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, 405,000 students and 44,000 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 mission—to provide high-quality, affordable higher
education to meet the changing workforce needs of the people of California.
The CSU offers more than 1,800 bachelorí sandmasterís 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, and a
newly authorized, independent education doctorate is being developed across the CSU.
Master Plan for Higher Education
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 all other California universities and colleges combined.
Working For California
The CSU plays a critical role in preparing outstanding candidates for the job market. With
84,000 annual graduates, the CSU drives Californiaís economy in information technology,
life sciences, agriculture, business, education, international trade, public administration,
entertainment and multimedia industries.
The CSU is Californiaís key educator:
- It confers 65 percent of Californiaís bachelorís degrees in business, 52 percent of its
bachelorís degrees in agricultural business and engineering, and 45 percent of its bachelorís
degrees in computer and electronic engineering.
- The CSU also educates 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
each year in California are from the CSU.
The CSU prides itself on its ability to provide college access to students across Californiaís
increasingly diverse population. The CSU provides more than half of all undergraduate degrees
granted to the stateís Latino, African American and Native American students.
A 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.
- CSU campuses uniquely enrich their local communities, drawing more than 3 million visitors
annually to university events such as concerts, plays, lectures, museum exhibitions and sporting events.
June 29, 2006