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Race & Ethnicity

To conform to Federal government guidelines, the California State University (CSU) must collect detailed information about each student's ethnic and racial background. Federal Office of Management and Budget (OMB) guidelines define ethnicity and race as separate concepts. The guidelines advise that, wherever possible, separate questions be asked for each concept. According to OMB, the guidelines accommodate "the increasing diversity of our Nation's population, stemming from growth in interracial marriages and immigration." The Cal State Apply application reflects the intent of the OMB guidelines. Applicants are first asked to self-identify their ethnic origin and then asked to select the race(s) with which they most closely identify. 

This information will not affect any student's application for admission. 


In accordance with OMB guidelines, ethnicity is defined as "Hispanic or Latino" or "Not Hispanic or Latino." In general, OMB defines ethnicity or origin as the heritage, nationality group, lineage, or country of birth of the person or the person's parents or ancestors before their arrival in the United States. The Cal State Apply application lists 23 separate Hispanic or Latino identities associated with the peoples of Mexico, Central America, South America, the Caribbean, and Spain. People who identify their origin as Spanish, Hispanic, or Latino may be of any race. 

Indicate whether you consider yourself to be of Hispanic or Latino origin. If you select Yes, select category that best describes your background.


The racial identifications listed in the Cal State Apply application include the minimum five racial categories required by OMB guidelines:

  • American Indian or Alaska Native
    • Achomawi/Achumawi
    • Cahto (e.g., Cahto Indian Tribe of the Laytonville)
    • Cahuilla (e.g., Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians)
    • Chemehuevi (e.g., Chemehuevi Indian Tribe of the Chemehuevi Reservation, California)
    • Chumash (e.g., Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Mission)
    • Cupeno (e.g., Los Coyotes Band of Cahuilla & Cupeno)
    • Hupa/Hoopa (e.g., Hoopa Valley Tribe, California)
    • Karuk (e.g., Karuk Tribe of California)
    • Kumeyaay (e.g., Ewiiaapaayp Band of Kumeyaay)
    • Luiseno (e.g., La Jolla Band of Luiseno Mission)
    • Maidu (e.g., Enterprise Rancheria of Maidu Indians)
    • Miwok (e.g., Ione Band of Miwok Indians)
    • Mojave (e.g., Fort Mojave Indian Tribe of Arizona)
    • Other Alaska Native tribes
    • Other American Indian tribes
    • Paiute (e.g., Fort Independence Indian Community of Paiute Indians of the Fort)
    • Pomo (e.g., Coyote Valley Band of Pomo Indian)
  • Asian
    • Asian Indian
    • Bangladeshi
    • Bhutanese
    • Burmese
    • Cambodian 
    • Chinese (except Taiwanese)
    • Filipino
    • Hmong
    • Indo Chinese
    • Indonesian
    • Iwo Jiman
    • Japanese
    • Korean
    • Laotian
    • Malaysian
    • Maldivian
    • Nepalese
    • Okinawan
    • Pakistani
    • Singaporean
    • Sri Lankan
    • Taiwanese
    • Thai
    • Vietnamese
    • Other Asian
  • Black or African-American
    • African-American
    • Black
    • Haitian 
    • Other African/Black
  • Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander 
    • Carolinian
    • Chuukese
    • Fijian
    • Guamanian or Chamorro 
    • I-Kiribati
    • Kosraean
    • Mariana Islander
    • Marshallese
    • Native Hawaiian
    • Ni-Vanuatu
    • Palauan
    • Papua New Guinean
    • Pohnpeian
    • Saipanese
    • Samoan
    • Solomon Islander
    • Tahitian
    • Tokelauan
    • Tongan
    • Yapese
    • Other Melanesian
    • Other Micronesian
    • Other Pacific Islander
    • Other Polynesian
  • White
    • European 
    • Middle Easterner
    • North African 
    • Other White

Select one or more of the groups of which you consider yourself to be a member. If none are appropriate, you can select None of the above or Decline to State


California State University (CSU) often needs to report only one summary race/ethnicity description per person. Select your preference from the drop-down or select Decline to state

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