CSU Facts 2005

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 graduates.

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.

Workforce Preparation
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 engineering B.A.s.
  • 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.

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Last Updated: March 25, 2005