schools that fall into different ranges of competitiveness. Then, use the below data to get a deeper understanding of how your application will compare to the rest of the pool.

    What are your chances at California State University-San Marcos?

    Your SAT Score
    Your ACT Score
    Select a score
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  • Your GPA*
    on a 4.0 scale

    *gpa score is required

    This free college chances tool calculates your acceptance chances at California State University-San Marcos or any other U.S. college

    Please note all chances are estimates based on test score and GPA averages.

    *or select a school above for a specific calculation

    Need chances at another college?

    Does California State University-San Marcos Require Test Scores?

    California State University-San Marcos requires that you either take the SAT or ACT. See the table below for how California State University-San Marcos’s accepted students have performed on both tests. You may be wondering how many test scores should you submit. Generally, don’t freak out about taking the test too often. Industry consensus is that you can submit up to 6 tests as a reasonable limit.

    California State University-San Marcos SAT Requirements

    California State University-San Marcos’s average SAT score is 960 - this is the sum of the math and reading portions of the SAT (the 1600 scale). Check out the below table for a deeper look into how students performed - it’s also very interesting to look at the average test score over time. The trend over time helps give insight into whether California State University-San Marcos is getting more or less competitive.

    25th Percentile 75th Percentile Average
    Math 430 540 485
    Reading 430 520 475
    2019 Total 860 1060 960
    2018 Total - - -
    2017 Total - - -

    California State University-San Marcos’s average SAT score is 960. To be a competitive applicant for California State University-San Marcos your SAT score should come close to the average. If you’re closer to the 860, you’re likely going to have a tougher time getting accepted. To consider California State University-San Marcos a “target” school (one that you are likely to get into) you should aim for a score of 1060.

    California State University-San Marcos ACT Requirements

    California State University-San Marcos’s average ACT score is 60. To be a competitive applicant for California State University-San Marcos your ACT score should come close to the average. If you’re closer to the 52, you’re likely going to have a tougher time getting accepted. To consider California State University-San Marcos a “target” school (one that you have a good chance of getting into) you should aim for a score of 68.

    25th Percentile 75th Percentile Average
    Math 17 22 19
    Reading 17 23 20
    Writing 18 23 20
    2019 Total 52 68 60
    2018 Total - - -
    2017 Total - - -

    California State University-San Marcos Requirements

    Now you know where you need to be for getting into California State University-San Marcos from a grade and test score perspective. Let’s quickly outline what else you’ll need to provide for your application to get reviewed, and then we’ll move onto the most important section: differentiating your app.

    Recommendations Status
    School Rank Neither required nor recommended
    GPA Required
    School Record Required

    How to get into California State University-San Marcos

    Follow these steps to maximize your chances of getting into California State University-San Marcos. Everything you read above will help prepare you for what you need to achieve to have a shot at California State University-San Marcos, but these steps will take you even further in applying that knowledge and differentiating your application.

    Main Academic Excellence that is in line with California State University-San Marcos admission standards.

    1. Score at least a 960 on the SAT or 60 on the ACT.
    2. Maintain a GPA of at least a 3.26.

    Join Extracurriculars that Align with California State University-San Marcos’s Values.

    1. Join your school band, a sports team or another group activity. If California State University-San Marcos values music heavily, for example, then try to participate in an organization related to that topic.
    2. Volunteer in your hometown. San Marcos has tons of ways to be involved beyond just the college. California State University-San Marcos wants applicants that are also good ambassadors for the school - they want students who will give back to the local community and broader San Marcos area in general.
    3. Spend your summer doing something that speaks to your values, personal growth, leadership qualities and other less quantifiable characteristics. California State University-San Marcos needs to see past your test scores and grades - they need to know that you will be a valuable and contributing member of their community. You are more than grades and test scores - your experiences should demonstrate that.

    Prepare Your Application

    1. Write a stellar essay that shows California State University-San Marcos something they can’t figure out from the other parts of your application. For a detailed guide on writing the best college essay, check this out.
    2. Get teacher recs that speak to your character. If you know what you’re majoring in and include that in your California State University-San Marcos app, try to have at least 1 recommendation from a teacher in that department.
    3. Apply Before the Deadline. Too many students wait until the last minute to submit their application, and too much can go wrong during this precious time window. Since many students are applying on the last day, it’s possible that California State University-San Marcos’s own system crashes. Don’t risk the added stress this can cause - submit your app a few days early.

    What are your chances at California State University-San Marcos?

    Your SAT Score
    Your ACT Score
    Select a score
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  • Your GPA*
    on a 4.0 scale

    *gpa score is required

    This free college chances tool calculates your acceptance chances at California State University-San Marcos or any other U.S. college

    Please note all chances are estimates based on test score and GPA averages.

    *or select a school above for a specific calculation

    Need chances at another college?

    Related College & Universities:

    Transfering to California State University-Dominguez Hills