Jun 19, 2024  
2023-2024 Catalog 
2023-2024 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

CSUSM: The University of Choice

Founded in 1989, California State University San Marcos opened its doors to students in Fall 1990, becoming the 20th campus to be established in the 23-campus CSU system. Today, more than 16,000 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’ modern, state-of-the-art facilities provide students access to science and computer labs featuring some of the finest equipment available today. CSUSM 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 three decades, CSUSM has become the “University of Choice” for an increasing number of students throughout Southern California. 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 38%
Female 62%
African American/Black 3.0%
Asian & Pacific Islander 9.8%
Latino 46.2%
Native American 0.3%
White 26.7%
Other /Unknown 4.3%
Multiple Race 5.0%
Non-citizen 4.8%
Campus Community  
Undergraduate 89.3%
Credential 1.5%
Graduate 2.9%
New Freshman Come From  
North San Diego County 32%
Riverside County 25.5%
Other San Diego County 12.9%
Elsewhere in California 9.0%
Los Angeles County 6.1%
Orange County 5.6%
San Bernardino County 5.3%
Out of State 1.7%
Unknown Region 0.9%
Foreign Country 0%
U.S. Territory 0.2%

Most Popular Majors

Business Administration 15.7%
Psychology 8.3%
Criminology and Justice Studies 6.9%
Biological Sciences 5.9%
Human Development 5.6%
Computer Science and Information Systems 4.9%
Sociology 4.7%
Nursing 4.6%
Communication 4.5%
Liberal Studies 4.2%








Campus Life 

CSUSM students can choose from over 100 student organizations, Greek affiliations, and 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 apartments with kitchens offer private and shared room options. All units offer on-site professional staff and student support for the residents.  Amenities at each complex include community programming, study spaces, community rooms, recreation areas, a fitness center and pool.