Research and Community Impact

CSU students are encouraged to apply the knowledge gained in the classroom to find solutions to real-world problems through involvement in applied research and service learning. Under the guidance of world-renowned faculty who are experts in their fields, students develop leadership skills while benefiting their communities.

Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity

  • CSU research enhances learning and prepares students for the workplace of the future in ways that promote student success, faculty scholarship and California’s progress. In alignment with the goals of Graduation Initiative 2025, students are engaged and empowered through mentored undergraduate and graduate research experiences and creative inquiry.
  • Alongside students, CSU faculty advance knowledge in their fields, generate new knowledge across disciplines and foster solutions to problems through research, scholarship and creative activity. Cross-disciplinary research consortia, known as CSU affinity groups, positively impact California’s economic, social and environmental priorities.
  • Since June 2020, sponsored program dollars have increased by $6 million to reach a total of $663 million annually, reflecting the importance placed on research amid a global pandemic.
  • In 2021, twelve campuses received Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) STEM grants totaling nearly $60 million from the U.S. Department of Education and six campuses received HSI STEM grants totaling $5.7 million from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The funds will allow these campuses to continue enhancing the quality of STEM education and to increase the number of Latinx and low-income students pursuing and graduating with STEM degrees.

Stay up-to-date on new research developments at: calstate.edu/impact-of-the-csu/research



Community Engagement at the CSU

Community engagement experiences afford students opportunities to immerse themselves in the issues communities face while supporting the social and civic health of our state through teaching, learning and service. These opportunities promote academic engagement, self-empowerment and lifelong learning. For more than 20 years, the CSU Center for Community Engagement (CCE) has been providing opportunities for students to become change agents in their communities by taking part in service learning programs. The CCE actively advances the CSU’s commitment to inclusivity, equity and student success through high-quality community programs and scholarship.

During the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020-21, when the majority of community engagement placements were either canceled or held virtually:

  • CSU campus centers for community engagement and service learning, in partnership with 923 CSU faculty and 3,315 community organizations, made available nearly 2,300 service learning courses.
  • 38,058 CSU students contributed 728,000 hours of service to their communities through virtual and in-person service learning activities.
  • CSU campuses and the CCE raised more than $4.3 million to support community engagement, a return on investment of $4 for every dollar invested by the state.