With the ambiance of a small, personal campus with the unequaled value of the California State University. Students benefit from the latest equipment and facilities, a superb faculty that enjoys teaching, and a rigorous academic program that prepares students for a successful life.

Who We Are

Founded in 1989, California State University San Marcos is a new kind of university — technologically sophisticated, fully engaged in the community and pushing the boundaries of innovation. Our hands-on, real-world curriculum and applied research fuels the creativity that yields ideas to solve critical 21st century problems. Today, more than 10,000 students attend our 304-acre, state-of-the-art main campus, which is fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, and is the 20th campus established in the 23-campus CSU system.


You'll have the best of all worlds. Located in the foothills of San Marcos, California (northern San Diego County), just a short distance from some of Southern California’s best beaches and an hour from the U.S.-Mexico border. Only miles from the hustle and bustle of major cities such as San Diego and Los Angeles, but nestled in a quiet, suburban neighborhood (population 55,000). While our campus is expansive (we're talking 304 acres), it's tucked into the foothills overlooking the city, creating a tight-knit community right here on campus.

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Points of Pride

  • In the 2012 Safest Schools report on StateUniversity.com, CSUSM was recognized as the safest four-year campus in California for the second year in a row.

  • In its Best for Vets: Colleges 2013 report,Military Times Edge ranked CSUSM as the best public university in California for veterans

  • In the 2011-12 season, seven of CSUSM’s 13 Cougar Athletic teams won NAIA Conference Championships.

  • Eight CSUSM teams have been ranked in the NAIA Top 10 in their respective sports in 2012-13.