California State University-Los Angeles: Academics, Admissions & Tuition

Oct 20, 2021

About California State University, Los Angeles

California State University, Los Angeles, (CSULA) is a public, 4-year university that offers bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree programs, as well as post-baccalaureate and post-master's certificate and credential programs. The university is located about 5 miles east of downtown Los Angeles. CSULA offers a wide variety of degree, certificate and credential programs.


CSULA is comprised of 8 colleges, which include the College of Arts and Letters; College of Business and Economics; Charter College of Education; College of Health and Human Sciences; and the Honor College. The university offers 70 bachelor's degree programs, 4 bachelor's/master's combination degree programs, 68 master's degree programs and 2 doctoral degree programs. The university also offers 15 post-baccalaureate certificate programs and 10 post-master's certificate programs, as well as 31 credential programs. The most popular undergraduate programs are in criminal justice, psychology and business administration.

The average class size is about 27 students, and the student-to-faculty ratio is 23 to 1. The university offers over 130 student organizations. The university's athletic department reported that CSULA student athletes have participated in the Olympic Games and have won 19 medals, including 10 gold medals. The athletic department offers men's track and field, baseball, basketball and soccer, along with women's basketball, indoor and outdoor track and field, cross-country, soccer, tennis and volleyball.


Prospective undergraduate students will need to apply through the CSU Mentor website, which allows students to apply to any California State University campus. The university accepts applications for fall admission starting in October of the year prior to preferred admission into the university. Students, however, can be accepted during any of the school's academic quarters. Spring quarter applications are accepted starting August 1st of the year prior to preferred admission. The application fee is $55.

First-time freshmen are required to have graduated from high school or hold a GED. Students will be selected based on their grades in core college-prep courses. Applicants are also required to have completed either the SAT or ACT by December of the year prior to expected admission. Cal State LA was 59% female as of 2012, and the student population was 54% Hispanic/Latino, 17% Asian, 9% white and 6% African American or black.

Tuition & Financial Aid

Prospective California students could expect to pay between $17,600 and $25,400 in the 2012-2013 school year for tuition, fees and other school-related and living expenses, depending on if the student chooses to live on or off campus. Tuition and mandatory fees in the same school year were $6,839 for all California residents. Out-of-state students paid about $15,767 in tuition and fees, which put the total tuition, fees and living costs at about $26,600-$34,300 per year.

A number of merit and need-based scholarships are made available to CSULA students. The school also offers resources that can connect students to external scholarships. Many of these opportunities are open to applicants of a particular major or ethnicity. Graduate fellowships are also available to students who meet specific qualifications, but these are often awarded by independent organizations.

School Type 4-year, public*
Degrees Offered Bachelor's degrees, master's degrees, doctoral degrees, post-baccalaureate certificates, post-master's certificates**
Academic Calendar Quarter**
School Setting Large city*
Student Body Fall 2011: 17,399 undergraduates, 21,284 total*
Schools and Programs 8 colleges; 70 bachelor's degrees, 4 bachelor's/master's combination degrees, 68 master's degrees, 2 doctoral degrees, 15 post-baccalaureate certificates, 10 post-master certificates, 31 credential programs**
Student-Faculty Ratio 23 to 1**
Most Popular Fields of Study by Degree Level (Number of Recipients) 2010-2011:
Business administration and management (803)*
Psychology (262)*
Social work (242)*
Undergraduate Graduation Rates Within 4 years: 8.5%**
Within 5 years: 24.1%**
Within 6 years: 33.1%**
Admission Rate Fall 2010: 57%*
First-Year Retention Rates Return fall 2011: 81% of full-time students, 60% of part-time students*
Average SAT and ACT Scores of Admitted Students Fall 2010:
25th percentile SAT scores
Critical Reading (CR): 380*, Math (M): 390*;
75th percentile SAT scores: CR: 490*, M: 510*;
25th percentile ACT composite: 15*;
75th percentile ACT composite: 20*
Application Due Date For spring admission: August of the year prior to preferred admission. For fall admission: October of the year prior to preferred admission***
Tuition and Mandatory Fees for 2012-2013 $6,839 for residents; $15,767 for non-residents**
Financial Aid Sources Available (Percent of Students Receiving It) For 2010-2011: Grant or scholarship (71%)*, State or local government (42%)*, Institution grant or scholarship (57%)*, Student loan (23%)*
Percent of Students Receiving Some Form of Aid 2010-2011: 77%*

Sources: *IPEDS Data Center, National Center for Education Statistics, **California State University, Los Angeles, ***CSU Mentor

School Contact Information

  • Address: 5151 State University Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90032
  • Phone: (323) 343-3901
  • Website:

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