Your Options

If you believe you have already met this requirement, but your student record does not yet show it as "met", please contact your Primary Academic Advisor.

Global Business Majors: Please contact your advisor on how you can meet both your major requirement and the LOTER at the same time.

  1. Intemediate College-Level Course (includes Study Abroad, Intersession, Online) 
  2. CSUSM Proficiency Examination
  3. Advanced Placement (AP) Foreign Language Examination
  4. College Level Examination Program (CLEP) Language Exam
  5. International Baccalaureate (IB) Exam
  6. TOEFL or Other CSUSM-Approved English Exam
  7. Completion of at least three years full-time at a high school or university where English was not the principal language of instruction


Advanced Placement (AP) Foreign Language Examination

 A score of three (3) or higher will clear the LOTER, give you 6 units, clear your lower-division elective C3 -- AND you could take upper-division language courses if you wanted to continue your language study.


    * Chinese Language & Culture (= CSUSM Chinese 201)
    * French Language (= CSUSM French 201)
    * French Literature (= CSUSM French 202)
    * German Language (A score of 3 = CSUSM German 201, and a 4 or 5 = CSUSM German 202.)
    * Italian Language & Culture
    * Japanese Language & Culture (= CSUSM Japanese 201)
    * Latin Literature 
    * Latin: Vergil (Note: only awards 3 units)
    * Spanish Literature (= CSUSM Spanish 315)
    * Spanish Language (A score of 3 = CSUSM Spanish 201 and a 4 or 5 = CSUSM Spanish 202.)

If the score was part of your admissions packet to CSUSM (via an official score sent by ETS directly or a score showing on another CSU transcript), then Admissions noted in your student record that you fulfilled the requirement.

If you took an AP so far before you applied to CSUSM that it would not be part of your application packet, please send an official copy of your score to the Office of Admissions and Recruitment (via ETS below; or by hand-carrying a sealed, official copy). To request a score, call (609) 771-7300 or (888) 225-5427, or go to the AP Score College Board website for more information. CSUSM’s institution code is 5677.

Scores are sent to:
Office of Admissions & Recruitment
California State San Marcos
333 S. Twin Oaks Valley Road
San Marcos, CA 92096
Phone: (760) 750-4848

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College Level Examination Program (CLEP) Language Exam

The below scores will clear the LOTER, give you units as listed below (as of September 2010), and clear your lower-division elective C3 (as of December 2014).


* French 58 meets LOTER (a score of 50 gives 6 units; a score of 59 gives 12 units)
* German 59 meets LOTER (a score of 50 gives 6 units; a score of 60 gives 12 units)
* Spanish 62 meets LOTER (a score of 50 gives 6 units; a score of 63 gives 12 units)

If the score was part of your admissions packet to CSUSM, then Admissions noted in your student record that you fulfilled the requirement.

If you took a CLEP after you applied to CSUSM, please send a copy of your score to the Office of Admissions and Recruitment. To request a score report, call (800) 257-9558, if ordering with a credit card, or download a Transcript Request Form by going to the CLEP College Board website. Each transcript costs $20 and shows all CLEPs taken over the last 20 years (unless you ask for some scores to be excluded). Students will be asked to provide name (as it was at testing time), date of birth, social security number, address and phone, exam title(s), test date(s), testing location(s) or center(s), and where they want scores sent.

Send scores to:
Office of Admissions & Recruitment
California State San Marcos
333 S. Twin Oaks Valley Road
San Marcos, CA 92096
Phone: (760) 750-4848

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International Baccalaureate (IB) Exam 

A score of Four (4) or higher on a Higher Level Exam will clear the LOTER, give you up to 6 units, clear your lower-division elective AND you could take 300-level language courses if you want to continue your language study.

    * French 
    * German 
    * Spanish 

If the score was part of your admissions packet to CSUSM (via an official score sent by IB directly or a score showing on another CSU transcript), then Admissions noted in your student record that you fulfilled the requirement.

If you took an IB after you applied to CSUSM, please send an official copy of your score to the Office of Admissions and Recruitment (via IB below; or by hand-carrying a sealed, official copy). To request a score, go to the International Baccalaureate website. Scores cost $11 each or are free if requested within the exam grace period. You will be asked to provide: your full name as it appears on your IB diploma or certificate; the month and year of examination sessions; your candidate number if available; your date of birth; the name of your high school; your e-mail address or phone number; your signature (phone or email are requests are not acceptable); and the below university address.

Send scores to:
Office of Admissions & Recruitment
California State University San Marcos
333 S. Twin Oaks Valley Road
San Marcos, CA 92096
Phone: (760) 750-4848

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TOEFL or Other CSUSM-Approved English Exam

If you have been admitted to CSUSM and were required to fulfill the English Language Requirement as part of your acceptance, then you have cleared the LOTER requirement as well.

If you have not yet applied or been admitted, but think you might have met the English Language Requirement somewhere else, then contact INTAPPL@csusm.edu.

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Completion of at least three years full-time at a high school or university where English was not the principal language of instruction

NOTE: This is NOT the same as having taken 3 years of a language. This means everything was in a language other than English: science, literature, gym, etc.

If your foreign-language high-school or college transcript was part of your admissions packet to CSUSM, Admissions noted in your student record that you fulfilled the requirement.

If this information was not given to CSUSM when you applied, please send an original transcript and (if needed) an official, certified translation to the Office of Admissions and Recruitment. Unofficial photocopies or faxes are not accepted. Most institutions will mail a transcript directly to CSUSM for a small fee; this is the required method unless not available.

Send official transcripts and certified translations (if needed) to:
Office of Admissions & Recruitment
California State University San Marcos
333 S. Twin Oaks Valley Road
San Marcos, CA 92096

If you attended high school in a country where official transcripts are not available, please contact your advisor.

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