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San Mateo Colleges of Silicon Valley

We specialize in university transfer admission (UTA). International students begin their college education with us as first year freshmen and then transfer to a 4-year institution as a junior to earn their Bachelor's Degree. All of our university transferable courses are articulated (recognized as their credit courses) with 150+ universities in our College University Partnership (CUP). Further, most of the CUP universities would guarantee admission of our students! Compared to students who apply directly for universities as freshmen, called university freshmen admission or UFA, our transfer students increase their chances of admission to a 4-year university from 30% to over 80%, while saving up to $69,000 in tuition!



Eligibility | Admission Requirements | Program Dates | Program Details | Cost Breakdown | Homestay Options | Scholarship | Application | Contact Us


This program is a good fit for students who have at least a TOEFL 56 or IELTS 5.5.

Students who are under 18 years old without a high school diploma can still apply if they meet one of these requirements:

  • Students who have completed the Cambridge O Levels (at least 5 courses) or have an IGCSE certificate.
  • Chinese students who have completed grade 11 and have filled out the High School Equivalency Form  .
  • Chinese students who have completed the Joint Exam of High School Completion (gao-zhong-jie-ye-shui-ping-kao-shi, AKA HuiKao 会考). 

  Admission Requirements

Students under the age of 18 will need to show proof of high school graduation or the equivalent and complete the Minor Consent Form. If applicable, download and fill out the Minor Consent Form  .

Acceptable Documents:

  • Bank Letters (individual and/or company sponsors)*
  • Bank Statements (from Saving or Checking accounts)**
  • Fixed/Term/Time Deposit Statement (bank must indicate that the funds can be withdrawn prior to arrival in the U.S.)
  • Scholarshiip Letters (Government, Private, or School)

* If it is a company sponsor, they must write a letter stating the relationship with the student and confirmation of their support. All financial documents MUST match the name of the sponsor on the application.

** Bank statement within the last 3 months in English certifying that either the sponsor or the prospective student has sufficient funds (in US dollar amounts, at least $32,000) on deposit to insure full payment of expenses for the student’s first year at San Mateo Colleges of Silicon Valley, OR

If dependents (spouse or child) will be accompanying you, the bank certification and/or Affidavit of support must include an additional $5,000 for the first dependent and an additional $2,500 for each additional dependent.

For Change of Status students whose sponsor is a US Citizen: optional copy of Form I-134  

International students who do not meet the English proficiency requirements are welcome to attend the Silicon Valley Intensive English Program (SVIEP) at Cañada College. Students who successfully complete the program will be guaranteed admission into one of our three colleges (Cañada College, College of San Mateo, Skyline College). For more information on SVIEP, visit

Other options to meeting English proficiency include completion of a specified level or higher at English Language Schools. See full list of Proficiency Requirements  .

For students over the age of 18, we require:

  • Copy of official academic transcript that includes your grades (from either your High School or University) translated into English.
  • We do not require originals at any point.
  • Translation does not need to be certified. 

For students under the age of 18, we require:

  • Copy of official proof of graduation. Chinese students can submit the HS Equivalency form if under 18. Form can be found HERE  .
  • Copy of official academic transcript that includes your grades (from either your High School or University) translated into English.
  • Please note; if you are using transcripts to prove English Proficiency, transcripts and diplomas must be official and translations certified and official. 


Program Dates

Semester Semester Start Date Semester End Date
Spring 2024 January 16, 2024 May 24, 2024
Fall 2024 August 14, 2024 December 16, 2024


Spring 2024 Application Deadline*
Applying from Outside the USA November 15, 2023
Transferring from Inside the USA January 1, 2024


Fall 2024
Application Deadline*
Applying from Outside the USA July 1, 2024
Transferring from Inside the USA August 1, 2024

*If you wish to apply past the application deadline, please contact to discuss your options.

Program Details

  • Associate degrees, transfer programs, and short-term certificate programs are offered.
  • 140+ university partners, where the majority offer Transfer Admission Guarantees (TAG) and transfer scholarships.
  • Opportunities for OPT & CPT (internship) in Silicon Valley.
  • Preparation for success at a 4-year university.
  • Access to health center, library, student support services, student clubs, cross-cultural activities, international counselors, and visits to local universities and attractions. 


Cost Breakdown

Costs are estimates based on the 2023-2024 academic year and are subject to change.

Expenses Semester Year
*Tuition (12 units @ $359 per unit) $4,308 $8,616
*Enrollment Fee (12 units @ $46 per unit) $552 $1,104
*Health Insurance (different rates for Fall & Spring)

$1,194 (Fall $995/ Spring & Summer $1,393)

Living Expenses (based on a shared room with meals for 10 months in the San Mateo Colleges of Silicon Valley Homestay Program.) $6,875 $13,750
**Other $3,046 $6,142
Total $15,975 $32,000

* International/Nonresident tuition, enrollment and health insurance fees will be charged directly by the college at each semester.

** See "Line Item Summary of Costs"


Line Item Summary of Costs

International Program Expenses Semester Year
Application Fee (non-refundable, one-time fee) N/A $50
Books and Supplies $500 $1,000
Local Public Transportation $500 $1,000


Total $3,046 $6,142


Housing Options

Option 1 Option 2 Option 3 Option 4
private room with meals private room without meals shared room with meals shared room without meals
$1,775/month $1,275/month $1,375/month $875/month

Once admitted into the program, students can apply for homestay through the Homestay Referral Program. Visit for more information. 

For other housing resources like hotels, AirBnB, and apartments, check HERE



Apply Now   


Contact Us

San Mateo Colleges of Silicon Valley
3401 CSM Drive
San Mateo, CA 94402