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Colleges / California State University, San Marcos

California State University, San Marcos

San Marcos, CA 4-Year Public

About CSU San Marcos

California State University, San Marcos is a public, state school located in the suburban setting of San Marcos, CA, less than an hour from San Diego.

Founded in 1990, CSU San Marcos currently enrolls around 14,643 students a year, including 13,962 undergrads. The institution runs on a semester academic calendar.

2021 Admissions Facts About CSU San Marcos

Acceptance rate: 79%

Average GPA: 3.4

Mean ACT score: 20

Mean SAT score: 1035

Early Decision or Early Action: No/No

2022 Regular Decision Deadline: November 30

2022 Regular Decision Notification Date:

What is California State University, San Marcos's acceptance rate?

Admission to CSU San Marcos is moderately difficult. CSU San Marcos accepts around 79 percent of applicants each year.

The average high school GPA for a student at CSU San Marcos is 3.4 /4.0. The mean composite SAT score is 1035. The mean ACT scores is 20.

In 2021, 0 applicants were waitlisted and 0 students were ultimating offered a spot off the waitlist.

Is CSU San Marcos a good school?

Different people have different ideas about what makes a "good" school. Acceptance rate and average GPA are good indicators of how competitive an institution is, but they don't say much about the quality of the education or the student experience.

Retention, graduation rates, and job placement statistics can help you understand how satisfied students are with their school experience, and how effectively an institution prepares students for careers.

Retention and graduation rates

About 84 percent of students who start at CSU San Marcos return the next year. Out of the 2,127 students who started at CSU San Marcos as first-time freshman, 352 graduate within four years.

CSU San Marcos's six-year graduation for undergrads is 57 percent. The average six-year graduation rate for U.S. colleges and universities is 61 percent for public schools, and 67 percent for private, non-profit schools.

Job outcomes and student debt

Job placement and student debt statistics for recent graduates can give you a sense of the return on investment a school offers. The average student debt for graduates in the class of 2021 was around $26,018 per student, not including those with no debt. For context, compare this number with the average national debt, which is around $36,000 per borrower.

Based on this information, how does CSU San Marcos sound? Remember, the best school for one person may be a terrible fit for someone else! So the real question to ask yourself: is CSU San Marcos a good school for YOU?

Interested in applying to California State University, San Marcos?

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Read on to find out more about the admissions requirements and deadlines, student life, academics and majors and more. You can also see what others are saying about CSU San Marcos in the College Confidential forums and get personalized recommendations for other colleges that might be perfect for you.

College Info

333 South Twin Oaks Valley Road San Marcos, CA 92096-0001

Campus Setting: Suburban

CSU San Marcos Application Deadline

First-Year Applications are Due

Not available

Transfer Applications are Due

Nov 30

The deadline for Fall transfer applications to CSU San Marcos is Nov 30.

Check the school website for more information about deadlines for specific programs or special admissions programs

CSU San Marcos ACT Scores


ACT Range

17 - 22

Estimated Chance of Acceptance by ACT Score

ACT Score

Estimated Chance

22 and Above


17 to 22


17 and Less


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ACT Scores Needed to Get Accepted

The median ACT score of an admitted student to CSU San Marcos is 20. Students with an ACT score of 22 and above have a good chance of getting into CSU San Marcos. Students with an ACT score that falls between 17 and 22 have an average chance of getting admitted, and students with an ACT score of 17 or below have a low chance of being offered admission.

CSU San Marcos SAT Scores


Composite SAT Range

940 - 1130


Math SAT Range

460 - 560


Reading SAT Range

470 - 570

Estimated Chance of Acceptance by SAT Score

SAT Score

Estimated Chance

1130 and Above


940 to 1130


940 and Less


SAT Scores Needed to Get Accepted

The median SAT score for CSU San Marcos students is 1035. Applicants with SAT scores of 1130 and above have a good chance of being admitted to CSU San Marcos, while applicants with SAT scores between 940 to 1130 have an average chance of admittance, and prospective students with an SAT score below 940 have a low chance of being offered a spot at CSU San Marcos.

CSU San Marcos Tuition & Fees

Tuition & Fees


In State


Cost Breakdown
In State
State Tuition

Student Life

Wondering what life at CSU San Marcos is like? There are approximately 14,519 students enrolled at CSU San Marcos, including 13,879 undergraduate students and 640 graduate students. 82% percent of students attend school full-time, 96% percent are from CA and 4% percent of students are from other states.


Full Time


Part Time


In State



Data provided by IPEDs and Peterson's Databases, © 2020 Peterson's LLC. All rights reserved.

Quick Facts

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Campus Setting


Acceptance Rate


Tuition and Fees

In State




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