How to Apply

Enrolling in the Program

To begin the application process, you can view step-by-step instructions on the Start Application page. If you have any questions about the program or application process, please email We would be happy to help you through the process.

Architecture Applicants

Please note: students interested in a field of study within architecture must be preapproved by the College of Architecture and Environmental Design. Please include a copy of your most current portfolio with your application. The review process may take several weeks, so please plan accordingly and submit your application and portfolio as soon as possible.

Minimum Requirements

You must be at least 18 years old to enroll in our program. This program is highly selective; students are required to submit a tentative course of study including a list of eight courses of interest. Courses with prerequisites will be met by evidence provided by the students from their home university.

This is not an English as a Second Language (ESL) program. All international students from non-English speaking countries registering must present a TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) must be taken within the last 2 years with a minimum score of 550 (paper version) or a minimum internet-based score of 80 or the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) must be taken within 2 years with a minimum score of 6.5.

When to Apply

It is best to apply 14-18 weeks before the program start date. Please allow 2 weeks for us to review and process your application and to allow yourself ample time to make your visa and travel arrangements. Keep in mind that June, July, and August are the busiest months in most consular sections, and interview appointments are difficult to get during that period. It is important to apply for your visa several months before your travel departure date. Refer to the Visa Appointment & Processing Wait Times to see how long you will wait for an F-1 visa interviews in your area.

Important Program Information
$200 program application fee due Due at time of application
Application materials and course selection Due one week after application is submitted
Request I-20 from International Center After application is accepted
Begin visa process Minimum of two months before arrival to U.S.
Program fees due (student service fee and program fee) Approx. three weeks prior to the start of the academic term
Course fees due Due three days after course enrollment
Please visit Cal Poly's Office of the Registrar for a list of quarter start and end dates

Note: For a complete breakdown of program fees and payment schedule, please see the Fees & Payment page.

U.S. Visa Requirements

International students accepted to the VISIT program will be issued an I-20 form to apply for an F-1 student visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate in the student's home country. Prospective students present in the U.S. in F-2 dependent visa status are allowed to enroll in less than full-time units. Full-time undergraduate study is 12 units and full-time graduate study is 8 units. U.S. federal visa regulations do not allow full-time study when present in the U.S. in B-1/B-2 tourist visa status.

See Applying for a Visa on International Advising.