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California State University-San Marcos Logo

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CSUSM is a 4-year public university located at 333 S Twin Oaks Valley Rd in San Marcos, California. It's a Large campus in a Suburb-based setting with 12,793 enrolled students and a student faculty ratio of 24 to 1. Campus housing is present on campus, and online programs are available.

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California State University-San Marcos Seal About California State University-San Marcos

CSUSM is a public university, which began in 1972; however its story began in 1968 when a need was expressed by many active community members in the region for a higher education institute. The next year a report was also issued by CSU Chancellor Glenn S. Dumke highlighting the concern. After a span of 10 years, the institute was established as satellite campus for San Diego State University. With expansion, the campus outgrew and in 1989 turned into what it is today.

It became the 20th campus in the CSU System, and is based in San Marcos, California. Through its entire journey, the university has grown to understand student needs and brings education and activities through excellence in resources and faculty, preparing students for a higher objective in life.

For California State University-San Marcos, a campus life is not without active student participation. To bring a purposeful experience for its students, there are various activities which begin with student run clubs and organisations, more than 100 such present on campus, a huge variety to appeal to every student; these include Honor Societies and Fraternities and Sororities. To further enhance student experience, which as it calls ‘Tukwut Life’, various events and activities are organised by the Student Union to encourage social interaction and a fun and lively environment. Some of the events are include Karaoke Night, Billiard Tournament and Foosball Tournament and many other such activities. There are also artistic performances such as Dance Showcase, Unplugged events and others. The university has athletic teams, ‘Cougars’ that take part in NCAA Division II. The university colors are Black, Blue and White.

Academics at CSUSM include undergraduate and graduate programs; 62 Bachelor’s degrees, 15 master’s degrees, an Ed.D. program, and 13 teaching credentials. Its prominent facility is the Kellogg Library, named in the honour of the gifts received by Jean and W. Keith Kellogg II.

School Facts

  • Years Estd.1989
  • NicknameCougars
  • ColorsBlue, Black, White
  • LocationCalifornia
  • AthleticsNCAA Division II – CCAA
  • Religious AffiliationNot applicable

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CSUSM Tuition and Fees CSUSM Tuition and Fees

We've provided you the following to learn more about this college. The tuition and demographic data on this page comes from recently published National Center for Education Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

Simple Tuition Estimate


Your Actual Cost/Tuition


The yearly tuition for CSUSM is $7,269. However, this number and one's actual expenses can vary. Some schools have tuition that is higher based on students with residency in-state vs out of state, books, fees, and on or off campus housing will all have an effect. We provide a free calculator tool so you can see what your actual yearly costs might be.

Tuition and Fees Rankings

  • #1819 Nationally for Universities with highest tuition

    Also check out, Check out Colleges with the best tuition

  • #193 Nationally for Colleges with the most expensive cost of living.

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CSUSM Simple Tuition vs. Actual Fees: What's the Difference?

Here a few things that can increase your actual costs of college, and will vary from school to school. It's good to figure out what these are ahead of time when deciding on a school.

  • Out-of-State vs. In-State

    Colleges can charge higher rates of tuition for students who are out-of-state residents and less for students who are in-state residents.
  • Books and Supplies

    Books, supplies and misc student expenses can often be overlooked. Know what those will be!
  • On Campus Housing vs. Living Off Campus

    Whether students live on-campus in designated student housing, or off-campus in a house or apartment, will change the cost of attending college. California State University-San Marcos is located in San Marcos which will also determine rents and cost of living. Use our free calculator to estimate your cost of living.

Calculate your Actual Expenses for CSUSM

Fees Avg. Cost
Books & Supplies $G,BIG
On-Campus Room/Board $IG,S0I
Off-Campus Room/Board $G0,0IS
In-State Tuition $S0,BIG
Other Fees $1G,S00

College Rankings College Rankings

CSUSM is a prestigious 4-year institution in California. The following are the rankings for the school relative to other universities across the country.

  • #1819 Nationally for Universities with highest tuition

    Also, check out Colleges with the best value tuition

  • #193 Nationally for Colleges with the most Expensive cost of living

    Also, check out Colleges with lowest cost of living

  • #291 Nationally for Largest Number of students enrolled

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Can I Get Accepted to CSUSM? Can I Get Accepted to CSUSM?

The Acceptance rate for CSUSM is 54 Percent. Last year, there were 13718 applicants and 30 percent of those who were accepted actually attended (Enrollment Rate). To apply, it's required to have the following: High school GPA, High School transcripts, SAT/ACT test scores.

Total Applicants


Acceptance Rate


Enrollment Rate

  • This university requires SAT/ACT Scores.

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Can Help, But Not Required

  • US Military
  • Associates Degree
  • SAT/ACT Scores
  • Good GPA
  • Work Experience

California State University-San Marcos

Get CSUSM Admissions Information.
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Student Data & Demographics Student Data & Demographics

Total Students


Total Graduate Students


Student to Faculty Ratio

24 to 1

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