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California’s 10 Leading State Universities

California’s 10 Leading State Universities

8.  CSU Stanislaus

CSU Stanislaus is the only campus in the CSU system to offer a Bachelor’s degree in Cognitive Studies. There are about 9,000 students on campus.

The University is comprised of four colleges and has the first fully AACSB-accredited MBA program in California. It is a relatively new university being granted that status in 1986. But, CSU Stanislaus has already made its mark as it appears on many lists including the Princeton Review for graduation rate and affordability.

A rather impressive distinction came from its number 10 rank on the Social Mobility Index recognizing the school’s commitment to educating economically disadvantaged at a lower cost to improve social mobility. A study commissioned by National Public Radio ranked Stanislaus State 5th in the nation in 2015 for upward mobility.

In July of 2015, Money Magazine ranked it 3rd in the nation and 1st among public universities for helping students exceed expectations.

By Intothewoods29Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

Imagine attending college in the heart of the Central Valley, on a 228-acre campus that has glistening ponds, streams, and waterfalls. Can you see yourself in the City of Turlock with a reported low crime rate and friendly small town feel?

The landscape certainly inspires the students of the arts. You could enjoy participating in or watching one of the fourteen varsity D II sports or many intramurals.

There is a new (2009) Arena and Student Recreation Center. Think of the opportunities that wait at the Naraghi Hall of Science, a state-of–the-art and nationally certified as an environmentally “green” building, which opened in 2007. Or have fun choosing free time activities from over 100 clubs, fraternities, sororities, and student leadership programs.

There is a second campus at the Stockton Center in the Magnolia District, again a picturesque place. This is the only public higher education beyond community college in the San Joaquin Valley. It offers classes at times convenient for working adults in several academic areas without the need for them to commute to Turlock. Nice.

Tuition, Room & Board – $16,300.

Go Warriors.

7. CSU Sacramento

Sac State Riverside Hall.jpg
By DevinCook at English Wikipedia – Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons by Killiondude using CommonsHelper

Founded in 1947, Sac State is comprised of 7 colleges. Sac State even offers an International Master’s in Business Administration in Singapore. Not bad.

Sac State is designated as a Tree Campus USA. It sits on 300 acres with 3500 trees. There are 1200 trees in the University Arboretum. It has an arboretum. Wow. Not many can boast that. Of course, Stanford has one, but I have toured plenty of campuses that don’t.

The campus is described on the website as being an “urban oasis” as it sits on the banks of the American River and in the capital city of Sacramento, close to restaurants, shopping, and all the wonder that a capital city can hold.

The approximately 29,000 students can enjoy the local museums and city offerings, or ride the 32-mile American River Bike Trail, or take in one of the D I sporting events. Maybe you would rather be part of Greek life, clubs, intramural sports, ROTC or volunteer.

There are some unique things that set Sac State apart. First of all, if you want to be a student here, you need to learn the “Stingers Up” hand signal.

This is another diverse campus, with lots of new building. There is a new residence hall slated to open in the fall, a new science building being started and an addition going on at the University Union.  And they are adding more parking. Who doesn’t like to hear more parking?

The Construction Management program has been boasting about 100% job placement since 2011, the Center for Interdisciplinary Molecular Education, Research & Advancement provides a state-of-the-art facility focused on Cell and Molecular Biology, Biochemistry research and Education.

The 2nd largest Criminal Justice program in the country is at Sac State. There may also be a ghost that interrupts performances at Shasta Hall.

Tuition, Room, and Board – $25,300.

Stingers up, Hornets.




  1. How about giving a few spots to some of us going for a 2nd Bachelor’s!!! In 2008, the economy tanked and some jobs tanked with it! If you need or want to re-educate yourself in California because you industry tanked in 2008, you’re up a creek in the Cal State system. You’re penalized for being educated! I understand that you’re trying to give opportunity to those that are going for their first degree, but couldn’t you have reserved 10% of those slots for some of us that want/need a 2nd bachelor. So you ask why not a Master’s! Well, if your 2nd degree is different from your first, how do you get a Masters when you don’t have the undergraduate background??? And why would one get a 2nd bachelor in the same subject matter. Anyway, think about it!

    1. Good comment, but please check out your options, Patricia. Most Master’s programs (shop around if you have to) allow students with different undergrads. It’s actually quite common. Typically you take a few upper division undergrad courses in that department along with your Master’s program, but even so, it’s usually fewer units than another Bachelor’s degree. Resume-wise, a second Bachelor’s degree does very little for you, on top of the fact that if financial aid is a consideration, it won’t support a second Bachelor’s. In most fields, the Master’s is the highest level of education you’ll ever need, so professionally, you’re much better going for a Master’s.

  2. My wife just completed her first year a professor in the Business at Cal State Stanislaus.
    She and her colleagues don’t stop at teaching their students, they are caring of each student, they are innovative and dedicated to creating a holistic approach to success for everyone.


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