The CSU must assess the academic preparation of foreign students. For this purpose, "foreign students" include those who hold U.S. temporary visas as students, exchange visitors, or in other nonimmigrant classifications.

The CSU uses separate requirements and application filing dates in the admission of "foreign students." Verification of English proficiency (see the section on TOEFL Requirement for undergraduate applicants), financial resources, and academic performance are each important considerations for admission. Academic records from foreign institutions must be on file at least six months in advance of enrollment for the first term and, if not in English, must be accompanied by certified English translations. Further information can be found at: International Students.

Priority in admission is given to residents of California. There is little likelihood of nonresident applicants, including international students, being admitted either to impacted majors or to those majors or programs with limited openings.