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California State University, Dominguez Hills (2010)

Brief Description:

California State University, Dominguez Hills provides a vibrant, student-centered environment for its culturally diverse community of students, faculty, staff, and administrators. With a focus on multicultural and global perspectives, and civic engagement, the University effectively prepares students to become productive citizens and leaders in a global world.

Serving the greater Los Angeles metropolitan area, the University enrolls over 15,000 students and graduates over 2,800 into the workforce each year. Established in 1960, this community-based university prides itself on its outstanding academic programs and faculty, and friendly, supportive environment.

The student body at CSU Dominguez Hills proudly reflects one of California’s greatest strengths—its ethnic and cultural diversity. The university’s student body is 28 percent African American, 42 percent Hispanic, 18 percent White, 12 percent Asian American/Pacific Islander and 0.3 percent Native American.

CSU Dominguez Hills is also a center for cultural life in the South Bay area of Los Angeles County. The University Art Gallery is considered to be one of the major exhibition spaces in the South Bay and the nationally recognized Black Theatre Program offers award-winning productions. The campus is also home to the world-class multi-sport Home Depot Center, a premier athletics and entertainment destination in Southern California.


Mission Statement:

Our mission is to provide education, scholarship and service that are, by design, accessible and transformative. We welcome students who seek academic achievement, personal fulfillment, and preparation for the work of today and tomorrow.

President's Quote:

“Over the past five decades, CSU Dominguez Hills has created an extraordinary community of lifelong learners and educators who share a common desire to make a positive social impact. Historic strides have been made in improving our research and learning facilities at CSU Dominguez Hills over the last five decades, and on the University’s Founders Day, April 29, it was my great pleasure to participate in a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening of our beautiful new Library South building.

“In 2009–2010, our enrollment surpassed 15,300 students — the largest in our history. The real highlight for me is knowing that an education from CSU Dominguez Hills has made a very real difference in so many lives. Our students’ education has exposed them to a world of new perspectives that will serve them well, no matter what path in life they choose. I congratulate and applaud the tremendous commitment that alumni, students, faculty, staff, and community members have for this very special University.”


Fun Facts:


  1. The first home for CSC Palos Verdes was on the first and second floors of a California Federal Bank building on Silver Spur Road in Rolling Hills Estates.

  2. The first year classes were held was 1965; majors offered at the time were psychology and American studies. Approximately 40 students were enrolled that year.

  3. CSU Dominguez Hills has had four names in its 50 year history: South Bay State College, California State College at Palos Verdes, California State College at Dominguez Hills, and finally California State University, Dominguez Hills.

  4. Ping Pong was a big intramural pastime on campus from the days in the bank building.

  5. Noted Los Angeles architect A. Quincy Jones designed the campus’s original buildings

  6. Golf was the first intercollegiate sport on the campus, and the first head coach, Dr. John Johnson, still leads the team today.

  7. The first sport to earn the university a national title, in 1975, was in badminton.

  8. The first protest on campus was over a proposal by newly elected Gov. Ronald Reagan to charge students tuition and to halt funding of site acquisition and construction of new state universities.

  9. In 1979, an elephant and rhinoceros were buried near the gymnasium and dug up six months later by then-psychology professor Jack Adams in order to study its bones.

  10. A Cadillac with a giant nail driven through it was displayed in the Sculpture Garden in front of La Corte Hall throughout 1980; it was an art installation by Los Angeles artist Dustin Shuler.

  11. CSU Dominguez Hills was host to cycling competitions for the 1984 Los Angeles Summer Olympics; an outdoor velodrome built for the Games was the site of many races afterwards, as well as concerts – from the Grateful Dead to No Doubt – and graduation ceremonies until it was torn down in 2002 to make way for the Home Depot Center.

  12. The university has been the location for a number of television shows, commercials and movies, including an episode of “24,” and the upcoming movies “The Social Network” about the founders of Facebook, and “Larry Crowe” starring Tom Hanks and Julie Roberts.

  13. The youngest student to enroll in class at CSU Dominguez Hills was Steve Lu, who was 10 years old when he started classes in spring 1996. He double majored in math and computer science and went on to get his master’s at Stanford and his Ph.D. at UCLA.

  14. The youngest person to graduate from the university is Sarita Matravadi, who at 13 years old received her biology degree in 2010.

  15. The Orthotics and Prosthetics program is one of only nine in the nation and the only one in California to grant a bachelor’s degree as well as certification. Graduates from the program represent 20 percent of practioners in the United States.

  16. Since 1987, the university has been educating nurses across the state via distance education.

  17. The Distance Learning program at CSU Dominguez Hills is one of the largest is the CSU system, offering courses via cable television and the Internet.

  18. The circular symbol that is incorporated into the university logo represents coming from ignorance to knowledge, from the dark to the light, and was designed by alumnus and former director of Instructional Media Services Frank Paine in 1977.


Notable Alumni:

Towalame Austin (BA, 04) – President of the Magic Johnson Foundation, Inc.

Karen Bass (BS, 90) – Speaker of the California State Assembly, first African American and first woman Majority Leader

Alex Bengard (BS, 03) – Co-founder, 2B Soccer Academy; former Midfielder, L.A. Galaxy

Hsin-Ming Fung (BA, 77) – Architect; primarily responsible for the redesign of the Hollywood Bowl

Clarence Gilyard, Jr. (BA, 89) – Actor; films include Top Gun, Die Hard; TV series include Matlock and Walker, Texas Ranger

Danny Grissett (BA, 98) – Jazz pianist

Danny Guerrero (MPA, 82) – Director of Athletics, UCLA

Lois Lee (BS, 78) – Community Activist; founder of Children of the Night

Lela Rochon (BA, 86) – Actress, model, dancer; films include Harlem Nights, Boomerang, Waiting to Exhale

Dirk Sciarrotta (BA, 04) – Emmy Award Winning sound effects engineer

Leo Terrell (BA, 77) – Civil Rights Attorney; Author; Radio Talk Show Host, KABC 790

John Tracy (BS, 76) – Chief Technology Officer, The Boeing Company

Maria D. Villa (BS, 82) – Attorney; first Hispanic elected to the State Bar Board of Governors; former President of Mexican American Bar Association of L.A. County

Patrick West (MBA, 86) – City Manager, Long Beach, CA



 “I was amazed at the faculty who challenged my middle class values and conservative thinking. They taught me not to take everything at face value and empowered me to learn that ‘one person could make a difference.’  With the support of an accomplished Sociology faculty at CSUDH, the internationally recognized “Children of the Night” program was born. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think of the wonderful opportunities afforded me by CSUDH.”
Lois Lee
Founder, Children of the Night
B.S., 1978

“After graduation, what continues to stand out is the passion and professionalism of several marvelous professors. Their willingness to share their academic expertise inspired me to learn and grow both inside and outside of the classroom. I finished the program with greater confidence in my ability to write, new skills for teaching, and a broadened understanding of both history and theory. This has led to a transformation of my professional life.”
Susan Garman
MA, 2006

“My Dominguez Hills experience was outstanding because it showed you could achieve an incredible level of excellence if you believed and had great people around you.”
Dan Guerrero,
UCLA Director of Athletics (former director of athletics at CSUDH)
MPA, 1982

“My tenure as a student in the English Master's program at CSUDH was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. The faculty really care - about their discipline and about their students - and the positive, nurturing atmosphere engendered in me the belief that my ideas were valuable, that I could make a difference, that I could become a teacher.”
Alex S. Johnson


  • Kellee Edmonds
    Vice President of Communications and Public Relations
    (202) 478-4662