The California State University requires that first‑time freshman applicants complete, with grades of "C" or higher, a comprehensive pattern of college preparatory study totaling 15 units. A "unit" is one year of study in high school.
- Social Science - 2 years to include 1 year of U.S. History and/or Government
- English – 4 years
- Mathematics – 3 years to include algebra, geometry, and intermediate algebra
- Science – 2 years with laboratory to include 1 year of biological science and 1 year physical science
- Foreign Language – 2 years in the same foreign language (subject to waiver for applicants demonstrating equivalent competence).
- Visual and Performing Arts – 1 year-long course in which the second semester builds on the first from a single VPA area to include art, dance, drama/theater, or music
- Electives – 1 year selected from the areas above.