The California State University System

Learn About the 23 Schools That Make Up the California State University System

San Diego State University
San Diego State University. Geographer / Wikimedia Commons

The California State University system is made of up 23 public universities. With nearly 500,000 students, it is the largest system of four-year colleges in the country. The member universities vary greatly in size, academic strengths and selectivity. Learn more about each of the schools in the Cal State University system.

01
of 23

Bakersfield (CSUB)

The Cal State Bakersfield Mascot, Rowdy the Roadrunner
The Cal State Bakersfield Mascot, Rowdy the Roadrunner. John Gurzinski / Getty Images
  • Location: Bakersfield, California
  • Enrollment: 10,999 (9,796 undergraduates)

Cal State Bakersfield is located on a 375-acre campus in the San Joaquin Valley, midway between Fresno and Los Angeles. The university offers 45 undergraduate majors and programs and 21 graduate degrees and programs. Among undergraduates, business administration and liberal arts and sciences are the most popular majors.

02
of 23

Channel Islands (CSUCI)

The Bell Tower at CSUCI, Cal State University Channel Islands
The Bell Tower at CSUCI, Cal State University Channel Islands. Stephen Schafer / Wikimedia Commons
  • Location: Camarillo, California
  • Enrollment: 7,093 (6,860 undergraduates)

CSUCI, the California State University, Channel Islands, was founded in 2002 and is the youngest of the 23 universities in the Cal State system. The university is located northwest of Los Angeles. Among its 30 majors, business, social sciences, and liberal arts are equally popular among undergraduates. The CSUCI curriculum emphasizes experiential and service learning.

03
of 23

Chico State (CSUC)

California State University Chico
California State University Chico. Alan Levine / Flickr
  • Location: Chico, California
  • Enrollment: 17,014 (16,099 undergraduates)

In national rankings, Chico frequently appears among the top master's level universities in the West. First opened in 1889, Chico State is the second oldest of the Cal State universities. Chico State offers over 300 undergraduate and graduate degree programs. High achieving students should look into the Chico State Honors Program for access to smaller classes and other perks.

04
of 23

Dominguez Hills (CSUDH)

StubHub-Center-CSU-Dominguez-Hills.jpg
StubHub Center at CSUDH. Photo Credit: Marisa Benjamin
  • Location: Carson, California
  • Enrollment: 15,179 (13,116 undergraduates)

Cal State Dominguez Hills' 346-acre campus sits within minutes of downtown Los Angeles and the Pacific Ocean. The school offers 44 bachelor's programs; business administration, liberal education, and nursing are the most popular majors among undergraduates. CSUDH students represent 100 countries. Sports fans should note that The Home Depot Center is located on the campus.

05
of 23

East Bay (CSUEB)

CSUEB, California State University East Bay
CSUEB, California State University East Bay. Josh Rodriguez / flickr
  • Location: Hayward, California
  • Enrollment: 14,525 (12,316 undergraduates)

Cal State East Bay's main campus is located in the Hayward Hills with stunning views of San Francisco Bay. The university offers 49 bachelor's and 34 master's degree programs. Among undergraduates, business administration is by far the most popular major. The university has earned national recognition for its value and its Freshman Learning Communities.

06
of 23

Fresno State

Fresno State Football Stadium
Fresno State Football Stadium. John Martinez Pavliga / Flickr
  • Location: Fresno, California
  • Enrollment: 24,139 (21,462 undergraduates)

Fresno State occupies a 388-acre main campus at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountains about midway between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Fresno State's well-respected Craig School of Business is popular among students, and business administration has the highest undergraduate enrollment of all majors. High achieving students should look into the Smittcamp Honors College which offers scholarships covering tuition, room and board.

07
of 23

Fullerton (CSUF)

Student Recreation Center at CSUF
Student Recreation Center at CSUF, California State University Fullerton. Photo Credit: Marisa Benjamin
  • Location: Fullerton, California
  • Enrollment: 40,445 (35,169 undergraduates)

Cal State Fullerton is one of the largest universities in the California State University system. The school offers 55 bachelor's and 54 master's degree programs. Business is the most popular program among undergraduates. The university's 236-acre campus is located in Orange County near Los Angeles.

08
of 23

Humboldt State

Humboldt State University
Humboldt State University. Cameron Photo / Flickr
  • Location: Arcata, California
  • Enrollment: 6,983 (6,442 undergraduates)

Humboldt State University is the northernmost of the Cal State schools, and it sits alongside a redwood forest and overlooks the Pacific Ocean. Students have easy access to hiking, swimming, kayaking, camping, and other outdoor activities in this ecologically rich corner of Northern California. The university offers its undergraduates 46 bachelor's degree programs.

09
of 23

Long Beach (CSULB)

Student Recreation and Wellness Center at CSULB
Student Recreation and Wellness Center at CSULB. Photo Credit: Marisa Benjamin
  • Location: Long Beach, California
  • Enrollment: 38,076 (32,785 undergraduates)

Cal State Long Beach has grown to be one of the largest universities in the CSU system. The 323-acre campus is located in Los Angeles County and features impressive landscaping and a distinctive pyramid-shaped sporting complex. CSULB often wins high marks for its value, and the university was awarded a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa for its strengths in the liberal arts and sciences. Business administration is the most popular major among undergraduates.

10
of 23

Los Angeles (CSULA)

California State University Los Angeles
CSULA, California State University Los Angeles. Justefrain / Wikimedia Commons
  • Location: Los Angeles, California
  • Enrollment: 26,361 (22,626 undergraduates)

Cal State Los Angeles is located in the University Hills district of Los Angeles. The university offers 57 undergraduate programs leading to bachelor's degrees, and 51 graduate degree programs. Among undergraduates, programs in sociology, child development, business administration, and criminal justice are the most popular.

11
of 23

Maritime (California Maritime Academy)

The Cal Maritime Training Ship, the Golden Bear
The Cal Maritime Training Ship, the Golden Bear. US Embassy / Flickr
  • Location: Vallejo, California
  • Enrollment: 1,200 (all undergraduate)

Cal Maritime is the only degree-granting maritime academy on the West Coast. The curriculum combines traditional classroom instruction with professional training and experiential learning. A unique feature of a Cal Maritime education is a two-month international training cruise on the university's ship, the Golden Bear. The school is the smallest and most specialized of the Cal State system.

12
of 23

Monterey Bay (CSUMB)

CSUMB Library
CSUMB Library. CSU Monterey Bay / Flickr
  • Location: Seaside, California
  • Enrollment: 7,616 (6,799 undergraduates)

Founded in 1994, the California State University at Monterey Bay is the second youngest school in the Cal State system. The school's stunning coastal setting is a big draw. The CSUMB experience begins with a first-year seminar and concludes with a senior capstone project. The university owns two research boats for studying Monterey Bay, and service learning and undergraduate research projects are common.

13
of 23

Northridge (CSUN)

CSUN, California State University Northridge
CSUN, California State University Northridge. Cbl62 / Wikimedia Commons
  • Location: Northridge, California
  • Enrollment: 38,391 (34,633 undergraduates)

Cal State Northridge's 365-acre campus is located in Los Angeles' San Fernando Valley. The university is made up of nine colleges that offer a total of 68 bachelor's and 58 master's degree programs. Business administration, social science, and psychology are the most popular majors among CSUN undergraduates. The university has earned high marks for its programs in music, engineering, and business.

14
of 23

Pomona (Cal Poly Pomona)

Cal Poly Pomona Library Entrance
Cal Poly Pomona Library Entrance. Victorrocha / Wikimedia Commons
  • Location: Pomona, California
  • Enrollment: 27,915 (24,785 undergraduates)

Cal Poly Pomona's 1,438-acre campus sits on the eastern edge of Los Angeles County. The university is made up of eight academic colleges with business being the most popular program among undergraduates. The guiding principle of Cal Poly's curriculum is that students learn by doing, and the university emphasizes problem solving, student research, internships, and service learning. With over 250 clubs and organizations, students at Cal Poly are highly engaged in campus life.

15
of 23

Sacramento State

Sacramento State University Sign
Sacramento State University Sign (click image to enlarge). Photo Credit: Marisa Benjamin
  • Location: Sacramento, California
  • Enrollment: 31,156 (28,251 undergraduates)

Sacramento State takes pride in its multicultural student body. The school's 300-acre campus provides students with easy access to trails along the American River Parkway as well as Folsom Lake and Old Sacramento recreation areas. The university offers 64 undergraduate degree programs and 51 master's degree programs. High achieving students should look into the Sac State Honors Program.

16
of 23

San Bernardino (CSUSB)

The College of Education at CSUSB, the California State University San Bernardino
The College of Education at CSUSB, the California State University San Bernardino. Amerique / Wikimedia Commons
  • Location: San Bernardino, California
  • Enrollment: 20,311 (18,114 undergraduates)

Cal State San Bernardino opened in 1965 and is one of the younger Cal State schools. CSUSB offers over 70 bachelor's degree programs with business administration being the most popular among undergraduates. The university prides itself on the diversity of its student body and the number of students who are the first in their families to graduate from college.

17
of 23

San Diego State

San Diego State University
San Diego State University. Geographer / Wikimedia Commons
  • Location: San Diego, California
  • Enrollment: 35,081 (30,612 undergraduates)

San Diego State University ranks highly for study abroad—SDSU students have a choice of hundreds of study abroad programs in 50 countries. The university has an active Greek system with over 46 fraternities and sororities. Business management is the most popular major at SDSU, but the school's strengths in the liberal arts and sciences earned it a chapter of the prestigious Phi Beta Kappa honor society.

18
of 23

San Francisco State

San Francisco State University Quad
San Francisco State University Quad. Michael Ocampo / Flickr
  • Location: San Francisco, California
  • Enrollment: 28,880 (25,839 undergraduates)

The 141-acre San Francisco State University campus is located less than two miles from the Pacific Ocean. SF State takes pride in the diversity of its student body and the high graduation rate of its first generation college students. San Francisco State offers 116 bachelor's degree programs and 95 master's programs.

19
of 23

San Jose State

San Jose State University
San Jose State University. Nick Kinkaid
  • Location: San Jose, California
  • Enrollment: 33,282 (27,834 undergraduates)

San Jose State University's 154-acre campus is located on 19 city blocks in downtown San Jose. The university offers bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degree programs in 250 fields of study. Business administration is the most popular major among undergraduates, but the university has many other strong programs including communications studies, engineering, and art.

20
of 23

San Luis Obispo (Cal Poly)

Center for Science and Mathematics at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
Center for Science and Mathematics at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. John Loo / Flickr
  • Location: San Luis Obispo, California
  • Enrollment: 21,272 (20,454 undergraduates)

Cal Poly, the California Polytechnic Institute at San Luis Obispo, is consistently ranked as one of the top science and engineering schools at the undergraduate level. Its schools of architecture and agriculture are also ranked highly. Cal Poly has a "learn by doing" philosophy of education, and students do just that on the sprawling campus of just under 10,000 acres that includes a ranch and vineyard.

21
of 23

San Marcos (CSUSM)

Cal State San Marcos
Cal State San Marcos. Eamuscatuli / Wikimedia Commons
  • Location: San Marcos, California
  • Enrollment: 16,053 (14,430 undergraduates)

Established in 1989, Cal State San Marcos is one of the younger schools in the Cal State system. The university offers undergraduates the choice of 60 programs in a spectrum of subjects in the arts, humanities, social sciences, sciences, and professional fields. Business is the most popular major among undergraduate and graduate students.

22
of 23

Sonoma State

Sonoma State University Schultz Library
Sonoma State University Schultz Library. Stepheng3 / Wikimedia Commons
  • Location: Rohnert Park, California
  • Enrollment: 8,646 (8,032 undergraduates)

Sonoma State University's 269-acre campus is located 50 miles north of San Francisco in some of California's best wine country. The school also owns two nature preserves that provide research opportunities for students in the natural sciences. Sonoma State's schools of Arts and Humanities, Business and Economics, and Social Sciences are all extremely popular among undergraduates.

23
of 23

Stanislaus (Stanislaus State)

California State University Stanislaus
California State University Stanislaus. Chad King / Flickr
  • Location: Turlock, California
  • Enrollment: 10,974 (9,723 undergraduates)

CSU Stanislaus is located in the San Joaquin Valley east of San Jose. The university has been recognized for its value, academic quality, community service initiatives and green efforts. Among undergraduates, business administration is the most popular major. The 228-acre park-like campus features the Student Recreation Complex which includes a soccer field, track facility, and an 18,000-square-foot fitness center.