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The California State University System

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


The California State University system is made of up 23 public universities. With over 400,000 students, it is the largest system of four-year colleges in the country. The member universities vary greatly in size, academic strengths and selectivity. Be sure to click on a school's name to learn more about the university and what it takes to get accepted.

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1. Bakersfield (CSUB)

Cal State Bakersfield
Eixo / Wikimedia Commons

Cal State Bakersfield is located on a 375-acre campus in the San Joaquin Valley, midway between Fresno and Los Angeles. The university offers 31 bachelor's degree programs and 17 graduate degree programs. Among undergraduates, business administration and the liberal arts and sciences are the most popular majors.

2. Channel Islands (CSUCI)

CSU Channel Islands
pudgeefeet / Flickr

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 20 majors, business, social sciences and liberal arts are equally popular among undergraduates. The CSUCI curriculum emphasizes experiential and service learning.

3. Chico State (CSUC)

Chico State
Kurisu / Flickr

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 150 undergraduate degree programs. High achieving students should look into the Chico State Honors Program for access to smaller classes and other perks.

4. Dominguez Hills (CSUDH)

The Home Depot Center
billaday / Flickr

Cal State Dominguez Hills' 346-acre campus sits within minutes of downtown Los Angeles and the Pacific Ocean. The school offers 45 bachelor's programs; business administration, liberal education and nursing are the most popular majors among undergraduates. CSUDH students represent 90 countries. Sports fans should note that the Home Depot Center is located on the campus.

5. East Bay (CSUEB)

Cal State East Bay
Fire Horse Leo / Flickr

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 33 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.

6. Fresno State

Fresno State
Bobak / Wikimedia Commons

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.

7. Fullerton (CSUF)

Cal State Fullerton
bluemodern / Flickr

Cal State Fullerton is one of the largest universities in the California State University system. The school offers 55 bachelor's and 50 master's degree programs. Business is the most popular program among undergraduates. The university's 236-acre campus is located in Orange Country near Los Angeles.

8. Humboldt State

Humboltd State
Jsb10 / Wikimedia Commons

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 47 bachelor's degree programs.

9. Long Beach (CSULB)

California State University at Long Beach - CSULB
porcupiny / Flickr

Cal State Long Beach has grown to be the largest university in the CSU system. The 323 acre campus is located in Los Angeles Country 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. Los Angeles (CSULA)

Cal State Los Angeles
ROOB323 / Wikimedia Commons

Cal State Los Angeles is located in the University Hills district of L.A. The university offers 59 undergraduate programs leading to a bachelor's degree, and 51 graduate degree programs. Among undergraduates, programs in business administration, education, criminal justice and social work are the most popular.

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