Sir Nigel Thrift, the university’s vice-chancellor, said the move was part of Warwick’s “successful strategy to develop as a globally networked university”.
Warwick already has a strategic partnership with Australia’s Monash University and is involved in the Center for Urban Science and Progress in New York.
The university said the move to establish a California campus near Sacramento followed a recommendation from its senate and approval by its council.
It will be developed in partnership with the University Development Trust, described as a non-profit organisation with “a high-level mission focused on educating and informing the American public”.
“The phased project will first develop teaching in a small number of postgraduate courses that would be offered in interim accommodation. As the project then develops, dedicated teaching facilities will be created and undergraduate students will be admitted across a range of subjects,” Warwick said in a press statement.
Warwick added that the “opportunity has arisen through the generosity and vision of its donors and the University Development Trust”.
The trust has been developing a plan to start a world-class university on 1,159 acres in Placer County, California that it received as a donation in December 2012, from donors listed as “the Angelo K. and Sofia Tsakopoulos family, William and Claudia Cummings, the Wayne L. Prim family and more than 40 partners in the Placer 80 Partnership”.
Kirk Uhler, chairman of the Placer County Board of Supervisors, said: “This is a momentous achievement for the Sacramento region. Having a university of Warwick’s international renown, especially in the areas of business and research and development, is a huge step forward in meeting the needs of our current and future residents and businesses.”
Professor Thrift said the project was part of the drive to be a university “that exists in many locations, does research in many locations, and produces globally aware students able to thrive wherever in the world they decide to study, research and work”.
The news comes as Heriot-Watt University also announced the official opening of its £35 million campus in Malaysia, catering for 4,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students, following on from its first overseas campus in Dubai.