San Marcos, CA
Tuition (in-state)
$18,110 ($6,452)
Admission Difficulty
More statistics . . .
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5 Recent Alumnus

Academics: Excellent opportunities to get to know professors.

5 Recent Alumnus

Academics: STEM Center for science majors is essential.

4 College Junior

Academics: I am currently studying biotechnology, and I am loving every minute of it. The professors are inspirational and knowledgeable. The labs are new, and they feature a lot of state-of-the-art equipment that students can get the opportunity to use. My studies keep me very busy; I spend a lot of my time in the library. However, the course load isn't so overbearing that I don't have time for a life outside of school. You will also get to know a lot of the professors and other students on a personal basis. In a nutshell: science at this school is challenging, yet fun, and also rewarding.

4 College Junior

Academics: The quality of academics here is pretty high. The curriculum is challenging, and there is a pretty wide variety of topics for students to study. The registration process is the pitfall though. It can be challenging to register for the classes you need, especially the science classes where there is limited lab space. The workload will keep you busy. There are a lot of study areas which include the Reading Room in the 5th floor of the library, the STEM Center, Math Lab, Writing and Language Learning Centers, and even the student union (I don't recommend this one though! too much noise).

4 College Freshman

Academics: The campus is in a very nice location.


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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 472nd
    Best Technology in the Classroom
  • 565th
    Best Online Course Options
  • 698th
    Best Use of Teaching Assistants
  • 920th
    Most Manageable Workloads
  • 958th
    Most Caring Professors

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Katrina Kistler
El Segundo
Literature and Writing
View all previous student authors

Classes at CSUSM are generally small, depending on the student's major. Some of the more impacted majors have larger classes, such as business or communications.

The University is small enough where most professors know students on a first name basis. This allows students at CSUSM to create personal relationships with other students and professors. There is a mandatory writing requirement for each class, whether it be science or art, which truly sets student writing capabilities at CSUSM apart from many other CSUs.

Facts & Statistics

Student-Faculty Ratio
Full-Time Instructional Faculty
Part-Time Instructional Faculty
Total FT Faculty
Faculty with Terminal Degree
Average Faculty Salary
Full-Time Retention Rate
Part-Time Retention Rate
Transfer-Out Rate
Graduation Rate
Programs/Majors Offered
Academic/Career Counseling?
Remedial Services?
Class Sizes
  • Fewer than 20 students: 15%
  • 20 to 49 students: 71%
  • 50 or more students: 14%
Instructional Programs
Occupational: No
Academic: Yes
Continuing Professional: No
Recreational/Avocational: No
Adult Basic Remedial: No
Secondary (High School): No
Special Credit Opportunities
Advanced Placement (AP) Credits: Yes
Dual Credit: Yes
Life Experience Credits: No
Undergraduate Schools/Divisions
  • College of Arts & Sciences
  • College of Business Administration
  • College of Education
  • School of Nursing
Degrees Awarded
  • Bachelor's degree
  • Master's degree
Most Popular Majors
  • Business Administration and Management: 10%
  • Human Development: 3%
  • Liberal Arts and Sciences: 4%
  • Speech Communication and Rhetoric: 4%
Graduation Requirements
  • Arts/fine arts
  • Computer literacy
  • English (including composition)
  • Foreign language
  • History
  • Humanities
  • Mathematics
  • Science (biological or physical)
  • Social science
Special Study Options
  • Study abroad
  • Teacher certification (below the postsecondary level)
Other Academic Offerings
  • Double major
  • Independent study
  • Internships
  • Student-designed major
Online Courses
There are three types of online classes: asynchronous, synchronous, and blended/hybrid. Asynchronous is when communication between people does not occur simultaneously; the pace of the course is really set by the student. Synchronous means that communication occurs simultaneously between students and instructors, for example, in real-time chat or video/audio conferencing. Finally, blended/hybrid is when both these methods are applied.
Best Places to Study
CSUSM Library
Tips to Succeed
  • Ask help from professors whenever you need it. Not only are they willing to help, but they are also good resources that can help you find jobs after you graduate.
  • Don't isolate yourself-get involved in the school social life.
  • Get your Gen Eds out of the way quickly so you can handle your upper-division classes all at once.
  • Have fun!
  • Join clubs and organizations on campus.
  • Make time for studying as well as for fun. Find a balance for both.
  • Make use of the on-campus tutoring groups if you're struggling in class.
  • Study hard, attend all of your clases, and don't let yourself fall behind.

Student Polls

How strongly do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements?    Based on 42 responses

Strongly disagree
Strongly agree
  • The academic advisers are helpful.
  • It is easy to get the classes you want.
  • Grading is generally consistent and fair.
  • There are a variety of interesting courses to take.
  • Students are encouraged to explore a wide range of courses and topics.
  • My Gen-Ed requirements are worthwhile and meaningful.
  • The workload is easy to manage.
  • There are plenty of good online course options.
  • Teaching assistants (TAs) are used effectively.
  • The course scheduling/registration process is efficient and student-friendly.
  • Classrooms/labs are up-to-date and incorporate new technologies effectively.

How strongly do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements regarding the professors at this school?    Based on 46 responses

Strongly disagree
Strongly agree
  • Professors are approachable and helpful when needed
  • Professors are engaging and easy to understand.
  • Professors are experts in their field.
  • Professors are passionate about the topics they teach.
  • Professors care about their students' success.
  • Professors put a lot of effort into teaching their classes.
  • Professors use teaching assistants (TAs) effectively.


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