Competitive Admission Process (Impaction)

Admission to San José State is competitive in all majors because SJSU continues to have more qualified applicants than available new student spaces. This situation is called "impaction" and it means that meeting the minimum California State University (CSU) requirements does not guarantee admission to SJSU. We will no longer have the enrollment capacity to accept all CSU eligible applicants, including some from local high schools and community colleges.

San José State gives preference in the competitive admission process to “local” applicants. For freshmen, you are considered a “local” applicant if you will graduate from a high school in Santa Clara County. For transfer applicants, you are considered a “local” applicant if you will earn the majority of your transferable units at a college located in Santa Clara or Santa Cruz county.

All applicants are strongly encouraged to apply to an alternative campus that offers your preferred major.

Impaction Criteria for Freshmen

CSU eligible freshman applicants will be ranked in each major based on a combination of their self-reported GPA (at the time you apply) and official SAT or ACT test scores (called the Eligibility Index or EI). 

Freshmen applicants to programs in the College of Engineering will be ranked using a modified eligibility index that will weigh the math section of the SAT more heavily that the evidence-based reading and writing/critical reading section.

Please note that for the 2021 admission cycles, SJSU will not consider SAT/ACT scores in our review for admission. SJSU admission criteria for Spring 2021 and Fall 2021 are being developed in accordance with the guidelines posted at CSU's First-Time First-Year Students webpage and will be posted to this page when finalized.

See specific impaction results for freshmen

Impaction Criteria for Transfers

CSU eligible transfer applicants will be ranked in each major based on their self-reported GPA (as reported in the required supplemental application). For each admission cycle, some programs will give preference in the impaction process to transfer applicants who have completed program-specific preparatory courses. For these programs, applicants will be ranked for admission to major based on a combination of self-reported GPA and successful completion of approved program-specific courses.

See impaction results for transfer applicants

Supplemental Application Requirement - Transfer applicants only

Transfer applicants will be required to complete a Supplemental Application including grades for work completed at the time of submission. Information about completing the supplemental application will be posted to applicants' MySJSU accounts in late December for fall term and in early September for a spring term. We plan to assign the supplemental application in early January for a fall term and in mid-September for a spring term. Students will have several weeks to complete and submit the application. Applicants who do not submit this form by the deadline posted to their MySJSU "To Do List" will not be considered for admission. SJSU's supplemental application requirement is in addition to any updates made to your Cal State Apply application.

Choose Your Major Carefully

It is important to understand that though all majors are impacted, the admission threshold for each major varies, depending on the capacity of the major to take new students, and the number of students applying for that major in that term.

We encourage you to apply for the major in which you intend to earn a degree. Change of major is prohibited during the application and admission process. After you are admitted, change of major is never guaranteed and is by petition only. Your mandatory orientation, advising and registration will all be based on your choice of major.

In addition, we encourage you to look at the admission thresholds by major at SJSU for recent terms, and to apply to an alternative campus that offers your major.

You must enter an alternate major on your application to SJSU. We will consider the alternate major for those applicants who did not meet the impaction threshold to their first choice major. We will only admit to alternate majors if there is additional capacity for new student enrollment in that major. For Spring 2021, the evaluation process to determine which majors have the capacity to admit applicants to alternate majors will continue through the beginning of November.

View a complete list of degrees, including graduate degrees and credentials.

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