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Cleveland State University (CSU) is public research institution located in Cleveland, Ohio. It is part of the University System of Ohio, which offers more than 200 academic programs. Founded in 1964, it opened for classes in 1965 and can award undergraduate, graduate, and law degrees. According to the Bookings Institution, Cleveland State University is ranked number 18 among United State institutions that fulfill a critical dual mission of providing upward mobility and conducting impactful research. U.S. News & World Report also consistently lists the school as one of America’s Best Colleges and Universities.

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Overview of Cleveland State University (CSU)

The school is student-focused, providing accessible, affordable, and engaged learning opportunities for all. It is dedicated to ensuring students have the resources they need to persist and success in their career paths, as well as connect with the larger community through meaningful, mutually beneficial partnerships. Cleveland State University also takes pride in offering high-quality educational experience to a wide spectrum of students without creating financial burden.

The total student population as of the 2019 fall semester was 15,433, including undergraduate and undergraduate transfer students. There were also 3,869 graduate students enrolled. Approximately 79% of those enrolled attended classes full-time, while 21% were part-time students. The student body is also predominately female, with 54% identifying as female and 46% identifying as male. Additionally, the mass majority of students were white, but enrollment was also high among black or African American populations.

General Information

School Type Public
Campus Setting City: Large
Campus Housing Yes
Student Faculty Ratio 16:1
Graduation Rate 46%
Year Founded 1964

Student Enrollment

Total Students15,433


Undergraduate Student

Male 5,319
Female 6,245

Graduate Student

Male 1,780
Female 2,089

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CSU Acceptance Rate and Admissions


Male 4,008
Female 6,638


Male 3,727
Female 6,306

Acceptance Rate94%

Male 93%
Female 95%

Enrollment 2,001

Male 861
Female 1,140
Application Fee $40
High School GPA Required
High School Rank Recommended
High School Transcripts Required
College Prep Courses Required
Recommendations NA
SAT/ACT Required
TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) Required
Application Deadline Rolling
Common Application Accepted Yes

CSU Tuition Cost & Financial Aid

At Cleveland State University, the average cost of attendance varies depending on enrollment status, residency, and course selection. It’s important to note that the institution does charge non-residents and international students at different rates.

The estimated tuition and fees for residents attending Cleveland State University for the 2020-2021 academic year was $11,185. Out-of-state students paid closer to $15,952 and those from other countries paid even more. This does not include the cost of living on or off campus, which adds another $15,000 per year. Additionally, those enrolled should anticipate spending an additional $800 for books and supplies.

Cleveland State University does offer financial aid in the form of grants, work-study, loans, and scholarship. All students are encouraged to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), but the institution also offers numerous scholarships for academic or other achievements. Approximately 92% of full-time beginning undergraduate students receive some form of financial aid. Most are awarded grants or scholarship, but 60% of students still need loans to cover the associated expenses.

Average net price 2018-2019
Net Price $16,219
Average Total Aid $7,649
Students Receiving Financial Aid 89%
Room & Board $12,882

Sticker Price

  • Tuition In-State - $10,825
  • Tuition Out-of-State - $15,370
  • Books and Supplies - $800
  • Room & Board - $12,882
  • Other - $3,470


Cleveland State University advisors help students develop a plan to achieve academic success by providing ongoing assistance with requirements and course selection. Students may pursue bachelor’s, master’s, law, and doctoral degrees, as well as law academic certificates. There are 11 academic colleges to choose from and 38 departments and schools offering programs. The school also offers continuing education and eLearning opportunities.

Some popular majors worth noting include:

  • General Psychology
  • Clinical / Medical Laboratory Science and Allied Professions
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Accounting
  • Registered Nursing

The student-faculty ratio is 16:1, so students have plenty of opportunities to interact with instructors individually. Approximately 547 full-time and 629 part-time undergraduate faculty members are employed here as well, all of whom focus solely on instruction. There are also 219 graduate assistants providing instructional and research support.

Retention rates measure the percentage of first-time students seeking bachelor’s degrees who choose to return to the institution to continue their studies for a second semester. Cleveland State University has a retention rate of 74% for full-time students and 50% for part-time students, indicating that most individuals enrolled are pleased with their experiences.

Graduation rates indicate the percentage of first-time students who earn their degree or certificate within 150% of the standard completion time. In 2019, the overall graduation rate for Cleveland State University was 48%; however, a sizeable 35% transferred out prior to graduation. It’s important to note that most students graduated within a six-year timeframe.

Cleveland State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, which is one of six regionally accreditation agencies recognized by the United States Department of Education. Many individual programs also have separate and specialized accreditation.

Some of the most prominent examples include:

  • American Bar Association
  • Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health
  • Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business
  • Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation
  • American Psychology Association
  • National Association of Schools of Music
  • Council on Social Work Education

Student Population Total

Student Population 15,433

Evening Classes : Yes
Online Learning : Yes

Most Popular Programs & Majors

(# of Diplomas Awarded by Subject)

Health Professions and Related Programs 503 Total Graduates / 20%
Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse 219 Graduates
Clinical/Medical Laboratory Science and Allied Professions, Other 168 Graduates
Health/Medical Preparatory Programs, Other 52 Graduates
Physician Assistant 26 Graduates
All Business Majors 436 Total Graduates / 17%
Finance, General 81 Graduates
Accounting 80 Graduates
Marketing/Marketing Management, General 77 Graduates
Business Administration and Management, General 74 Graduates
All Engineering Majors 264 Total Graduates / 10%
Mechanical Engineering 117 Graduates
Chemical Engineering 50 Graduates
Civil Engineering, General 38 Graduates
Electrical and Electronics Engineering 34 Graduates
All Social Sciences Majors 216 Total Graduates / 9%
Criminology 58 Graduates
Urban Studies/Affairs 45 Graduates
Political Science and Government, General 34 Graduates
Sociology, General 19 Graduates
All Psychology Majors 215 Total Graduates / 8%
Psychology, General 215 Graduates
All Other Diplomas 36%

Outcome & Salary

Cleveland State University graduation outcomes and employment rates greatly upon the program selected. Graduates from the College of Sciences and Health Professions college, for example, had 100% employment placement in the profession within six months of graduation from 2018-2019. Graduates from the College of Law were also relatively successful in finding work. Of the 99 who graduated in 2020, only 12 were still unemployed and seeking jobs.

Graduates Salary
College Grads Early Career Salary $49,700
College Grads Average Salary $66,024
College Grads Mid Career Salary $86,000
Return on Investment (ROI)
10 Year Salary Earnings Potential $660,240
20 Year Salary Earnings Potential $1,520,240
Cost of Education (Net Price) 4 Year $64,876
10 Year Projected ROI $595,364
20 Year Projected ROI $1,455,364
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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