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I want to apply...

An international first-time freshman applicant is a student who wishes to study at our university on an F-1 (student) visa, who is applying to one of our bachelor's degree programs and who has not yet completed post-secondary coursework at a college or university.

Apply now! (covering up to 50% non-resident tuition) 


  • FALL 2023:  October 1, 2022 - June 1, 2023
    • Classes start on August 28
  • SPRING 2024: August 1, 2023 - November 15, 2023
      • Classes start on January 22

To apply, submit the following:

  • University Application


    OPTION ONE:   Apply online at  -Email for assistance. Resource for the online application: Application Guide for online application     

    OR, you can apply with the paper application if you are having difficulty:

    OPTION TWO: Use the paper application, download fillable form and return to us   

  • Transcripts
    1. All official academic records including certificates, examination grades, degrees or diplomas in the original language of issue through the postal mail in a school-sealed envelope. Copies will be accepted for the admission decision.
    2. Official English translations of all academic records including certificates, degrees or diplomas
  • Affidavit of Financial Support

    Submit your Affidavit of Financial Support including bank statements or scholarship letter for I20 issuance. 

  • Passport
    Submit a copy of your passport. Please make sure that the copy is legible and not blurry
  • English Language Proficiency Requirement

    Official TOEFLIELTS , Duolingo or Cambridge English score report - once you apply, you will be given online access to a student portal where you can check if you are required to submit a test score.

    If you do not have a passing test score, you can apply for guaranteed conditional admission through our English language program.  You should still complete the university application process and send us an email to let us know that you would like conditional admission.

    For details, see admission requirement section below. If you have questions, please contact


IMPORTANT NOTICE ABOUT I-20:   Please be reminded that you must send your official transcripts  through postal mail and have your test scores sent directly to CSUSM prior to the start of the term. US institutions can send transcripts electronically to

Admission Requirements

  • Are or will be a high school/secondary school graduate or equivalent
  • Equivalent of a "C+" (2.5) grade point average (for 2023 entry period)
  • SAT or ACT recommended but not required
  • Satisfy English Language Proficiency Admission Requirement:
  • Choose ONE of the following options:
    • TOEFL score of 61 iBT with writing score no lower than 19 and no section score below 14
    • IELTS overall band score of 5.5, writing score no lower than 5.5 and no section score below 5.0
    • Cambridge English B2 First (FCE), C1 Advanced (CAE), C2 Proficiency (CPE) minimum score of 168.  (160 and above eligible for pathway program)
    • Duolingo score of 95
    • iTEP score of 3.6
    • Pearson's Test of English (PTE) score of 50
    • Global Test of English Communication (GTEC) 1125
    • Attended a high school where English was the principal language of instruction for 3 years (confirm with our International Admissions Office to see if your school is eligible)

Conditional admission is available through our language program if you do not have a passing IELTS, TOEFL or Cambridge English score.  The minimum GPA required for conditional admission is 2.0.

Test credit accepted: Advanced Placement (AP),  A/AS levels, College Level Examination Program (CLEP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) (see International Admissions office for details and other test credit accepted)

*Appeal process for special consideration due to extenuating circumstances/demonstrable hardship may be considered, submit appeal to:

Office Location:

Located in the Extended Learning Building (accross from the Quad)
5th Floor #588
288 Campus Way
San Marcos, CA 92078
295 June Way
San Marcos, CA 92078
Phone: (760) 750-4844  Fax: (760) 750-3138

Mailing Address:

California State University San Marcos - International Admissions
333 S. Twin Oaks Valley Road, San Marcos, CA 92096-0001 USA