San Mateo Colleges

The San Mateo Colleges (Cañada College, College of San Mateo, and Skyline College) are consistently ranked near the top of California community colleges. The three colleges are known for their academic excellence, small class size, individual attention, and outstanding student support services.

The San Mateo Colleges are located next to San Francisco the Silicon Valley. Communities in this region are ranked among the top 10 most affluent in the United States. The region is home to world class companies such as Oracle, Genentech, Apple and many others. Students are educated in an environment influenced by the high-tech, innovative and entrepreneurial culture of the Silicon Valley and the exciting City of San Francisco. Our international students are not only taught by faculty who have graduated from the Top 100 universities, but they also benefit through internships and career development opportunities throughout the region.

All of the San Mateo Colleges have “Transfer Admission Guarantees” (TAGs) with a number of University of California campuses, California State Universities and private universities throughout the United States. One out of three transfers to the University of California (UC) were UC Berkeley transfers. Over 75% of our UC transfers entered UC Berkeley, UCLA and UC Davis in 2009-2010. Since 1997, UC Berkeley has accepted 100% of our international students (data from College of San Mateo). New international students can also receive Conditional Admission Letters from selected universities including six of the University of California campuses.

Student demographics

International students at all three colleges include students from over 60 countries.

ESL program and/or support services

Support for International Students: The colleges offer a streamlined application process that can be completed in approximately ten days. Once admitted, new students participate in an orientation that includes academic advising. International student advisors provide students with individualized attention and assistance with academic, transfer, and student services support.

For students whose English skills are below the required level (TOEFL 480, 56 IBT, IELTS minimum Band Level of 5.5), intensive English training is available at our local English language schools. For a complete list of English language schools that have agreements with the San Mateo Colleges, visit our website. After successfully completing the required ESL level at the language school, the San Mateo Colleges will accept students for the next semester.

Student Housing options

San Mateo Colleges does not provide housing on campus, but off campus housing is available.  For more information please click here.

Admission requirements

  • Complete and submit the Application for Admission – International Students
  • Submit proof of English proficiency. A minimum score or higher on any of the following examinations is required for admission: TOEFL – 480 (paper based), 56 iBT (internet based), IELTS Band 5.5 or iTEP 3.5
  • $50 Application fee
  • Official Transcripts
  • Copy of High School Diploma or equivalent
  • Bank Verification of Funds Official Letter
  • Personal Essay
  • Copy of Passport

For more information please click here.

International Student visas issued


Cost of attendance and financial assistance

Tuition, Fees, and Estimated Living Expenses for Studying at San Mateo Colleges:

Semester Annual
Tuition (12 units @ $217 per unit) $2,604 $5,208
Enrollment Fee ($46 per unit) 552 1,104
Books and Supplies 300 600
Medical Insurance (Summer: $224) 717 1,434
Local Public Transportation 200 400
Room/Food (minimum) 5,500 11,100
Miscellaneous 250 500
Total $10,173 $20,346

Please click here for more information about costs.

Please click here for information about scholarships.