Study in L.A.: Fall | Spring Sessions

Designed for students with advanced English language skills, the Study in LA programs provide international with a unique opportunity to experience the best of American university life without applying for admisssion to a Cal State LA degree program. Students can take classes over one or two semester with U.S. students taught by Cal State LA faculty.

Program Benefits:
  • Study on a university campus alongside a diverse group of 28,000 students
  • Access to coursework at Cal State LA
  • Receive instruction from Cal State LA faculty
  • Access to computer labs and Wi-Fi throughout campus
  • Official Cal State LA transcript upon completion of studies
  • Access to the Student Health Center
  • Optional on-campus housing
  • Discounted bus fares with Cal State LA student ID card
  • Access to the student fitness center

READ the Study in L.A. Brochure.

Apply to Study in L.A.

READ the Study in LA Brochure. "How to Apply" instructions for Fall | Spring Sessions and International Summer Session are detailed.

Submit the complete application packet together in one package, including:

  • Determine which quarter you would like to begin your studies. The University Academic Calendar lists the start and end dates for each quarter.
  • Complete the Study in L.A. Application Form.
  • Original bank document (less than 6 months old) with a minimum balance of $11,775 U.S. dollars or scholarship verification of support funds. Acceptable documents include your or your sponsor’s bank account or government financial guarantee.
  • Copy of passport information page (name, date of birth, citizenship, etc.).
  • Copy of home university transcript with English translation.
  • Official TOEFL/IELTS test results *no more than 1 year old Minimum scores required: UG: TOEFL (61 iBT), IELTS (5.5), or PTE (44). G: TOEFL (80 iBT), IELTS (6.0), or PTE (53).
  • Study in LA Payments:
    • $200 application fee (non-refundable) due at time of application
    • The preferred form of payment is with Visa or Mastercard, or via Cashnet. Additional forms of payment include personal check drawn on a U.S. bank account, money order, cashier's check, bank check from a U.S. bank account, travelers check. Please make all checks payable to ‘Cal State LA'.
    • Upon admission applicants must submit payment of the $800 tuition deposit in order to secure a place in the program. The tuition deposit and application fee must be paid before an I-20 can be issued. Once you begin the program, the $800 deposit will be credited toward your tuition payment, which is non-refundable. 
  • Only complete application packets will be reviewed, please submit all documents together in one package, including the online payment receipt for the $200 application fee.

Application Filing Dates

  • Determine which quarter you would like to begin your studies. The University Academic Calendar lists the start and end dates for each term.
  • If you are applying from outside the United States, your application materials should arrive at Cal State LA at least 3 months prior to the start of the academic term in order you to apply for the F-1 student visa stamp at the nearest U.S. Embassy/Consulate and make travel arrangements.
  • If you are applying from within the United States or are transferring from another school, you application should arrive at Cal State LA no later than 1 month before the start of each term.

Submit the completed application packet:

Via mail:
California State University, Los Angeles
International Office
Attn: Becky Bishop/Study in LA
5151 State University Drive, Room GE 217
Los Angeles, CA 90032-8619

Via email:
Attn: Study in LA


  • Cal State LA operates on a 10 week-long quarter system. Three quarters are equivalent to one academic year. Students enroll in a minimum of 12 units. Students may be enrolled in the program for a maximum of 3 quarters. Students may start enrolling in courses on the first day of class with the assistance of the Study in L.A. program staff. Registration for each class is subject to seat availability, the approval of the instructor and the department chair concerned. Approval to enroll in classes is subject to meeting course requirements/prerequisites and other conditions. Courses in the following programs are NOT available to students at this time: Child Development, Criminal Justice, Nursing, Psychology, and Social Work.

  • Students with English proficiency slightly below the required scores are eligible to enroll in a combination of university courses and intensive English language classes offered through the Cal State LA English Language Program.

  • Study in L.A. students are required to maintain good academic standing, which is defined as a minimum Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.0 (letter grade C) in order to continue to the next quarter. All participants must abide by all rules, regulations and policies set by Study in L.A. Additionally, students must enroll and maintain full-time (12 units) studies each quarter. Failure to comply with these requirements may result in a violation of your student visa status and/or your participation in the Study in L.A. program, leading to the immediate termination of your participation in the program.

  • The Study in L.A. program is not for students who wish to apply to a Cal State LA degree program in the future.

Tuition and Fees

Study in L.A.

Fall | Spring

(Undergraduate Courses)

12 units
(4 Courses Per Semester)

Program Fee ** $6,140
Living expenses * $8,136
Book/Supplies * $930
Total $15,206
Tuition effective January 2017.
Tuition and fees are subject to change without prior notice.
*Denotes estimated expenses and are subject to personal spending habits.
**Includes tuition, mandatory health insurance, Student Health Center, USU Fitness Center and orientation fees.


Immigration Requirements

All Study in L.A. students must apply for the F-1 international student non-immigrant visa at the U.S. Embassy in your home country. If accepted to this program, you will be sent a letter of acceptance and the Form I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status). The I-20 allows you to apply for an F-1 student visa at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Granting of the visa is at the discretion of the U.S. Department of State. The F-1 student visa status carries many responsibilities and restrictions (full-time enrollment, employment restrictions, etc.) and participants are expected to abide by all federal regulations.

Do not plan on leaving your country of residence until you have been issued an F-1 visa. The I-20 will allow you to enter the United States no earlier than 30 days before the start date of the program indicated on the I-20 form. Please read the instructions very carefully on the “Welcome Letter” which will be mailed to you together with the I-20. It will contain details on applying for the F-1 visa as well as paying the SEVIS fee.

Step 1. Complete and mail the following:

  • A completed Application form
  • Copy of passport
  • $150 USD application fee (non-refundable)
  • $800 tuition deposit (conditionally refundable)
    Applications who do NOT obtain an F-1 Student Visa to attend California State University, Los Angeles AND return the Original Form I-20, along with a written request for a refund, will receie a Full Refund (100%) of the Tuition Deposit.  Refund processing takes about 60 days.  Applicants who obtain an F-1 Student Visa to attend Cal State L.A. OR do NOT return the Original Form I-20 will receive NO Refund (0%).
  • A personal bank statement or your sponsor’s bank statement showing minimum funds on hand of $11,775 USD per quarter. The statement must have been issued within 6 months of applying to our program and must be an original document. The funds must be in cash, certificates of deposit, or money market funds. No stocks, bonds, mutual funds, or retirement accounts. You may want the bank to certify two (2) original bank statements for you, as you will also need to bring one to your visa appointment at the Embassy.
  • If the statement is in the name of your sponsor, the sponsor will need to sign under the “Certification of Financial Support” on the application.

Step 2. Our staff will prepare and mail your I-20 form

  • We will contact you if there are any problems or missing information from your application. Make sure to include a reliable email address on the application. Email is the primary form of contact at Cal State LA
  • The process often takes up to two (2) weeks from the time we have all the necessary documents. Once the I-20 has been issued we will send you a tracking number so that you can check the status of your package while it is in route.

Step 3. To obtain the (F-1) Student Visa

  • Pay $200 SEVIS Fee online at: The U.S. Department of Homeland Security requires all F and J visitors to register themselves in the Student Exchange Visitor Information Service (SEVIS) database. Print your receipt to take with you to your Embassy appointment; it is required in order for you get a student visa.
  • Make an appointment with the U.S. Embassy. You should bring the following documents to your appointment:
    • The I-20 form from Cal State LA;
    • An original bank statement or Certification of Financial Support with bank seal;
    • Sponsorship form, if you will use a sponsor;
    • If you have a sponsor, they also must sign the Certification of Financial Support;
    • Your passport;
    • SEVIS fee receipt, see above;
    • Study in L.A. program information

Once your Visa has been issued, you can prepare to come to the United States for study in the quarter for which you have applied. Before coming to the U.S., you must do the following:

  • Arrange for housing and transportation
  • Go to see your personal doctor and have him or her complete the Medical form to assure that you have immunizations and TB testing up to date; bring the completed form with you to Registration Day.
  • Materials needed at check-in at the International Office include:
    • Your passport;
    • Your original I-20 document;
    • The I-94 card that you will get upon your arrival in the U.S.;
    • Payment for the Study in L.A. quarterly tuition and fees  


On-Campus Housing: Space is very limited, so you must apply early!

If you are a Study in L.A. student, please follow the application instructions below.
  • Click here to read the Prospective Residents Housing Benefits and Services page.
  • Download and Print the following forms (you can type on the screen before you print)
    • Housing Services Application and License Agreement
    • Emergency Contact Form
    • Tuberculosis Verification Form (must be completed by student’s doctor and turned in to Housing Services at least 2 weeks before arrival)
    • Meningococcal Disease Notification Form
  • Review the Detailed Payment Schedule for deadlines and amounts due.  (Phase I/II double occupancy schedule).
  • Meal Plan (optional if you want to include meals – if not, the apartments have kitchens for your use).
  • Fill out the License Agreement, emergency and medical forms.  MAKE SURE THE STUDENT SIGNS ALL OF THESE FORMS!!!
  • Attach your Check or International Money Order for the Room Rental + Fees + Meal Plan (if you want the meal plan). The Payment Schedule is at  Make sure you send the total amount due.  Please send a separate Check or Money Order for each student. DO NOT USE THE CREDIT CARD PAYMENT METHOD! DO NOT SUBMIT ONLINE!
If not paying online, mail the Housing Services Application and License Agreement, and Payment to:
Cal State LA Housing Services
5300 Paseo Rancho Castilla
Los Angeles, California 90032 USA
  • You can check the status of your application by emailing  Wait about three weeks. Then, you should call them to check on your application at telephone +1 323 343 4800. This is very important to call Housing if the academic quarter will begin soon.
  • Housing Services will send you an email (but if you applied late, you need to call them).  The email will tell you the result of your application.
  • Two results are possible:
    • You received a room! Good! You will hear from the Housing Services Office if you are approved for a room.
    • You didn’t get a room and you are now on the Waitlist. This could be a problem!  If you did not get a room and are on the Waitlist,  you should look for another housing option immediately.  Don’t wait – make another plan immediately – homestay, apartment or hotel.
Off-Campus Housing: For housing resources off-campus, please visit the International Office’s Housing page.