College of San Mateo


Established in 1922, the College of San Mateo (CSM) is a community college located in San Mateo, California. The institute enrolls about 10,000 students each semester. Since its inception, CSM has been an access to higher education leading to university transfer, career preparation, and professional and personal development.


Information Summary

Ranks 115th in California and 1789th overall. See the entire top 2,000 colleges and universities list
Overall Score (about) 67.6
Total Cost On-Campus Attendance $3,135
Admission Success rate N/A
Student Ratio Students-to-Faculty 16 : 1
Retention (full-time / part-time) 71% / 42%
Enrollment Total (all students) 8,924


The institute offers more than 95 majors, over 65 A.A./ A.S. degree majors, over 65 certificate programs, and several hundred transfer areas. Students can earn degrees and certificates in diverse areas of study such as accounting, biology & health science, chemistry, dental assisting, electronics technology, geological sciences, interdisciplinary studies, and journalism.

Instructional programs include diverse areas such as accounting, adapted physical education, broadcast & electronic media, computer & information science (CIS), computer forensics, dental assisting, electronics technology, speech communication, political science, humanities, and journalism. The institute is composed of six academic divisions, which includes Business/Technology; Language Arts; Creative Arts/Social Science; Math/Science; Physical Education/Athletics/Dance; and Coastside/Special Projects.

Accreditation is granted by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

CSM Online:

Online education is available for students who are unable to attend a traditional college due to various reasons. Through the online educational programs, students can easily earn an associate’s degree credit and transfer courses via Internet. The college offers a variety of tools to make online education a unique and enjoyable experience for the students.

Most Popular Fields of Study


College Campus :: College of San Mateo College Admin Building :: College of San Mateo
College Planetarium :: College of San Mateo


Students seeking admission must complete the online application form and send it to the institute along with all of their official transcripts. After submitting the online application, students will receive an email containing a student ID number and information regarding the next steps in the registration process. Application for the summer/fall semester starts in early February, and for spring semester in early September.

Each semester, the institute welcomes many international students from over 45 countries. Applications must be submitted by the mid of April for fall semester, and the first week of October for spring semester. Students from non-English speaking countries must provide proof of English proficiency by taking the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS).

Financial Aid

All applicants seeking financial aid must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Some of the scholarships offered at the college are Alpha Gamma Sigma – Eta Chapter, Myrtle L. Atkinson Foundation, Sara Boddinghouse Coastside Scholarship for Women, Lt. Harold Bogan Memorial, Michael J. Clemens Memorial, Dabney Family Scholarship Fund, and Donna Neal Kocmich Music Scholarship.

Student Financial Aid Details

Ranks 4368th for the average student loan amount.
Secrets to getting the best scholarships and financial aid in California.


The vibrant student life is supported by the Office of Student Life & Leadership Development. They organize various events and activities that provide students the opportunity to learn and develop inter-personal communication, leadership skills, advocacy, and event planning. The student government develops, promotes, and implements programs and services for the benefit of the student population. There are several on campus clubs and organizations. Students can either join an active club or start a new one. Some of the popular ones are Alpha Gamma Sigma (AGS), American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS), Competitive Gamers Club, Disabled Student Alliance (DSA), and Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) – Beta Xi Eta Chapter.

Campus Facilities:

The college library supports the academic, vocational, and lifelong learning needs of the students. It is a member of the Peninsula Library System (PLS). The library houses a collection of books, reference material, journals, newspapers, e-books and technical resources that support student learning and contribute to the college mission and goals. The print collection contains around 71,000 volumes, and over 150 print periodical subscriptions. There are over 60 online resources that provide access to thousands of journals, magazines, newspapers, and subject-based research sources.

The Multicultural Center is designed to meet the diverse needs of multicultural students through academic and personal counseling. They provide general financial aid information in a supportive and culturally enriching environment. The staff consists of bi-cultural and bilingual counselors and support personnel.

The Career Services Center provides tools and resources that aid students and community members with the decision making process while selecting the college major and/or career. The Center provides assistance in finding the right career opportunities and internships, labor market information and individual career support.

Counseling Services offers a choice of focus groups to help students with their definite educational goals. They also organize workshops designed for students to be active and informed partakers in their education.

Disabled Students Programs & Services (DSPS) is a special program that provides support services and accommodation facilities to students with documented physical, psychological and specific learning disabilities. Some of the other special programs and services are Cooperative Work Experience Education, Extended Opportunity Programs & Services (EOPS), Priority Enrollment Program (PEP), and CalWORKs.

Students enjoy a variety of dining and snacks options at the campus outlets such as Drip Coffee, Paws for Coffee, Le Bulldog, The Market, Terrace Grill, and Pacific Dining Catering. The campus also houses several other labs and centers such as Accounting Resource Center, Foreign Language Center, Integrated Science Center, Math Resource Center, Reading & ESL Center, Writing Center, and Digital Media Lab.

Student Enrollment Demographics


The athletic department fields men’s and women’s teams in diverse sports such as baseball, football, softball, basketball, track & field, water polo, cross country and swimming. The sports teams are nicknamed as the Bulldogs. College of San Mateo is a member of the California Community College Athletic Association and the Coast Conference.


Noted alumni include:

  • Dana Carvey, noted actor and comedian
  • Dick Lotz, eminent PGA professional golfer
  • Jeanne Bates, noted actress
  • Lindsey Buckingham, noted musician
  • Paul McClellan, eminent baseball player

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