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California Baptist University (CBU) is a private, Christian university located in Riverside, California. Established in 1950, the institution is affiliated with the California Southern Baptist Convention. It is recognized as one of the top private Christian colleges and universities in Southern California and offers degrees at the associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels. Students can also enroll in credentialing programs and classes are available online.

Overview of California Baptist University (CBU)

As a Christian institution, California Baptist University (CBU) believes each person has been created for a unique purpose. The university strives to help students understand and engage with this purpose by providing Christ-centered educational experiences and integrating academics with spiritual and social development.

Accreditation is provided by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. In addition to this institution-wide accreditation, many of the school’s programs maintain their own specialized accreditations. Some prominent accrediting agencies associated with the university include the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs, National Association of Schools of Music, Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, and the American Council for Construction Education.

General Information

School Type Private not-for-profit
Campus Setting City: Large
Campus Housing Yes
Student Faculty Ratio 16:1
Graduation Rate 62%
Year Founded 1950

Student Enrollment

Total Students11,045


Undergraduate Student

Male 3,112
Female 5,078

Graduate Student

Male 1,085
Female 1,770

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CBU Acceptance Rate and Admissions


Male 2,334
Female 4,627


Male 1,844
Female 3,748

Acceptance Rate80%

Male 79%
Female 81%

Enrollment 1,337

Male 477
Female 860
Application Fee $45
High School GPA Required
High School Rank Recommended
High School Transcripts Required
College Prep Courses Recommended
Recommendations Recommended
SAT/ACT Required
TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) Recommended
Application Deadline Rolling
Common Application Accepted No

CBU Tuition Cost & Financial Aid

California Baptist University is dedicated to keeping tuition costs affordable, while also enabling students to secure financial aid. The estimated annual expenses for the 2021-2023 academic year for all undergraduate students is $35,958, assuming students enroll in 13 to 18 units. Students must also pay yearly fees totaling $2,410. This does not include the cost of living on campus. Those who want housing and meal plans will need to pay an additional $11,110 per year. Other meal plan and housing options are available, but may be more expensive. Further, the cost of enrolling in graduate-level programs varies based on the type of degree sought.

Additionally, there are many financial aid opportunities for both undergraduate and graduate students at California Baptist University. The institution tends to award scholarships based on academic, athletic, and creative merit, while grants are more frequently provided to students demonstrating financial need. Approximately 98% of those enrolled at the university receive some form of financial aid. While 97% receive aid in the form of grants and scholarships, 67% still require student loans in order to attend.

Average net price 2018-2019
Net Price $23,055
Average Total Aid $20,526
Students Receiving Financial Aid 98%
Room & Board $9,660

Sticker Price

  • Tuition In-State - $34,882
  • Tuition Out-of-State - $34,882
  • Books and Supplies - $1,970
  • Room & Board - $9,660
  • Other - $3,716


California Baptist University offers a variety of academic opportunities at the undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels. Programs are designed to challenge students to develop skills, integrity, and senses of purpose that glorify God in order to become more distinguished in the workplace and world.

Students can choose from two associate degree programs, 103 bachelor’s degree programs, 40 master’s degree programs, and seven doctoral degree programs.

University colleges include:

  • College of Architecture, Visual Arts, and Design
  • College of Arts and Sciences
  • College of Behavioral and Social Sciences
  • Gordon and Jill Bourns Colleges of Engineering
  • College of Health Science
  • College of Nursing
  • Dr. Robert K. Jabs School of Business
  • School of Christian Ministries
  • Dr. Bonnie G. Metcalf School of Education
  • Shelby and Ferne Collinsworth School of Music
  • Dr. Paul and Annie Kienel Leadership Institute

The total enrollment for undergraduate and graduate students is 11,491 - 8,109 of whom are working toward bachelor’s degrees. Most attend classes on campus and are enrolled full-time, but the institution does offer online learning opportunities. With 347 full-time and 509 part-time faculty members providing instruction, the university has a student-faculty ratio of 19:1. This means students tend to have decent opportunities for one-on-one interactions with their professors.

The retention rate for first-time students pursing bachelor’s degrees was 76% for full-time students and 34% for part-time students in 2020. This statistic is significant because it indicates that the majority of students were satisfied enough with their experiences at the university to return for a second year of study.

Overall graduation and transfer-out rates are a bit lower. Graduation rates for students who began their studies in fall 2014 were 62%, with 26% of students transferring out. This data is often referred to as the “Student Right to Know” and provides a general guide to demonstrate how many students are able to graduate within a standard amount of time. Approximately 41% of students who enrolled in 2014 graduated within four years, while about 62% of the same group graduated within six years.

Student Population Total

Student Population 11,045

Evening Classes : Yes
Online Learning : Yes

Most Popular Programs & Majors

(# of Diplomas Awarded by Subject)

Health Professions and Related Programs 355 Total Graduates / 20%
Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse 159 Graduates
Communication Sciences and Disorders, General 58 Graduates
Health Services/Allied Health/Health Sciences, General 56 Graduates
Public Health, General 37 Graduates
All Business Majors 295 Total Graduates / 17%
Business/Commerce, General 174 Graduates
Accounting 48 Graduates
Marketing/Marketing Management, General 39 Graduates
Organizational Leadership 14 Graduates
All Psychology Majors 169 Total Graduates / 10%
Psychology, General 169 Graduates
Parks, Recreation, Leisure, Fitness, and Kinesiology 129 Total Graduates / 7%
Exercise Science and Kinesiology 125 Graduates
Sport and Fitness Administration/Management 4 Graduates
All Engineering Majors 106 Total Graduates / 6%
Mechanical Engineering 35 Graduates
Electrical and Computer Engineering 21 Graduates
Civil Engineering, General 15 Graduates
Bioengineering and Biomedical Engineering 13 Graduates
All Other Diplomas 40%

Outcome & Salary

The majority of students enrolled at California Baptist University graduate when they are expected to. Of the full-time, first-time, degree-seeking undergraduates who entered the institution for the 2012-2013 academic year, 57% of them received bachelor’s degrees. This number is slightly higher for non-first-time degree-seeking undergraduates, with 72% of these students receiving undergraduate bachelor’s degrees. Part-time, degree-seeking undergraduates enrolled at the same time received bachelor’s degrees as a slightly lower rate of 22%.

Graduates Salary
College Grads Early Career Salary $51,600
College Grads Average Salary $63,635
College Grads Mid Career Salary $85,400
Return on Investment (ROI)
10 Year Salary Earnings Potential $636,350
20 Year Salary Earnings Potential $1,490,350
Cost of Education (Net Price) 4 Year $92,220
10 Year Projected ROI $544,130
20 Year Projected ROI $1,398,130
No College Education Salary Comparison
National Average Salary $38,792
10 Year Projected Income $387,920
20 Year Projected Income $775,840

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