Universities in California

CSU San Marcos


University Information

Location: San Marcos, California
Founded: 1989
Undergraduate Students: 12 562
Campus Type: Suburban
Institution Type: Public state university
Website: www.csusm.edu

About the University

California State University San Marcos focuses on the student as an active participant in the learning process. As a Carnegie classified “community engaged” university, CSUSM students work closely with a faculty whose commitment to sustained excellence in teaching, research, and community partnership enhances student learning. The university offers rigorous undergraduate and graduate programs distinguished by exemplary teaching, innovative curricula, and the application of new technologies. CSUSM provides a range of services that respond to the needs of a student body with diverse backgrounds, expanding student access to an excellent and affordable education. As a public university, CSUSM grounds its mission in the public trust, alignment with regional needs, and sustained enrichment of the intellectual, civic, economic, and cultural life of our region and state.

Building on an innovative 27-year history, California State University San Marcos is a forward-focused institution, dedicated to preparing future leaders, building great communities and solving critical issues. Located on a 304-acre hillside overlooking the city of San Marcos, the University is just a short distance from some of Southern California’s best beaches and an hour from the US-Mexico border. CSUSM enrollment is over 17,000 and the university is fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. 

California State University is located in northern San Diego County and offers beautiful beaches, an hour drive to the mountains and desert, a down town nightlife, world class shopping, and more all within a short trip from campus!

Excerpt from CSU San Marcos’ website.

The university has four colleges:

  • College of Business Administration (three departments: Accounting and Finance; Information Systems and Operations Management; Management and Marketing)
  • College of Science and Mathematics (five departments: Biological Science; Chemistry and Biochemistry; Computer Science and Information Systems; Mathematics; Physics)
  • College of Humanities, Arts, Behavioral and Social Sciences (thirteen departments: Anthropology; Communication; Economics; History; Liberal Studies; Literature and Writing Studies; Modern Language Studies; Philosophy; Political Science; Psychology; Sociology; Visual and Performing Arts; Women’s Studies)
  • College of Education, Health and Human Services (two schools: the School of Nursing and School of Education, as well as two departments: Kinesiology and Human Development)

TOEFL: 80/120

IELTS: 6,5

Health insurance is required of all full-time degree, resident, and international students with F1 and J1 visas.

CSU San Marcos offers this coverage through a U.S. insurance company. 

Visit the GEO Blue Insurance 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. 

Cost:$788.00 per semester

Living on-campus:  On-campus housing is available on first-come first-served basis for undergraduate students. 

University Village Apartments and the Quad are modern on-campus apartments designed exclusively for students attending California State University San Marcos.

Living on campus promotes greater connections to the university community, and facilitates a positive first year experience. The on-campus living experience provides greater support in transition to U.S. culture and university life.  Living on campus can include participation in learning communities, involvement in student life and recreation, more access to academic resources and opportunities to build life-long friendships.  For more information visit the housing website.

Cost: $8,800 – $14,960 per year*

*Please note that students must enroll in a meal plan while living on campus which is not included in this price.

Off-campus housing: San Marcos offers ressources for off-campus living. 

The San Marcos, Carlsbad, Escondido, Oceanside, and Vista communities near CSU San Marcos offer many reasonably priced apartments. The following sites may be useful in your search for off-campus housing, apartments and room rentals.

CSU San Marcos Off-Campus Housing Guide

Apartment Guide

Homestay with Local Families

Living with an American family in homestay is one of the best ways to learn about American culture and customs. Many students choose homestay for their first semester at the CSUSM. You may contact the following homestay agency directly to apply for homestay.

Homestay Services International

The average budget per month is: $1,500-$1,600

In order to be accepted, students must prove financial resources of $9,600.00 per semester.