Scope and Mission
The California State University is indispensable to Californiaís economic
prosperity. It is the nationís largest university system, with 23 campuses and
seven off-campus centers, more than 400,000 students and 42,000 faculty and
staff. The CSU, stretching from Humboldt in the north to San Diego in the
south, is renowned for the quality of its teaching and for its job-ready
Each of the 23 CSU campuses has its own identity, with distinct student
populations and programs. Yet all share the same missionóto provide high-quality,
affordable higher education to meet the changing workforce needs of the
people of California.
The CSU offers more than 1,800 bachelorís and
masterís degree programs in some 240 subject areas, as well as a variety of
teaching credential programs. Many programs and courses are available
online. A select number of doctoral degrees are offered jointly with the
University of California or with private universities in California.
Master Plan for Higher Ed
The CSU system was created in 1961 under the state Master Plan for Higher
Education. The CSU draws its students from the top third of Californiaís
high school graduates. The CSU is the stateís primary undergraduate teaching
institution. Its admission priority is upper-division students transferring from
the California Community Colleges. The CSU educates more community college
transfer students than any other California university.
The CSU plays a critical role in preparing outstanding candidates for the job
market. Powering Californiaís skill-based economy, its 82,000 annual graduates
help drive the aerospace, healthcare, entertainment, information technology,
biomedical, international trade, education, and multimedia industries. The
CSU is Californiaís key educator:
- It confers 65 percent of Californiaís business B.A.s, 52 percent of its
agricultural business and agricultural engineering B.A.s, 52 percent of its
communications B.A.s, and 45 percent of its computer and electronic
- The CSU also trains the professionals needed to keep the state running.
It provides bachelorís degrees to teachers and education staff (87 percent),
criminal justice workers (89 percent), social workers (87 percent) and
public administrators (82 percent).
- Altogether, about half the bachelorís degrees and a third of the masterís
degrees awarded annually in California are from the CSU.
A recent comprehensive study of the impact of the CSU and its campuses found that:
- CSU-related expenditures create $13.6 billion in economic activity,
support 207,000 jobs and generate $760 million in state taxes.
- The enhanced earning power of the CSUís nearly 2 million skilled alumni
living and working in California totals some $89 billion.
- The CSU is expanding educational opportunities for the stateís increasingly
diverse population, providing more than half of all undergraduate degrees
granted to Latino, African American and Native American students.
- CSU campuses uniquely enrich their local communities, drawing over 3
million visitors annually to university events such as concerts, plays,
lectures, museum exhibitions and sporting events.
March 25, 2005