California State University San Marcos, or Cal State San Marcos, is the twentieth state university in the California State system, founded in 1989. San Marcos, CA is a suburban town in the northern region of San Diego County. It is a fairly small town for California, with a population of 84,391 and one of its most notable attractions being CSUSM. It is geographically situated between Encinitas, Escondido, Vista, and Carlsbad. Trails, parks, and golf courses are among the most popular attractions in the town, and it is only a short drive away to the heart of San Diego with its many beaches, museums, theatres, stadiums, and other metropolitan attractions.
The University is comprised of three main academic colleges, the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Business Administration, and the College of Education. In addition, there is a School of Nursing and an extensive distance learning program known as the Extended Learning University, which is a part of the California State system. CSU San Marcos has forty-four undergraduate programs and ten graduate degrees. They offer one Ph.D. program, in Education. The University started as a graduate degree granting school only, and added the undergraduate division in 1995. Student enrollment started at 3,642, grew into 9,700 and the administration plans to extend into a campus with 25,000 students in the future.
The University is fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges for their undergraduate and Master Degree programs. Although the school is fairly new, it has managed to stand out in some areas and receive recognition. The School of Education and the College of Business Administration are amongst the programs that have been recognized for excellence in academia and innovation. CSUSM science programs, and visual and performance arts are amongst the best in the region. They also have a nationally recognized program called the “Senior Experience” which encouraged senior undergraduates to collaborate on joint ventures and projects with local organizations and businesses.
Online degrees obtained through distance learning are available in the following areas: Bachelor and Master Degrees in Business Administration, Master Degree in Education, Communication Sciences and Disorders, Accelerated Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Science, and Master of Science in Nursing, a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology, and a Master of Biotechnology. By the Fall of 2012, they will be offering an online Master Degree in Public Health.
CSUSB offers an extensive amount of online courses and certificates in professional training areas. These include, but are not limited to: General Business, Finance and Accounting, Marketing and Communications, Green/Sustainability, Notary, Operations, Legal Studies, Spanish, Hospitality, Computers and Science, Art and Music, Science and Biotechnology, Teacher Professional Development, Digital Arts, Certified Global Professional, Human Resources Operations, Payroll Practice and Management, Advanced Dreamweaver, Photoshop, Flash, Chemical Plant Operations, eBusiness, Enterprise Strategic Management, Nonprofit Management, Performance Management, Medical Transcription, Veterinary Assistant, Advanced Paralegal, Italian, Video Game Design, and Clinial Research Associate.
Total cost of attendance for California State residents is estimated at $18,624, and $28,806 for all other state residents. Financial aid is available based on need in the form of grants, loans, scholarships, and on-campus employment opportunities.