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California State University, Fullerton

California State University, Fullerton

California State University, Fullerton (CSUF or Cal State Fullerton) is a public university in Fullerton, California. With a total enrollment of about 40,400, it has the largest student body of the 23-campus California State University (CSU) system, and its approximately 5,800 graduate student body is also the largest in the CSU and one of the largest in all of California. As of Fall 2016, the school had 2,083 faculty, of which 782 were on the tenure track.[6]

The university offers 109 degrees: 57 bachelor's degrees and 52 graduate degrees, including three doctorates.[7][8][9]

CSUF is designated as a Hispanic-serving institution and eligible to be designated as an Asian American Native American Pacific Islander serving institution (AANAPISI).[10] The university is nationally accredited in art, athletic training, business, chemistry, communications, communicative disorders, computer science, dance, engineering, music, nursing, public administration, public health, social work, teacher education and theater. Spending related to CSUF generates an impact of around $2.26 billion to the California and local economy, and sustains nearly 16,000 jobs statewide.[11]

CSUF athletic teams compete in Division I of the NCAA and are collectively known as the CSUF Titans. They compete in the Big West Conference.

California State University, Fullerton
Former names
Orange County State College
Orange State College
California State College at Fullerton
MottoVox Veritas Vita (Latin)
Motto in English
"Voice, Truth, Life"
Endowment$65.0 million (2018)[2]
PresidentFramroze (Fram) Virjee[3]
Academic staff
2,083 (fall 2016)
Administrative staff
1,589 (fall 2016)
Students40,235 (fall 2016)[4]
Undergraduates34,462 (fall 2016)[4]
Postgraduates5,773 (fall 2016)[4]
United States

33°52′50″N 117°53′07″W [53]
Campusurban, 236 acres (96 ha)
ColorsNavy blue, white and orange[5]
AthleticsNCAA Division I – Big West
AffiliationsCalifornia State University system
MascotTuffy the Titan
Websitewww.fullerton.edu [54]
California State University, Fullerton logo.svg
University rankings
U.S. News & World Report[29]17
Master's University class
Washington Monthly[30]42
USNWR departmental rankings
Nursing: Doctorate79
Nursing: Master's90
Fine Arts131
Public Affairs139
Public Health127
Social Work96
Speech–Language Pathology141



In 1957, Orange County State College became the 12th state college in California to be authorized by the state legislature as a degree-granting institution. The following year, a site was designated for the campus to be established in northeast Fullerton. The property was purchased in 1959. This is the same year that Dr. William B. Langsdorf was appointed as founding president of the school.

Classes began with 452 students in September 1959. The name of the school was changed to Orange State College in July 1962. In 1964, its name was changed to California State College at Fullerton. In June 1972, the final name change occurred and the school became California State University, Fullerton.


The choice of the elephant as the university's mascot, dubbed Tuffy the Titan, dates to 1962, when the campus hosted "The First Intercollegiate Elephant Race in Human History." The May 11 event attracted 10,000 spectators, 15 pachyderm entrants, and worldwide news coverage.[12]

Campus shootings

The campus has seen two significant instances of violence with people shot and killed. On July 12, 1976, Edward Charles Allaway, a campus janitor with paranoid schizophrenia, shot nine people, killing seven, in the University Library (now the Pollak Library) on the Cal State Fullerton campus. At the time, it was the worst mass shooting in Orange County history.[13] On October 13, 1984, Edward Cooperman, a physics professor, was shot and killed by his former student, Minh Van Lam, in McCarthy Hall.[14]

Campus Stabbing

On August 19, 2019, Steven Shek Keung Chan, 57, of Hacienda Heights was found with multiple stab wounds early Monday by police. When the police arrived at the parking lot where Chan was assaulted, he was pronounced dead. Chan was a retired budget director working as a consultant in the international student affairs office. On August 22, 2019, the coworker who committed the violent act was caught at his residence in Huntington Beach. Chuyen Vo, 51, was believed to have acted alone, but the motive was never identified. Chan and Vo worked in the same division and Cal State Fullerton spokeswoman Ellen Treanor stated:

"Of all the individuals that I talked to in that division, there didn't seem to be any concerns at all that anybody would ever hurt Steve at all. Not a single person said there were problems," Treanor said. "He wasn't known as a difficult boss. He was known as a very thoughtful man, very by-the book, a man of few words."[15]

2000s: Modern growth

The university grew rapidly in the first decade of the 2000s. The Performing Arts Center was built in January 2006, and in the summer of 2008 the newly constructed Steven G. Mihaylo Hall and the new Student Recreation Center opened. In fall 2008, the Performing Arts Center was renamed the Joseph A.W. Clayes III Performing Arts Center, in honor of a $5 million pledge made to the university by the trustees of the Joseph A.W. Clayes III Charitable Trust. Since 1963, the curriculum has expanded to include many graduate programs, including multiple doctorate degrees, as well as numerous credential and certificate programs.


The College of Humanities and Social Sciences, 2010

The College of Humanities and Social Sciences, 2010

Pathway leading to the parking structure, 2010

Pathway leading to the parking structure, 2010

The campus is on the site of former citrus groves in northeast Fullerton. It is bordered on the east by the Orange Freeway (SR-57), on the west by State College Boulevard, on the north by Yorba Linda Boulevard, and on the south by Nutwood Avenue.

Although established in the late 1950s, much of the initial construction on campus took place in the late 1960s, under the supervision of artist and architect Howard van Heuklyn, who gave the campus a striking, futuristic architecture (buildings like Pollak Library South, Titan Shops, Humanities, McCarthy Hall). This was in response to the numerous Googie buildings in the Fullerton community.

The Pollak Library houses the Philip K. Dick science fiction collection.[16]

Since 1993, the campus has added the College Park Building, Steven G. Mihaylo Hall, University Hall, the Titan Student Union, the Student Recreation Center, the Nutwood Parking Structure, the State College Parking Structure, Dan Black Hall, Joseph A.W. Clayes III Performing Arts Center West, Phase III Housing, the Grand Central Art Center, and Pollak Library. In order to generate power for the university and become more sustainable, the campus installed solar panels on top of a number of buildings. The panels, which generate up to 7–8 percent of the electrical power used daily, are atop the Eastside Parking Structure, Clayes Performing Arts Center and the Kinesiology and Health Science Building.

In August 2011, the university added a $143 million housing complex, which included five new residence halls, a convenience store and a 565-seat dining hall called the Gastronome.[17]

Satellite facilities

The university operates a satellite campus in Irvine, California, approximately 20 miles (32 km) south of the original Fullerton location, the Grand Central Art Center in downtown Santa Ana, and a Garden Grove Center.[18]

Proposed expansion

CSUF announced plans in May 2010 to buy the lot that Hope International University lies at, but this deal was later cut off.[19]

CSUF also announced plans in September 2010 to expand into the area south of Nutwood Avenue, to construct a project called CollegeTown, which would integrate the surrounding residential areas and retail spaces into the campus.[20] After community opposition, the Fullerton planning commission indefinitely postponed any action on the project in February 2016.[21]

Desert Studies Center

The Desert Studies Center is a field station of the California State University located in Zzyzx, California in the Mojave Desert. The purpose of the Center is to provide opportunities to conduct research, receive instruction and experience the Mojave Desert environment. Is officially operated by the California Desert Studies Consortium, a consortium of 7 CSU campuses: Fullerton, Cal Poly Pomona, Long Beach, San Bernardino, Northridge, Dominguez Hills and Los Angeles.


*Fall 2018 Demographics of student body*[[CITE|22|https://www.calstate.edu/as/stat_reports/2018-2019/feth02.htm]]
  • All levels, freshman through graduate
African American1.9%
Asian American16.7%
Filipino American4.2%
Pacific Islander0.2%
White European Americans20.0%
Native American/American Indian0.1%
Mexican American/Chicano33.9%
Other Latino American7.6%
Multiracial Americans4.0%
Non-resident alien7.6%

CSUF's academic departments and programs are organized into eight colleges:

  • College of the Arts

  • Steven G. Mihaylo College of Business and Economics

  • College of Communications

  • College of Education National Resource Center for Asian Languages[23]

  • College of Engineering and Computer Science

  • College of Health and Human Development

  • College of Humanities and Social Sciences

  • College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics

Admissions and enrollment

Freshman applicants45,80844,49341,84140,93340,98938,882
% Admitted45.748.241.944.447.945.7
SAT Composite102010221030102810181027
*SAT out of 1600 & GPA out of 4.0

As of the fall 2013 semester, CSUF is the third most applied to CSU out of all 23 campuses receiving nearly 65,000 applications, including over 40,000 for incoming freshmen and nearly 23,000 transfer applications, the second highest in the CSU.[25]

Rankings and distinctions

  • CSUF is No. 1 in California and fifth in the nation among top colleges and universities awarding bachelor's degrees to Hispanics. Cal State Fullerton is also No. 5 in the nation for baccalaureate degrees awarded to underrepresented students.[32]

  • CSUF is among the top 25 institutions in the nation awarding bachelor's degrees to Latinos entering health professions and related programs.[33]

  • CSUF has been noted as a “model campus” for its explicit goal to cut in half the achievement gap between underrepresented students and their non-underrepresented peers.[34]

  • CSUF is home to the first LEED Platinum student housing complex in California and the first Platinum-rated building in the California State University system.[35]

  • According to 2016 rankings by U.S. News & World Report, CSUF's online graduate business program ranks 11th in the "Best Online Programs" rankings, engineering programs are 16th, and education programs are 34th.[36]

  • CSUF is No. 5 in the United States and No. 2 in California for being a top destination for community college transfers among four-year universities.[37]

  • CSUF was ranked the 39th top college in the United States by the Social Mobility Index college rankings.[38]

  • The Daily Beast ranked CSUF 94th in the country out of the nearly 2000 schools it evaluated for its "2013 Best Colleges" ranking.[39]

  • Money Magazine ranked CSUF as 285th in the country out of the nearly 1500 schools it evaluated for its "2014 Best Colleges" ranking.[40]

  • Princeton Review lists CSUF in the "Best 294 Business Schools" publication.[41]

  • The Mihaylo College of Business and Economics is the largest accredited business school in the state of California and the fifth-largest in the United States.[42]

  • The Mihaylo College of Business and Economics is one of five undergraduate business schools in California with an accreditation in accounting.[43]


"Titans" on the exterior of Titan Gym, 2010

"Titans" on the exterior of Titan Gym, 2010

CSUF participates in the NCAA Division I Big West Conference. They have 13 national championships in eight different sports. (1970, women's basketball (CIAW); 1971, 1972, 1974 men's gymnastics; 1971 cross country team; 1973 women's fencing; 1989, men's bowling; 1979, women's gymnastics; 1979, 1984, 1995, 2004 baseball; 1986 softball). Their baseball team is a perennial national powerhouse with four national titles and dozens of players playing Major League Baseball. The CSUF Dance Team currently holds the most national titles at the school, with 15 national titles from UDA Division 1 Jazz; 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017; and one national title from UDAs in Division 1 Hip Hop. The Dance Team also holds multiple titles from United Spirit Association.

CSUF currently supports 21 club sports on top of its Division I varsity teams, which are archery, baseball, cycling, equestrian, grappling and jiu jitsu, ice hockey, men's lacrosse, women's lacrosse, nazara Bollywood dance, men's rugby, women's rugby, roller hockey, salsa team, men's soccer, women's soccer, table tennis, tennis, ultimate frisbee, men's volleyball, women's volleyball, skiing, and wushu.[44]

Student life

CSUF was the first college in Orange County to have a Greek system, with its first fraternity founded in 1960.[45] The Daily Titan, the official student newspaper of the university, also started in 1960.[46] Other official student media includes Titan Radio.[47]

On April 23, 2014, Cal State Fullerton opened the Titan Dreamers Resource Center. The center was the first resource center for undocumented students in the CSU system.[48][49][49]

Notable people

CSUF alumni include an astronaut who has made two trips to space; the incoming speaker of the California Assembly;[50] other politicians and Academy Award-winning directors, actors, producers and cinematographers; award-winning journalists, authors and screenwriters; nationally recognized teachers; presidents and CEOs of leading corporations; international opera stars, musicians and Broadway stars; and professional athletes, Olympians, doctors, scientists, researchers, and social activists.

Titan alumni number more than 210,000. An active alumni association keeps them connected through numerous networking and social events, and also sponsors nationwide chapters.


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