5151 State University Dr
Los Angeles, CA 90032
p. 323-343-3000
w. www.calstatela.edu

California State University-Los Angeles

California State University-Los Angeles Rating: 4.2/5 (42 votes)

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In 1770, a group of Franciscan monks settled in what would become the greater Los Angeles area, on a hillside that would become the site of Cal State L.A. Los Angeles State College was not founded until 1947 through an act of legislature, and the first graduating class was in 1948. In 1964, the institution was renamed California State College at Los Angeles and became part of the new California State College system. The current name was adopted in 1972.

California State University is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. Its mission statement emphasizes its roll in education students from a divers, urban environment. It is classed as a Master’s College and University I by the Carnegie Institute.


Cal State L.A. houses six different colleges: Arts & Letters; Business & Economics; Education; Engineering, Computer Science, & Technology; Health & Human Services; and Natural & Social Sciences. These colleges house the more than 50 schools and departments offering majors and minors to more than 20,000 students. Cal State L.A. implements a quarter system, comprised of four 11-week quarters, including a full academic quarter during the summer. To maintain satisfactory progress, students must attend full-time for three of the four quarters each year. Nearly all of the University’s faculty hold the terminal degree in their field and many have been recognized by such honors as the United States Presidential Award and other distinctions. Cal State L.A. considers itself a teaching institution, and so faculty make an effort to directly engage their students and help them develop strong ties to their program.

California State University, Los Angeles has academic programs at both the undergraduate and graduate level. There are 6 colleges: the College of Arts and Letters, the College of Business and Economics, the College of Education, the College of Engineering, Computer Science, and Technology, the College of Health and Human Services, and the College of Natural and Social Sciences.

Bachelor’s degrees are offered in a variety of fields within the various academic colleges. Degrees at the bachelor’s level can be received in such areas as accounting, African American studies, art, child development, Chinese, health science, history, industrial technology, mathematics, music, nursing, philosophy, special education, and telecommunication and film. A wide range of majors in the humanities, sciences, and technical or professional field are available. There are also minors and certificate programs in many major fields or sub-specialties of those fields.

Graduate programs are offered in all six colleges in over 50 disciplines. These include master’s level programs in art, communication studied, English, philosophy, theatre arts and dance, business administration, information science, education, engineering, child development, communicative disorders, kinesiology, nursing, biological sciences, political science, and Chicano Studies. A joint doctoral degree in Educational Administration and Leadership is offered with the University of California, Irvine. Certificate and credential programs are also available.

Most Popular Fields of Study

Unique Programs

The Department of Communication Disorders is home to the Robert L. Douglass Speech-Language Clinic and the Cal State L.A. Hearing Clinic. In addition to offering clinical, diagnostic, and rehabilitative services, these clinics provide training and research in the areas of communication disorders for students and faculty. Students are instructed under the supervision of accredited faculty.

The Asian Pacific Business Institute recognizes the increased importance of the Asian economy and local business. As the United States increases its dependence on Asian countries and their products, the business community is dealing with new problems in international commerce. The Institute aims to address those problems by providing services to the business community and educating America’s future business leaders.

The Center for Spatial Analysis and Remote Sensing, funded in part by NASA, is a testing center for Geographic Information Systems (GIS). The Center provides research to the scientific community, and also gives students the opportunity to participate in geographic research.

The Division of Extended Education offers a number of professional development courses and certificate programs, some in fields not widely seen, such as the course in “Legal Translation: Intensive Course in Contrastive Analysis of Armenian/English Grammar” or the certificate program in “Textile: Production and Management.” Open University courses also are available, as are life long learning programs. An American Culture and Language Program is designed to help non-native English speakers with English language skills.


Cal State L.A., like all other colleges in the California State system, requires student to complete a set of college-preparatory coursework with a grade of C or better prior to admission. This curriculum includes four years of English, three years of mathematics, two years each of social science, lab science, and foreign language, and one year each of arts and electives. And like other Cal State colleges, Cal State L.A. uses the “eligibility index” to determine an applicant’s eligibility for admission. The index is basically a combination of the applicant’s high school grade point average and standardized test score, either from the ACT or the SAT. Students with good performances in honors courses get bonus points toward their index. To calculate the index, there are two different formulas: either multiply the applicant’s high school grade point average by 800 and add the total SAT score, or multiply the applicant’s high school grade point average and add ten times the total ACT score. For California residents, the requirement is an index of 2900 (SAT) or 694 (ACT). For nonresidents, the requirement is an index of 3502 (SAT) or 842 (ACT). California residents with a high school grade point average of more than 3.00 are not required to submit test scores, and the same rule applies to out-of-state applicants with a high school grade point average of 3.61 or more. However, Cal State L.A. urges all students, regardless of grade point average, to take one of the two exams.

California State University, Los Angeles has an open admissions deadline, and prospective applicants should check with the school to see if applications are still being accepted for the term they desire to enroll. The application fee is $55. Applications can be submitted on-line. Students who are enrolled in high school at the time of application will need to have their official final high school transcripts sent after graduation to the Admissions Office.

As part of their application, students should submit high school transcripts and ACT or SAT test scores. To be admitted, students will need to satisfy the California Sate requirements: 4 units of English, 3 units of mathematics, 2 units of history and social studies, 2 units of science, 2 units of a foreign language, 1 year of visual or performing arts, and 1 year of electives. Students must have a GPA of 2.0 or better in these courses. Eligibility for admission is determined by a combination of test scores and GPA.

Transfer students and international students will have varying requirements depending upon their prior educational background.

Students applying to the graduate programs at California State University, Los Angeles should consult the individual department and/or school to which they are applying. Applications can be submitted on-line, and the application fee is $55. General requirements include the GRE or other appropriate test scores (such as the GMAT) and a bachelor’s degree. The graduate application deadline varies with the department. Some departments will require additional materials.

Financial Aid

Cal State L.A. uses students’ FAFSA to assess qualifications for aid packages such as grants, loans, work study, and summer grants, as well as a needs analysis. Students are encouraged to submit their FAFSA as early as possible. There are also over 300 scholarships available to Cal State L.A. students based on majors, need, community involvement, and achievements. Students must file a General Scholarship Application and at least one letter of recommendation to be considered for any of these scholarships. The most prestigious scholarship opportunity is the President’s Scholarship, which provides $5,000 annually for as many as four years, and recipients receive free parking, admission to events, and priority registration.

The State Registration Fee at California State University, Los Angeles was $2,729 for the 2004-2005 academic year for in-state, undergraduate students attending full-time. Students applying from out of state and graduate students have higher costs.

Financial aid is available in the form of grants, scholarships, and loans. Work-study programs are also available for some students. Students who seek financial aid will need to fill out the Federal Student Financial Aid Form, available on-line.

Graduate students may also receive financial aid in the form of teaching or research assistantships, including a stipend and a waiver of some or all of the tuition and other fees. Graduate students should consult with their individual department about what sort of assistantships or fellowships are available and about the details of the application process. Generally awards are given to more advanced students.

Student Financial Aid Details

Ranks 5907th for the average student loan amount.
Secrets to getting the best scholarships and financial aid in California.


The Cal State L.A. campus’ location provides students with every conceivable recreational opportunity a student could desire. To the north are the mountains, to the south the Palos Verdes Peninsula, to the east is the San Gabriel Valley, and to the west is the urban abundance of Los Angeles itself. Los Angeles is obviously home to many professional sports teams, sightseeing opportunities, and shopping galore. Trains and buses can get students to any point they wish. On-campus, the Fine Arts Complex is home to a 1100-seat theatre. In the University’s hospitality complex, the Golden Eagle, are a Barnes & Noble bookstore, restaurants, and a conference center. The Student Union, currently under construction, will include an expanded computer lab, fitness center, and a 200-seat theatre.

Student life at California State University, Los Angeles includes opportunities in a diverse range of activities and organizations. Students can join fraternities or sororities, write for the student newspaper, take part in on and off-campus events, or participate in student government. Organizations include academic and professional groups, religious organizations, political clubs, cultural groups, and special interest groups such as the Hip Hop Congress, the Pagan Circle, and the Society of Women Engineers.

The Luckmann Fine Arts Center offers performances, exhibitions, workshops, and gallery tours.

Student Enrollment Demographics

Student Graduation Demographics


The Cal State L.A. Golden Eagles compete in the NCAA’s Division II. Fall sports include women’s cross country, soccer, volleyball, and men’s soccer. Winter sports include men’s and women’s basketball, and women’s indoor track and field. Spring sports include baseball, women’s tennis, and men’s and women’s outdoor track and field. Cal State L.A. has fantastic athletic facilities, some of which have an Olympic heritage associated with them. In the 1984 Summer Olympics, held in Los Angeles, the Eagles Nest hosted the Olympic judo competition and the Jesse Owen Track was the official training venue for track and field athletes. The Eagles Nest is home to basketball and volleyball and seats 5,000. The Jesse Owens Track complex houses soccer, cross country, and track and field. The Track seats 5,000 and is also home to the University’s annual commencement ceremony. Other facilities include Reeder Field (baseball), the CSLA Tennis Complex, and training and weight rooms. New renovations to the University’s athletics facilities includes new scoreboards for Reeder Field, Owens Track, and the Eagles Nest. There have also been total renovations of the playing field at Reeder Field and the men’s and women’s locker and training rooms. The fitness center is also new and state-of-the-art.

California State University, Los Angeles is an NCAA Division II School. Teams compete in the California Collegiate Athletic Association. Men’s sports include soccer, basketball, baseball, and track & field. Women’s sports include cross country, soccer, volleyball, basketball, tennis, and track & field. The team nick-name is the Golden Eagles.

Athletic facilities at California State University, Los Angeles include an indoor arena for basketball and volleyball, a recently renovated baseball field, a track which also serves as a softball field, a tennis court, and facilities for training and fitness.

Among the championships and awards that California State University, Los Angeles has received are 33 overall conference team championships in 7 of 10 sports, a CCAA Athlete of the Year Award, 6 All-Americans, and numerous individual awards.

Student athletes participate in community service projects, including reading to elementary school students and visiting the UCLA Children’s Hospital.


Cal State L.A. has a storied and tradition-filled athletics program. The University has won more men’s conference championships in the California Collegiate Athletic Association than any other current school. Seven of its ten sports have captured CCAA titles. And Cal State L.A. has captured 33 overall CCAA team championships, the third-highest total in the conference. Cal State L.A. has had representatives in the last 11 Summer Olympic games.

Local Community

California State University, Los Angeles is located in Los Angeles, California, a major metropolitan area. Students have access to all the recreational, cultural, entertainment, and educational opportunities to be found in such a large city.

Los Angeles is the second-largest city in the United States. It is home to nearly 4 million residents and the greater metropolitan area includes more than 17 million. The city itself covers 465 square miles, making it one of the largest geographically and physically larger than New York City or Chicago. For a visitor’s entertainment dollar, there is no better city on Earth. The “entertainment capital of the world,” L.A. is home to Hollywood, popular media, and numerous arts and culture outlets. Los Angeles is also home to the Dodgers, one of the most historical teams in all of major league baseball, as well as the Lakers, Clippers, Sparks, and Kings professional sports teams. Native plant and tree species abound at Los Angeles’ many public parks.

Information Summary

Ranks 64th in California and 885th overall
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Campus Crime Statistics

Ranks 0th in California and 255th overall on StateUniversity.com‘s Safe School Index
  Incidents per 100 Students
Aggravated assault 2 0.01
Murder & Non-Negligent Manslaughter N/A N/A
Rape 1 0.00
Robbery 3 0.01
Arson N/A N/A
Burglary 5 0.02
Larceny N/A N/A
Vehicle theft 24 0.11
Arrest 4 0.02

Local Crime Statistics

  Incidents per 100 People
Aggravated assault 8,843 0.23
Murder & Non-Negligent Manslaughter 297 0.01
Forcible Rape 828 0.02
Robbery 10,077 0.26
Arson N/A N/A
Burglary 17,264 0.45
Larceny 53,469 1.39
Vehicle theft 15,597 0.41

Demographics – Main Campus and Surrounding Areas

Reported area around or near Los Angeles, CA 90032
Surrounding communityLarge city (inside urban area, pop. over 250,000)
Total Population46,942 (46,942 urban / N/A rural)
Households12,596 (3.64 people per house)
Median Household Income$33,445
Families10,235 (3.98 people per family)

Carnegie Foundation Classification

Master's Colleges and Universities (larger programs)
UndergraduateProfessions plus arts & sciences, high graduate coexistence
GraduatePostbaccalaureate comprehensive
Undergraduate PopulationMedium full-time four-year, inclusive
EnrollmentHigh undergraduate
Size & SettingLarge four-year, primarily nonresidential

General Characteristics

Title IV EligibilityParticipates in Title IV federal financial aid programs
Highest offeringDoctoral degree
Calendar SystemQuarter
Years of college work requiredN/A
Variable Tuition
Religious AffiliationN/A
Congressional District634

Special Learning Opportunities

Distance LearningN/A
ROTC — Army / Navy / Air Force  —   /   / 
Study Abroad
Weekend College
Teacher Certification

Student Tuition Costs and Fees

Ranks 1111th for total cost of attendance
  In District In State Out of State
Effective as of 2014-09-19
FT Undergraduate Tuition $5,472 $5,472 $16,632
FT Undergraduate Required Fees $872 $872 $872
PT Undergraduate per Credit Hour N/A N/A $248
FT Graduate Tuition $6,738 $6,738 $17,898
FT Graduate Required Fees $872 $872 $872
PT Graduate per Credit Hour N/A N/A $248
Total Cost of Attendance — On-Campus $21,705 $21,705 $32,865
Total Cost of Attendance — Off-Campus w/out Family $23,678 $23,678 $34,838
Total Cost of Attendance — Off-Campus with Family $10,961 $10,961 $22,121

Student Tuition Cost History and Trends

Prior year cost comparison
  In District In State Out of State
Published Tuition & Fees $6,095(N/C) $6,095(N/C) $17,255(N/C)
  Cost (regardless of residency)
Effective as of 2014-09-19
Books & Supplies $1,656 $1,665
On-Campus – Room & Board $9,264 $9,728
On-Campus – Other Expenses $4,320 $4,433
Off-Campus w/out Family – Room & Board $12,276 $12,403
Off-Campus w/out Family – Other Expenses $4,380 $4,499
Off-Campus with Family – Room & Board $4,650 $4,771

Admission Details

Effective as of 2014-09-19
Application Fee RequiredN/A
Undergraduate Application Fee$55
Graduate Application Fee$55
First Professional Application FeeN/A
Applicants 27,321 (10,841 male / 16,480 female)
Admitted 18,448 (6,951 male / 11,497 female)
Admission rate 68%
First-time Enrollment 2,908 (1,127 male / 1,781 female)
FT Enrollment 2,765 (1,057 male / 1,708 female)
PT Enrollment 143 (70 male / 73 female)
Total Enrollment23,258

Admission Criteria

 = Required,   = Recommended,   = Neither required nor recommended
Open Admissions
Secondary School GPA / Rank / Record  /  N/A / 
College Prep. Completion
Formal competency demoN/A
Admission test scores
Other testsN/A

Admission Credits Accepted

Dual Credit
Life Experience
Advanced Placement (AP)

Athletics - Association Memberships

Sports / Athletic Conference Memberships NCAA
NCAA Basketball Conference California Collegiate Athletic Assoc
NCAA Baseball Conference California Collegiate Athletic Assoc
NCAA Track & Field Conference California Collegiate Athletic Assoc

ACT Test Admission

1284th for 75pctl scores
Applicants submitting ACT results 32%
Verbal scores (25/75 %ile) 14 / 20
Math scores (25/75 %ile) 16 / 22
Cumulative scores (25/75 %ile) 15 / 20

SAT Test Admission

1209th for 75pctl scores
Applicants submitting SAT results 95%
Verbal scores (25/75 %ile) 380 / 480
Math scores (25/75 %ile) 390 / 510
Cumulative scores (25/75 %ile) 770 / 990

Student Services

Remedial Services
Academic / Career Counseling
PT Cost-defraying Employment
Career Placement
On-Campus Day Care
Library Facility

Student Living

First-time Room / Board Required
Dorm Capacity1,011
Meals per Week12
Room Fee$6,105
Board Fee$3,426

Faculty Compensation / Salaries

Ranks 778th for the average full-time faculty salary.
Effective as of 2014-09-20
Tenure system N/A
Average FT Salary $79,093 ($81,995 male / $77,656 female)
Number of FT Faculty 563 (283 male / 280 female)
Number of PT Faculty 1,127
FT Faculty Ratio 0.5 : 1
Total Benefits $24,578,677

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