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CSU Facts Introduction

Introduction

​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 the most ethnically, economically and academically diverse student body in the nation.
  • is renowned for the quality of its teaching and preparing job-ready graduates.
  • educates approximately 481,000 students.
  • employs nearly 53,000 faculty and staff.
  • ​stretches 800 miles from Humboldt in the north to San Diego in the south.
  • has conferred degrees on more than 3.7 million living alumni.

Opportunity

The CSU creates opportunity for the diverse students of California to reach their educational goals and become leading citizens. Nearly one-third of CSU students are the first in their families to attend college and more than half of CSU graduates are the first in their families to earn a degree.

Preparation

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. The CSU produces more than half the state’s bachelor’s degrees, sending nearly 126,000 job-ready graduates into the workforce each year.

Quality

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.

Leadership

Through the caliber of its academic programs and a universitywide commitment to student achievement, the CSU is dedicated to fostering leaders. Across the campuses and in communities throughout the state, the CSU’s faculty, staff, students and alumni are addressing critical issues facing our state and nation.

Inclusive Excellence

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, attaining higher levels of success than ever as completion rates continue to reach all-time highs. The CSU is an engine for social mobility as those students earn high-quality educations that propel them into higher economic strata.

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.

​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 independent doctorates in audiology, education, nursing practice and 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.