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Study @ CSU San Marcos


Study @ CSU San Marcos is a non-degree program for visiting/fee-paying international students who want to enroll in university classes for credit for one or two semesters at California State University San Marcos. 

  • Study in the heart of Southern California, surrounded by breathtaking beaches, mountains and deserts 
  • Earn university course credits that transfer to your home university
  • Study and experience campus life with American students
  • Choose to join one of more than 100 recognized student organizations
  • Participate in CSUSM Recreation Activities such as Intramural Sports and Outdoor Adventures

The standard tuition rate includes 12 units for full-time undergraduate status. Undergraduates may take up to 17 units, but students will be charged $266 per additional unit over 12. For graduate-level courses, full-time status is 9 units. Students will be charged $266 per additional unit over 9. Masters of Business Administration-level courses are available at a higher tuition for 9 graduate units. (Tuition and fees are subject to change without notice). Please visit ALCI Programs and Costs for current tuition fees.

Study @ CSU San Marcos students must pay for their own textbooks, lab fees, parking permits, gym or club memberships, and any fees associated with campus activities not sponsored by ALCI.

Proof of high-level English-language skills is required to participate in university courses. ALCI accepts the following as proof of academic English ability*:

  • TOEFL score of 61 (minimum score of 19 in writing, and 14 on all other sections)
  • IELTS score of 5.5 (with a 5.5 in writing)
  • DAAD level B
  • Other, (depending on country)

Plan to arrive in San Marcos at least 5 days before the orientation start date. You must meet the ALCI Study @ CSU San Marcos Academic Coordinator during orientation to learn important details about obtaining university courses. You will enroll in courses through instructor approval on a space-available basis during the first week of university courses.

You should make arrangements to stay in San Marcos though the end of CSU San Marcos final exams to ensure completion of your courses.

As a Study @ CSU San Marcos student, you are part of California State University San Marcos campus life. You have a student identification card and full access to:

  • Computer and language labs
  • The library and media center
  • The Student Health and Counseling Center
  • Student clubs
  • Intramural sports teams
  • Recreation Center (extra fees may apply)
  • Campus cultural activities
  • Student services assistance (academic advising, housing, banking, immigration, and health care)
  • ALCI trips and events

How to apply for Study @ CSU San Marcos

Use Application Checklist to make sure everything is complete.

Send your application to:

E-mail: OR
Fax: 760-750-3779  OR
Mail: American Language and Culture Institute
        California State University San Marcos
        333 South Twin Oaks Valley Road
        San Marcos, CA 92096-0001 USA

Incomplete applications will not be processed.  Check your application carefully.