Study Abroad at California State University, San Marcos

United States West San Marcos

California State University San Marcos (CSUSM) is a dynamic university with a global vision. One of only 34 public universities in the United States to be recognized by the Carnegie Foundation for both Curricular Engagement and Outreach & Partnerships, CSUSM curriculum focuses on hands-on learning. State of the art facilities dot the 304-acre campus, providing you access to top notch labs, featuring some of the finest equipment available today. Off campus, join students relaxing at Southern California’s best beaches located nearby in the San Diego County foothills. Now’s your chance to experience life under the sun.

Academic strength: Biological & Physical Sciences, Communications, Media & Marketing, Language, Linguistics & Cultural Studies
Rankings: Globally Recognized

About the University

California State University, San Marcos

Founded in 1989, California State University San Marcos (CSUSM) opened its doors to students in fall of 1990 and became the 20th campus in California State University’s 23-campus family. Today, more than 14,000 students attend the 304-acre campus in the foothills of northern San Diego County. From here, it is a short distance from some of Southern California’s best beaches and an hour from the US–Mexico border. 

CSUSM is one of 34 public universities in the US recognized by the Carnegie Foundation in the Community Engagement Classification for both Curricular Engagement and Outreach & Partnerships.

Learn more at California State University San Marcos' official website.


SAF's Student Promise

Unparalleled Access

We know your destination and host university inside and out

Total Support

We manage your housing, insurance, application - the entire adventure

24/7 Health & Safety Coverage

Our experts are available around-the-clock for support when you need it

In It For You

As a registered US not-for-profit, it's our mission that drives us

We've Seen It All

For over 70 years we have curated world-class study abroad experiences

Official Associations

Over 300 of the world's best universities trust our study abroad expertise

Hiroki Kurosguma
“The university is always running events and volunteer activities. Unlike my home country, there are many campus events happening - such as International Coffee Hour at San Marcos. If you check the website you will be able to create so many opportunities to talk with local students. There is an event every day!

The time to study abroad is very valuable and short, so ask yourself: why do you want to study abroad and what you want to gain?”
Hiroki Kurosguma, Past SAF Student

Student Life At San Marcos

There's so much to do at CSU!

Students at CSU San Marcos can choose from more than 100 student organizations, Greek affiliations, and a variety of multicultural programs. Students have the opportunity to enjoy leadership development, build a support network, and plan activities. The diverse array of student organizations offers students numerous opportunities to enhance their academic and social life on campus. Every student who is motivated can take a leadership role in a student organization.

With more than a million square feet of facilities, all of which have been constructed since 1990, CSUSM offers the best amenities for life on campus. Students enjoy a fitness center (The Clarke), including indoor/outdoor basketball and volleyball courts, running track, soccer field and a wide variety of rental sports equipment. The Sports Center is home to Division II NCAA basketball and volleyball teams. Our students enjoy the fast-developing city life off campus. Students will find affordable restaurants adjacent to campus, and will have the opportunity to get active by hiking local trails or bowling across the street at the UrgePublic House pub.


Student Health & Safety

We champion health, safety, and security. As part of IES Abroad, the largest study abroad organization in the United States, we have set the standard for health and safety in study abroad for decades. We plan for the ‘what if’, so you can get on with the experience of a lifetime.
International Health Insurance

International health insurance included in the cost of your program

24/7 Emergency Phone Support

Total coverage to support you while traveling and in your new city

Location-Specific Information

Health and safety information prepared based on your destination

Health In Your Language

Highly trained multilingual staff to connect you to healthcare providers

Secure Housing

Quality, safe, secure housing within close proximity to your classes

Dedicated Expertise

Protection by a Dean of Students Office advocating for your interests

Schedule a Consultation

Interested in studying abroad with us? Schedule a call with us and we'll help you select a program.

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