Story Student Success

What's New at the CSU for Fall 2023

Alisia Ruble

New academic opportunities, student services and facilities create even richer educational experiences for students.

Cal Poly Pomona students on the first day of the fall 2023 term. (Photo courtesy of Cal Poly Pomona/Tom Zasadzinksi​)


School is back in session and CSU students can find new academic and career opportunities, expanded support services and modernized classrooms and labs ​​in addition to familiar faces and facilities​. No matter what the area of study, the 23 universities in the CSU system continue to grow offerings that provide students with unique and transformative educational experiences.

Take a quick look at what's new this school year.

Leadership​CSUMB President Vanya Quiñones

​New Sacramento State President Luke Wood greets students as they move into campus dorms before the start of the fall 2023 term. (Photo courtesy of Sacramento State/Andrea Price)

Each year brings new faces to the CSU's 23 universities, but some are seeing exciting changes at the top level of leadership. 

New presidents take the reins at seven campuses: Stephen Perez at Chico State, Luke Wood at Sacramento State, Ming-Tung “Mike" Lee​ at Sonoma State, Sylvia Alva at Cal State Fullerton (Interim), Leroy Morishita at Cal State LA (Interim), Michael J. Dumont at Cal Maritime (Interim) and Susan Borrego​ at Stanislaus State (Interim).

Other campuses will see their share of new president's cabinet members:

  • ​​Cal Poly Humboldt appointed Mark A. Johnson to serve as Chief of Staff for the President's Office and Nick Pettit​ to serve as Executive Director of Intercollegiate Athletics and Recreational Sports for the Lumberjacks.
  • Fresno State welcomed new community members: Kent​ Willis, vice president of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management; Rashanda Booker​, Fresno State's first university diversity office; Brady Crook, vice president of University Advancement; Terree Stevenson​, associate vice president and dean of students for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management.
  • Cal State San Bernardino named Edna Martinez associate vice president and administrator in charge of the CSUSB Palm Desert Campus.

Last, but certainly not least, Mildred García—​the CSU system's first Latina chancellor in its 63-year history—will assume leadership of the CSU on October 1, 2023. She will succeed Interim Chancellor Jolene Koester, who has led the CSU since May 2022.

Academic Programs​​CSUCI dance performance

​​​​Chico State has a new astronomy minor and much of the learning is happening in the university's Roth Planetarium. (Photo courtesy of Chico State/Jason Halley)​​

Students at several CSU universities ​will also find new degrees and academic programs to expand career opportunities.​

Chico State is offering a new astronomy minor this fall. Much of the learning is happening in the Roth Planetarium (pictured above), which shines a light through a starsphere with 1,000 holes in the pattern of the constellations. A new class will center on the solar system, planets, telescopes and stars, and a second class delves into galaxies, the universe and cosmology.

CSU Dominguez Hills launched a new doctoral program in occupational therapy this year—the first doctoral program offered in the university's more than 60-year history. The inaugural student cohort began their journey this summer.

And, starting this fall, incarcerated people across California will have the opportunity to earn a fully accredited Master of Arts in Humanities degree thanks to a partnership between CSUDH and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR).

As part of its polytechnic transition, Cal Poly Humboldt launched 10 new academic programs this year, including bachelor's degree programs in cannabis studies, data science and energy systems engineering. The highly interdisciplinary programs meet the needs of surrounding rural communities with particular emphasis on underserved populations. They align with the state of California's goals in areas related to climate resilience and wildfire mitigation, and they create access to impacted degree programs that correlate with huge workforce gains.

Fresno State's new minor in music technology includes courses in audio and music for visual media, music recording techniques and more. The university now also offers minors in LGBTQ2​​+ studies and survey​ engineering, the latter of which aims to bridge the gap between civil managers and construction managers​. Additionally, the university relocated the Reserve Officers' Training Corp (ROTC) to be housed ​under the College of Health and Human Studies.

Cal State Fullerton introduced a bachelor's degree in art history, which combines art theory and appreciation in such courses as 3D modeling, museum education and advanced ceramics. CSUF also introduced a bachelor's degree in communicative disorders, as well as several courses through the new Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Cal Poly Pomona's Singelyn Graduate School of Business launched a new Master of Science in Digital Marketing (MSDM) degree, a STEM-designated program intended to meet the growing demand for professionals skilled in digital marketing strategies. 

San Diego State has a number of new classes​ and additional​ offerings this fall, including a course exploring leadership with Green Day bass player Mike Dirnt joining, a class specific to artificial intelligence and a K-pop course. 

San Francisco State's College of Science & Engineering (CoSE) launched a new School of the Environment (SotE) to meet the evolving needs of students studying and researching environmental topics. 

Stanislaus State announced new areas of concentration: a digital and social media marketing concentration as part of the online Master of Business Administration degree, a journalism and professional writing concentration as part of the Bachelor of Arts in English degree​ and a theatre education concentration as part of the Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Arts degree. The university also introduced a new leadership studies certificate through its extended education program.

Student Support Services​​a person stocks shelves in a food pantry

​​​​CSU Monterey Bay Basic Needs coordinator Robyn DoCanto stocks shelves in the newly expanded HUB food pantry. (Photo courtesy of CSUMB/Katherine Divas-Juarez)

To ensure students are successful in and out of the classroom, the CSU provides holistic services at each of the 23 universities through the systemwide Basic Needs Initiative. These and other services that foster student well-being continue to grow with each new academic year, and this fall is no exception.

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo announced a new Huerta-Lewis Social Justice Residential Learning Community geared toward students who are passionate about​​ social justice and equity, with priority given to ethnic studies undergraduate students. Students will participate in a range of required for-credit academic courses designed to provide a holistic understanding of social justice and inclusive leadership. 

The university also established an Off-Campus Housing Program to help students make an easy transition from on-campus to off-campus living while encouraging them to become engaged, positive members of the community. 

San Diego State launched the "Successful Students" campaign through the university's Coordinated Campus Wide Student Success Committee, which features six tips to help students make the most of their SDSU experience.

SDSU's newly formed Blue Ribbon Task Force recently began meeting. Made up of students, staff, faculty, administrators​ and community members, the task force is charged with recommending systems to reduce gender-based violence in collegiate environments and identifying ways to support victims.

SDSU Imperial Valley opened its new Student Accommodations Services Center earlier this year to continue to expand support services and break down academic barriers for students with disabilities.  

Beginning this fall, Cal Poly Pomona's Academic Innovation team will work with CPP faculty to offer more courses with an embedded micro-internship component as part of the Community Partnership for Student Success project​. The micro-internships are open to all students including Dreamers and international students.

CSU Monterey Bay expanded its Basic Needs program, which ensures students have adequate food, clothing and housing, and relocated it to a bigger and more visible space on campus. And beginning this fall, CSUMB Basic Needs will provide housing support for 10 student parents through the Parenting Scholars Program. 

Cal State Long Beach announced a brand-new program for first-time, first-year students. Beach XP, short for Beach Experience, aims to establish peer networks, enhance learning, build career connections and cultivate community through friendship and fun.

CSULB also introduced Elbee, the university's aquatic mascot, with the Hidden Disabilities sunflower​. The sunflower allows students, staff and faculty to identify an individual with a hidden disability who would benefit from understanding, inclusivity and support. 

Cal Poly Humboldt, in its commitment to continuously improve student and employee support, has reorganized its administrative structure to provide enhanced services to its community. The reorganization will unite various support areas under a new Campus Disability Resource Center, ensuring a more effective and streamlined service experience.

Buildings and Facilities​​a student lounge

San Diego State completed construction on its Main Stage Theater, shown in the rendering above, as part of its new SDSU Performing Arts District, which is expected to open later this year. (Photo courtesy of SDSU)​

As academic offerings continue to grow, so do the campuses themselves. Several universities have unveiled new classrooms, labs, centers and performance spaces to enrich CSU educational experiences.

CSU Dominguez Hills students can now visit the Toro Esports Academy, which features a competitive arena for students with 38 gaming stations, three broadcast stations equipped with state-of-the-art equipment and practical classroom space.

Fresno State's recently established M.K. Ghandi Center will open its physical space on October 18, 2023 in Room 3109 on the third floor of the Fresno State Library. ​

Cal Poly Humboldt reopened its Trinity Annex, which now houses the university's Children's Center and Child Development Lab​. The renovated Children's Center includes expanded outdoor play areas and offers improved access to families who use the center. 

Cal Maritime opened a renovated Mayo Hall this fall, creating a new campus hub for cadet life and student services including admissions, financial aid and career and veterans services. The building features several elements that celebrate the Cal Maritime community such as a Wall of Honor and a display case for the school's history and achievements.  

Cal Poly Pomona has a new green space on campus where the iconic CLA Tower once stood. Adjacent to the picturesque Aratani Japanese Garden, The Park at 98 includes tables and chairs, a new router to boost connectivity and multiple charging outlets.​

San Diego State recently announced the creation of the Pierce G​reek Life Center (PGLC)​, making SDSU one of only three universities nationwide to have an endowed Greek Life Center. The PGLC will facilitate opportunities for students to pursue their passions and develop leadership skills​ through scholarships, internships and experiential learning programs.

SDSU has also completed a number of infrastructure projects including the expansion of the SDSU KPBS broadcasting station and the Main Stage ​Theater, and anticipates the opening of the SDSU Performing Arts District and the 34-acre river park at SDSU Mission Valley later this year.

San Francisco State has a new hub focused on connecting students to research, scholarship and creative activities. SF State Create currently offers services remotely but has plans for a physical space in the future.

San José State​ opened the​ Interdisciplinary Science Building (ISB)—SJSU's first new academic building in more than 30 years. The university also celebrated the grand opening of the Spartan Athletics Center​, which will provide amenities including a sports medicine facility and a hydrotherapy room for student-athletes on all of SJSU's 22 athletic teams.

This will be the first full academic year during which classes and labs will be held in Cal Poly San Luis Obispo's William and Linda Frost Center for Research and In​novation​. The center includes a green roof with space for outdoor learning, a dedicated culinary teaching lab, food safety research and teaching labs, a sensory lab for the Food Science and Nutrition Department and more. 

CSU San Marcos aims to broaden students' physics skills through its new Quantum Design Teaching & Materials Discovery Laboratory. The lab's centerpiece is the VersaLab Physical Properties Measurement System—instrumentation that gives CSUSM undergraduate students access to developing hands-on skills and expertise typically reserved for graduate students and working research scientists.

Sonoma State welcomed students back to its largest academic building, Stevenson Hall​, after an eight-year renovation. It is SSU's first LEED-certified building and is home to 22 lecture spaces, ranging from 24 to 224 seats, including seven classrooms with HyFlex technology that combines face-to-face instruction and online learning.

Technology and Equipment​​​Chico State's mobile classroom

Cal Maritime's Department of Academic Technology led the campus through a classroom technology refresh over the summer to ensure faculty are equipped to use interactive features. (Photo courtesy of Cal Maritime)​

Lastly, universities have implemented technology that helps cut down on costs, ease the strain on the environment and incorporate smart features into curriculum.

Sonoma State announced a new power purchase agreement with Total Energies. The Solar Array Project​​ is expected to save SSU about $6 million over the next 30 years—the 4.5 megawatts generated by the solar panels is expected to save one-third of the campus daily electricity usage. The project also will allow SSU's Emergency Operations Center to be powered without the use of a gas generator during emergencies.​

Sacramento State installed more than 2,50​0 solar panels as part of efforts to reach carbon neutrality by 2040. The university estimates the renewable energy will make up about 20% of its total energy use during much of the year and up to 30% during the summer when solar energy is at its highest production.

Cal Maritime's Department of Academic Technology​ led the campus through a classroom technology refresh over the summer in collaboration with the facilities and information technology departments. The new​ upgrades provide OneScreen interactive whiteboard capabilities for faculty to draw, capture and annotate, allowing for a more immersive experience. Students can also save notes from the whiteboard simply by capturing the QR code generated from OneScreen.

CSU Monterey Bay secured a grant from CalFIRE​ to create a safer campus community by reducing the potential risks, fuels and spread of wildfire. The work, which began this summer and continues into fall, includes removing dead plants and grasses and trimming trees and brush to create a "defensible space" around homes.

CSUMB is also transitioning to Zoom phones that will save on costs while expanding technology capabilities. The Chancellor's Office and several other CSU campuses have made the transition, as well.

CSU Channel Islands has installed additional ​HyFlex classrooms, configured with high-quality cameras, microphones and speakers that allow for hybrid in-person or online class attendance, to upgrade the campus learning experience. 

Additionally, CSUCI's Teaching and Learning Innovations​ developed a new Student Success course that has compiled information on how best to learn in person and online.


Stay up to date on the latest news and developments across the 23 universities in the CSU system at