Program impaction (or major impaction) occurs when the number of applications from students to a designated major on a CSU campus during the initial filing period far exceeds the number of spaces available in that major.
While there are many factors that can cause the impaction of a major, in general, it is caused by the popularity of a program increasing while the number of spaces in a program must remain constant or cannot keep pace with the rising number of applications.
How Does Impaction Affect the Admission Process?
Since not all on-time applicants meeting CSU eligibility can be admitted, the admission process for an impacted program becomes competitive. The level of competition depends on the number applying to a major and the academic strength of the applicants.
Various types of sorting and enhanced application factors may be considered by the campus:
Applicants can be sorted or prioritized based on:
Grade point average
Test scores such as the SAT or ACT
The CSU Eligibility Index (combining both grade point average and test scores)
The application evaluation process may go beyond meeting basic CSU eligibility requirements.
Minimum test score
Specific high school course(s) may be added as an admission requirement for applicants in the category of "first-time freshmen" or "lower-division transfer"
Specific college course(s) may be added as an admission requirement for applicants in the category of "upper-division transfer"
A subjective review process incorporating factors such as extra-curricular activity, academic achievement, or life experience may be considered
A student residing in a CSU campus' Local Service Area may also be considered in an impacted admission process. All areas in California are part of a Local Service Area of at least one CSU campus. The California Maritime Academy is one of two CSU campuses that have no Local Service Area. Cal Maritime serves the entire state of California.
Any enhanced admission recommendations or requirements are clearly stated in admission materials produced by the CSU campus.