Common Questions

Where is San Marcos?
San Marcos is a safe, suburban town located in North San Diego County, about 37 miles (60 km) north of downtown San Diego and 100 miles (160 km) south of downtown Los Angeles. For more information, visit the LOCATION page.

When is the application deadline?
The ALCI does not have an application deadline. We recommend that you apply at least two months before the semester begins. You should allow enough time for your application to be processed and for you to schedule your F-1 visa interview.  The deadline to apply for conditional admission is usually about 2-3 months before the program start date.  Contact the ALCI directly to confirm application deadlines.

Can I apply for conditional admission?
Yes.  Students may apply to the ALCI and for conditional admission to California State University San Marcos.  For more information, visit the CONDITIONAL ADMISSION page.

How much money will I need for the Intensive Academic Preparation (IAP) program or Semester at CSU San Marcos program?
The total amount of tuition, fees and other costs depends on the amount of time you will spend at the ALCI.  Visit our IAP Program page for the cost table and for more information.

What is TOEFL equivalency?
TOEFL Equivalency means that for graduate or undergraduate admission to California State University San Marcos, you need not take the TOEFL if you meet certain requirements. For a full explanation of those requirements, see the TOEFL WAIVER page.

Do I need to take the TOEFL before I apply to ALCI?
No.  The TOEFL test is not required for enrollment in the ALCI, but you must have basic English skills. 

Can I take a university course while enrolled in the ALCI?
Yes. If you are in the advanced levels of the IAP program or Semester at CSU San Marcos program, you may take a university class or classes with American students for transferable credit. 

What class level will I be in at the ALCI?
You will take a placement test on the first day of the semester to determine your class level. You will also take a post-test at the end of each semester.  Post-test results determine class levels for continuing students.

Can I live in campus housing (University Village Apartments)?
Yes. ALCI students may apply to live in University Village Apartments (UVA). To live in UVA, you must plan to attend at least one full semester at the ALCI.  Apply very early.  UVA fills up quickly. For more information, see the CAMPUS HOUSING page of this website.