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Introduction

​The California State University is the nation’s largest and most diverse four-year public university, providing opportunities for upward mobility to students across the state and empowering them to become le​aders in the changing workforce.

The CSU:

  • educates the most ethnically, economically and academically diverse students in the nation.
  • is consistently recognized for the quality of its teaching and preparing job-ready graduates.
  • provides the most affordable higher education in the nation.
  • enrolls more than 450,000 students.
  • employs more than 56,000 faculty and staff.
  • serves each of California’s regions from Humboldt to San Diego.
  • offers 4,100 degree programs that align with workforce demands.
  • has conferred degrees on more than 4 million alumni.

The Value of a CSU Degree

The California State University offers a life-changing education for one of the most affordable tuitions in the country. Students learn from world-class faculty, gain valuable hands-on experiences and receive strong career advising 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 4,100 degree programs align with the state’s workforce demands in fields such as business management, engineering and health care.

At $5,742 per academic year for full-time undergraduates, the CSU’s tuition and fees are lower than those of peer comparison institutions across the country. In 2022, 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 2021-22 school year, 82 percent of students received some form of aid, and more than half of the CSU’s bachelor’s degree recipients graduated with zero student debt.

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 upward mobility. Nearly one-third of CSU students are the first in their families to attend college and more than half of students are from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds.

Inclusive Excellence

With the most ethnically, economically and academically diverse student body in the nation, the CSU strives to create a welcoming environment for all members of its campus communities. A CSU education acts as an engine of social mobility, propelling students and their families into higher economic strata following graduation. 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 Department of Education as Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs), colleges and universities with a Latinx student enrollment of at least 25 percent.

Master Plan for Higher Education

The CSU was created in 1960 under the California Master Plan for Higher Education. The CSU 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 and physical therapy, and will soon offer the Doctor of Public Health program.