Santa Monica College

 About the institution

Founded in 1929, SMC is a California State public institution regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).  Recognized as one of the best Community Colleges in California and the nation, SMC provides the first two years of American university education. More students transfer from the College to the University of California system, including UCLA, than from any other school. Large numbers also transfer to the

California State University (CSU) system, and to the best public and private schools in California and throughout the US.  Over 34,000 students, including more than 3,400 whom are international from more than 100 countries, attend SMC.

In addition to the College’s academic reputation and the achievements of its students, the campus facilities are outstanding. State-of-the-art science and media labs are complemented by a recently renovated library. Computer labs and terminals are widely available. Modern performing arts facilities are excellent. Santa Monica is famous for its beautiful beaches and perfect year-round weather. It is near Beverly Hills, Hollywood, Malibu, and Los Angeles International Airport. There is much to do in the area, ranging from visits to Disneyland and Universal Studios, to great museums, orchestras, shopping and sporting events.

A wide range of on-campus recreational facilities are available to SMC students including an Olympic sized pool. You can become involved in sports ranging from basketball, football, volleyball, weight training, track, swimming and others. SMC students are encouraged to become active in the assortment of campus student groups including the International Student Club.

SMC offers majors in more than 60 fields, and students have the option to pursue an Associate Degree, complete a certificate program, or prepare for transfer to a university.  Santa Monica College is developing a Bachelor of Science program in Interaction Design (IxD). This unique degree will build from the existing Graphic Design Associate degree and blends the fields of design, user experience (UX), and technology. Interaction Designers ensure that products are appealing, effective and intuitive for their users. They create the experiences we have everyday with smart objects, devices, and the web. There is strong demand for more UX/interaction designers in today’s high technology industries. This degree will provide students with the skills necessary to enter this well paid and exciting field.  The Bachelor of Science IxD program is anticipated to start Fall 2016.

Student demographics

Coming soon. 

ESL program and/or support services

Santa Monica College offers not-for-credit courses, the Intensive English Program (IEP) which are intended for F-1 international students who do not meet the minimum TOEFL or alternative proof of English proficiency to be admitted as an academic program F-1 international student. This intensive, multi-skills course is designed for beginners who are literate in one language and interested in learning English for basic communication and ultimately for success in college ESL classes.

Santa Monica College also offers English as a Second Language (ESL) courses that consist of sequential levels in reading, writing and communication. Students may take other college-level courses while completing the higher levels of the ESL courses. You may enter a course at the beginning of any semester or session.

Student Housing options

All international students can receive information about home stays with families, apartments, shared furnished housing, and other living arrangements. We encourage all students to seek housing well in advance of the start of their program.

Homestays: If you would like to live with an American family, you may wish to look into a Homestay Program. These programs are arranged through private companies that charge a fee to match you with a compatible, pre-screened family, usually called a “Host Family”. Your living arrangements would depend on your personal preferences, as well as those of the host family. The host family often provides meals; typically you would have a private bedroom and share a bathroom with members of the family.

Shared Furnished Housing: Conveniently located and fully furnished apartments within a 30 minute bus ride to SMC. Some utilities included in rent.

Apartment Rentals: There are a variety of apartments available for rent in Santa Monica and surrounding neighborhoods.

Admission requirements for first year and transfer students

​ ​Application Requirements
​Financial Statement ​Sponsor’s Official Bank Statement to demonstrate applicant can meet SMC’s estimated tuition and living expenses.  Further financial information may be required.  View the list of estimated tuition and fees.
​Copy of Passport ​A copy of your passport information and expiration page
​Transcript Records from last school attended.  If the school was a college, university or high school within the US, official transcripts must be sent directly from the awarding institution to the International Education Center at SMC.  Note: All submitted documentation becomes the property of SMC International Education Center and cannot be returned.
​Application Fee ​The fee to apply is $75.00  USD and is non-refundable
​Proof of English Proficiency ​SMC ISC English Proficiency – NOT required for admission to Intensive English Program. Applicants with TOEFL score of 500+ or the equivalent will be given preference.
​Essay ​Write a personal essay (must be at least 500 words) explaining your reason(s) for applying to Santa Monica College. Be sure to include the following information in your personal statement: What major do you want to study? Do you wish to earn an associate’s degree and/or transfer to a university? If you wish to transfer, which institution(s) do you intend to apply to for transfer? – NOT required for admission to Intensive English Program.
​Status Verification Form ​Required only for students transferring from U.S. language institutes, colleges, or universities.
​Age Requirement ​All students must be 18 years old at the time of initial attendance

International Student visas issued


Cost of attendance and financial assistance

Below is the list of attendance for the academic, and Intensive English Program (including estimated living expenses, books and supplies, personal expenses, and public transportation fees. For the most up-to-date listing of all tuition, fees, and estimated expenses, visit the website at:

​Academic ​Tuition & Fees**      Tuition & Fees** For An Academic Year
(based on 24 units, 2 semesters, no sessions)
​Non-Resident Tuition ​$335/per unit (tuition and enrollment fee) ​$8,040
​SMC Health Fee ​$19 per semester; $16 per session ​$38
​Student Associate Fee ​$19.50 per semester/session ​$39
​Student ID Card ​$13 per semester/session ​$26
​Health Insurance
​$600* for one semester and one session plus ​$1200
$200 initial insurance fee, first semester only


​Intensive English Program ​Tuition & Fees**
​Program Cost Summer Session: $1,600
Fall Semester: $3,200
Winter Session: $1,200
Spring Semester: $3,200​
​SMC Health Fee ​$19 per semester; $16 per session
​Student Associate Fee ​$19.50 per semester/session
​Student ID Card ​$13 per semester/session
​Health Insurance
​$600 for one semester and one session plus
$200 initial insurance fee for first semester only


​Expense Estimate Per 1 Month** ​Estimate Per 9 Months**
​Living Expenses ​$1,277 (based on home stay with 2 meals per day) ​$11,493***
​Books & Supplies ​$873 per semester ​$1,746 (based on 2 semesters)
​Personal Expenses ​$324 ​$2,916
​Public Transportation ​$167 ​$1,503


​Estimated Total Expenses for Summer 2015 to Summer 2016**
Academic year required on bank statement for SMC Admission


Adult Dependent ​$12,970 (based on 9 months)
Child $11,295 (based on 9 months)

*All new F1 students will pay a mandatory insurance surcharge to cover the seminar and pre-enrollment period before their first term begins.

**Tuition, fees, and Health Insurance Fees are subject to change without notice.

***Students with free room and board in the Santa Monica area may deduct $6,894 from the total expenses.

Scholarship opportunities

SMC offers many types of scholarships. While some awards do require U. S. Citizenship, most do not. We have a high percentage of international students as winners each year.

Internship opportunities

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is available to international students who meet all requirements and receive authorization. Students interested in internships should visit the International Education Center for more information.

Student activities and campus life

Over fifty campus clubs are maintained for students with special interests in areas such as science, sports, creative arts, business and industry, service and recreation. Club activities include business meetings, field trips, concerts, lectures, forums and social events. Through these activities, you may participate in and contribute to the life and interests of the college and the community. There is also the International Student Forum, a club whose purpose is “to acclimate new international students to SMC and to promote inter-cultural exchange.” The International Education Center and International Counseling Center also offer a wide range of on and off campus activities throughout the academic year to assist international students in acclimating to the campus and to U.S. life.