California State University-Monterey Bay


California State University-Monterey Bay (CSUMB), a part of the California State University System, is located on what used to be the Fort Ord army base. In 1994, after the base had been decommissioned and closed, the location grew into the new university site.

Classes began in 1995, with a dedication ceremony where the then-President Bill Clinton spoke on the values and mission of the new university. The campus was modern and state-of-the-art, but it preserved its history with memories and souvenirs from the old military base, including recycled wood, murals, and renovated buildings.

The campus is dedicated to serving the people of California, particularly low-income and undereducated populations. It seeks to provide services in a multi-ethnic, multilingual, and equitable environment that facilitates student learning.


Information Summary

Ranks 54th in California and 789th overall. See the entire top 2,000 colleges and universities list
Overall Score (about) 83.0
Total Cost On-Campus Attendance $23,564
Admission Success rate N/A
ACT / SAT 75%ile scores 23 / 1160
Student Ratio Students-to-Faculty 30 : 1
Retention (full-time / part-time) 83% / 50%
Enrollment Total (all students) 7,540


CSUMB offers 18 undergraduate degrees and eight graduate degrees across the disciplines of science, mathematics, business, and the social sciences. Students can also earn teaching credentials certified by the English Learner Authorization. The most popular degrees are business, biology, and liberal studies.

Business Administration

The Bachelor in Business Administration program prepares students to enter the competitive business workplace with a foundation in management, technology, business ethics, and entrepreneurship. School of Business students take a set of core classes that covers the basics of business education, but they then enhance their study with one of the eight concentrations offered, including accounting, hospitality management, and entrepreneurship.


The Biology program offers students a comprehensive foundational course of study in the theory and practice of modern biology. Students practice laboratory skills, technology skills, and presentation skills, each of which prepare them for a career in the wide spectrum of biology jobs or for further study at the graduate level. Students can also specialize their degrees by concentrating in either general biology, pre-medicine, or teacher preparation.

Liberal Studies

A Liberal Studies Degree prepares students for graduate study or the workplace through multidisciplinary coursework and an integrated approach to the arts and humanities, sciences, and service. Students who wish to teach can combine the Liberal Studies major with the Multiple Subjects Teaching Credential and graduate with a teaching certification as well as a B.A. diploma. Many graduates have gone on to teach in local schools, work as school administrators, or pursue careers in counseling and support services. They have also continued their education at such graduate schools as The University of California, California State University, and Tufts.

Most Popular Fields of Study


University Center :: California State University-Monterey Bay
Science center :: California State University-Monterey Bay

Unique Programs

Teaching Credentials

Students who are interested in education can pursue one of three different teaching credentials approved by the English Learner Authorization (ELA). The Single Subject Teaching Credential and Multiple Subject Teaching Credential certify students to teach at the elementary school level by training them through student teacher programs or internships. The Special Education Teaching Credential prepares students to meet the specific needs of students with disabilities.

Students can also combine the different teaching credentials with certain traditional degrees to expand their subject knowledge and be more competitive in the teaching marketplace. All the teaching programs focus on working in multi-cultural and multilingual schools, the learning environments that characterize California’s public school system.


Freshman applicants must be high school graduates with a GPA of at least 2.0 for California residents or 2.45 for non-California residents. Students should also provide SAT or ACT scores – these will be used to help determine admission in cases of a low GPA.

Prospective students can visit the campus for a regular campus tour or for the Open House, which is held in October.

Financial Aid

Students seeking financial aid should begin by filling out the FAFSA, which is available for free online at The FAFSA should be completed as early as possible, but should not be completed later than March 2nd of each year. This form determines eligibility for many different forms of federal aid, including grants, loans, and work-study programs. It may also be required for applications to third-party aid programs and scholarship competitions.

The Financial Aid Office also offers over 45 academic scholarships each year. These scholarships range from $600 to $3,000, and are awarded on the basis of academic merit and student ability. Applications for these scholarships can be found on the CSUMB Scholarships website along with deadlines, supplementary materials, and links to additional scholarship resources.

Student Financial Aid Details

Ranks 5892nd for the average student loan amount.
Secrets to getting the best scholarships and financial aid in California.


The campus is home to over 4,500 students, both undergraduate and graduate. The school characterizes itself as “outdoorsy, energetic, [and] adventurous,” with many ways for students to get involved in sports and outdoor activities.

There are over 60 student organizations and clubs on campus. It’s easy to find a group that shares your interests: there are clubs for everything from disc golf and investment to Young Democrats and horror media. Students can also participate in Associated Students, which is the student government organization, or a number of Greek associations for both women and men.

The Outdoor Recreation Center is dedicated to helping students get involved in California outdoor activities. It connects with the local community and student groups to organize excursions to nearby landmarks and make resources available for group activities.


Over half of all students live on-campus. Residence halls and dorms make it easy for students to participate in campus life and college activities without even leaving their rooms. Residents also enjoy free laundry facilities, cable TV, four on-campus cafeterias, and wireless internet in every room. Security services run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to ensure the safety of residents.

Those wishing to live on-campus should visit the housing website and fill out a housing application. Remember to mark your preferences for dorm-style, suite-style, or apartment-style living, and be sure to mention if you have a disability or other specific housing needs.

Student Enrollment Demographics

Student Graduation Demographics


The athletics department competes in NCAA Division II with 13 men’s and women’s sports teams. Their teams are known as the Otters. The Otters compete in basketball, baseball, sailing, cross country, volleyball, and more.


The diverse faculty serve the campus through full-time, part time, tenured, and tenure-track work. Some professors work with students through special programs like the First Year Seminars, which help freshmen begin their university experience, and the Capstone advisor program, which helps students develop even further academically through challenging projects and mentoring.

Many faculty members have doctorate or terminal degrees in their respective fields. More than a third of the faculty are minority members.

This website and its associated pages are not affiliated with, endorsed by, or sponsored by this school. has no official or unofficial affiliation with California State University-Monterey Bay.