College Portrait

International Students

Our students come from nearly 100 countries, so if you're an international student you'll have plenty of company. We're popular among international students primarily for two reasons. First and foremost, we offer a wide range of academic and personal support services — including the International and Exchange Student Center — to help you get the most out of your CSUN experience. Second, our location is sunny Los Angeles. We are just a short drive from many of the area's hottest tourist attractions — Universal Studios, Rodeo Drive, the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Santa Monica and Malibu.

Admission requirements for international students differ from those for resident students. While there are certain minimum standards that you must meet, applications are usually judged individually.

For first-time freshmen

You are considered a first-time freshman if you are applying to a bachelor's degree program and have not completed any postsecondary coursework at a college or university. International first-time freshmen must complete the equivalent of a high school diploma and earn minimum GPA and English language proficiency test scores. The most common test is the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Regardless of which test you take, the testing agency will send your score to CSUN (code 4707). For more information on admissions requirements, deadlines and how to apply, visit CSUN International Admissions.

For graduate students

You are considered a post-baccalaureate or graduate student if you have completed a postsecondary degree equal to a U.S. bachelor's degree and are eligible to apply for a master's degree or a second bachelor's degree at CSUN. International graduate students may apply for admission to a master's or doctoral degree program, and the International Institute for Education’s 2016 “Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange” ranks CSUN No. 1 in U.S. master’s degree-granting institutions that receive international students. Visit CSUN International Admissions for more information and specific requirements, including deadlines and TOEFL/IELTS scores.

For transfer students

If you are applying as an international transfer student, you must have graduated from high school and completed postsecondary work at an accredited community college or university in the U.S. or elsewhere. Specific requirements vary depending on where you completed your postsecondary work.

If you are already attending an accredited two-year school in California, or an out-of-state college listed below, your school may have a Transfer Agreement Guarantee (TAG) with CSUN. Please consult your international transfer center’s school counselor to find out if a TAG contract with CSUN is available.

Out-of-state schools With TAG contracts


Another option is an Associate Degree for Transfer from a California Community College to a California State University (AA-T and AS-T)

Visit CSUN International Admissions for more information including deadlines, TOEFL/IELTS scores and how to apply.


Intensive English Program

The Tseng College at CSUN offers a year-round Intensive English Program (IEP) with academic English-language instruction, activity classes and tutoring. The IEP is designed to ensure that international students acquire the English-language skills needed for success in undergraduate- or graduate-level degree programs at CSUN or other American colleges and universities. Students who enroll in the IEP may be eligible for benefits, including conditional admission to CSUN and English proficiency exam waivers.

Semester at CSUN

If you want to study at CSUN and experience an American university for only one or two semesters, check out the Semester at CSUN offered by The Tseng College. This program allows international students who meet CSUN’s English-language requirement to enroll full-time in credit courses with CSUN students.

Student life

We're located in Los Angeles, the film capital of the world, so let's start with cinema. The International and Exchange Student Center regularly screens free films especially for international students. You can also catch a movie at the University Student Union (USU), the Satellite Student Union and CSUN Cinematheque at the Alan Armer Theater.

If you're into music, you'll find all kinds on campus. The Associated Students sponsors free noontime concerts at the University Student Union, featuring everything from reggae to rock. You won't want to miss the Big Show, which is held outdoors in the fall and features a top recording artist, such as Ludacris and Lupe Fiasco. At the Valley Performing Arts Center, you can see top recording artists, touring stage productions and dance performances.

Do you play Texas Hold'em, pool, table tennis, Xbox 360, Wii or arcade games? Stop by the Games Room at the USU for regular tournaments and competitions.

You don't need to be an athlete to enjoy sports at CSUN. Stay healthy and fit at the Student Recreation Center, a state-of-the-art fitness and leisure center offering group classes, personal training and intramural sports. Our intramurals and sport clubs offer a wide array of sports and activities, from hip-hop dancing to basketball, soccer and karate. Intramural sports are incredibly popular at CSUN and we have several leagues. Or, try a sports club. These clubs offer structured competition with other universities and amateur clubs in a wide variety of activities, such as dance, tennis, boxing, roller hockey and paintball.

There's also the Oasis Wellness Center, offering both indoor and outdoor spaces for rest, relaxation and quiet contemplation, as well as wellness-focused services, including massage, small-group yoga sessions, acupuncture and peer nutrition counseling. 

While you're in Los Angeles, you'll want to see the sights. The International and Exchange Student Center sponsors free outings to tourist attractions such as the Hollywood Walk of Fame, The Getty Center and the Museum of Modern Art.

If you just want to relax and hang out, the International and Exchange Student Center has free coffee and snacks on Friday afternoons.

To find out all the events and activities happening at CSUN, check the campus calendar. The University Student Union and Satellite Student Union also post an events calendar.

Student services

Adjusting to a new country and culture is not easy. At CSUN, we offer a variety of services to help you succeed academically and personally.

Many services are offered through our International and Exchange Student Center, which is located at the University Student Union. This is where you will talk with a foreign student advisor, who is knowledgeable about the college in which you will study. The International and Exchange Student Center is where we hold mandatory group advisement for international students. At this important meeting, advisors will help you with immigration matters, such as lifting your foreign registration hold so you may sign up for classes. Also, you will sign up for a new student orientation especially geared for international students. The International and Exchange Student Center offers many more services, among them a welcome celebration for international students and an annual, international education week. Have questions while you are still in your home country? No problem. Just email a foreign student advisor.

At the Klotz Student Health Center, you can obtain free and low-cost care for routine or urgent medical issues. The student health center also has dental and optometry clinics, and offers integrative therapies such as acupuncture, massage and chiropractic. If you need help adapting to CSUN’s smoke- and tobacco-free policy, check out the center’s smoking cessation tools such as counseling, treatment, and free quit kits and nicotine replacement therapy products. For more information about smoking cessation services, visit the Clear the Air website and look for the link Tools for Quitting.

If you are struggling with an emotional problem, or need guidance in coping with overwhelming personal issues, licensed professionals at University Counseling Services can help. Services are free and confidential.

To provide a break from the daily stress of college life, CSUN’s Oasis Wellness Center offers both indoor and outdoor spaces for rest, relaxation and quiet contemplation, as well as wellness-focused services, including massage, small-group yoga sessions, acupuncture and peer nutrition counseling. 

The Learning Resource Center is the place to go for tutoring, supplemental instruction, test preparation and study strategies. You can also seek help for writing projects and writing-based exams. Many individual departments, such as math, chemistry and business, offer their own tutoring and supplemental courses.

Disability Resources and Educational Services serves students who have a wide range of visible and hidden disabilities. Services and accommodations include alternative testing, note taking, Braille or other alternate media, American Sign Language interpreters, ergonomic chairs and tables for the classroom, and assistive computer technology.

CSUN offers many services for its large population of deaf and hard of hearing students. We offer academic advisement, interpretation, career counseling, and tutoring by subject-field experts, all in American Sign Language. Interpretation in American Sign Language is available for classes and on-campus events. Many of these services are offered through our National Center on Deafness.