​The California State University is the country’s largest four-year public university system, providing opportunities for upward mobility to a broadly diverse student body and empowering those students to become leaders in the changing workforce.

The CSU:

  • educates one of the most ethnically, economically and academically diverse student bodies in the country.
  • is consistently recognized for providing opportunities for social mobility.
  • provides degree opportunities at one of the most affordable rates nationwide.
  • enrolls more than 450,000 students.
  • employs more than 63,000 faculty and staff.
  • serves each of California’s regions, from Humboldt to San Diego.
  • offers more than 4,000 degree programs that align with workforce demands.
  • has a robust and supportive community of more than 4 million alumni.

Master Plan for Highe​r Education

The CSU was created in 1960 under the California Master Plan for Higher Education. The university system draws its students from the top third of the state’s high school graduates and is California’s primary undergraduate teaching institution. In continuing to expand its educational scope and help meet the state’s workforce demands for skilled professionals, the CSU offers independent doctorates in audiology, education, nursing practice, occupational therapy, physical therapy and public health.

The Value​ of a CSU Degree

The California State University offers a life-changing education at one of the most affordable tuition rates in the country. Students learn from world-class faculty, gain valuable hands-on experiences and receive strong career advisory support to ensure they graduate job-ready.

The CSU plays a critical role in providing future leaders with the skills and knowledge they will need to thrive in the workforce and help drive California’s economy. More than 4,000 degree programs align with the state’s workforce demands in fields such as business management, engineering and health care.

At $6,084 per academic year for full-time undergraduates, the CSU’s tuition is among the lowest in the country. In 2023, all 23 campuses ranked among the top 100 “Best Bang for the Buck” universities in the West, according to Washington Monthly magazine.

To help students turn their dream of college into reality, the university offers a variety of financial aid options including grants, loans, scholarships, fellowships, veterans aid and work study. During the 2022-23 school year, 78% of students received some form of aid, and more than half of the CSU’s bachelor’s degree recipients graduated with zero student debt.

Inclusiv​​​e Excellence

The CSU strives to create a welcoming and supportive environment for all members of its campus communities. The CSU provides more than half of all undergraduate degrees earned by California’s Latinx, African American and Native American students combined. Twenty-one CSU campuses are currently recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs), colleges and universities with a Latinx student enrollment of at least 25%.

Social Mobi​lity

Earning a CSU degree can change the trajectory of students’ lives, as well as the lives of their family members, by opening doors to opportunities for social mobility. CSU universities have garnered multiple Top 10 spots in a wide range of national social mobility rankings for colleges and universities. These recognitions demonstrate the CSU’s focus on educating, graduating and elevating all students regardless of their economic or family situations; and on dismantling systemic barriers that students from underresourced communities often face. In doing so, the CSU enriches the state’s economy by graduating students who represent diverse perspectives and lived experiences that reflect our new majority.