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A Welcome from the College President

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News for Current International Students

Center for International Education

Dr. Jason Lau

Director's Welcome

Thank you very much for your interest in College of Marin -- a successful place to start your education. We welcome International Students from all over the world to join our Academic and Intensive English Programs.

College of Marin, a U.S. public two-year college, has two safe and beautiful campuses in the heart of Marin County, California, just 18 km north of San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge. Established in 1926, College of Marin is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).

From Business to Health Sciences to Performing Arts – there is something for everyone. College of Marin has one of the highest rates of successful transfer to UC Berkeley in California. Each year many international students who have completed studies at College of Marin have successfully transferred to UC Berkeley, UCLA and UC Davis, among others.

Again, we appreciate your interest in College of Marin. I encourage you to browse our web site and discover the many exciting opportunities we have to offer. If you have any questions about our College or the application process, please feel free to contact me at any time. I can be reached by email at

I look forward to welcoming you to our campus!

Jason Lau, Ph.D.
Director of International Education

Great Reasons to Attend College of Marin

Here are just a few great reasons to begin your studies with us:

  • Two Safe Campus Locations
  • University-Caliber Faculty Members
  • Affordable Tuition and Fees 
  • Personal Attention and Small Class Size
  • Excellent Counseling and Support Services
  • Transfer to World-Class Four-Year Universities 

For more information, please contact Rebecca Freeland
at 415.457.8811, ext. 7740, or email

Campus Locations

Our two beautiful and safe campus locations in Marin County offer excellence in instruction, friendly multi-cultural students and instructors, and supportive student services to make you feel “at home,” wherever you are from. Just minutes away from San Francisco across the world-famous Golden Gate Bridge, College of Marin’s International programs bring you into a vibrant college campus life, with fun activities and superior instruction to keep you interested.

Our History of Success

Established in 1926, College of Marin is fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). WASC accreditation means that College of Marin credit instruction is fully approved for transfer to four-year universities, such as the University of California (UC) and California State University (CSU) schools. College of Marin has one of the highest rates of transfer to UC-Berkeley in California because of the overall excellence of instruction and personal support students receive to attain their goals. Many international students who have completed studies at the College of Marin have been admitted to UC-Berkeley, UCLA and UC-Davis, among others. College of Marin is a successful place to start your education—our motto is, “Start Here—Go Far!” because this college offers students such a good academic start.

2 + 2 Program

The 2 + 2 Plan allows the student to complete the first two years at the Community College and then to transfer into the University Baccalaureate program for the second two years.

Why follow the 2 + 2 Plan?

  • Students have much more affordable tuition at the community college;
  • Students have an advantage, taking fully transferable courses into the UC and CSU systems;
  • Students have personal attention from excellent faculty, academic counselors, and high-quality student services, such as free tutoring and health services.

The American Educational System may be different from that used in other countries and to help international students see the options presented by the American community college and university postsecondary educational systems, this chart may be useful.

2+2 Plan

After receiving secondary education in four-year high schools, students move into the postsecondary educational level, which may include the following:

Undergraduate Programs    
Option 1 or Option 2
Four years at a University to earn a Bachelor’s degree   Two Years at a Community College to earn an Associate’s degree, with transfer to a University for two years to earn a Bachelor’s degree. This is called the 2 + 2 Plan.

Graduate Programs    
Option 1 or Option 2
After earning a Bachelor’s degree, students may go on to earn either a Master’s degree (MBA, MA, MFA, MS, etc.)   Students may go on to earn a Professional degree (Medicine (MD), Law (JD), etc.)

Doctoral Studies
After receiving a Master’s degree or a Professional degree, students may go on for Doctoral studies, such as a Ph.D. or an Advanced Professional Degree.

Postdoctoral Study and Research
Students may continue their education at this level.

Intensive English Program

International students who wish to begin in the College of Marin Intensive English Program (IEP) will find a program which is friendly, social and demanding, too. College of Marin currently issues I-20s for the Intensive English Program. Our IEP instructors are highly skilled, dedicated to helping students succeed and all have advanced degrees, in combination with international experience. Please note that Intensive English Program students who finish Level 3 of the program are guaranteed admission to the College of Marin credit program, with the TOEFL requirement waived. (These students still will need to fill out all forms for the College of Marin credit program, including the financial requirement for two years, however.) IEP students receive classroom instruction, participate in campus activities, and go on field trips in the Bay area as part of the program.

Credit Instruction and Credit English as a Second Language Instruction

Credit instruction is available to international students who meet college requirements.  Please see instructions below in Admissions Information for details. Credit ESL classes are offered for college credit to students at intermediate to advanced proficiency levels. Classes at each level focus on grammar, speaking/listening, reading/vocabulary or writing. Early registration is strongly advised. To enroll in credit ESL classes, students must take a College of Marin ESL Student Success Workshop that includes placement testing, counseling and orientation before enrolling in classes. Students may call the ESL Office or the Counseling Office to sign up for a workshop. For more information, call (415)485-9642.

Admissions Information

For more information email (credit students), or Rebecca Freeland (Intensive English Program students).


College of Marin does not provide international student housing, but there is housing available through the following community resources.

San Francisco Homestay offers international students an opportunity to live in a friendly home with an American family close to College of Marin and experience the American lifestyle and culture up close.

For more information:
Tel: +1 (415) 230.5313

The Student Home (by Sunrise Homes International, Inc.) is an ideal place for international students to live during their studies at College of Marin.  The Student Home is located in San Rafael next to Northgate Mall. There is free transportation to and from College of Marin (Indian Valley Campus), as well as free local “go anywhere” transportation in the afternoons.

For more information:
Tel (Students): +1 (415) 499.9199, +1 (415) 499.9399, +1 (415) 499.9599
Tel (Manager): +1(888) 807.3460

Address: 179 Los Ranchitos Road, San Rafael, California 94903, USA

Download brochure:

Student Visa Applications

Student visa applicants are encouraged to apply early for their visa.
Please visit the U.S. Department of State web site for more information.

Forms Available for Download (all forms must be completed to apply

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International Students web page
Technical Contact: Rebecca Freeland, Office Technician, Community Education, Lifelong Learning and International Education, 415.457.8811 x7740
Content Responsible: Dr. Jason Lau
, Director, Community Education, Lifelong Learning and International Education, 415.485.9316