Semester in LA

The Semester in Los Angeles (SiLA) program is a great option for international students looking for a unique and well-rounded study abroad experience. Study with award-winning faculty at Cal State LA for one or two semesters; earn credits and apply them toward graduation back home.

At the same time, immerse yourself in everything Los Angeles. While you are here, walk the sunny beaches, hike the winding mountain trails, shop on famous Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, and tour historic Hollywood where movies were born.

Join us at Cal State LA in the heart of the world’s entertainment and creative capital... Los Angeles, California!

SiLA Highlights

Variety of Classes
  • Cal State LA offers more than 3,000 class sections each semester in more than 80 different academic fields. A number of these classes have additional spaces available after Cal State LA students have enrolled.
  • Semester in LA allows international students to take advantage of these extra spaces. Classes are taught by Cal State LA faculty and international students will have opportunities to take classes with American students depending on space.
  • For course descriptions, please visit
Enrollment Requirements
  • Students must enroll in a minimum of 12 units for undergraduate-level courses or 9 units for all graduate-level courses.
  • Please note that SiLA cannot guarantee participation in specific university courses. Students enroll in classes on a space-available basis.
Official Transcript
  • Credits earned are listed on an official Cal State LA transcript and may be transferable to other universities.
  • Academic, immigration, and housing advisors are available.


For more information on Semester in LA, please contact (323) 343-4845 or [email protected].

Semester in Los Angeles Video

Studying at Cal State LA has many benefits, including:

  • Study on a renowned 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


  • Application fee: US $200 (Non-refundable) 
    • The fee is due at the time you submit your application. Please check with your home campus coordinator or agent for details before making the payment.
  • Semester in LA (SILA) program cost for one semester: US $6,375.
    • The program cost may change without notice. The program cost does not include the application fee, living/housing expenses, books, and supplies. 


  • Students are eligible for a full program fee refund if they submit a cancellation request to the International Student Office and receive approval before the first day of school.
  • If the cancellation refund request is submitted after the first day of school, it will be subject to a prorated refund, and approval is not guaranteed.


  • Fall semester: May 30
  • Spring semester: October 30

Semester Dates


Submit and upload the following documents:

  1. Online Application: Complete all information on the Online Application Form.
  2. Passport Information: A copy of the biographic data page with your photograph, name, date, and place of birth.
  3. Financial Certification:
    • Provide a financial document showing at least US $17,504
      • The fees include the total program cost, estimated living expenses, books & supplies for one semester of study.
      • The total program cost for the SILA program is US $6,375.
      • Prospective F-1 students must have the financial resources to live and study in the United States.
      • Our office must collect evidence of the student's financial ability before issuing a Form I-20.
      • You can submit the financial documents under your own or financial sponsor account.
      • Costs are approximate, may vary by personal preference and situation, and are subject to change.
    • Submit one or more of the following documents that were issued within the last six months:
      • Declaration and Certification of Finances Form; or
      • Personal bank statement; or
      • Sponsor's bank statement (must include with the Affidavit of Support Form); or
      • Scholarship, loan/grant letter, or government financial guarantee 
  4. Submit your academic transcript: A copy of the current transcript translated into English.
  5. Submit your English Proficiency Score.
    • For admission, students must provide the English proficiency test score issued within the last two years:
      • Duolingo English Test (DET): 95 (undergrad); 105 (grad)
      • International English Language Testing System (IELTS): Band 5.5 (undergrad); Band 6.0 (grad)
      • Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic: 44 (undergrad); 53 (grad)
      • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL): 61iBT (undergrad); 80iBT (grad)
    • If you apply to Cal State LA through an agency or a partner university, you may meet the English
    •  Proficiency requirement that's in the partnership agreement. Check with your agent or home campus coordinator for details.
  6. Submit the Course Wish List approved by your home institution to take at Cal State LA. The Course Wish List indicates what classes you plan to take at Cal State LA.
    • The actual enrollment depends on a space-available basis with the consent of the instructor and the academic department. SILA students usually enroll at the beginning of the semester and do not receive priority registration.
    • Identify 10 tentative courses you would like to study and rank them in order (e.g., "1" is the class that you want most).
    • Have your home institution approve each course for transfer credit.
    • At Cal State LA, most courses are 3 units, and some courses are 1-unit or 2-units.
    • You must enroll in a total of 12 units or more to maintain full-time status.
    • If the new class schedule has not been posted yet, you can view the class schedule in the previous semester under the SAME TERM.
      • Schedule of Classes: List of classes offered in previous semesters
        • Bachelor courses: Lower level (1000-2999); Upper level (3000-4999)
        • Graduate courses: Level 5000 or higher
      • Cal State LA Catalog: Course descriptions in each department
  7. Application Fee: You may waive to pay the application fee if your school has the SILA program's partnership agreement with Cal State LA.
    • Please check with your home campus coordinator for details.
    • For students who apply through an agent or individual applicant, you are required to pay the application fee.
          For inquiries, please contact the SILA Program Coordinator, Christina Wong.

  • Cal State LA operates on a 15-week semester system. Two semesters are equivalent to one academic year. Students must enroll in a minimum of 12 units. Two semesters are equivalent to one academic year. International students must enroll in a minimum of 12 units for undergraduate-level courses or 9 units for all graduate-level courses.

  • Students may be enrolled in the program for a maximum of 2 semesters. Students may start enrolling in courses on the first day of class with the assistance of Semester in LA program staff.  Registration for each class is subject to seat availability, and 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 currently: Child Development, Criminal Justice, Nursing, Psychology, and Social Work.

  • Semester in LA 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 semester. All participants must abide by all rules, regulations, and policies set by Semester in LA. Additionally, students must enroll and maintain full-time (12 units) studies each semester. Failure to comply with these requirements may result in a violation of your student visa status and/or your participation in the Semester in LA program, leading to the immediate termination of your participation in the program.

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

Semester in LA

Fall  |  Spring


12 units

(4 Courses per Semester)

Program Fee* $ 6,375
Living Expenses** $ 10,199
Books/Supplies** $ 930
Total $ 17,504
*The application fee is $200 and is not included in the program fee. The application fee may be waived if your school has the SILA program's partnership agreement with Cal State LA. Please check with your home campus coordinator for details.
**Denotes estimated expenses and are subject to personal spending habits. The student pays for the SILA program fee of $6,375.
The total program fee covers the following:
  1. Tuition (estimated for 12 units of classes)
  2. Mandatory student services fees include:
  • US medical insurance (no substitution is allowed)
  • Student Health Center on campus
  • University Student Union for recreation and fitness center
  • Orientation
  • Information sessions and other social events
  • Recognition of completion certificate
  • Program administration fees

All Semester in LA students must apply for the F-1 international student non-immigrant visa at the United States Embassy or Consulate in your home country. If accepted to this program, you will be sent a letter of acceptance and 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: Our staff will prepare and send you the immigration documents

  • 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 and use the same email address for communication. 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. For F-1 students, the electronic Form I-20 will be sent to you through email. 

STEP 2: To obtain the F-1 Student Visa

  • Pay SEVIS Fee online at: The U.S. Department of Homeland Security requires all F students 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 to 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 LA program information and welcome letter.

STEP 3: Your Visa has been issued

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

  • Arrange for housing and transportation
  • COVID-19 vaccination certification/document
  • Go to see your personal doctor and have him/her complete the Medical form to assure that you have immunizations up to date.
  • Materials needed at check-in at the International Office include:
    • Your passport
    • Your original I-20 document
    • Form I-94
    • Payment receipts for the Semester in LA tuition and fees  

For Semester in LA program students, you have the option to apply for on-campus or off-campus housing. We have some information and resources to help you find the most appropriate accommodations for your experience studying in Los Angeles. If you have any housing inquiries, please email SILA Program Coordinator Christina Wong or call +1 323 343 4845.

On-Campus Housing

For information about living on campus, visit the Housing and Residence Life website. Space is limited, so we recommend applying as early as possible!

Off-Campus Housing

View/download the SILA Off-Campus Housing Resources Flyer. Here you will find a comprehensive listing of nearby housing areas; types of housing; a list of apartment search websites; hotels; and information; tips on renting an apartment; as well as transportation information

View/download the SILA New Student Information Form here.

View/download the SILA Affidavit of Financial Support here.

View/download the SILA Declaration and Certification of Finances form here.

View/download the SILA Off-Campus Housing Resources Flyer here.

View/download the SILA Course Wish List here.

For more information about the SILA program, please email SILA Program Coordinator Christina Wong or call +1 323 343 4845.