Competitive Majors

A number of majors at CSU have specific entrance requirements. As an Exploratory Studies student, the Exploratory Studies Advising Team is your point of contact and support rather than the department of interest.

Students who are currently applying to CSU should check requirements on the Admissions Competitive Majors page. Students who are current students at CSU can meet the requirements listed below to be able to change their major to a competitive major.

  • Biomedical Science – Life Science Interest
  • Business – Business Interest
  • Computer Science – Information Technology Interest
  • Engineering – Engineering Interest
  • Journalism & Media Communications – Journalism and Communication Interest

Competitive Majors

Biomedical Science
Requirements for Current CSU Students:

Students who meet the criteria below are eligible for the Biomedical Sciences waitlist. The department will determine space availability and admission in to the major.

  • 3.3 cumulative CSU GPA.
  • Grades of B or better in both:
    • LIFE102 (College Biology) and
    • CHEM111 (General Chemistry)
  • Students should plan on completing these requirements before completing 60 total credits.

If students meet all of these requirements, the student must opt in to the waitlist by contacting the Biomedical Sciences department. Ask your Exploratory Studies advisor for contact information.

Tip for prospective transfer students:  This is a capped major which always fills quickly. Earning B’s in College Biology (LIFE 102), College Chemistry (CHEM111/112), with a transfer GPA of 3.3 will make you eligible for the major/waitlist. It is good to have another plan in case you do not make it off the waitlist. Consider choosing an alternative major, such as Biology, Chemistry, Biochemistry, Microbiology, or Neuroscience and combining it with a Biomedical Science minor. Students must be admitted prior to earning 60 credits from all institutions.

Not available to 2nd BS students.

Explore Possibilities:

If you like the idea of Biomedical Sciences and health fields, we encourage you to view the many majors in the Health, Life and Food Science or Land, Plant and Animal major track. Talk with your advisor about the best fit for you.

Chemical and Biological Engineering - plants in controlled growth

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Business
Requirements for Current CSU Students :
  • Earn a 3.0 cumulative CSU GPA on a minimum of 15 graded credits.
  • Earn a B- or better in ECON202 (Principles of Microeconomics) OR AREC202 (Agriculture and Resource Economics)
  • Earn a C or better in 3 credits of math (must be MATH117 or higher)
Tips for prospective business students: Students may not take Business Core or Concentration courses until they have met the entrance requirements for this major.

If you are a transfer student, it is often easier for students to meet all of the entrance requirements for the College of Business before transferring to CSU. You may consider taking the required courses at your current institution or local community college. It is particularly beneficial to complete college algebra prior to transferring. 

Explore possibilities:

If you like the idea of Business and related fields, we encourage you to view the many majors in our Organization, Management and Enterprise major track. Talk with your advisor about the best fit for you.

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Computer Science
Requirements for Current CSU Students :
  • Earn a 2.5 cumulative CSU GPA or higher
  • And both:
    • B or better in CS150B (Culture and Coding) or CS152 (Python for STEM)
    • C or better in any of the following:
      • CS162 (Intro to Programming Java),
      • CS163 (CS1 Intro to Programming no prior programming experience)
      • CS164 (CS1 Computational Thinking with Java),
      • MATH160 (Calculus for Physical Scientists),
      • MATH156 (Mathematics for Computational Science 1).
Tip for prospective computer science students:

Math is an important foundation and is required for entry-level courses in this major. It is beneficial if you have taken at least college algebra, and ideally trigonometry too, before attending CSU.

Explore possibilities:

If you like the idea of Computer Science and information technology fields, we encourage you to view the many majors in the Arts, Humanities and Design or the Physical Science and Engineering major track. Talk with your advisor about the best fit for you.

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Engineering
Requirements for Current CSU Students :
  • 2.75 cumulative GPA at CSU
  • Earn a B- or better in MATH 160 (Calculus for Physical Scientists I) or a higher level
  • Earn a C or better in either CHEM 111 (General Chemistry I) *OR* PH 141 (Physics for Scientists and Engineers I) or higher levels .
  • Computer engineering majors may choose to earn a C in either PH141 or CS163 (CS1 no prior programming experience) or CS164 (CS1 with prior programming experience)
  • Credit limits:
    • Incoming freshmen and continuing CSU students must declare by 45 CSU credits
    • Transfer students must declare by 30 CSU credits after transferring
Other considerations:

Few Engineering courses are available until students gain admission into the major.

Engineering is one of the most challenging majors in which to gain admission.  Students must be committed to intense study time and dedication. Enjoying the theory behind math and the problem-solving details of math is essential.

Explore Possibilities

If you like the idea of Engineering and design development, we encourage you to view the many majors in the Environmental and Natural Resources or Math, Physical Sciences and Engineering major track. Talk with your advisor about the best fit for you.

Construction Management - on site in South Africa

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Journalism & Media Communications

Requirements for current CSU students:

Earn a 2.5 cumulative CSU GPA on a minimum of 12 credits.

Tips for prospective transfer or second Bachelor’s students:  It is important to complete English Composition at your current institution and have a cumulative 2.5 GPA. 

Explore possibilities

If you like the idea of Journalism and media communication, we encourage you to view the many majors in our Arts, Humanities and Design major track. Talk with your advisor about the best fit for you.

Journalism and Media Communication

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Majors with special admission requirements

The majors listed below require students to either complete a portfolio review / audition or demonstrate knowledge through grades / GPA in order to progress to desired major. The portfolio review or audition is a chance to showcase talent and skills in the academic area.

  • Apparel and Merchandising: Apparel Design and Production Concentration – Portfolio review required to continue after first year.
  • Construction Management – Pre-Construction Management – Entrance requirements to progress from Pre-Construction Management into the major.
  • Education – Teaching Licensure – Students will choose corresponding major and must meet licensing requirements.
  • Interior Architecture and Design – Pre-Interior Architecture and Design – Design Scenario required to progress from Pre-Interior Architecture and Design into the major.
  • Music – Pre-Music – Audition required to progress from Pre-Music into the major.
Apparel and Merchandising: Apparel Design and Production Concentration

Students applying to the Apparel Design and Production concentration are accepted first into the Apparel and Merchandising major.

Full acceptance into the Apparel Design and Production concentration requires passing the portfolio review held in the spring semester and a minimum 2.5 G.P.A.

Each year, the 20 to 25 students who receive the highest scores on the portfolio evaluation are accepted into the Apparel Design and Production concentration, and they become eligible to enroll in apparel design and production courses.

Explore possibilities: If you like the idea of apparel design and production, we encourage you to view the many majors in our Arts, Humanities and Design major track. Talk with your advisor about the best fit for you.

Landscape Architecture

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Construction Management – Pre-Construction Management
Requirements for Current CSU Students :

All students interested in the Construction Management major must begin as a Pre-Construction Management major and can apply to the major once they meet the admission criteria,

  • Earn a minimum 2.75 cumulative CSU GPA
  • Complete CON 101 (Introduction to Construction Management) with a “B” grade or better
  • Complete CO 150 (College Composition) with a “B” grade or better
  • Complete MATH 125 (Numerical Trigonometry) with a “C” grade or better
Other considerations:

​Besides CON 101, Pre‐Construction Management students are not able to take CON courses until fully admitted to Construction Management.

Education – Teaching Licensure

Students will choose a major that has an Education – Teaching Licensure concentration within it. Options include: Agricultural Education, Computer Science, Dance, Early Childhood Education, English, Family & Consumer Sciences, Mathematics, Music, Science, Social Studies, Visual Art, and World Languages”

Requirements for Current CSU Students :

Students apply for admission to the licensure program typically during their second year at CSU.  Students are required to have a minimum 2.75 GPA and meet all licensure requirements.

Other considerations:

Teacher licensure requires completion of a background check.”

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Interior Architecture and Design – Pre-Interior Architecture and Design

First year students are identified as Pre‐Interior Architecture and Design. In order to progress into the second year of the program, students must qualify for the “Selective Advancement Design Scenario” by completing the following:

  • INTD 110 (Visual Expression of Interior Environments)
  • INTD 129 (Introduction-Interior Architecture & Design)
  • INTD 166 (Visual Communication-Drawing)
  • have a cumulative reported GPA of 2.5 or better

The “Selective Advancement Design Scenario” is held in the spring and approximately 40 students are selected to advance to the second year and majors are changed to Interior Architecture and Design.

Explore possibilities: If you like the idea of interior design, we encourage you to view the many majors in our Arts, Humanities and Design major track. Talk with your advisor about the best fit for you.

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Music – Pre-Music

A successful audition is required prior to entrance into any Music degree program. Please refer to the admissions office of the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance for information regarding auditions and specific application requirements. 

Auditions are held annually in the early part of spring semester. Students should audition prior to their freshman year for timely graduation.

Explore possibilities: If you like the idea of music, we encourage you to view the many majors in our Arts, Humanities and Design major track. Talk with your advisor about the best fit for you.

See the courses and opportunities