Feb 28, 2024  
2020-2021 Catalog 
2020-2021 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

CSUSM The University of Choice

Founded in 1989, California State University San Marcos opened its doors to students in fall l990, and became the 20th campus to be established in the 23-campus CSU system. Today, nearly 17,000 students attend the 304-acre campus, which is located in the foothills of northern San Diego County, just a short distance from some of Southern California’s best beaches and an hour from the U.S.-Mexico border. CSUSM is a dynamic university with a global vision. A distinctive feature of the university curriculum is its emphasis on hands-on experiences. The campus’ modem, state-of-the-art facilities provide students access to science and computer labs featuring some of the finest equipment available today. Cal State San Marcos prepares students to become life-long learners and productive contributors to a global society by helping them acquire knowledge and develop skills and values. CSUSM is one of 34 public universities in the U.S. recognized by the Carnegie Foundation in the Community Engagement Classification for both Curricular Engagement and Outreach & Partnerships.

In just 28 years, CSUSM has become the University of Choice for an increasing number of students from all over Southern California, including Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Diego counties. The campus’ success is built on the foundation of its core mission, which ensures students will become the leaders of tomorrow. The university’s five strategic priorities - academic excellence, student life, campus climate, community partnerships and educational equity - keep it on track in meeting today’s challenges while building a legacy of access to quality education. Here’s what graduating seniors say about their CSUSM education:

99% say CSUSM contributed to their ability to think critically and analytically

97% say CSUSM contributed to their ability to work effectively with others

96% say CSUSM contributed to their ability to write clearly and effectively

90% say CSUSM contributed to their ability to acquire work-related knowledge and skills

89% say CSUSM contributed to their ability to be an informed and active citizen


Student Profile

Male 39.6%
Female 60.4%
African American/Black 3.0%
Asian & Pacific Islander 8.9%
Latino 47.1%
Native American 0.3%
White 26.6%
Other /Unknown 9.0%
Multiple Race 5.2%
Campus Community  
Undergraduate 95.6%
Credential 1.5%
Graduate 2.9%
New Freshman Come From  
North San Diego County 31.2%
Other San Diego County 14.4%
Orange County 4.6%
Riverside County 29.1%
Los Angeles County 6.1%
San Bernardino County 3.7%
Elsewhere in California 7.3%
Out of State 2.0%
Foreign Countries 1.0%
Other- Military I GED 0.6%

Most Popular Majors

Business Administration
Biological Sciences
Human Development
Computer Science
Liberal Studies

Campus Life 

Students at CSU San Marcos can choose from over 100 student organizations, Greek affiliations, and a variety of multicultural programs. Students have the opportunity to enjoy leadership development, build a support network, and plan activities. The diverse array of student organizations offers students numerous opportunities to enhance their academic and social life on campus. Every student who is motivated can take a leadership role in a student organization.

Student Housing

Living in Student Housing is a great way to experience CSUSM with convenient access to campus amenities. CSUSM offers two unique apartment communities for students: University Village Apartments (UVA) and The QUAD. The fully­ furnished, modern apartments offer single-level floor plans with private and shared room options. Amenities at each complex include a multi-system game cave, recreation areas, a fitness center and a resort-style pool.