Scope and Mission
The California State University is indispensable to California's
economic prosperity. It is the nation's largest university
system, with 23 campuses and seven off-campus centers, 409,000
students, and 44,000 faculty and staff. The CSU, stretching
from Humboldt in the north to San Diego in the south, is renowned
for the quality of its teaching and for its job-ready graduates.
With its commitment to excellence, diversity and innovation,
the CSU is the university system that is working for California.
Each of the 23 campuses has its own unique identity. Each
has distinct student populations and programs, but all share
the same mission-to provide high-quality, affordable higher
education to meet the ever-changing workforce needs of the
people of California.
The CSU offers more than 1,800 bachelor's and master's degree
programs in some 240 subject areas, including its valuable
teacher credential programs. A select number of doctoral degrees
are offered jointly with the University of California or with
private universities in California.
Master Plan for Higher Ed
The CSU system was created in 1961 under the state Master
Plan for Higher Education. The CSU draws its students from
the top third of California's high school graduates, which
means students who earn a B average or better in high school.
The CSU is the state's premier undergraduate teaching institution.
Its admission priority is upper-division transfer students
from community colleges. The CSU educates more community college
transfer students than any other California university.
Since the CSU system was created, it has awarded more than
2 million degrees. The CSU plays a critical role in preparing
highly qualified candidates for the job market. Powering California's
economy, the CSU's 77,000 annual graduates help drive the
aerospace, healthcare, entertainment, information technology,
biomedical, international trade, education and multimedia
industries. That responsibility will continue in the future
with California's high demand for quality professionals in
engineering, agriculture, computer science, teaching and nursing.
The CSU prepares 55 percent of the teachers in the state,
40 percent of its engineering graduates, almost half its business
graduates, and more graduates in agriculture (California's
number one industry), communications, health and public administration
than all other California universities and colleges combined.
Altogether, about half the bachelor's degrees and a third
of the master's degrees awarded annually in California are
from the CSU. Nationally, the CSU produces 10 percent of all
graduates who later go on to earn doctorates. The CSU awards
more than 4.5 percent of America's bachelor's degrees.
The CSU is the nation's most diverse university system, with
students of color above 53 percent, twice the national average
for four-year public universities. A recent survey showed
40 percent of CSU students come from households where English
is not the main language, and more than one-third consider
themselves to be multiracial.
Several CSU campuses are annually among the nation's leaders
in the number of bachelor's degrees awarded to students of
color. Almost every CSU campus is annually cited in Hispanic
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June 14, 2004