How to Apply

For First-Year Students

Start Your Application

Follow the steps below to submit your Common Application.

  1. Create Your Account
    Begin by creating an account on The Common Application website if you haven't already done so. After registering you will need to add California Lutheran University to your list of colleges from within the College Search tab.

  2. Complete Your Application & Essay
    Complete The Common Application and personal essay by the appropriate deadline. Please keep in mind all application documents must be submitted by the application deadline (including optional Test Scores, official Transcripts, Letter of Recommendation, and Personal Statement).

    What are colleges and universities looking for in applicants? Our very own admissions team from Cal Lutheran has shared their personal tips to help you create a great impression no matter where you apply. Learn more in our guide on 5 Tips for Applying to College

  3. Request Recommendation
    Request a letter of recommendation from one your teachers through the Recommender Section of the Common Application. You will need your recommender's email address for this section. We suggest that you begin the process early to give them plenty of time to respond before the deadline.
  4. Submit Application Fee
    All applicants must submit a non-refundable $25 application fee or submit a fee waiver. If the fee will present a financial hardship for you and your family, you may be eligible for a waiver of the application fee. Ask your guidance counselor to submit a Fee Waiver Request (we accept the NACAC and College Board Fee Waiver request forms).
  5. Standardized Test Scores (Optional)
    California Lutheran University is Test Optional (view our official policy for more details). If you choose to submit standardized test scores, we will consider your highest section scores across all test dates from your SAT or ACT results (also known as super scoring). You can provide test score results by submitting an official score report through the testing agency (SAT code: 4088, ACT code: 0183), or by self-reporting all scores using the Test Score Form found in your Cal Lutheran application portal. We do not accept self-reported scores listed on the Common Application or transcripts. Enrolling students who were admitted with self-reported scores will be required to verify those scores by submitting an official score report prior to starting classes.

    International students must submit proof of English proficiency (TOEFL, IELTS, PTE, or Duolingo).
  6. Transcripts
    Official high school transcripts must be sent to us directly from schools you have attended. Your high school counselor may submit these via online services such as Docufide, Naviance, and The Common Application, or mail in a physical copy to the Office of Undergraduate Admission.
  7. Final Review & Submit
    Double check your work and review thoroughly to ensure you have recorded your information accurately. Once your application has been submitted, you cannot go back in and edit it.
  8. Next Steps

    Now that you've submitted your application, you may be thinking, "What's next?". Visit our Dates & Deadlines page for more information on key dates and when you'll be hearing from us. 

Getting Help

For technical or logistical difficulties while completing the online application, please refer to The Common Application Help Center. 

If you have questions about the content of our application and are unable to find answers within this guide, please call us at 805-493-3135 during our regular office hours, or email us at at any time.

COMMON Questions

Additional Information

If you are returning to Cal Lutheran and would like more information on how to re-enroll, please contact Academic Services at


California Lutheran University recognizes and values diversity in our campus community and is dedicated to providing equal access and opportunities to qualified applicants regardless of race, color, national or ethnic origin, age, religion, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, veteran status or any other characteristic protected under applicable federal or state law. Moreover, Cal Lutheran is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to applicants with various disabilities. Any applicant in need of assistance is encouraged to contact the admission office where they will be provided with reasonable services in a manner that promotes respect and self-advocacy.