When it comes to the best educational schools, California has perhaps the biggest set of options. We’ve profiled the top California State University Schools at our list to provide a closer look into the CSU Schools and to help you get started your education.
In this list, we will describe the CSU system and profile each of the CSU schools. Many of the Cal State colleges are very similar because they’re California public universities that share the same governing board.
Cal State colleges provide higher education to hundreds of thousands of students from California and the rest of the country and world. Below is the list of top Cal State schools:
Table of Contents
Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
The California Polytechnic Institute (Cal Poly) at San Luis Obispo is consistently ranked as one of the top science and engineering schools at the undergraduate level. It is one of two polytechnics in the California State University system. The university is organized into six colleges offering 64 bachelors and 32 master’s degrees. Most popular areas of study are Engineering, business/marketing, biological sciences, and social sciences. Cal Poly is a nationally-ranked public university that prides itself on the individual success of its students. Cal Poly’s admissions process is “more selective” according to U.S. News & World Report.
Founded In: March 8, 1901
Cal Poly Acceptance Rate: 29%
Tuition & Fees Approximately: $9,075 (in-state) & $20,235 (out-of-state)
Finance and Admission Office Contact: 805-756-1111
San Diego State University
Part of the California State University system, San Diego State University (SDSU) is the third largest university in California. The college ranks highly for study abroad, and SDSU students have a choice of 190 study abroad programs. It is a selective school, due in large part to the sheer number of applicants each year. Most popular areas of study are Business/marketing, social sciences, health professions, psychology, and engineering. The university awards 190 bachelor’s degrees, 91 master’s degrees, 25 doctoral degrees including EdD, DPT, JD, AuD, DNP, and Ph.D. programs in collaboration with other universities.
The university offers more doctoral degrees than any other campus in the entire California State University, while also enrolling the largest student body of doctoral students in the system. SDSU also offers 26 different teaching credentials. San Diego State offers countless opportunities to international students. Options range from intensive language learning and exchange semesters to a great variety of degree programs.
Founded In: March 13, 1897
SDSU Acceptance Rate: 35%
Tuition & Fees Approximately: $7,084 (in-state) & $18,244 (out-of-state)
Finance and Admission Office Contact: 619-594-5200
California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (Cal Poly Pomona)
California State Polytechnic University Pomona accepts about 59 percent of the students who apply each year, making the school fairly accessible. It is one of two polytechnics in the California State University system. The school is one of the 23 universities that make up the Cal State system, and it frequently ranks as one of the country’s top undergraduate engineering colleges. Cal Poly is made up of eight academic colleges with business being the most popular program among undergraduates. Cal Poly Pomona currently offers bachelor’s degrees in 94 majors, 39 master’s degrees, 13 teaching credentials and a doctorate across 9 distinct academic colleges. Most popular areas of study are Business/management, hospitality management, biology, civil engineering, and mechanical engineering.
Founded In: 1938
Percent of Applicants Admitted: 59%
Tuition & Fees Approximately: $7,067 (in-state); $18,227 (out-of-state)
Finance and Admission Office Contact: +1 909 869 7659, (909) 869-5299, (909) 869-3700
San Jose State University (San Jose State)
San Jose State University (SJSU) is the oldest public university on the West Coast, as well as the founding campus of the California State University (CSU) system. SJSU offers 145 bachelors and master’s degrees with 108 concentrations and five credential programs with 19 concentrations. The university also offers two joint doctoral degree programs and one independent doctoral program as of 2017. Most popular areas of study are Business/ marketing, engineering, health professions, visual/performing arts, and social sciences. According to the U.S. News & World Report 2018 college rankings, San Jose State is ranked 6th among western regional public institutions and tied for 35th among all regional universities in the western United States.
Founded In: 1857
San Jose State Acceptance Rate: 53%
Tuition & Fees Approximately: $7,418 (in-state) & $18,578 (out-of-state)
Finance and Admission Office Contact: 408-924-1000
California State University, Fullerton (CSU Fullerton)
Cal State Fullerton is one of the largest universities in the California State University system. The university offers 109 degrees: 57 bachelor’s degrees and 52 graduate degrees, including three doctorates. Business is the most popular program among undergraduates. CSUF is one of the more selective schools in the CSU system, with an acceptance rate of 48 percent. CSUF’s academic departments and programs are organized into eight colleges. The university is nationally accredited in art, athletic training, business, chemistry, communications, communicative disorders, computer science, dance, engineering, music, nursing, public administration, public health, social work, teacher education, and theater.
Founded In: 1957
Cal State Fullerton Acceptance Rate: 48%
Tuition & Fees Approximately: $6,560 (in-state) & $17,720 (out-of-state)
Finance and Admission Office Contact: 657-278-2011
California State University, Long Beach (CSU Long Beach)
California State University at Long Beach (CSULB) was established in 1949. It is the third largest campus of the 23-school California State University system (CSU) and one of the largest universities in the state of California. With over 58,000 applicants each year, CSULB has to be a selective school. CSULB comprises eight academic colleges. Together, the colleges offer a total of 81 baccalaureate degrees, 67 master’s degrees, 16 education-related credential programs, and three doctoral degrees (two joint and one independent). Long Beach State is one of the West Coast’s top universities in terms of student body racial diversity, being named the 5th most diverse university in the West by U.S. News & World Report.
Founded In: 1949
Cal State – Long Beach Acceptance Rate: 32%
Tuition & Fees Approximately: $6,460 (in-state) & $17,620 (out-of-state)
Finance and Admission Office Contact: 562.985.4111
California State University, Chico (CSU Chico)
Chico State is a public university and part of the California State University system. 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. The school has a 25 to 1 student/faculty ratio.
Founded In: 1889
Chico State Acceptance Rate: 65%
Tuition & Fees Approximately: $7,040 (in-state) & $18,200 (out-of-state)
Finance and Admission Office Contact: 530–898–4636
Sonoma State University
Sonoma State University (SSU) is a public comprehensive university, part of the 23-campus California State University (CSU) system. Sonoma State offers 92 Bachelor’s degrees, 19 Master’s degrees, and 11 teaching credentials. The more than 65 departments and academic programs are divided into six distinct schools, all offering undergraduate and graduate degrees and courses, and nearly all offering minors and doctorates. Sonoma State’s schools of Arts and Humanities, Business and Economics, and Social Sciences are all extremely popular among undergraduates. Several of the schools within Sonoma State also have additional accreditations, such as the School of Business and Economics, which is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
Founded In: 1961
SSU Acceptance Rate: 76%
Tuition & Fees Approximately: $7,388 (in-state) & $18,548 (out-of-state)
Finance and Admission Office Contact: 707.664.2880
California Maritime Academy (Cal Maritime Academy)
The California State University Maritime Academy (CSU Maritime Academy) is one of 23 campuses in the California State University system. It is one of seven degree-granting maritime academies in the United States. The university offers six different Bachelor’s degrees and one Master’s degree, but no Doctoral degrees. The Cal Maritime is the smallest and most specialized of the Cal State system. It is the United States’ only maritime academy on the West Coast. It is also the only university on the West Coast that requires all undergraduate students to participate in the Corps of Cadets.
Founded In: 1929
Tuition & Fees Approximately:
Finance and Admission Office Contact: (707) 654-1000
California State University, Fresno (CSU Fresno)
California State University, Fresno (CSU Fresno) is a public research university in Fresno, California. It is one of 23 campuses within the California State University system. 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. At the graduate level, Fresno State also offers the following nationally ranked programs: part-time MBA, Physical Therapy, Nursing, Speech-Language Pathology, and Social Work.
Founded In: 1911
Fresno State Acceptance Rate: 54%
Tuition & Fees Approximately: $6,313 (in-state) & $17,473 (out-of-state)
Finance and Admission Office Contact: 559.278.4240
With 23 campuses and eight off-campus centers enrolling 478,638 students with 24,405 faculty and 23,012 staff, CSU is the largest four-year public university system in the United States. It is one of three public higher education systems in the state, with the other two being the University of California system and the California Community Colleges System.
You can see other all CSU Schools below. All of the CSUs are California public colleges, and they have earned a reputation for offering their students access to higher education at an affordable price.
- #11 – Humboldt State
- #12 – CSU Monterey Bay
- #13 – CSU Stanislaus
- #14 – CSU Los Angeles
- #15 – CSU San Bernardino
- #16 – CSU Northridge
- #17 – CSU Sacramento
- #18 – CSU Channel Islands
- #19 – CSU San Marcos
- #20 – CSU Bakersfield
- #20 – San Francisco State
- #20 – CSU Dominguez Hills
- #20 – CSU East Bay