The University


California State University, Los Angeles, founded in 1947 by action of the California State Legislature, is a comprehensive university that offers programs of higher education in more than 50 academic and professional fields. The University is organized into six schools that house nearly 50 academic departments and divisions. Cal State L.A.'s reputation as a center of learning attracts students from all areas of the United States and from many foreign countries. One quarter of the campus' 21,000 students are engaged in postbaccalaureate study in programs leading to master's and doctoral degrees; teaching, service, and specialist credentials; certificates; and other types of programs that prepare them for professional advancement.

Located at the eastern edge of Los Angeles and adjacent to western San Gabriel Valley cities of Alhambra and Monterey Park, Cal State L.A. occupies nearly 200 acres on a hilltop site that affords views of the mountains to the north, the San Gabriel Valley to the east, metropolitan Los Angeles to the west, and the Palos Verdes Peninsula and Catalina Island to the south. Ample parking facilities are available, and public transportation to and from campus is excellent. Buses, subways, and trains provide direct service to more than 35 communities in the San Gabriel Valley and to other nearby Los Angeles communities. The Los Angeles Civic Center, with numerous historical and cultural attractions, is five miles west of the campus. Industrial and business centers and several major shopping centers are located nearby. Popular mountain and desert resorts are within a two-hour drive, and beaches are less than an hour away by car.

The campus is nestled among rolling hills on a site that once housed one of California's 36 original adobes, built in 1776 by Franciscan missionaries and destroyed by fire in 1908. These lands once were part of a Spanish land grant known as the Rancho Rosa Castilla, created by the family of Juan Batista Batz, a Basque rancher from northern Spain who settled here in the 1850s. The inspiration for the name of the rancho, according to local historians, was the wild rose that once grew near the ranch home. The main drive through the campus is known as Paseo Rancho Castilla, in acknowledgment of our historic heritage.

The Campus Setting

The academic character of the University is reflected in the contemporary design of its physical facilities. The general campus is planned in such a way that it will permanently retain a spacious, open atmosphere, created by landscaped plazas and courts integrated with contemporary concrete, brick, and glass buildings. Surrounding hillsides and parking areas are extensively planted with a variety of trees, shrubs, and ground covers that further embellish the park-like environment of the campus.

From 1947 to 1955 Cal State L.A. was situated on the campus of Los Angeles City College and shared its facilities. In 1956 construction began on the present site, and in 1958 ten newly constructed permanent buildings were first occupied. In more recent years the University went through another major phase of master plan development that included a new administration building, major additions to several classroom buildings, construction of two new classroom buildings with underground parking structures, relocation and expansion of the Student Health Center, and the addition of a modern University-Student Union. Other recently completed projects include parking facilities for more than 2,700 cars; an excellent, attractively landscaped road access system; major remodeling of the south wing of the Fine Arts building; completion of the Anna Bing Arnold child care center and of garden style apartments that provide on-campus housing for more than 1,000 students. In 1994 the Harriet and Charles Luckman Fine Arts Complex was opened. It includes a large theater and visual arts gallery. Major remodeling of more than 12,000 square feet of interior space in Salazar Hall now provides a home for the federally funded Roybal Center of Applied Gerontology. A total of 19 permanent buildings, representing a financial investment by the state of California of more than $115 million, stand on a plateau that serves as a refreshing oasis in the center of the Los Angeles region.

Mission of the University

California State University, Los Angeles is an academic community offering a comprehensive range of liberal arts and professional programs that prepare students for success in advanced study, in their careers, and throughout their lives. The University is committed to free scholarly inquiry and to academic excellence in undergraduate, graduate, and other postbaccalaureate and continuing education programs. This commitment underlies strong educational programs as well as research, scholarship, and creative and community service activities designed for the needs of a uniquely diverse student body. The excellence of these programs derives from a highly qualified faculty and support staff. These individuals are the keystone of the institution.

The University's primary service area is greater Los Angeles, a metropolitan center with national and international significance which is further enhanced by its location on the Pacific Rim. The University's close proximity to the civic, cultural, multicultural, and economic centers of the greater Los Angeles basin enables it to foster strong cooperative relationships with community, business, educational, cultural, and political institutions. Partnerships are continually being built on these opportunities for the enhancement of academic programs and the community.

The University's programs are designed to encourage student excellence and enhanced achievement. Therefore the University offers small classes at all levels, ensuring close interaction between faculty and students. The educational program is designed to foster habits of disciplined inquiry and to develop students' critical abilities to think, read, write, compute, listen, and communicate effectively. Recognizing its commitment to teaching, research, scholarship, and creative activities, the University supports an effective library. The University also supports the use of new technologies to enhance and enrich the educational process. The University strives to promote understanding of, and respect, for racial, ethnic, cultural and gender diversity and to serve the changing needs of a global society. Recognizing that true equity transcends equal access, the University provides support services which help a diverse student population to succeed in university study.

The University is committed to providing students with a balanced educational experience including co-curricular activities which contribute to personal enrichment such as student organizations, campus residence life, artistic events, multicultural events, intercollegiate athletics, and intramural activities.

California State University, Los Angeles is committed to fostering ethical behavior among administrators, faculty, staff, and students. The campus collegial governance structure therefore adheres to the principles of academic freedom and professional ethics consistent with the responsibilities of an academic community.

The Faculty

The reputation Cal State L.A. enjoys as an institution of higher learning is creditable largely to the quality of the faculty and their commitment to teaching and scholarship. These men and women have earned their highest degrees from leading universities throughout the world. Their achievements in their academic fields of specialization make them eminently qualified to teach students who possess a variety of academic interests.

The faculty's high regard for scholarship is evidenced by its continuing participation in scholarly study and research and creative efforts. Proof of commitment to teaching is found in the fact that senior faculty members regularly teach introductory courses in their disciplines and assume responsibility for academic and career advisement of students majoring in their departmental and divisional programs. Close student-faculty ties develop further through campus organizations and in University committees, on which students may serve as voting members.

The Academic Year/Quarter System

Cal State L.A. operates year round on the quarter system. Four quarters, each 11 weeks in duration, comprise the academic year. The summer quarter is a regular academic quarter, equal in all respects to the other three quarters. Students may maintain normal academic progress by full-time attendance during any three quarters of each year. Classes are scheduled weekdays from 8 a.m. until 10 p.m. and on Saturday mornings to serve the needs of full-time, part-time, and working students.