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Semester at CSUSM

The American Language and Culture Institue at CSUSM offers semester- and year-long study-abroad programs for international university students. Semester at CSU San Marcos students may take credit-bearing university classes without applying to the university.

The standard tuition rate includes 12 units for full-time undergraduate status. Undergraduates may take up to 17 units, but students will be charged $225 per additional unit over 12. For graduate-level courses, full-time status is 9 units. Students will be charged $225 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.

Semester at 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 Semester at 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 Semester at 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 Semester at CSU San Marcos

Use Application Checklist to make sure everything is complete.

  • Semester at CSU San Marcos application form.
  • An original bank statement dated within the past six months or a scholarship or sponsor letter. (check here for minimum balance requirements)
  • A photocopy of your passport.
  • A $150 application fee (non-refundable) payable by credit card or check to "CSUSM." This includes the express mail fee.
  • ALCI Tuition Fee made payable to “CSUSM” (refundable if you cannot receive a Visa) or a Financial Guarantee must be submitted (Sponsored or scholarship students, e.g., SACM, BAfoeG, CAPES/IIE, etc).
  • Transcripts in English and list of courses you are currently taking.
  • Unofficial TOEFL, IELTS, or DAAD score. 
  • You will be contacted by an Academic Advisor prior to your arrival and information will be provided regarding classes and schedules. 

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 92069-0001

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