California State University-Fresno


Fresno State was founded in 1911 as the Fresno State Normal School, a teacher’s college, and is one of the oldest campuses in the California State university system. Fresno State began offering advanced degrees in 1949.

Fresno State University was founded as a normal school and is a member of the California State University System. It has been offering advanced degrees since 1949. It is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. Its mission statement says in part that the university “provides a General Education program and other opportunities, to expand students’ intellectual horizons, foster lifelong learning, prepare them for future professional study, and instill within them an appreciation of cultures other than their own.” It is classed as a Master’s College and University I by the Carnegie Institute.


Information Summary

Ranks 53rd in California and 784th overall. See the entire top 2,000 colleges and universities list
Overall Score (about) 83.1
Total Cost On-Campus Attendance $21,418
Admission Success rate N/A
ACT / SAT 75%ile scores 22 / 1120
Student Ratio Students-to-Faculty 27 : 1
Retention (full-time / part-time) 81% / 54%
Enrollment Total (all students) 25,137


Fresno State’s curriculum is offered through its eight different schools and divisions. Undergraduate study is grounded in the liberal arts and sciences, with emphasis on such traditional disciplines as humanities, health sciences, and engineering. There are also excellent programs in agriculture and business, given Fresno State’s location near one of the world’s premier agri-business centers. More than 95 percent of Fresno State’s nearly 1,200 faculty possess the terminal degree in their field of study.

Fresno State University has academic programs at both the undergraduate and graduate level. There are 10 colleges: the College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology, the College of Arts and Humanities, the Craig School of Business, the Kremen School of Education and Human Development, the College of Engineering and Computer Sciences, the College of Health and Human Services, the College of Science and Mathematics, the College of Social Sciences, the Division of Continuing and Global Education, and the Division of Graduate Studies.

Bachelor’s degrees are offered in a variety of fields within the various academic colleges. Degrees at the bachelor’s level can be received in such areas as African studies, agricultural education, biology, Chicano studies, construction management, engineering, English, enology, interior design, natural sciences, nursing, plant science, recreation administration, social work, theatre arts, and viticulture. Minors are offered in many of the major programs, and in many other sub-specialties.

Graduate programs are offered in the humanities and many professionally-oriented fields. These include master’s level programs in fields such as accountancy, animal sciences, art, education, creative writing, international relations, marine science, music, nursing, public administration, social work, and viticulture. There is a joint doctorate in Educational Leadership offered with the University of California, Davis. There are also seven certificate programs.

Most Popular Fields of Study


California State University-Fresno 2 California State University-Fresno
Fresno State logo :: California State University-Fresno

Unique Programs

The Armenian Studies Program in the College of Arts and Humanities provides courses in Armenian history, art, architecture, and modern issues, as well as specific Armenian matters like the Genocide and William Saroyan. The Center for Armenian Studies offers a minor that prepares students to go on to advanced study or education at one of the 25 Armenian schools in the nation, including Harvard, Oxford, and UCLA.

The Geomatics Engineering Program in the College of Engineering and Computer Science prepares graduates to work with the nation’s spatial infrastructure, including environmental mapping, project management, and route design. Most classes include a lab, giving students hands-on experience with equipment and theories.

Fresno State University has an undergraduate Honors Program, the Smittcamp Family Honors College. Students who seek admission to the Honors Program need to meet the following requirements: SAT score of 1200 or above, a minimum GPA of 3.6, and a class rank in the upper 10%. Once admitted to the Honors Program, students will be able to take classes in a variety of fields that are classified as Honors Courses. Students receive benefits such as grants covering registration and fees, extended library check-out privileges, and priority registration.


Fresno State (California State University, Fresno) utilizes the same eligibility index as other universities in the California State university system. The index uses a combination of high school grade point average and standardized test scores to determine an applicant’s preparedness for the university environment. Grade point average, for the purposes of the index, is based on grades received during the final three years of high school. Applicants can determine their own index in one of two ways: multiply the high school grade point average by 800 and add a total score from the SAT, or multiply the high school grade point average by 200 and add ten times the total score from the ACT. Out-of-state students must have a 3502 using the SAT or 842 using the ACT, while California residents must have a 2900 (SAT) or a 694 (ACT). Fresno State requires applicants to have completed four years of English, three years of mathematics, and two years each of social science, lab science, and foreign language. Most first-time freshmen applicants qualify for admission if they have a high school diploma or GED, meet the eligibility index requirements, and score a C or better on the required coursework.

Fresno State University accepts applications until enrollment capacity is reached. The initial filing period for the fall semester runs from October 1 to November 30 of the prior year. The application fee is $55. Applications can be submitted on-line. Students who are enrolled in high school at the time of application will need to have their official final high school transcripts sent after graduation to the Admissions Office.

As part of their application, students should submit high school transcripts and ACT or SAT test scores. Students should have completed high school courses with a grade of C or better as follows: 4 units of English, 3 units of mathematics, 2 units of history and social studies, 2 units of science, 2 units of a foreign language, 1 year of a visual or performing art, and 1 year of an elective. Student admissions will be determined by a combination of test scores and grade point average.

Transfer students and international students will have varying requirements depending upon their prior educational background.

Students applying to the graduate programs at Fresno State University should consult the individual department and/or school to which they are applying. Applications can be submitted on-line, and the application fee is $55. General requirements include the GRE or other appropriate test scores (such as the GMAT) and a bachelor’s degree, letters of recommendation, an additional application, and other materials as required by the program. Deadlines for application vary from department to department.

Financial Aid

Fresno State provides over three hundred scholarship programs supported by private donors, for both general use and for students with specific needs and interests. Most of the scholarship programs are intended to reward students with some kind of academic distinction. The Financial Aid department can answer any questions about specific scholarships, or applicants can contact the department that houses their major or field of interest about specific scholarship opportunities. Fresno State also offers federal and state grants and loan programs, as well as Federal Work Study opportunities. The majority of Fresno State students qualify for some sort of financial aid package.

Fees at Fresno State University are $1,466.50 for the 2005-2006 academic year for in-state, undergraduate students attending full-time. Students applying from out of state and graduate students have higher costs.

Financial aid is available in the form of grants, scholarships, and loans. Work-study programs are also available for students with demonstrated financial need. Students who seek financial aid will need to fill out the Federal Student Financial Aid Form, available on-line. Other forms may apply for other types of aid.

Graduate students may also receive financial aid in the form of teaching or research assistantships, including a stipend and a waiver of some or all of the tuition and other fees. Graduate students should consult with their individual department about what sort of assistantships or fellowships are available and about the details of the application process.

Student Financial Aid Details

Ranks 5712th for the average student loan amount.
Secrets to getting the best scholarships and financial aid in California.


Fresno State sits on more than 300 acres of California near the Sierra Nevada mountains and the San Joaquin Valley, a beautiful setting for outdoor recreation. Typically, enrollment exceeds 20,000 each year. The University Courtyard is Fresno State’s only student residence environment and provides centralized living and recreation for on-campus students, as well as academic support and safety. The University’s Student Union provides food, meeting, and study space, as well as the Recreation Center, with bowling, billiards, video games, and more. Performances at the Student Union over the years have included John Denver, Whitney Houston, and Steve Martin.

Student life at Fresno State University includes opportunities in a diverse range of activities and organizations. The student newspaper is published in print and on-line. There are many clubs and organizations, including fraternities and sororities, academic groups, cultural and minority groups, and special interest groups. The special interest groups include political organizations and a meditation association. Recreational activities include board games, tap dance, bowling, rodeo, and environmental interests. Art galleries, dramatic and musical performances, and a planetarium also provide opportunities for entertainment and learning. A number of services for academic support, career counseling, services for students with disabilities, and other resources also exist on campus.

Student Enrollment Demographics

Student Graduation Demographics


The Fresno State Bulldogs compete in baseball, football, wrestling, equestrian, soccer, softball, volleyball, and men’s and women’s basketball, golf, tennis, and track. The Bulldogs compete in the NCAA Western Athletic Conference (WAC). The Bulldogs football team finished the 2004 season with a 9-3 record and outscored their opponents 482 to 253 for the season. The Bulldogs’ 2004 performance gained the attention of many fans and media nationwide, and will have a number of games televised to national audiences in future seasons as a result. Bulldog Stadium is well-regarded as a “complete stadium,” seating over 41,000 and selling out 12 of its last 17 games. The Bulldogs win a great majority of their games playing at home, which was ranked 23rd on the rankings in 2003. The men’s basketball team posted 18 wins in the 2004 season, playing in the comfortable and exciting Save Mart Center. The Fresno State softball team has an impressive history of winning, with fifteen championships won in the last twenty years, and eighteen championships since 1978. It is the only team to have appeared in 23 consecutive NCAA Softball Championships.

Fresno State University is an NCAA Division I School. Teams compete in the Western Athletic Conference. Men’s sports include baseball, basketball, football, golf, tennis, track & field, and wrestling. Women’s sports include basketball, cross country, equestrian, golf, soccer, tennis, track & field, and volleyball. The sports teams are supported by a spirit squad, which includes a co-ed cheerleading squad and a mascot. The marching band also performs at some events. The team nick-name is the Bulldogs, named after a white bulldog that hung around campus in 1921 and became the mascot.

Fresno State athletic traditions include the “Red Wave,” which is manifested in the loud fan participation at Fresno State athletic events. The university is a leader in attendance and ticket sales among schools on the West Coast.

Athletic facilities at Fresno State University include a stadium with a capacity of over 41,000, a softball stadium opened in 1996 with a capacity of 5,767 (including 388 box seats) and many amenities, a tennis center, an equestrian center, and a nine-lane track. The Save-Mart Center next to campus provides an arena for basketball and a location for other community events, such as rock concerts.


The “Red Wave,” the name for Fresno State’s fan base, has set attendance records for West Coast schools for a number of years, as well as football ticket sales. The Bulldog Foundation has been the country’s Number 1 fundraising organization for 20 years and raises over $7 million for athletics each year. The Bulldogs football team wear a green “V” on the back of their helmets, signifying their commitment to the Valley community, a 250-mile portion of California served exclusively by Fresno State.

Local Community

Fresno is home to the Fresno Art Museum, Legion of Valor Museum, and the Chaffee Zoo. For a little more culture, visitors and residents can tour the Tower District, Fresno’s version of “cultural” neighborhoods like those found in Seattle and San Francisco. The population of Fresno and surrounding Fresno County is nearly 900,000 and is considered the center of California. It is the highest rated region for farming in the United States.

Fresno State University is located in Fresno, California, which has a population of approximately 456,100. The surrounding environment is the agricultural regions of California’s Central valley. Fresno is located only 55 miles form Kings Canyon National Park and 92 miles from Yosemite. There are numerous museums of history, culture, art, and sciences in the city of Fresno, and performing arts include a ballet, an opera, and a symphony. There are many venues for both participatory sports and for watching as a fan, including the minor league baseball team the Grizzlies.

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