Enrollment Requirements

After you are admitted to CSU San Marcos, but before you enroll in classes, there are a number of requirements you must meet. Please be sure you understand these requirements and be prepared to fulfill them when you arrive on campus.

Required Tests

All 23 campuses of the California State University system require new undergraduate  students to be tested in English and mathematics as soon as possible after they are admitted and before enrollment. These are not admissions tests, but a way to determine whether students are prepared for college work.

The two tests, The English Placement Test (EPT) and the Entry Level Mathematics Exam (ELM) are given several times a year on each campus. Ideally, a new student should take these tests at least four weeks prior to the beginning of a semester to allow sufficient time for it to be scored.

New undergraduate international students coming to the United States to begin their studies at CSU San Marcos should be aware that they will not be permitted to enroll in classes if they have not taken these tests.  

This creates serious problems for students who arrive in the U.S. only a few weeks or days prior to the beginning of the semester. They may have to travel a long distance to another CSU campus to take the test if one is not being given at CSU San Marcos after they arrive but before classes begin. Therefore, international students who are required to take the ELM/EPT must plan to arrive in San Marcos early enough to take the last scheduled test prior to enrollment. For those entering in the fall semester, this generally means arrival by the first week of August.

All newly admitted students will be notified of the test dates at the time of their admission.

Students who do not pass these tests are given two semesters to meet the proficiency requirements. They do this by taking and passing with a grade of "C" or better a designated remedial course.

International students transferring to CSU San Marcos from California Community Colleges may be exempt from the EPT/ELM requirement if they have completed courses that meet the requirement. These students should check with the Office of Admissions to determine their status.

Exemptions to the EPT are given only to students who present proof of one of the following:

  1. A score of 550 or above on the Verbal section of the SAT I Reason Test
  2. A score of 680 or above on the Writing Test of the SAT II
  3. A score of 24 or above on the ACT English Test

Exemptions to the ELM are given only to students who present proof of one of the following:

  1. A score of 550 or above on the Mathematics section of the SAT I Reasoning Test or on the SAT II Mathematics Tests Level I, IC, II or IIC.
  2. A score of 23 or above on the ACT Mathematics Test

Medical Tests and Vaccinations

All students must show proof of vaccination against Mumps, Measles, and Rubella.  Students admitted to the University will be sent a medical form, which they can have completed by their physician before coming to the United States. If a student arrives without proof of vaccination against Mumps, Measles, and Rubella they are given one semester to obtain proof. They cannot enroll for the second semester without receiving these vaccinations.

International students must be tested for Tuberculosis in the six-month period prior to entering the United States, or within one year prior to entering the University if they have been living in the United States. If an international student arrives without proof of a Tuberculosis test, they will be required to be tested by the CSU San Marcos Health Center upon arrival. Any student who tests positive for Tuberculosis will be required to have an x-ray, and if this indicates active Tuberculosis the student will be required to take prescribed medication. A student who does not comply with these regulations will not be permitted to enroll.

Medical Insurance

As a condition for receiving an I-20, all F-1 visa applicants must agree to obtain and maintain medical insurance for the duration of their student status.  The California State University system requires that health insurance policies conform to the following conditions:

  • The medical benefit is at least $500,000 per condition, with a co-payment of no more than 25%, and a deductible of no more than $100.
  • The policy is valid as long as you are enrolled at CSUSM.
  • The repatriation benefit is at least $7,500.
  • The medical evacuation benefit is at least $10,000.
  • The policy provides equal benefits for men and women.
  • The policy includes prenatal (pregnancy) and maternity coverage at no extra cost.
  • The policy pays for pre-existing conditions after six months of continuous coverage.

Visit the Wells Fargo Insurance Services website to enroll in the CSU-sponsored health insurance or to receive more information.  Students may purchase health insurance online with a credit card or debit card.

Students looking at other insurance options: only the following alternative policies will be reviewed and they need to meet the Health Insurance Requirements listed below. You must submit a petition to the Office of Global Education for approval:

  • Policies for students sponsored by their home government or the U.S. government
  • Students covered with a U.S. policy through their own or a family member’s employment
  • Policies issued through your home country that meet the requirements stated on the petition

Important: You must submit a petition to the Office of Global Education to approve your alternative policy.  *Do NOT purchase before the policy has been approved.

International students will not be permitted to register without proof of health insurance.

Tuition Requirement

California law requires all nonresident students (which includes all international students on F-1 and J-1 visas) to pay tuition in addition to the State University Fee paid by all students.  Tuition is payment for the cost of instruction, which California residents are not required to pay.  The nonresident tuition fee is $372 per credit unit.

Tuition requirements and regulations apply to all nonresident students, whether they come from another state in the U.S. of from another country. Under certain circumstances, some international students who are on visas other than F-1 or J-1 (e.g., H-4) may qualify for resident status after a certain period of time in the state.  Please check with the Office of Global Education to determine if you are eligible for resident status.

Refund of Tuition Policy

International students should pay special attention to the refund policy governing nonresident tuition. That policy states that if nonresident students drop a class during the add/drop period at the beginning of each semester they will receive a full refund of the tuition paid for those credit units. However, if a class is dropped after the end of the add/drop period there will be no refund of any portion of the nonresident tuition.

If nonresident students drop all classes and withdraw from the university after the add/drop period, but no later than the 60% point in the academic year, they will receive a pro-rated refund of tuition and fees based on  the date of withdrawal.

Therefore, it is very important for an international student to drop a class that they are no longer interested in taking within the add/drop period.