Research and Community Impact

CSU students 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

A hallmark of CSU research is immersive student learning and discovery that address California’s most urgent challenges including those in agriculture, water, fire prevention and cybersecurity. Undergraduate students who participate in faculty-mentored research are better prepared for future careers, graduate education and leadership roles that contribute to their respective communities.

Faculty Scholarship

CSU Channel Islands, Cal State LA, CSU Monterey Bay, Cal Poly Pomona, Sacramento State and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo were among the top producers of Fulbright Scholars for master’s degree-granting institutions in 2023. In addition, nine CSU campuses are designated as Fulbright Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) Leaders.

California’s Department of Health Care Access and Information (HCAI) awarded $35 million to 11 CSU campuses to increase the number of social workers. The National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded $10 million to 15 CSU campuses to support HSI STEM education.

Thirty faculty received NSF’s prestigious CAREER awards to advance their cutting-edge research while engaging students in hands-on experiences.

Student-Led Projects

Undergraduate and graduate students compete on their campuses and systemwide with presentations of their research, scholarship and creative activity. Graduate students present a three-minute pitch of their thesis at a systemwide competition. A student entrepreneurship competition facilitates student-owned startup companies and supports community-based economic development.

Research Funding

Since June 2021, sponsored program expenditures have increased by $45 million to reach a total of $708 million annually, reflecting the importance placed on research in the CSU.

Cal State East Bay, Fresno State, Cal State Fullerton and Cal State San Bernardino joined Cal State Long Beach, San Diego State and San Francisco State as Carnegie R2 universities in 2022.

Learn more at calstate.edu/impact-of-the-csu/research



Community Engagement at the CSU

For 25 years, the CSU Center for Community Engagement has been supporting campus efforts to prepare students for success by equipping them with the skills and opportunities to excel in the workforce and strengthen the social fabric of the state of California.

For the 2021-22 academic year, students immersed themselves in a broad spectrum of community-engaged teaching, learning and service experiences that helped to promote their sense of belonging, self-empowerment and lifelong learning.

Despite the continued effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, campus centers for community engagement and service, in partnership with 946 faculty and 3,754 community organizations, have:

  • Made nearly 2,000 service-learning courses available to 35,000 CSU students, who contributed 596,000 hours of service to their communities through virtual and in-person activities.
  • Developed AmeriCorps programs, one-day service and alternative break opportunities, community forums, voter registration drives and community-based research experiences that enabled an additional 17,000 students to provide more than 1.4 million hours of direct service to California’s communities.
  • Raised more than $9.6 million to support community engagement, a return of $9 for every dollar invested by the state through California’s Call to Service initiative.

Learn more at calstate.edu/cce​