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California State University, San Marcos (2010)

Brief Description:

California State University San Marcos combines the ambiance of a mid-sized, personal, modern campus with the unequaled value of the California State University. Since its founding 20 years ago, the campus has distinguished itself. Students benefit from the latest facilities and equipment, a superb faculty that enjoys teaching, and a rigorous academic program that prepares students for a successful life in and out of the workplace. A recent survey reported that our annual spending in the region was $161 million, generating a total impact of $307 million on the regional economy. 85 percent of CSUSM’s alumni stay in the region. CSU San Marcos is located on a 304-acre hillside overlooking the city of San Marcos. It is 15 miles east of the ocean; just 30 miles north of downtown San Diego.

Mission Statement:

California State University San Marcos focuses on the student as an active participant in the learning process. Students work closely with a faculty whose commitment to sustained excellence in teaching, research, and community partnership enhances student learning. The university offers rigorous undergraduate and graduate programs distinguished by exemplary teaching, innovative curricula, and the application of new technologies. CSUSM provides a range of services that respond to the needs of a student body with diverse backgrounds, expanding student access to an excellent and affordable education. As a public university, CSUSM grounds its mission in the public trust, alignment with regional needs, and sustained enrichment of the intellectual, civic, economic, and cultural life of our region and state.

President's Quote:

“As CSUSM enters its third decade, we are renewing our commitment to the historic mission of public higher education with a special emphasis on five strategic priority areas: academic excellence, student life, campus climate, community partnerships, and educational equity. These principles are central to who we are, where we have been, and what we want to be.”
– President Karen Haynes 


Major Accomplishments:

  • The U.S. Department of Education awarded California State University San Marcos (CSUSM) a five-year renewal grant totaling $1,508,460 to continue funding academic support for underrepresented students in higher education through the university's TRiO Student Support Services (TRiO SSS) program. Read more 
  • California State University San Marcos (CSUSM) has been honored by
    G.I. Jobs magazine
    on its list of Military Friendly Schools. The list honors the top 15 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools doing the most to embrace America's veterans as students. Read more 
  • Beginning in spring 2010, California State University San Marcos (CSUSM) will launch a new Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) to prepare nurses in generalist and advanced practice roles for positions in the health care industry, community or public health agencies, academia, or for continued study at the doctoral level. Read more 


Fun Facts:

  • Total Enrollment: 9,700
  • CSUSM is home to a diverse population of students. Our ethnicity: 1 percent Native American/American Indian, 3 percent African American, 11 percent Asian/Pacific Islander, 24 percent Hispanic, 50 percent Caucasian, 10 percent other or not specified and 1 percent international.
  • 50 percent of our students receive financial assistance.
  • 36 percent of our student population is male and 64 percent is female.
  • 27 percent are the first members of their families to seek a college degree.
  • Top 10 majors (highest enrollment) are business administration, liberal studies, communication, psychology, human development, pre-nursing, criminology & justice studies, biology, sociology, and kinesiology.
  • CSUSM is comprised of three colleges, a school of nursing, and a center for extended learning.
  • 100 percent of full-time faculty hold Ph.D.s or the highest degree in their field.
  • CSUSM has signed Memoranda of Understanding agreements with public school districts, San Pasqual Academy, two county departments for foster youth, and a native tribe to establish pathways to Cal State San Marcos AND to guarantee admission to qualified students from these partner organizations.


Notable Alumni:

  • Charles C. Ragland, Esq., winner of California’s Attorney General 2008 award for Outstanding Prosecution
  • Lori Holt-Pfeiler, Mayor of Escondido
  • Roberto Ramirez, Co-owner, Mountain Meadow Mushroom Farm
  • Kevin D. Hold, Superintendent, San Marcos Unified School district


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