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CSU Facts 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 478,640 students.
  • Employs more than 50,800 faculty and staff.
  • Stretches 800 miles from Humboldt in the north to San Diego in the south.


The CSU creates opportunity for the diverse students of California to reach their educational goals and become leading citizens, opening the doors of college to more than 66,000 additional students since 2010.​


The CSU prepares students for success through leading-edge progra​ms, 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.


The CSU drives California’s economy with more than 110,000 undergraduate and graduate students earning degrees each year and enhances the social fabric of the state and nation through the contributions of its students, faculty, staff and more than 3.2 million alumni.​

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 Doctor of Edu​cation, 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.

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 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 education that propels them into higher economic strata.


Graduation Initiative 2025​​​

Graduation Initiative 2025 aims to increase completion rates for all students while closing achievement gaps among low-income and underserved students. This initiative will dramatically benefit students and their families and have a significant impact on California’s economy and workforce. The ambitious goals challenge the CSU to more than double its current 4-year graduation rate in nine years, as well as graduate 500,000 additional students by 2025—meeting the CSU’s share of the state’s projected degree shortfal​​l.

GI2025: Graduate an additional students by 2025 increase graduation rates ​