California State University, Chico

California State University, Chico is home of seven colleges, five schools and 28 centers that offer more than 100 undergraduate majors and options, and over 25 graduate degree programs.

The ten largest majors include; business administration, psychology, liberal studies, criminal justice, nursing, exercise physiology, kinesiology, recreational administration, communications studies, and mechanical engineering.

About the institution

California State University, Chico, popularly known as “Chico State”, was established in 1887 and is the second oldest University in the 23-campus California State University system. The campus hosts an enrollment of 16,000 students, including 600 international students representing more than 45 countries.

In U. S. News and World Report’s annual “America’s Best Colleges,” CSU, Chico regularly ranks high among master’s-level public universities in the western United States. CSU, Chico maintains high academic standards and has one of the highest graduation rates in the California State University system.

Chico State offers an inviting and safe educational environment in a small, college town setting. Visit the Chico State website and discover why Chico State is internationally recognized for its excellent academic programs and scholarly achievements.

 Student demographics

Chico State students come from 47 nations, 36 states, and 2 U.S. territories. 95% of the total student population comes from California: 32.7% from CSU, Chico’s service area; 21.2% from the rest of Northern California; 23.6% from Central California; and 17.6% from Southern California. 4.9% are out-of-state or international students. The student body is comprised of 53% females to 47% male.

 ESL program and/or support services

American Language and Culture Institute - ALCI Chico

Located on the campus of California State University, Chico, the American Language and Culture Institute (ALCI Chico) offers five, seven-week sessions of intensive English language instruction per year to international students of all proficiency levels, from beginning to advanced.

ALCI Chico facilitates a transition from an intensive English language program to an academic program at Chico State or to other colleges and universities in the United States. The program provides general English language skills for students’ personal and professional growth, as well as an introduction to American culture and the higher education system in California and the United States.

ALCI Chico administers language courses and special programs throughout the year. Through the conditional admissions-TOEFL waiver and Open University programs, qualified students have the opportunity to access University degree programs and courses.

ALCI Chico students also have access to University facilities and services including the ESL (English as a Second Language) Resource Center on campus, the University learning centers, study labs, conversation partners, and language tutors.

 Student Housing options

There are several quality housing options for international students. Housing in Chico is generally less expensive than in metropolitan areas of California. It is relatively easy to find housing on or near campus. Housing prices vary, but you can expect to spend from $300 to $900 per month for rent. Housing options include on-campus and off-campus residence halls (dormitories), off-campus apartments, and a homestay program, that provides an opportunity to live with a Chico family.

University Housing 

ALCI Chico Housing 

Admission requirements for first year and transfer students

International students must apply through, show adequate financial resources, provide official transcripts, and demonstrate English language proficiency. For more information please visit the How to Apply section of the Office of International Education website.

International students who have not yet met the University’s English proficiency requirement can study at ALCI Chico and apply for Conditional Admissions to the University.

 International Student visas issued

CSU, Chico Designated School Officials can issue F1 and J1 visas and provide immigration counseling as appropriate.

Cost of attendance and financial assistance

Current non-resident tuition for 30 units of undergraduate studies is $11,160. Non-resident tuition for 18 units of graduate studies is $6,696.  Find out more information here.

ALCI Chico is $1,800 per 7-week session.

Internship opportunities (if available)

Chico State students and alumni have access to the CSU, Chico Career Center.

 Student activities and campus life

The University fosters a campus environment of inclusion so that all students feel comfortable and confident interacting with domestic students and other international students.

There are many extra-curricular activities and sports available on campus and through the city recreational leagues. Both formal and informal events provide valuable opportunities for students to practice their language skills with native speakers and experience American culture. A concert, a lecture, a game, or a film; there is always something interesting to do on campus and in the community.

Learn more about student life here.