800 N State College Blvd
Fullerton, CA 92831-3599
p. 657-278-2011
w. www.fullerton.edu

California State University-Fullerton

California State University-Fullerton Rating: 4.1/5 (48 votes)

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California State University, Fullerton was founded in 1959 as a state college and became a University in 1972. It is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. Its mission statement says in part, “Through experiences in and out of the classroom, students develop the habit of intellectual inquiry, prepare for challenging professions, strengthen relationships to their communities and contribute productively to society.” It is classed as a Master’s College and University I by the Carnegie Institute.


Fullerton offers 105 degree programs, the majority of them being in the arts disciplines. In addition, the University offers a number of credential and certificate programs. Cal State Fullerton has received numerous recognitions and high rankings, including a Top 10 regional ranking in U.S. News & World Report, a ranking of 6th nationwide for degrees awarded to minority students, a ranking of 5th among the nation’s top 100 colleges for Hispanic undergraduates, and notoriety as one of the “Most Highly Recommended Undergraduate Programs” by The Performing Arts Major’s College Guide. The University includes eight colleges and schools. Fullerton employs 1,900 full-time and part-time faculty, making the student-to-faculty ratio approximately 18-to-1.

California State University, Fullerton has academic programs at both the undergraduate and graduate level. There are 8 colleges: the College of Art, the College of Business and Economics, the College of Communications, the College of Education, the College of Engineering & Computer Science, the College of Humanities & Social Sciences, and the College of Natural Sciences & Mathematics.

Bachelor’s degrees are offered in a variety of fields within the various academic colleges. Degrees at the bachelor’s level can be received in such areas as American Studies, business administration, comparative literature, dance, engineering, health science, international business, nursing, philosophy, theatre arts, and women’s studies. Traditional fields in the sciences, humanities, and liberal arts are available majors. Minors are available in many of the offered majors, and also in sub-specialties such as advertising, Asian studies, gerontology, international politics, and Portuguese.

Graduate programs are offered in many areas. These include master’s level programs in accountancy, civil engineering, counseling, education, history, linguistics, public health, theatre arts, and various sciences and languages. Programs in instructional design and technology, in software engineering, and in information technology are offered entirely on-line. A joint doctoral degree is offered in education with the University of California, Irvine.

There are also credential and certificate programs offered.

Most Popular Fields of Study

Unique Programs

Cal State Fullerton is home to the Fullerton Arboretum, a project in collaboration with the local community. It sits at the campus’ northeast corner and provides acres of beautifully foliage. Also on the site is Heritage House, a 110 year-old estate relocated to the Arboretum’s campus in 1972 and classified as a historical museum.

The Comparative Religion program offers a B.A. in Religious Studies and minors in Religious Studies, Christian Studies, and Jewish Studies. The intent of the program is to examine the history of mankind in the context of our different and universal religious beliefs for a better understanding of man’s spirituality. Religion is approached with academic objectivity, and studies include interdisciplinary coursework from the arts, sciences, and other fields. Students who desire a strong background in humanities or plan to continue on to graduate studies in religion should pursue the Comparative Religion program.

Cal State Fullerton offers numerous courses for working adults; most of the master’s degree programs have courses scheduled for the late afternoon and evening. The Extended Education programs have courses for children, teens, and seniors, as well as more traditional continuing education programs for career development.

There is also an undergraduate Honors program, which offers small seminar-style courses, priority registration, and close relationship with faculty, among other benefits. Applicants must complete a special application, provide two letters of reference, and have a 3.5 GPA in high school.

Another of the other unique opportunities available at California State University, Fullerton is the Desert Studies Center, located in the Mojave Desert. Here individuals can do research on the desert environment, or take special extended education courses. The university also owns and operates the Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary near the Cleveland National Forest.


Cal State at Fullerton has cited that, beginning in the fall of 2004, it has received more applicants for freshman admissions than it is able to accommodate. For that reason, freshman admissions and the overall application process has become more competitive. This will impact the three areas from which Cal State Fullerton draws its freshman applicants: the surrounding area, the greater California area, and out-of-state and international. In addition to being a high school graduate, applicants to Cal State Fullerton must have completed four years of English, three years of mathematics (including Algebra I & II and Geometry), two years each of U.S. history & social science, laboratory science, and foreign language, and one year each of visual and performing arts and electives. Cal State Fullerton subscribes to the same eligibility index for admissions that the other institutions in the California State system use. This index is a calculation to determine an applicant’s general eligibility for admissions. Applicants can determine their own index in one of two ways: multiply the high school grade point average by 800 and add a total score from the SAT, or multiply the high school grade point average by 200 and add ten times the total score from the ACT. Out-of-state students must have a 3502 using the SAT or 842 using the ACT, while California residents must have a 2900 (SAT) or a 694 (ACT).

Cal State Fullerton has an open undergraduate admissions deadline. The application period for students in some majors may extend later than others. The application fee is $55, and applications can be submitted on-line. Students who are enrolled in high school at the time of application will need to have their official final high school transcripts sent after graduation to the Admissions Office.

As part of their application, students should submit high school transcripts and ACT or SAT test scores. Students should have completed high school courses as follows: 4 units of English, 3 units of mathematics, 2 units of history and social studies, 2 units of science, 2 units of a foreign language, 1 year of visual or performing arts, and 1 year of electives. Students must have a GPA of 2.0 or better in these courses. Students will be admitted based on combination of their test scores and high school GPA. Cal State Fullerton groups its applicants into three different pools based on geographic location, and different standards apply to each group.

Transfer students and international students will have varying requirements depending upon their prior educational background.

Students applying to the graduate programs at California State University, Fullerton should consult the individual department and/or school to which they are applying. Applications can be submitted on-line, and the application fee is $55. General requirements include the GRE or other appropriate test scores (such as the GMAT) and a bachelor’s degree. The graduate application deadline varies with the department and program; most programs take applications for the fall until March 1 of the preceding semester, but not all do.

Financial Aid

Cal State Fullerton, like many California institutions recently, is dealing with budget cuts and shortfalls as a result of the improving California economy. The Fullerton website observes that these struggles may result in higher-than-normal tuition costs for students, making financial aid so much more important. The University offers a number of unique scholarship opportunities for students in general, including scholarships for student governors, community service in the health sciences, promoting peace and international understanding, and students who are entering their final year of study and have demonstrated outstanding academic aptitude.

Fees at California State University, Fullerton were $2,516 for the 2003-2004 academic year for in-state, undergraduate students attending full-time. Students applying from out of state and graduate students have higher costs.

Financial aid is available in the form of grants, scholarships, and loans. Work-study programs are also available for some students. Students who seek financial aid will need to fill out the Federal Student Financial Aid Form, available on-line.

Graduate students may also receive financial aid in the form of teaching or research assistantships, including a stipend and a waiver of some or all of the tuition and other fees. Graduate students should consult with their individual department about what sort of assistantships or fellowships are available and about the details of the application process.

Student Financial Aid Details

Ranks 4805th for the average student loan amount.
Secrets to getting the best scholarships and financial aid in California.


Cal State Fullerton formally opened its first residence halls in 1988, offering 396 spaces for on-campus students to reside. In 2002, the University consecutively opened five new residence spaces offering 400 single occupancy bedroom suites to increase the number of resident students on its campus. Most of the suites have three or four bedrooms, giving students the opportunity to interact with their peers regularly while also maintaining their privacy. Entertainment options abound, with the College of the Arts delivering numerous performances each semester, and the student-run Associated Student Productions and The Pub providing additional venues for entertainment. The New Student Programs office coordinates on-campus activities to excite and engage freshman and transfer students on the Fullerton campus.

Student life at California State University, Fullerton includes opportunities in a diverse range of activities and organizations. There are Greek organizations, a newspaper, recreational sports, and numerous clubs and associations of political, special interest, academic, cultural, religious, and other types.

A new performing arts center will open in 2006. Theatre and dance performances are available throughout the year at other theaters on-campus. There is also an arboretum.

Student Enrollment Demographics

Student Graduation Demographics


The California State Fullerton Titans compete in the NCAA’s Division I. Men’s sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, fencing, soccer, track, and wrestling. Women’s sports include basketball, cross country, fencing, gymnastics, soccer, softball, tennis, track, and volleyball. Cal State Fullerton has claimed national championships in baseball (2004, 2995, 1984, and 1979), gymnastics (1979), and softball (1986). The Cal State Fullerton Dance Team also captured the 2004 College Cheerleading and Dance Team National Championship. Athletic facilities include the 10,000-seat Titan Stadium, the 3,500-seat Goodwin Field, a track, and a full-size soccer field. The Titans also have a connection to Olympic Gold, through former point guard Leon Wood who led the men’s Olympic basketball team to victory in the 1984 Games. Other NBA players from Fullerton have included Richard Morton, Henry Turner, Cedric Ceballos, and Bruce Bowen (a player for the NBA Champion San Antonio Spurs). While Fullerton did have a football program at one time, it is now defunct. However, the Titan football team did manage to capture two conference championships and four runner-up titles during the 1980s. Titan football alumni have made significant impact in the NFL and the Canadian Football League.

California State University, Fullerton is an NCAA Division I School. Teams compete in the Big West Conference. Men’s sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, fencing, soccer, track & field, and wrestling. Women’s sports include basketball, cross country, fencing, gymnastics, soccer, softball, tennis, track & field, and volleyball. The sports teams are supported by a women’s dance team that competes in national competitions. The team nick-name is the Titans.

Athletic facilities at California State University, Fullerton include a soccer stadium, baseball and softball fields, tennis courts, and a gymnasium.

The athletic program was founded in 1960.Among the championships and awards that California State University, Fullerton has received are national championships in baseball and softball, and many individual awards, including Olympic team memberships, to individual athletes. Former Titan athletes have gone on to professional success, including current major-league baseball All-Star Chad Cordero.


The Cal State Fullerton mascot is the elephant, even though the Fullerton team name is the Titans. “Tuffy Titan,” the original name for the elephant, was first introduced in the 1960s during the “First Intercollegiate Elephant Race in Human History.” The event attracted 10,000 visitors and 15 elephants, as well as a great deal of press coverage.

Local Community

Fullerton is conveniently located just 20 miles outside of metropolitan Los Angeles and in the popular Orange County area. The city’s population is nearly 135,000, with a nearly even mix of white and Hispanic citizens. With an average temperature of 62 degrees, Fullerton is perfect for outdoor recreation. The city offers 45 city parks, making it easy to find an outlet for the active visitor.

California State University, Fullerton is located in Fullerton, California, in Orange County. The surrounding environment is urban, as part of the greater metropolitan Los Angeles area.

Information Summary

Ranks 46th in California and 552nd overall
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Campus Crime Statistics

Ranks 0th in California and 159th overall on StateUniversity.com‘s Safe School Index
  Incidents per 100 Students
Aggravated assault 10 0.03
Murder & Non-Negligent Manslaughter N/A N/A
Rape N/A N/A
Robbery 1 0.00
Arson N/A N/A
Burglary 7 0.02
Larceny N/A N/A
Vehicle theft 16 0.04
Arrest 21 0.06

Local Crime Statistics

  Incidents per 100 People
Aggravated assault 175 0.13
Murder & Non-Negligent Manslaughter 2 0.00
Forcible Rape 25 0.02
Robbery 104 0.08
Arson N/A N/A
Burglary 643 0.47
Larceny 2,548 1.86
Vehicle theft 359 0.26

Demographics – Main Campus and Surrounding Areas

Reported area around or near Fullerton, CA 92831-3599
Surrounding communityLarge suburb (inside urban area but outside city, pop. over 250,000)
Total Population34,589 (34,589 urban / N/A rural)
Households13,148 (2.54 people per house)
Median Household Income$45,102
Families7,598 (3.17 people per family)

Carnegie Foundation Classification

Master's Colleges and Universities (larger programs)
UndergraduateBalanced arts & sciences/professions, high graduate coexistence
GraduatePostbaccalaureate comprehensive
Undergraduate PopulationMedium full-time four-year, selective, higher transfer-in
EnrollmentHigh undergraduate
Size & SettingLarge four-year, primarily nonresidential

General Characteristics

Title IV EligibilityParticipates in Title IV federal financial aid programs
Highest offeringDoctoral degree
Calendar SystemSemester
Years of college work requiredN/A
Variable Tuition
Religious AffiliationN/A
Congressional District639

Special Learning Opportunities

Distance LearningN/A
ROTC — Army / Navy / Air Force  —   /   / 
Study Abroad
Weekend College
Teacher Certification

Student Tuition Costs and Fees

Ranks 982nd for total cost of attendance
  In District In State Out of State
Effective as of 2014-09-19
FT Undergraduate Tuition $5,472 $5,472 $16,632
FT Undergraduate Required Fees $714 $714 $714
PT Undergraduate per Credit Hour N/A N/A $372
FT Graduate Tuition $6,738 $6,738 $17,898
FT Graduate Required Fees $714 $714 $714
PT Graduate per Credit Hour N/A N/A $372
Total Cost of Attendance — On-Campus $23,505 $23,505 $34,665
Total Cost of Attendance — Off-Campus w/out Family $23,517 $23,517 $34,677
Total Cost of Attendance — Off-Campus with Family $10,809 $10,809 $21,969

Student Tuition Cost History and Trends

Prior year cost comparison
  In District In State Out of State
Published Tuition & Fees $6,120 $6,195 $6,120 $6,195 $17,280 $17,355
  Cost (regardless of residency)
Effective as of 2014-09-19
Books & Supplies $1,700 $1,720
On-Campus – Room & Board $10,300 $11,540
On-Campus – Other Expenses $4,100 $4,300
Off-Campus w/out Family – Room & Board $12,000 $12,213
Off-Campus w/out Family – Other Expenses $4,200 $4,400
Off-Campus with Family – Room & Board $4,200 $4,400

Admission Details

Effective as of 2014-09-19
Application Fee RequiredN/A
Undergraduate Application Fee$55
Graduate Application Fee$55
First Professional Application FeeN/A
Applicants 38,909 (16,219 male / 22,690 female)
Admitted 17,817 (7,395 male / 10,422 female)
Admission rate 46%
First-time Enrollment 4,526 (1,926 male / 2,600 female)
FT Enrollment 4,419 (1,881 male / 2,538 female)
PT Enrollment 107 (45 male / 62 female)
Total Enrollment38,325

Admission Criteria

 = Required,   = Recommended,   = Neither required nor recommended
Open Admissions
Secondary School GPA / Rank / Record  /  N/A / 
College Prep. Completion
Formal competency demoN/A
Admission test scores
Other testsN/A

Admission Credits Accepted

Dual Credit
Life Experience
Advanced Placement (AP)

Athletics - Association Memberships

Sports / Athletic Conference Memberships NCAA
NCAA Basketball Conference Big West Conference
NCAA Baseball Conference Big West Conference
NCAA Track & Field Conference Big West Conference

ACT Test Admission

810th for 75pctl scores
Applicants submitting ACT results 34%
Verbal scores (25/75 %ile) 18 / 24
Math scores (25/75 %ile) 19 / 25
Cumulative scores (25/75 %ile) 19 / 24

SAT Test Admission

705th for 75pctl scores
Applicants submitting SAT results 95%
Verbal scores (25/75 %ile) 450 / 550
Math scores (25/75 %ile) 470 / 580
Cumulative scores (25/75 %ile) 920 / 1130

Student Services

Remedial Services
Academic / Career Counseling
PT Cost-defraying Employment
Career Placement
On-Campus Day Care
Library Facility

Student Living

First-time Room / Board Required
Dorm Capacity1,916
Meals per WeekN/A
Room Fee$9,000
Board Fee$3,816

Student Completion / Graduation Demographics

Total 503 243 2,468 1,874 24 3,002 671 9,038
Accounting 8 3 10 13 5 41
American/United States Studies/Civilization 1 15 1 1 15 3 38
Anthropology 2 1 17 4 24 5 56
Art/Art Studies, General 1 1 14 16 1 21 13 72
Athletic Training/Trainer 1 1 1 2 5
Biochemistry 2 2 7 25 11 2 49
Biology/Biological Sciences, General 3 3 26 54 50 15 155
Biotechnology 1 3 4
Business Administration and Management, General 179 39 378 676 1 525 114 1,957
Chemistry, General 1 3 6 5 3 18
Civil Engineering, General 24 3 21 31 28 11 123
Communication Sciences and Disorders, General 1 49 17 41 18 128
Comparative Literature 1 1
Computer Engineering, General 1 2 6 1 11
Computer Science 54 2 10 28 34 7 136
Computer Software Engineering 7 1 2 8 12 5 40
Counselor Education/School Counseling and Guidance Services 1 2 22 10 41 4 80
Criminal Justice/Safety Studies 3 8 152 42 1 60 26 304
Dance, General 1 7 2 10
Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts, General 1 2 24 8 60 10 112
Early Childhood Education and Teaching 7 4 153 44 175 21 415
Economics, General 5 10 11 20 3 51
Education, General 7 9 68 44 2 114 24 274
Educational/Instructional Technology 3 6 11 4 24
Electrical and Electronics Engineering 24 2 17 8 5 57
Engineering, General
English Language and Literature, General 3 2 49 19 91 18 192
Environmental Science 1 2 3 16 5 28
Environmental/Environmental Health Engineering 1 1
Ethnic, Cultural Minority, Gender, and Group Studies, Other 1 5 11 3 21
European Studies/Civilization
Fine/Studio Arts, General 10 3 49 70 3 88 11 246
French Language and Literature 2 2 4
Geography 3 3 5 17 6 35
Geological and Earth Sciences/Geosciences, Other 1 2 2 5
Geology/Earth Science, General 3 1 16 3 23
Gerontology 1 3 1 4 3 12
Health Services/Allied Health/Health Sciences, General 5 12 102 98 1 68 15 307
Health and Physical Education/Fitness, General 7 15 112 78 2 153 29 412
History, General 3 6 45 10 97 23 189
Human Services, General 10 9 177 31 2 69 11 314
Information Technology 2 1 2 1 6
International Business/Trade/Commerce 11 2 15 11 7 4 50
Japanese Language and Literature 1 3 2 6
Latin American Studies 2 2
Liberal Arts and Sciences/Liberal Studies 3 8 64 21 1 79 17 198
Linguistics 6 7 3 5 3 24
Mathematics, General 5 1 13 20 19 11 71
Mechanical Engineering 14 1 12 9 13 4 54
Music Performance, General 1 1 4 6 15 1 29
Music, General 1 2 7 6 1 15 3 35
Natural Sciences 1 2 1 4
Philosophy 2 7 3 1 14 4 32
Physics, General 3 1 3 2 9
Playwriting and Screenwriting 2 4 1 8
Political Science and Government, General 5 6 41 22 1 45 13 136
Psychology, General 16 13 186 80 185 35 534
Public Administration 1 1 17 10 21 7 57
Public Health, General 2 2 12 10 10 4 41
Radio and Television 6 6 60 19 64 14 173
Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse 10 7 39 81 106 26 275
Religion/Religious Studies 3 2 7 2 15
Rhetoric and Composition 3 2 21 8 1 35 5 78
Social Work 2 16 8 22 4 54
Sociology 7 7 125 36 1 65 18 268
Spanish Language and Literature 3 38 1 5 3 51
Speech Communication and Rhetoric 30 39 228 121 4 352 62 858
Taxation 2 1 1 6 4 1 15
Women's Studies 1 1 1 1 1 5

Faculty Compensation / Salaries

Ranks 825th for the average full-time faculty salary.
Effective as of 2014-09-20
Tenure system N/A
Average FT Salary $78,230 ($80,727 male / $73,065 female)
Number of FT Faculty 893 (453 male / 440 female)
Number of PT Faculty 1,932
FT Faculty Ratio 0.5 : 1
Total Benefits $43,197,335

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