California State University System

California State University System Overview

The California State University is a leader in high-quality, accessible, student-focused higher education. With 23 campuses, almost 447,000 students, and 45,000 faculty and staff, it is the largest, the most diverse, and one of the most affordable university systems in the United States of America.

Swansea University currently has a University-wide agreement in place with California State University System.

Key Information


Exchange students do not pay tuition fees to CSU. Most CSU campuses will require exchange students to pay miscellaneous campus-based fees. Many students assume that studying abroad will cost much more than they can afford. While studying abroad will cost money, the surprising reality is that the cost is within the financial reach of most students.

Keep in mind that the California State University system includes 23 universities located throughout the state of California and living costs vary for each. Some campuses are in big cities and others are in smaller, more rural areas. All around the world, the cost of living in a big metropolitan city such as London, Paris, Los Angeles or San Francisco, is higher than the cost of living in smaller cities. If cost is a deciding factor for you, we strongly recommend that you consider one of the CSU campuses located outside the large metropolitan areas of Los Angeles and San Francisco. Furthermore, remember that living near the ocean costs more than living inland. All of these factors will play a role in determining your costs.

(financial proof required for this amount) CSU CAMPUS
$ 5,500  Bakersfield*, East Bay*, Fresno, Pomona*, San Bernardino, San Luis Obispo*,
$ 7,800  Chico, Humboldt, Los Angeles*, Monterey Bay, Stanislaus
$ 9,200  Dominguez Hills, Long Beach, Sacramento, San Diego, Sonoma 
$10,000  Channel Islands, Fullerton, Maritime Academy, Northridge, San Jose, San Marcos
$10,700  San Francisco

*Estimated increase of 5-10% for 2016/17


There are university dormitories available on most CSU campuses. Dormitories typically house first-year university students, ages 18-20, and are co-ed, with half the floor reserved for female students and half the floor reserved for male students. Students normally share a bedroom with another student. There is a bathroom in the hall with 3 or 4 showers, sinks and toilets, which is shared by 10-12 students. Some campuses have recently built apartment-style housing facilities on campus, but space is very limited. Students have several housing options at each CSU campus. Most international students decide to live in off-campus apartments near the university. This usually entails arriving a couple of weeks before classes start to allow time to find housing. More detailed information about housing will be provided by your host CSU campus prior to your arrival. 

Please note:  Accommodation is not guaranteed for exchange students, which is something to be aware of.


Semester 1 Semester 2
 17th August 2016 - 16th December 2016  19th January 2017 - 16th May 2017

Global Opportunities Bursary - £1000

The Global Opportunities Bursary is available for students spending a semester or a year studying abroad outside of Europe as part of their degree (except Texas).

The International Development Office provides students with a £1000 bursary, once students have submitted all the necessary paperwork.

Please note

The prospect of studying at a university abroad is exciting, but there is also a lot of information you need to consider when choosing the right place for you. Below you will find summarised information which should help you with your decision. Please note that this information was accurate at the time of publishing and is subject to change. Be sure to confirm all information on the host university's website.