Semester in LA

The Semester in LA program is a great option for international students looking for a unique and well-rounded study abroad experience. Study with award-winning faculty at California State University, Los Angeles for one or two semesters, earn university credits, and apply credits 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!

Semester in Los Angeles Video

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

Apply to Semester in LA

READ the Semester in LA Brochure and then follow these steps to apply:

  1. Determine which semester you would like to begin your studies. The University Academic Calendar lists the start and end dates for each semester.

  2. Complete the Semester in LA online Application. Remember to prepare your documents before you start the application. Upload PDF files of the following items:
  • Financial Document: A financial document providing at least $15,271 USD or the equivalent in any currency. No investment or retirement accounts are accepted. This document can be anyone or several of these financial sources:
         a. Bank statement (less than 6 months old in the student’s name) – Checking or savings accounts only.
         b  Bank statement (less than 6 months old in a Sponsor’s name) – Checking or savings accounts only. The Sponsor must also write a short letter in Microsoft Word or by hand communicating that the Sponsor agrees to provide the money for your studies at Cal State LA. The Sponsor must personally sign and date the letter. Upload both documents.
  • Declaration and Certification of Finances Form  - This form can be used two ways:
      a.  Can be used instead of a bank statement. The bank manager must sign, date, and stamp the form. 

      b.  Can be used instead of the Sponsor letter (described above). The sponsor should complete the section titled: CERTIFICATION OF FINANCIAL SUPPORT FROM SPONSOR. Upload the completed form along with the Sponsor’s bank statement.

  • Scholarship Letter: This can be from your government, school, or another official source.

  • Passport: Copy of passport information page (name, date of birth, citizenship, etc.).

  • Transcript: Copy of home university transcript with English translation.

  • English Language Test Results: Test results must be no more than one (1) year old. Minimum scores required - Undergraduate study: TOEFL (61 iBT), IELTS (5.5), or PTE (44).  Graduate study: TOEFL (80 iBT), IELTS (6.0) or PTE (53).

  • Application Fee: $200 (non-refundable) due at the time you submit your application.


  • 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. 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 Study 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 at this time: 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.

Tuition and Fees

Semester in L.A.

Fall | Spring

(Undergraduate Courses)

12 units
(4 Courses Per Semester)

Program Fee ** $6,205
Living expenses * $8,136
Book/Supplies * $930
Total $15,271
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 Semester in LA students must apply for the F-1 international student non-immigrant visa at the United States Embassy 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 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 en route.

Step 2. 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 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

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
  • 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;
    • Form I-94
    • Payment for the Semester in LA tuition and fees  


  • ON-CAMPUS HOUSING:  Semester in LA students, please email [email protected] for more information.

  • OFF-CAMPUS HOUSING:  View off-campus locations here.


View/download the Semester in LA Declaration and Certification of Finances form here.


Contact us to learn more:

T: +1 323 343 4845

F: +1 323 343-6478

[email protected]