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    May 21, 2024  
Catalog 2024-2025 
Catalog 2024-2025


Admissions Policy

The College of Southern Maryland is committed to providing equal opportunity in student admissions without regard to gender, sexual orientation, race, age, color, religion, disability, marital status, or national origin. The college’s Board of Trustees authorizes the president to develop and revise specific procedures for admission, subject to standards fixed by the Maryland Higher Education Commission.

Admission Requirements

Credit Students

Applicants who have met one of the following will be admitted to the college:

  1. have graduated from high school; or
  2. have earned high school equivalency; or
  3. have met the criteria of one of the college’s admission programs described in this catalog.

Certain review courses or reduced-credit loads may be required for new students who need further preparation. The college may revoke (or may subject to certain conditions) the admission of any already admitted person who is deemed to be a potential danger to safety or security or threatens to disrupt educational processes. Such persons shall be afforded due process as required by law.  Additional admission requirements for the Certificate of Practical Nursing and Associate of Science degree in Nursing are described online.  Additional admission requirements for the Physical Therapist Assistant, Radiography and Respiratory Therapy programs are outlined in the Programs of Study section in this catalog.

Continuing Education Students

Continuing education courses are open to persons age 16 or older unless otherwise stated in the course description. Students may enroll in continuing education courses without being admitted to the college.  Important: In all cases, the college reserves the right to make final decisions on admission or eligibility for enrollment in continuing education courses.

General Admission and Enrollment Procedures

1. Apply to CSM

Complete the college admission application online at Providing your Social Security Number is optional at the time of applying to the college but will be required to complete the registration process and to apply for financial assistance. You may be asked to provide proof of residency in person at a campus location. 

2. Apply for Financial Aid and Scholarships

All students should complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form at All CSM Foundation scholarships require a FAFSA and can be found on our website at  See the Financial Assistance  website for more detailed information.  Make sure to use the federal school code for CSM: 002064.

3.  College Readiness and Placement Testing

Placement Options

  • High School Transcript Review for Students who have graduated from a public high school (or from Calverton, St. Mary’s Ryken, or Southern Maryland Christian Academy) within the past two years: Submit high school transcripts to the Registrar’s office either electronically or to  Students who have graduated from a home school or private school will need to take our ACCUPLACER and ALEKS placement tests or submit Standardized Test scores.
  • Prior College-Level English and/or Mathematics Coursework:  Students who can verify with a transcript or grade report successful completion of prior college-level English and appropriate college-level mathematics courses are exempt from taking the placement test.
  • Standardized Tests:
    • SAT Tests: Submit scores of 480 or higher in evidence-based Reading and Writing.  Submit scores of 530 or higher in Math.  Submit scores of 570 or higher in Math for programs that require a higher level of math (such as STEM programs).
    • ACT Tests: Submit ACT scores of 21 or higher in English and/or Reading and/or Math.  Submit scores of 24 or higher in math for programs that require a higher level of math (such as STEM programs).
    • GED Test: Submit GED scores of 165 or higher in Reasoning Through Language Arts.  Submit scores of 165 or higher in Mathematical Reasoning.
    • AP Test Scores: Submit scores in English and/or Math of 3,4 or 5.
    • Speak with an advisor about specific math course requirements.
  • Take the ACCUPLACER exam for reading and writing and the ALEKS Placement, Preparation, and Learning Assessment for math.  Meet certain scores for accurate placement.
  • Speak with an Enrollment Coordinator or an Advisor about placement options if none of the above are applicable.  The most accurate options for this type of student (have graduated from high school more than two years, never attended college in the past) is to take the CSM placement tests.

4. Complete the New Student Orientation

  • Complete the Online New Student Orientation called “Hawk Ready”
    • Login at
    • Scroll down to the Announcements section
    • Click on “Access Online Orientation”
    • After reviewing the information, check the certifying question.
    • The page refers students to “Hawk Set”, which are short videos that students can view to learn how to plan and register for classes amongst other valuable information.

5.  Register for Classes

  • New students should register for classes through Online Services through my.CSMD.
  • The Admissions office offers several Registration Assistance Sessions before every term.  Students should register for one of these sessions to learn how to register and next steps as a student at the college. The session schedule can be found at
  • If a student is unsure about their program, they should set up a profile and complete the Career Coach and make an appointment with an Advisor to review the results.
  • For students transferring into the college, after a student’s official transcript is evaluated, an email will be sent explaining which classes the college has accepted.  The student can make an appointment with an Advisor to discuss their schedule of classes. 

6. Set Up Your Student Email

  • After students have registered for credit classes, they will be able to set up their student email account.  This is a requirement, as all official communications to a registered student from the college will go to this email address.
  • The student’s email address will be  Visit this helpful web page for questions about student email and Microsoft Office 365:

7.  Send Final High School Transcripts (if graduated within last two years)

All recent high school graduates are required to submit final high school transcripts.  Please send to: 

College of Southern Maryland
Attn:  Registrar’s Office
P.O. Box 910
La Plata, MD 20646


8.  Make Payment Arrangements by the Payment Due Date.

  • Pay in full 
  • Enroll in the CSM Tuition Payment Plan and make the initial deposit
  • Submit tuition assistance paperwork to the Bursar’s Office
  • Have sufficient approved and processed financial assistance already in place (CSM college code is 002064; it may take 4 weeks or more to process your request.  If you have not completed a FAFSA form yet, you will need to make alternate payment arrangements and be reimbursed if/when you receive FAFSA funds)


Categories of Admission

Part-Time Students

Students taking fewer than 12 credits and/or credit equivalents in a semester are considered part-time students. Applicants who wish to enroll as part-time students are subject to the same rules and regulations as full-time students except where specifically exempted.

Full-Time Students

Students taking 12 or more credits and/or credit equivalents in a semester are considered full-time students.

Transfer Students

Students who wish to transfer credits to CSM can have their official transcripts mailed or sent electronically.  Official transcripts in a sealed envelope can be mailed directly to CSM at:

College of Southern Maryland

Attn:  Registrar’s Office

P.O. Box 910 

La Plata, MD  20646 


Electronic transcripts can be sent from the issuing institution directly to

Typically, evaluations take 2-4 weeks.  During peak times, however, they may take longer. 

Schedule to meet with an Academic Advisor to discuss the credits transferring in to CSM.

Students must fill out a Transcript Evaluation Request Form to evaluate past credits earned and how they fulfill requirements for their intended degree program.

Students will be notified by email of the credits that CSM accepts.  Students can also view what courses were transferred in through myCSMD - Online Services - Student Planning - View your Progress and in the Transfer Summary.


Admissions Programs

High School Students - 16 Years of Age and Older

High school students may take courses at the College of Southern Maryland through a variety of admissions programs such as Dual Enrollment, Early College, or Gifted and Talented.

Dual Enrollment Program

The Dual Enrollment program allows qualified high school students, with permission from their school, the opportunity to earn college credit while still in high school.  Dual enrollment students choose courses that have been approved by their school.  Charles, St. Mary’s and Calvert County public school students enrolled in this program will be granted a tuition discount for county-approved courses taken while in the program (see website for discounted rate). Out of county students will be granted a 25 percent tuition waiver while in the program.  To participate in this program, students must demonstrate the ability to benefit from instruction through placement tests, qualifying SAT or ACT scores, or other established criteria. 

To be eligible for the Dual Enrollment Programs, students must meet the following requirements:

  • Completion of the 10th grade for part-time status (the school system may not approve students before their senior year)
  • Completion of the 11th grade for full-time status
  • Maintained a minimum high school grade point average of 2.75 (the school system may require a higher average)

How to Get Started:

  • Meet with the high school counselor to discuss school requirements for the Dual Enrollment Programs.
  • Submit an online application at
  • Complete the Dual Enrollment Form and submit all appropriate signatures.
  • Submit high school transcripts, submit acceptable SAT or ACT scores, or take the college’s placement tests in reading and English and place at college level in both assessments,
  • If the student plans to take a math course, he or she may need to take the math placement test and score at the MTH-1010 or MTH-1120 level or higher (depending on the program of study).  Acceptable SAT and ACT scores may be submitted to waive the placement requirement.

Once these steps are complete, the student should contact an Enrollment Coordinator to schedule an orientation session and register for courses.  All paperwork and placement tests must be completed and submitted to the college prior to July 15 for the fall semester, December 15 for the spring semester, and April 15  for the summer session. Students may be responsible for paying all tuition, fees and textbook costs. 

Early College

The Early College Programs are for qualified high school juniors and seniors (depending on the participating county public schools) to complete their high school and college degree or certificate requirements at the same time.  These students will spend their entire day on a CSM campus.  Minimum requirements include a cumulative unweighted GPA of a 2.75, completion of high school state testing, completion of Service Learning hours, recommendation from high school counselor, and others depending on the county.  A Selection Committee will review the student’s application and transcript. The college will notify the student on their acceptance into the program.

Gifted and Talented Students

The college may accept for admission certain underage students who are designated by their school as gifted or talented but who are not yet recipients of a high school diploma or a high school equivalency certificate. Students who are under the age of 16 and who have completed at least the seventh grade may be considered for admission on a case-by-case basis. Students will be considered for such admission if they demonstrate the ability to gain from instruction based on evidence of gifted and talented status as defined by their local school system or through other evidence of exceptional academic or fine arts talent. Students who participate in this program will not receive a tuition waiver. Students wishing to participate in this program must:

  • Submit an online application at
  • Complete the Gifted and Talented Program Form and submit it to the Enrollment Coordinator with appropriate signatures.
  • Take the college’s placement tests in reading and writing and place at college level in both assessments; or submit acceptable SAT or ACT scores.
  • If the student plans to take a math course, he or she must take the math placement test and score at the MTH-1010 or MTH-1120 level or higher. Acceptable SAT and ACT scores may be submitted to waive the placement requirement.

Once the college receives all required forms and placement results, the student will be contacted to schedule a meeting with his or her parent(s) or guardian(s) and an Enrollment Coordinator to register for classes. Remember, Gifted and Talented students do not receive a tuition discount.

Homeschool Students

Students who participate in a homeschool program permitted under Maryland law are considered homeschool students. Students who are home-schooled and under the age of 16 must follow the procedures set forth in the “Gifted and Talented Students” section in this catalog. Homeschool students who are 16 years of age or older and have earned a high school equivalency certificate or a high school equivalency diploma follow the requirements outlined in “General Admission and Enrollment Procedures” in this catalog. Homeschool students who are 16 years of age or older and lack a high school equivalency certificate or diploma may be considered for the Dual Enrollment Program. Homeschool students may be eligible for dual admission status and tuition discount if their program has been approved by the Maryland State Department of Education. The percentage of the discount is dependent upon county residency.

International Students

Students who attend the college on an F-1 Visa are considered international students. Other international citizens should contact the college’s Admissions Department for information on admission procedures. The college is authorized under federal law to enroll non-immigrant students. To be admitted to the college, international students must submit a completed international student application packet to the Admissions Department. Packets can be obtained from the Admissions Department or online at in the International Student Steps to Enroll section.

1. Apply
Submit an online Admission Application.

2. Submit the college’s Supplemental Form
This form is found at in the International Student Steps to Enroll section.

3. Provide proof of English proficiency - Provide CSM’s Admissions Department with an official copy of your TOEFL score report. A minimum score of 80 is required. To schedule or obtain test scores, contact:

            Educational Testing Service (ETS)
            P.O. Box 6151
           Princeton, NJ 08541-6151

The telephone number is 609-771-7100. If the country is recognized by the United States Department of State as one in which English is the primary language, the TOEFL may not be required. Duolingo English Proficiency exam will also be accepted with a minimum score of 95.

4. Send - An original or certified copy of one of the following-

  • high school transcript in English or with a certified English translation or
  • official college or university transcript, if applicable; transcripts should be evaluated by an approved evaluation program (WES, ECE, and JSA is acceptable) before submission to the college.

5. Submit a notarized Declaration of Financial Support Form This form is found at in the International Student Steps to Enroll section.

6. Submit a notarized I-134 Form

7. Provide financial documents to support the I-134 form

8. Take placement tests or submit SAT or ACT scores

Take the placement tests for reading, math, and English unless you already have credits in English or math from another college or acceptable SAT or ACT scores. See the Placement Tests Procedures  section in this catalog for more information. All forms must be submitted by the following dates:

  • June 15 for the Fall Semester
  • October 15 for the Spring Semester
  • March 15 for the Summer Session

After all documents are received, they are reviewed for eligibility by the Designated School Official. The Form I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility for Non-Immigrant F-1 Student Visa Status) is issued to those applicants who meet all academic, financial support, and English language proficiency requirements for admission to a full-time degree program. A student copy of your I-20 will be emailed to the student. It is the United States Department of State, not the college, that makes the decision to grant the F-1 Visa.

Before registering for classes, the student will be required to meet with the PDSO or DSO. International students are charged out-of-state tuition and are not eligible for most financial assistance.

Active-Duty Military Personnel

Active-duty military personnel should follow the admission procedures for full-time, part-time, or transfer students, as appropriate. The college will grant credit for courses taken from service schools and other agencies recommended in the American Council on Education’s National Guides to the Evaluation of Educational Experiences in the Armed Services. Credits are limited to those courses that the college determines to be applicable to the student’s degree and/or certificate program. Credits will not be granted for courses not recommended or not found in these publications.

Undocumented Immigrants

Under the Maryland Dream Act, undocumented immigrants may qualify for in-state tuition. Contact the Admissions Department for eligibility requirements. Otherwise, undocumented students will receive out-of-state tuition.

Non-graduates of High School

Applicants who are 16 years of age or older and who have left elementary or secondary school without completing either a formal high school diploma program or earning a General Education Development (GED) or High School Equivalency Diploma/Certificate may be admitted to the College of Southern Maryland through the special admission program described in this catalog. 

Applicants who are 16 years of age or older and who have left elementary or secondary school without completing either a formal high school diploma program or earning a General Equivalency Diploma (GED) or High School Equivalency Diploma/Certificate may be admitted if they demonstrate the ability to advance from instruction based on placing at the college level in reading, mathematics, and English on the CSM placement tests. Applicants who do not meet this requirement may be provisionally admitted for one semester, which may include taking less than a full-time credit load (to be determined by the Director of Admissions). Upon successful completion of that semester’s coursework, those students will be admitted to the college. Provisional admission may be withdrawn if a student does not make satisfactory progress during the first semester.

The college strongly encourages students to complete their high school graduation requirements or obtain their GED prior to applying for admission. Eligibility for financial assistance programs may be affected by absence of a high school diploma or GED. Students who wish to seek the GED should contact the Adult Basic Education program at the College of Southern Maryland. Note: Admission to the practical nursing (PN) certificate program, the physical therapist assistant program, or the associate degree nursing program requires the completion of a high school diploma or GED.

Residency Policy

The residence status of students is determined at the time of admission to the college. Students will be considered in-county residents if they or the person who contributes more than one half of the student’s financial support maintains legal domicile in Charles County, St. Mary’s County, or Calvert County and have done so for a period of not less than three months prior to the date of admission to the college.

Students will be considered in-state residents if they or the person who contributes more than one half of the student’s financial support have maintained legal domicile in other parts of the state for not less than three months. Otherwise, the student shall be considered an out-of-state resident, unless the student falls within one of the limited exceptions available for certain programs and persons. Military dependents fall under these limited exceptions.

Students’ residency will not be changed automatically.  It is the responsibility of the student to demonstrate residency after they meet the requirements to do so.  The Admissions office will automatically change residency to a higher tuition rate upon receipt of conflicting information since the student’s application submission.

Please refer to Appendix I  at the back of the catalog for additional information on residency policies.