Scope & Mission
The California State University promotes student success through opportunity and a high-quality education that prepares students to become leaders in the changing workforce, making the CSU a vital economic engine for California.
The CSU :
- Is the nation’s largest four-year public university system, with 23 campuses and eight off-campus centers.
- Educates approximately 484,300 students and employs more than 52,000 faculties and staff.
- Features more than 3.4 million living alumni.
The CSU prepares students for success through leading-edge programs, superior teaching, and scholarly activity. High-quality academic programs reflect California’s current and future workforce demands in emerging fields such as cybersecurity, software engineering, sustainable business, and environmental technology.
Master Plan for Hig her Education
The CSU system was created in 1960 under the California Master Plan for Higher Education. The CSU draws its students from the top third of the state’s high school graduates and is California’s primary undergraduate teaching institution. Continuing to expand its educational scope and help meet California’s workforce demands for skilled professionals, the CSU offers an independent doctor of education, doctor of nursing practice and doctor of physical therapy programs at numerous campuses. The doctor of philosophy is also offered through a joint partnership with other public and private universities in California.
The CSU strives to create a welcoming environment for all members of the campus communities. This commitment to “Inclusive Excellence” is manifested in students who make up the most ethnically, economically and academically diverse student body in the nation, reaching higher levels of success than ever as completion rates continue to reach all-time highs. The university continues to invest in strategies to close achievement and opportunity gaps for underserved and low-income students. The CSU is an engine for social mobility as those students earn high-quality educations that propel them into higher economic strata.
Preparing California’s Workforce
The CSU plays a critical role in providing future leaders with the skills and knowledge they’ll need to thrive in the workforce and help drive California’s economy. With nearly 120,000 annual graduates, the CSU is the state’s greatest producer of bachelor’s degrees and drives California’s economy in agriculture, information technology, business, hospitality, life sciences, healthcare, public administration, education, media, and entertainment.
- For every $1 the state invests in the CSU, the CSU returns $5.43
- The CSU sustains more than 150,000 jobs in the state
- CSU-related expenditures create more than $17 billion in economic activity
- One in 10 employees in California is a CSU graduate
The CSU awards nearly half of the state’s baccalaureates
The CSU reaches out to California’s growing underserved communities, offering affordable opportunities to pursue a college degree, enabling students from diverse backgrounds to succeed. More than one-third of CSU students are first-generation college students and the CSU provides more than half of all undergraduate degrees earned by California’s Latino, African American, and Native American students. Twenty-one of 23 CSUs are currently recognized by the Department of Education as Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs), colleges and universities with a Latino student enrollment of at least 25 percent.