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California State University-San Marcos (CSUSM) is a large university in a beautiful suburb. With its impressive size, it can provide its students with various exceptional learning opportunities. This is supported by distance education for both undergraduate and graduate programs. Students can take advantage of flexible learning options that fit their needs and schedules. The university offers academic and career counseling services to help students navigate their educational paths. It helps provide employment services to help students find part-time jobs while they study. The school also offers placement services to help recent graduates find meaningful careers.

Overview of California State University-San Marcos (CSUSM)

California State University, San Marcos (CSUSM) is committed to providing a high-quality education that prepares students to succeed in their chosen fields. To this end, the university offers numerous exceptional learning opportunities including teacher certification, research opportunities, internships, and study abroad programs. Students can take advantage of the school's state-of-the-art resources, such as the CSUSM Innovation Hub and the Biotechnology Research and Teaching Laboratory.

CSUSM accepts online applications, making the admissions process convenient and accessible for prospective students. The university offers a welcoming, inclusive community, with no religious affiliation. CSUSM is an excellent choice for students seeking a top-tier education in a supportive, dynamic environment.

General Information

School Type Public
Campus Setting Suburb: Large
Campus Housing Yes
Student Faculty Ratio 27:1
Graduation Rate 57%
Year Founded 1989

Student Enrollment

Total Students16,367


Undergraduate Student

Male 5,866
Female 9,174

Graduate Student

Male 518
Female 809

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CSUSM Acceptance Rate and Admissions


Male 5,669
Female 9,744


Male 4,308
Female 7,893

Acceptance Rate79%

Male 76%
Female 81%

Enrollment 2,192

Male 795
Female 1,397
Application Fee $70
High School GPA Required
High School Rank NA
High School Transcripts Required
College Prep Courses Required
Recommendations NA
SAT/ACT Required
TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) NA
Application Deadline November 30
Common Application Accepted Yes

CSUSM Tuition Cost & Financial Aid

At California State University San Marcos, expenses can vary depending on the student's living situation. On-campus living costs an average of $25,507 per year, while off-campus living costs around $31,625. Students living with their families can expect to pay an average of $13,481 annually. However, the university offers financial aid to help students with costs. Students receive an average of $8,538 in grant or scholarship aid, with Pell Grant recipients receiving an average of $4,718. Federal student loans are also available, with an average amount of $6,496 going to students. Graduate students can benefit from the university's affordable tuition rates, with in-state tuition and fees costing an average of $7,176 annually. Out-of-state students can expect to pay $16,680 for education and $1,991 for expenses. The average net price is, therefore, $14,296.

Average net price Current Year
Net Price $12,933
Average Total Aid $9,192
Students Receiving Financial Aid 83%
Room & Board $13,150

Sticker Price

  • Tuition In-State - $7,712
  • Tuition Out-of-State - $19,592
  • Books and Supplies - $1,072
  • Room & Board - $13,150
  • Other - $3,152

Popular Educational Academics at CSUSM

California State University, San Marcos offers many academic programs including bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees. The university also provides post-baccalaureate and post-master certificates for students seeking additional educational credentials. A doctoral degree offered at CSUSM emphasizes research and scholarship. This allows students to engage in innovative research and scholarship within their fields of study. These programs provide students with a comprehensive education and a pathway toward career advancement.

California State University, San Marcos, has a retention rate of 79% for first-time students pursuing degrees in full-time study. This high retention rate is a testament to the university's commitment to supporting its students academically. It also shows that they provide them with the necessary resources to succeed. The retention rate for part-time students is still commendable, with 46% of first-time students staying enrolled.

The university has an overall graduation rate of 59% for students who began their studies in the fall of 2015. This reflects the dedication and hard work of CSUSM students and faculty. The transfer-out rate is low at 3%, indicating that the university successfully prepares students for continued academic success at other institutions.

The student faculty ratio at CSUSM is 25:1. This ratio is reasonable and allows for a personalized learning experience for students. California State University, San Marcos considers retention rates, graduation and transfer-out rates, and student faculty ratio as essential factors in evaluating and improving the quality of education and support provided to its students. These metrics help CSUSM to identify areas where it can provide better academic programs and services.

Student Population Total

Student Population 16,367

Evening Classes : No
Online Learning : Yes

Most Popular Programs & Majors

(# of Diplomas Awarded by Subject)

All Social Science Majors 679 Total Graduates / 18%
Criminology 267 Graduates
Sociology, General 232 Graduates
Political Science and Government, General 65 Graduates
Economics, General 64 Graduates
All Business Majors 611 Total Graduates / 16%
Business Administration and Management, General 611 Graduates
Health Professions and Related Programs 398 Total Graduates / 10%
Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse 345 Graduates
Speech-Language Pathology/Pathologist 53 Graduates
Psychology 306 Total Graduates / 8%
Psychology, General 306 Graduates
Family and Consumer Sciences/Human Sciences 305 Total Graduates / 8%
Human Development and Family Studies, General 305 Graduates
All Other Diplomas 41%

Outcome & Salary

The outcomes of California State University, San Marcos, are reflected in the high percentage of students who receive an undergraduate degree certificate. With 60% of full-time and 38% of part-time students receiving certificates, CSUSM is committed to providing its students with the necessary resources to succeed. It also gives them support to complete their degree programs. Four hundred and one students receive benefits/assistance, which suggests that CSUSM is dedicated to ensuring its students have access to resources. These outcomes demonstrate the university's commitment to high-quality education and student support.

CSU – San Marcos also was ranked 13 out of 1200 colleges when it came to employment outcomes for students graduating from the school. This ranking was based on the number of students employed in their graduating field and how many graduates were employed within a year of graduation, among other factors. Based on this, attending CSUSM is a great chance to prepare you for the work force, and likely to help you find a job quickly in your chosen field.

Graduates Salary
College Grads Early Career Salary $57,100
College Grads Average Salary $68,000
College Grads Mid Career Salary $105,300
Return on Investment (ROI)
10 Year Salary Earnings Potential $680,000
20 Year Salary Earnings Potential $1,733,000
Cost of Education (Net Price) 4 Year $51,732
10 Year Projected ROI $628,268
20 Year Projected ROI $1,681,268
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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