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California State University, San Marcos

Campus Profile

At California State University San Marcos (CSU San Marcos), located on 304 rolling acres in northern San Diego County, students benefit from a technology-rich environment, high quality instruction in a wide variety of academic fields and from the diverse cultural setting of Southern California. For international students, the San Diego region stands out as a desirable location combining ideal climate and academic rigor.

CSU San MarcosIn its second decade, the CSU San Marcos curriculum continues to develop an array of programs in the liberal arts and sciences while providing opportunities for student to develop into knowledgeable and skilled individuals living in and contributing to a global society. With an emphasis on teaching a curriculum with a global perspective and a commitment to community engagement, CSU San Marcos considers the student an active participant who works closely with faculty in the learning process.

Among the safest four-year campuses in California, CSUSM prides itself on being fully engaged in the local area and in international communities. From its award-winning volunteer program (over 160,000 volunteer hours per year) to its institutes of excellence, CSUSM provides many extracurricular opportunities for visiting students. As the main economic driver for North County San Diego, students will find a large number of businesses engaged in international commerce including: Biotechnology, Green Energy Production, tourism, sporting goods (golf) production and other forms of manufacturing.

Academic Calendar

CSUSM operates on a semester system. One semester is equivalent to .50 of an academic year. Two semesters are equal to one academic year. To view academic calendar dates, refer to the campus website or the CSU Campus Calendar found on the CSU Overview webpage located here.

Information for Exchange Students

  • Location description: Located in Southern California in or near a small/medium city (population 75,000-300,000)
  • Campus enrollment: Over 11,000 students
  • Students who can apply: Degree-seeking students nominated by exchange partners. Students must be undergraduate students or graduate students who are willing to accept an undergraduate placement. Graduate student placements are not available at this campus.
  • Length of exchange: Students may study for one or two semesters. 
  • Minimum Grade Point Average (GPA) to apply: 2.00 (based on 4.0 scale) or equivalent.
  • Campus health insurance charged to student:  Yes, unless student provides proof of coverage with no maximum limit in medical coverage. Estimated cost is $140 per month. Cost is subject to change.
  • Other campus-based fees charged to student:  Fees for some courses depending on the course may be charged (e.g. lab fees, art and media classes).  Estimated cost is $25.00 per course, where applicable.  Fee amounts and fees charged are subject to change.

Minimum English Proficiency Score Requirements

  • ETS TOEFL (Internet-based scores): 61
  • IELTS: 5.5

To determine if a test score is required, refer to the document, “English Language Proficiency Requirements."

Impacted/Closed and Restricted Subject Areas

  • Impacted/Closed Subject Areas (which are not available to exchange students): Biology (BIOL); Biotechnology (BIOT); Business (ACCT, FIN,); Education (all areas); Kinesiology (KINE); Nursing (NURS).

  • Restricted/Limited Subject Areas (limited places are available and are highly competitive): Biology (BIOL); Biotechnology (BIOT); Business (BUS, GBM, GSCM, MGMT, OM,); Economics (ECON).

Impacted and restricted subject areas are subject to change at any time.

Last modified 11/14/2018