Frequently Asked Questions
- What do I have to do to get accepted to Santa Monica College?
- How long will it take me to get accepted to Santa Monica College?
- What are the application deadlines?
- How much is the tuition?
- What about housing accommodations?
- What can F-1 students expect to pay for living expenses?
- What will happen if I get accepted to Santa Monica College?
- When should I arrive at Santa Monica College?
- How do I apply for the Intensive English Program?
- Can you tell me more about the Intensive English Program at Santa Monica College?
- Does Santa Monica College offer any financial aid to F-1 students?
- As an F-1 student can I work?
- Will I be able to transfer credits from previous schools?
- How do I request placement and prerequisite waivers?
- What do I have to do to get accepted to Santa Monica College?
You will need to complete an International Students Application and submit the application with the following admission requirements:
How long will it take me to get accepted to Santa Monica College?
- TOEFL score of 450 (133 CBT, 45 IBT). See information on Intensive ESL Program if you do not have the required TOEFL score.
- Essay (describing your reasons for applying to Santa Monica College usually one to two pages)
- Official Transcripts from your secondary school and/or college or university. If the transcript is not in English you will need to have an official translation in English.
- Financial statement showing that you have the required $26,500 USD for tuition and estimated living expenses.
- $75.00 USD nonrefundable application fee.
After you submit a complete F-1 Student Application and all the admission requirements (see question #1 for details), your application will be evaluated and an admission decision will be made in a few days. You will be notified by mail of our admission decision (usually in two weeks).
Note: If your application is missing one or more of our admission requirements, your application will not be evaluated and you will be notified by mail which of the admission requirements you are missing. No admission decision will be made until your application and all admission requirements are submitted.
What are the application deadlines?
The application deadlines are as follows:
For specific information please click here.
How much is the tuition?
The tuition for F-1 students accepted to the academic undergraduate program for is as follows:
||$ 315.00 USD
||per unit |
||$ 46.00 USD
||per unit |
|SMC Health fee
||$ 19.00 USD
||per semester ($15 per Winter or Summer session)|
|Student Association fee
||$ 19.50 USD
|Student Identification Card
||$ 13.00 USD
|Health Insurance Policy
||$ 558.00 USD
||coverage for one semester and one session|
|* Tuition and fees subject to change without prior notice|
Note: F-1 students beginning in the winter or summer sessions are required to enroll in a minimum of 4 units. The winter/summer sessions are shorter (six or eight weeks) and academically more rigorous. F-1 students beginning in the winter or summer sessions will have to pay activities fees and mandatory health insurance ($558.00 USD) coverage for one semester and one session.
What about housing accommodations?
There are a variety of housing options for students admitted to Santa Monica College. Please review the following housing options and make plans to contact your housing option directly. It is recommended that you plan ahead before your arrival at Santa Monica College. Securing housing can take time. Please plan on securing temporary housing (hotel, motel, youth hostels, etc.) and your transportation from the airport before you arrive at Santa Monica College. Remember, the International Education Center is closed on the weekends (Saturday and Sunday).
If you haven't secured permanent housing after arriving at Santa Monica College, please visit our International Education Counseling Center to review a listing of available apartments, roommates wanted, and rooms for rent. For specific information, please click here.
What can F-1 students expect to find in Santa Monica?
The areas to live in Santa Monica and neighboring cities are generally very nice and relatively safe. The closer you live to Santa Monica College and Santa Monica beach the more expensive your living expenses.
What will happen if I get accepted to Santa Monica College?
You will receive an admission packet that includes your acceptance letter, F-1 nonresident application, international student handbook, sample English and math proficiency placement test, I-20 for your F-1 student visa, and a variety of other information. You should receive your admission packet two weeks after your acceptance to Santa Monica College. Remember, your application and all admission requirements must be complete and submitted before an admission decision will be made.
When should I arrive at Santa Monica College?
In general, we encourage newly admitted students to arrive at Santa Monica College at least one month prior to the beginning of the semester or session they have been admitted to. For the students admitted to our Intensive English Program we encourage students to arrive at least two weeks prior to arrange their housing accommodations. Newly admitted students to the academic undergraduate program will need to participate in an orientation that consists of an English and math assessment test and important information that fosters student success at Santa Monica College. Students accepted to the Intensive English Program will participate in a special orientation seminar scheduled for the first day of classes of each semester or session.
How do I apply for the Intensive English Program?
To apply to the Intensive English Program you must complete an F-1 student application and submit the following admission requirements:
Note: These admission requirements are listed on the international student application.
Can you tell me more about the Intensive English Program at Santa Monica College?
- Write a personal essay that describes your reason for applying to Santa Monica College.
- Submit official transcripts, certificates, and diplomas from secondary schooling and from any college/universities attended. If the original language is not English, a certified English translation must accompany all transcripts, certificates, and diplomas.
- Submit the financial statement form demonstrating you can meet the minimum estimated tuition and living expenses ($26,500 USD).
- Carefully read, sign, and return the "General Requirements for Students Accepted to Santa Monica College."
- Submit a nonrefundable application fee of $75.00 USD.
The Intensive ESL Program offers 20 hours per week of not-for-credit content-based English instruction in reading, writing, listening, and speaking at the beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels. The Intensive English Program is designed to matriculate students to the undergraduate program by improving their English proficiency through extensive reading. The writing, listening, and speaking classes will provide relevant learning activities based on extensive reading.
Note: For specific information click here
Does Santa Monica College offer any financial aid to F-1 Students?
Santa Monica College does not offer financial aid to F-1 students. As a first step to higher education in the United States, the tuition at Santa Monica College is relatively inexpensive when compared to four-year colleges and universities. Unlike the higher education systems of many countries where students take only courses in their major field of study, all undergraduate students in the U.S. must take introductory courses in several areas including humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and mathematics. SMC offers students the opportunity to take the same general courses they would take at a four-year college or university at a lower cost. SMC offers an accessible and supportive learning environment. Classes are smaller and professors are devoted entirely to teaching. Once you've been admitted to Santa Monica College and completed 12 or more units, you may apply for limited scholarships based on academic standing (grades). The average scholarship awarded is between $250 to $500 dollars. Many international students have been awarded scholarships.
As an F-1 student can I work?
As an F-1 student you may work part-time on campus as a student assistant. There are a limited number of jobs on campus. The money earned from a part-time job on campus should not be considered a major source of your funding for your tuition and living expenses. Remember, one of your admission requirements was to submit a financial statement showing that you have $26,000 USD or more for your tuition and living expenses per year.
Will I be able to transfer credits from previous schools?
Students with courses from appropriately accredited universities from a foreign country may apply such credit towards an Associate in Arts degree at SMC. The courses must first be evaluated by an approved credential evaluation agency and then reviewed by the SMC Admissions and Records Office. Some courses will require further approval by the department chair upon review of the course descriptions and/or outlines. Approved courses may then be transferred to SMC. Students should consult with a counselor before applying for their credits to be evaluated, as excessive units will move the student's registration to a later date. In cases where students wish to waive a particular course based on foreign course work, a course description or outline in English clearly identifying topics covered in the course will be required.
How do I request placement and prerequisite waivers?
If you have successfully completed English composition (not ESL) and/or mathematics at a U.S. college or university, you may submit your request for a preliminary review of your transcripts. This might determine whether or not you have to take the ESL/English and math assessments at Santa Monica College and possibly waive you into the appropriate level of English/math courses.
Note: For detailed information click here