Cal State L.A. - About the University



The Campus Setting

Mission of the

The Faculty

The Academic Year/
Quarter System

University Strategic Plan 1998 Report


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 colleges 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 has one of the most diverse student populations of any college or university in the nation. Building on the strengths of this rich diversity, our University prepares students for success in advanced studies, in their careers, and throughout their lives. Cal State L.A. graduates constitute a major leadership force in greater Los Angeles, a microcosm of the global society.

The University is committed to free scholarly inquiry, to high-quality teaching, and to academic excellence in undergraduate, graduate, and other postbaccalaureate and continuing education programs. This commitment underlies strong educational programs that are sensitive to the needs of the University’s unique, diverse student body. These programs include research, scholarship, creative activity, and community service. With the support of the administration, staff, alumni, and community, highly qualified faculty are the keystone of the University and the basis for the excellence of our programs.

A comprehensive university, California State University, Los Angeles offers a broad range of liberal arts and professional programs designed to encourage student excellence, achievement and well-being. Facilitated by close interaction between faculty and students, educational programs are designed to foster habits of disciplined inquiry and critical thinking while helping students master a body of knowledge. The University strives to promote understanding of, and respect for, diversity and to serve the changing needs of a global society. Recognizing its commitment to teaching, research, scholarship, creative activities, and service, the University supports an effective library and the use of new technologies that enrich the instructional process and provide effective access to information in its various forms.

The University is committed to providing students a balanced and well-rounded educational experience, including co-curricular activities that contribute to personal enrichment, leadership development, and institutional pride. Student organizations, campus residence life, artistic events, multicultural events, intercollegiate athletics, and intramurals are designed to be a significant part of this experience.

The close proximity of the University to civic, cultural, and economic centers enables it to foster strong cooperative relationships with alumni, community, business, scientific, educational, cultural, and governmental constituencies. Partnerships with these constituencies will continue to grow for the mutual enhancement of academic programs and the community.

California State University, Los Angeles is committed to fostering collegial relationships among faculty, administration, students, and staff. The principles of academic freedom and professional ethics are the responsibility of the entire academic community. We take pride in our continuing evolution as the University that serves the greater Los Angeles Basin.







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.

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