Impaction 2020

SJSU Approved Impaction Change for Fall 2020

The CSU Chancellor's Office approved SJSU's proposal to revise supplemental coursework for select programs but did not approve the request to expand the university's local admission area. The local admission area will remain Santa Clara County for freshmen and Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties for transfers. The changes to supplemental coursework preferences will assist incoming transfer students to be more prepared and to make faster progress to degree. These changes will go into effect for the incoming fall 2020 class who will start applying to SJSU on October 1, 2019. 

SJSU Proposes Impaction Change for Fall 2020

At San Jose State University (SJSU) we are considering changes to guidelines that would affect freshmen and transfer students seeking admission to the university in fall 2020 and beyond. This change does not affect students who have already applied or are applying for admission for fall 2019 or spring 2020. For current impaction criteria visit the Undergraduate Admissions Impaction site.

The changes proposed for impaction are focused on increasing access to our unique programs for local students while also ensuring transfer students are prepared for upper-division coursework, better enabling students to complete their undergraduate degrees in a timely manner. We propose expanding the local admissions area for admission purposes and revising supplemental coursework preferences for upper division transfer applicants in select programs beginning with the fall 2020 admission cycle.


Expanding Our Local Admissions Area

Currently, our university has defined the local admissions area as Santa Clara County for first-time freshmen and Santa Clara County as well as Santa Cruz County for upper division transfers. This has overlooked many Bay Area counties and limits our ability to serve our entire region effectively.

For the fall 2019 admission cycle, we will prioritize local residents by adding a 0.25 GPA bump when making admission decisions whereas our previous GPA bump was a 0.2. Expanding our local admissions area would advantage a greater number of Bay Area students in the admission process and better serve our region in offering broader access to our unique and iconic programs of study that are in high demand. As an example, we offer 13 undergraduate programs in our Charles W. Davidson College of Engineering, the most of any Bay Area university. Our current designation of local admissions area has also limited our efforts to ensure that our campus better reflects a more representative student body relative to the state of California. Our proposed admissions area expansion includes Alameda, Contra Costa, San Francisco and San Mateo counties for transfer students and these same counties plus Santa Cruz for first-time freshmen.


Modifying Supplemental Coursework for Upper Division Transfer Students

For the fall 2016 admission cycle, some programs (primarily STEM)  introduced coursework as an additional component in the admission process to ensure that upper division transfers were better prepared to succeed. The coursework was identified at the program level, and we have seen a greater number of upper-division transfer students graduate in a timely manner since introducing supplemental criteria to the admissions process. We would like the opportunity to explore revising coursework for some of these programs and adding additional programs in the spirit of student success.

The following programs are proposing to add supplemental transfer coursework to their admissions decision process:

  • Animation/Illustration
  • Business Administration
  • Psychology
  • Public Health
  • Social Work

The following programs would like to expand their supplemental transfer coursework for admissions:

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Civil Engineering
  • Computer Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering
  • General Engineering
  • Industrial/Systems Engineering
  • Kinesiology
  • Materials Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Software Engineering


Positive Outcomes of Current Impaction Policies

Our efforts to expand capacity are showing tangible results based on our increases in graduation rates for SJSU students. Our two-year graduation rate for transfers increased by five percentage points when we began to consider upper-division coursework as part of admissions. We continue our commitment to access by offering Spartan Pathways as an additional opportunity with a holistic review for applicants who are CSU eligible but do not meet the admission criteria for their program. We admit between 100 and 150 applicants through Spartan Pathways each year. We also continue to offer our Spartan East Side Promise, an admission guarantee to applicants from the East Side Union High School District who meet a 3300 eligibility index and fulfill all enrollment requirements. The East Side Union High School District has students with the highest socioeconomic needs. This program provides dedicated outreach, onsite visits and financial aid education. As a result, we have seen applicants increase by 20 percent and enrollment increase by 45 percent from this district.


Share Your Thoughts

University stakeholders and community members will have the opportunity to comment or share thoughts through a dedicated email address,, or in writing to Impaction Comments, ℅ Bradley Olin, San Jose State University, One Washington Square, San Jose, CA 95192-0020. We will be holding a stakeholders meeting along with three public hearings in March, where we will share the proposed changes and allow for questions and comments.

Public Stakeholders Meeting

Tuesday, February 26, 2019, 3:30 to 5 p.m.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library Room 255


Public Hearings

Monday, March 4, 2019, 10 to 11:30 a.m.
SJSU Student Union Theater
Located on the lower level of the Diaz Compean Student Union, near the 9th Street Paseo and the Industrial Studies Building

Wednesday, March 6, 2019, 3:30 to 5 p.m. 
Mission College
3000 Mission College Blvd, Santa Clara
Telecommunication Building (TAV) 130

Thursday, March 7, 2019, 6:30 to 8 p.m.
Lincoln High School
Lincoln Center (Library)

Review public questions and comments

*See FAQ below for answers.

Next Steps

We will submit a final proposal for 2020-2021 impaction changes to the California State University Chancellor’s Office on March 15, 2019, inclusive of any adjustments arising from consideration of public input during the hearing process. If approved by the Chancellor’s Office, we will implement impaction planning criteria for fall 2020 admissions beginning in June 2019.

If you have questions, please contact Bradley Olin, interim associate vice president for Academic Budgets and Planning, Office of the Provost at 408-924-2341 or Sharon Willey, associate vice president for Enrollment Services at 408-924-7096.

Frequently Asked Questions

*Please note this section may be updated as additional questions or comments come in during the public hearing process.

What counties are included in SJSU’s current local admission area and what benefit do applicants receive in admission consideration?

SJSU’s current local admission area includes Santa Clara County for freshmen and Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties for transfer students. Students within the local admission area receive a .25 GPA bump.

Why is SJSU looking to expand its local admissions area?

Expanding our local admissions area will allow greater access to the unique programs offered at SJSU. As an example, we offer 13 undergraduate programs in our Charles W. Davidson College of Engineering, the most of any Bay Area university. It will also allow us to ensure our student body best represents the diversity reflected in our state.

How would an expansion of the local admission area impact Santa Clara County students?

While an expanded local admission area will provide a GPA bump to students beyond Santa Clara County, the university remains committed to serving Santa Clara County school districts and community colleges in both Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties. We will continue to offer outreach and recruitment programs such as college fairs; high school and community college visits; the Advancing Latinx Achievement & Success (ALAS) Conference, African American Student Success Summits and College Day.

Through Spartan Pathways, approximately 100 to 150 students who are CSU eligible but do not meet admissions criteria for their primary majors are admitted each year.

Will Spartan East Side Promise Program be impacted by these proposed changes?

SJSU will continue to offer our Spartan East Side Promise, a partnership with the East Side Union High School District which includes an admission guarantee to applicants from the district who meet a 3300 eligibility index as well as fulfill all admission and enrollment requirements.

Can students from outside the local admission area still apply and gain admission to SJSU?

Students from counties outside the local admission area are still eligible to apply to SJSU if they meet CSU eligibility requirements. Freshmen applicants will be ranked in each major based on a combination of GPA and official SAT/ACT scores. Transfer applications will be ranked in each major based on their GPA or a combination of GPA and supplemental coursework completed for select programs. Students from outside the local admission area can also be considered for Spartan Pathways.

Will an expansion of the local admissions area affect SJSU’s policy for freshmen to live on campus during their first year?

At this time, freshmen who are admitted to SJSU from a high school outside a 30-mile radius of SJSU are required to live on campus. This policy will not change.

Will SJSU consider including other counties in the expansion of the local admission area?

If we receive requests from community members to expand the local admissions area to include other counties, we will consider the feedback as part of this process prior to submitting a final proposal to the CSU Chancellor’s Office. Consideration would include analysis of application and enrollment data and may involve consultation with other CSU campuses to determine the feasibility of including additional counties in our proposed changes for 2020. While we wish we could include all interested counties, this may not be feasible at this time.

Will SJSU work with community colleges to ensure their transfer degree programs are still valid given revisions to supplemental coursework for select programs?

Students earning an approved Associate Degree for Transfer from their community college that matches the SJSU program/major they are applying for are exempt from the coursework. The Associate Degree for Transfer supersedes any courses on the list.

Will the proposed changes to admissions policies impact graduate students?

The proposed changes to admissions policies affect undergraduate admissions only and will not impact graduate admissions.