California State University-Channel Islands


The 23rd member of the California State University system, Cal State Channel Islands was established in 2002. Although its name is Channel Islands (CI for short) campus is actually located a few miles outside the suburban community of Camarillo. on the grounds of the former Camarillo State Mental Hospital.


Information Summary

Ranks 61st in California and 861st overall. See the entire top 2,000 colleges and universities list
Overall Score (about) 82.2
Total Cost On-Campus Attendance $25,517
Admission Success rate N/A
SAT 75%ile scores 1060
Student Ratio Students-to-Faculty 26 : 1
Retention (full-time / part-time) 78% / 55%
Enrollment Total (all students) 7,488


This young branch of CSU is accredited by the Western Association of Colleges and Schools. The university offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees. The most popular fields of study are liberal arts, business and marketing, and psychology.

The Bachelor of Liberal Studies is designed to prepare students for a variety of careers or a continuing education. Students pursuing this degree choose between two academic paths: the Teaching and Learning Option and the Concentrated Studies Option. The Teaching and Learning Option allows graduates to pursue the Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from the state of California. The Concentrated Studies Option gives students the chance to build up an interdisciplinary background in preparation for graduate work or any number of professional careers. Near the end of their bachelor’s degree coursework, each student must participate in a capstone project that demonstrates knowledge acquired throughout the four-year program. The advantage of the Liberal Studies degree is the enormous freedom that each student has to craft her own academic program.

The Martin V. Smith School of Business and Economics offers a variety of programs for students hoping to start careers in finance, business, economics or marketing. An interdisciplinary approach is favored as a means to prepare graduates for the future of business. The school encourages business students to take courses outside of the discipline, such as history, English, fine arts and chemistry. Like Liberal Studies students, a capstone project is required of every prospective business school graduate.

The Psychology Program boasts that more than 90 percent of its graduates find employment soon after graduation. The Bachelor of Arts in Psychology is a 120 unit program that builds a strong foundation in most aspects of modern psychology. Students who graduate with the BA in Psychology are well-prepared to begin a career or continue with studies at the graduate level.

Most Popular Fields of Study


Admissions are non-competitive. Applicants who meet a set of basic requirements are fully admitted into the university.

Freshman applicants can submit an application online. The application fee may be waived in cases of financial hardship. High-school transcripts or GED scores should be forwarded to the Enrollment Center. Scores from any Advanced Placement tests should likewise be forwarded to the school, as these tests allow students to bypass certain general courses. Either the SAT or ACT exam must be taken by December of the student’s first year at the university.

Transfer Admissions

Prospective transfer students must submit transcripts from all previous colleges and universities. The standard Channel Islands application must be completed before the transfer deadline.

International Admissions

Citizens of other countries must send a Financial Affidavit Form to the Enrollment Center demonstrating their ability to fund their own education. International students are ineligible for many forms of financial aid.

Financial Aid

More than 80 percent of freshmen apply for some form of financial aid. On average, more than half of each student’s expenses were covered through need-based aid. As always, early application makes the entire financial aid process work more smoothly for all concerned.

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, is required of all students who seek federal or state aid funds. A renewal FAFSA must be filled out each year that the student remains in school. The filing deadline is generally late winter or early spring, but students can submit the application as soon as the tax year has ended. Aid officers use information provided on the FAFSA to craft an individual financial aid package for every student.


The most common form of need-based aid is grant money. The federal government administers both the Pell Grant and the Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant. The Cal Grant is a program funded by the state of California. All of these grants are need-based awards that do not have to be repaid.


Like grants, scholarships represent free money. However, many scholarships are awarded based on academic merit as well as financial need.


Federal Direct Loans are an option for students who still have unmet need after grant and scholarship funding has been exhausted. Subsidized Direct Loans do not accrue interest while enrolled in school. Federal loans offer a grace period after leaving school or graduating, as well as a variety of repayment options.

Student Financial Aid Details

Ranks 4818th for the average student loan amount.
Secrets to getting the best scholarships and financial aid in California.


One quarter of the student body is at least 25 years of age. The demographics indicate an ethnically rich community, with both Hispanic and Asian-American populations well represented. More than 70 percent of first-year students are women.

Most freshmen choose to live in campus housing. A hefty deposit is required for all campus housing units, which is fully refundable should the student not enroll. Spanish villa architecture highlights the Anacapa and Santa Cruz Village residential facilities. Every suite includes cable television and wireless Internet access. A community space adjacent to student housing includes lounges, a fitness center, game rooms and a swimming pool, among other amenities.

Student Enrollment Demographics

Student Graduation Demographics

Local Community

The community of Camarillo lies along the Ventura Freeway, less than an hour west of Los Angeles. City planners have worked to preserve the rural charm of the city, with resistance to new development a powerful force in local politics. Nevertheless, suburban sprawl and shopping malls have staked their claim within the city limits. The Camarillo Premium Outlets Mall is one of the area’s top shopping attractions.

The climate and geography of the Camarillo area are one of its prime advantages. The sun shines on average over 300 days per year. November through February are the wettest months, but even then little more than a foot of rain may fall. Mountains to the north offer hiking in the summer and snow in the winter. The adjacent Pacific Ocean keeps temperatures in the 70s most of the year, while dry air from the interior keeps humidity in check.


Nearly 100 full-time faculty and 200 lecturers teach classes at Channel Islands. The average class size for lecture-style classes is 23.

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