California State University, Chico

About the institution

California State University, Chico, popularly known as “Chico State”, was established in 1887 and is the second-oldest campus in the 23-member California State University system. The campus has approximately 17,019 students, including 300 international students representing more than 56 countries. Our graduates have a competitive advantage due to the practical, hands-on real-world classroom experiences and internship opportunities outside of the classroom.

In U. S. News and World Report’s annual “America’s Best Colleges,” CSU, Chico ranks in the top 10 of the top public regional universities in the western United States (1998-2020). CSU, Chico maintains high academic standards and has one of the highest graduation rates in the California State University system. Our academic excellence is demonstrated by our top accreditations, including AACSB and ABET, rankings (top 7% best value in US – Money Magazine and 3rd best value college of engineering in the US –, and the many programs with 100% job success, such as Business Information Systems, Concrete Industry Management, Sustainable Manufacturing, and Accounting, among others.

Visit the Chico State website and discover why Chico State is internationally recognized for its excellent academic programs and scholarly achievements.

Student demographics

Total Enrollment: 16,930 (6,286 men / 10,644 women)

Undergraduate Enrollment: 7,735

Graduate Enrollment: 9,195

Enrollment by Race/Ethnicity: 36% white, 28% hispanic, 12% unknown, 9% black or african american, 8% asian, 5% two or more races, 1% native hawaiian or other pacific islander, 15 nonresident alien

Alumni: Over 170,000 alumni worldwide (over 80 countries)

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 Immersion (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 US.

ALCI Chico administers language courses and special programs throughout the year. Through the conditional admissions-TOEFL waiver and Bridge Program, 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) Support Services conversation hour, the University learning centers, study labs, conversation partners, language tutors, and university recreation facilities (fee may apply).

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, provide transcripts, demonstrate English language proficiency, and show adequate financial resources. 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

Estimated total cost of attendance (including living expenses) for one year of study at CSU, Chico is relatively low at:

Undergraduate (24 credits/units): US$32,380

Graduate (18 credits/units): US$31,430, (MBA: $36,290)

More detailed information on tuition and fees is available on our website.

ALCI Chico is US$2,200 per 7-week session. Estimated cost of attendance per session, term, and year is available here.

Scholarship opportunities

Scholarships are available for international students.

Internship opportunities:

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 each other, their classmates, faculty, and staff.

There are many extra-curricular activities and sports (NCAA Division II) 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. Whether your interests include concerts, lectures, games, or films; there is always something interesting to do on campus and in the community. Learn more about student life here.