The individual California State Colleges were brought together as a system by the Donahoe Higher Education Act of 1960. In 1972, the system became The California State University and Colleges and in 1982, the system became The California State University. Today the campuses of the CSU include comprehensive and polytechnic universities and, since July 1995, the California State University Maritime Academy, a specialized campus.

The oldest campus - San José State University - was founded in 1857 and became the first institution of public higher education in California. The newest campus - California State University, Channel Islands - opened in fall 2002, with freshmen arriving in fall 2003.

Historic Milestones

1857-71 - Weekly Normal School (a training school for elementary teachers) established by San Francisco Board of Education; became California State Normal School in 1862, the first institution of higher education established by the State. Under the jurisdiction of the State Board of Education, this institution was moved to San Jose in 1871 and today is San Jose State University.

1887-99 - State Normal Schools established at Chico (1887), San Diego (1897) and San Francisco (1899).

1901 - California Polytechnic School established at San Luis Obispo.

1911-13 - State Normal School established at Fresno (1911), Humboldt (1913).

1921 - "Normal Schools" became "Teachers Colleges."

1923 - Teachers Colleges authorized to confer B.A. degrees in Education.

1935 - "Teachers Colleges" became "State Colleges."

1938 - California State Polytechnic School establishes a southern campus at San Dimas.

1946 - Graduate instruction offered in the form of a fifth year of study leading to the secondary teaching credential.

1947-49 - Campuses established at Los Angeles (1947), Sacramento (1947) and Long Beach (1949).

1949 - M.A. degrees in Teacher Education offered in conjunction with a teaching credential.

1955 - M.S. degrees in vocational fields authorized.

1957-60 - Campuses authorized at Fullerton (1957), Hayward (1957), Stanislaus (1957), San Fernando Valley (1958), Sonoma (1960), San Bernardino (1960) and Dominguez Hills (1960).

1961 - The "California State Colleges" established as a system with a Board of Trustees and a Chancellor by the Donahoe Higher Education Act of 1960, which followed the recommendations of A Master Plan for Higher Education in California, 1960-1975. The Donahoe Act assigned different functions to the University of California, the California State Colleges and the California Community Colleges. The primary function of the State Colleges was broadened to include undergraduate and graduate instruction in the liberal arts and sciences, in applied fields and in the professions; doctoral degrees were authorized if offered jointly with the University of California.

1962 - Campus Physical Master Plans coordinated systemwide by Trustees; architectural planning to emphasize educational functions of buildings, reasonable costs, and esthetic considerations.

1962 - CSC Foundation created to promote and assist education, administration and related services of the CSC, the Trustees and the Chancellor.

1963 - Statewide Academic Senate established to represent State College faculties.

1963 - Board of Trustees approved a "Master Curricular Plan," which reaffirmed that the State Colleges--as multipurpose institutions--provide preparation for professional and occupational goals as well as broad liberal education, and recognized that "all colleges cannot be all things to all people."

1963 - International Programs established by the Board of Trustees as a statewide academic unit to offer students study-abroad opportunities at distinguished universities throughout the world.

1964 - First annual five-year Academic Master Plans designed to project future degree programs developed by each college and approved by the Board of Trustees. Two-year professional master's degrees (e.g., M.S.W.) offered by several of the colleges.

1965 - California State College, Bakersfield authorized.

1966 - California State Polytechnic College's southern campus at Pomona becomes independent.

1968 - Systemwide Computer Network established to connect 19 campuses to central data center in Chancellor's Office.

1970 - Common Admissions Program implemented to govern all applications beginning Fall 1971.

1971 - Statewide Alumni Council organized.

1971 - First undergraduate and graduate external degree pilot programs implemented to serve populations not previously reached.

1972 - State Colleges system designated as "The California State University and Colleges." After having met criteria established by the Board of Trustees and the Coordinating Council for Higher Education, fourteen campuses designated as "universities," five campuses remain "Colleges." The roster:

California State College, Bakersfield
California State University, Chico
California State College, Dominguez Hills
California State University, Fresno
California State University, Fullerton
California State University, Hayward
California State University, Humboldt
California State University, Long Beach
California State University, Los Angeles
California State University, Northridge (formerly San Fernando Valley)
California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
California State University, Sacramento
California State College, San Bernardino
California State University, San Diego
California State University, San Francisco
California State University, San Jose
California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
California State College, Sonoma
California State College, Stanislaus

1973 - The Consortium of The California State University and Colleges established. The Consortium, or "l,OOO-Mile Campus," drew upon the resources of the campuses to offer regional and statewide undergraduate (upper division) and graduate external degree and certificate programs to adult Californians who found it difficult to attend regular on-campus classes.

1974-76 - In 1974, Senate Bill 381 changes the names of four campuses to Humboldt State University, San Diego State University, San Francisco State University, and San Jose State University. In 1976, Assembly Bill 3063 renames California State College, Sonoma as Sonoma State College.

1976 - Student Trustee position created and first member named (two-year term). Nominations are made to the Governor by CSUC Student Presidents Association.

1976 - Construction completed and first permanent headquarters building occupied in Long Beach. Previously, system offices had been in leased space in Inglewood (1961-65), and then in Los Angeles.

1977 - Alumni Trustee position created and first member named (two-year term). Member is selected by the Statewide Alumni Council.

1977-78 - University status attained by California State College, Dominguez Hills (1974) and Sonoma State University (1978).

1978 - Trustees authorized first joint doctoral program between a CSUC campus and a private university (Ph.D. in Education, San Diego State University and Claremont Graduate School).

1979 - The 1978 Higher Education Employer-Employee Relations Act (HEERA) takes effect, authorizing CSU employees to participate in collective bargaining.

1982 - State University and Colleges system designated as "The California State University" (CSU).

1983 - Faculty Trustee position created and first member named (two-year term). Governor appoints member selected from a list furnished by the CSU Academic Senate.

1984 - Incoming freshmen and transfer students now required by CSU Board of Trustees to meet basic admissions requirements of college preparatory English (4 years) and math (2 years).

1984-87 - University status attained by California State College, San Bernardino (1984); California State College, Stanislaus (1985); and California State College, Bakersfield (1987).

1988 - Incoming freshmen and transfer students now required by CSU Board of Trustees to meet expanded admissions requirements of 4 years of college preparatory English, 3 years of college preparatory math, 1 year of a laboratory science, 2 years of a foreign language, 1 year of U.S. history/government, 1 year of visual/performing arts, and 3 years of electives from designated field.

1988-89 - Twentieth campus created at San Marcos and founding president named.

1995 - California State University Maritime Academy, founded in 1929, joins CSU system.

1995 - California State University, Monterey Bay, a redevelopment of former military base Ft. Ord, admits first students.

1998 - Trustees accept former Camarillo State Hospital as future site of CSU Channel Islands; students at the Ventura off-campus center begin classes at the site in fall 1999.

2000 - A second student trustee position is created. The student trustees serve staggered, 2-year terms and have voting rights only in the second year.

2000 - Trustees approve aligning course requirements with the University of California so students can qualify for admission to either by taking the same set of courses.

2003 - California State University, Channel Islands begins accepting freshmen at the new campus.

2005 - California State University, Hayward renamed California State University, East Bay.

2005 - SB 724 authorizes the CSU for the first time to independently offer Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) degree programs for educational administrators.

2010 - The California State University celebrates its 50th anniversary.

2010 - Assembly Bill 2382 allows the CSU the authority to award the Doctor of Physical Therapy degree.

2010 - Assembly Bill 867 sanctions the CSU to offer the Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree to prepare nursing faculty for the CSU and community college nursing programs.

2013 - Cal State Online, a systemwide collection of services that support the delivery of fully online programs from campuses, launched its first degree completion program. The program was in business administration and was taught and administered by faculty at Cal State Fullerton.

2013 - Creation of the Cal State Concurrent Enrollment Program, an intrasystem concurrent enrollment program that will provide full-time students enrolled at any campus with access to fully online courses offered at other CSU campuses.

2013 - CSU Trustees approved a proposal to establish a maximum of 120 units (or 180 units at a quarter campus) needed to complete a baccalaureate degree.