Chico Facts

Quick Facts | Students | Ten Largest Majors | Faculty & Staff | Academic Programs | Fees | Philanthropic Support | CSU, Chico's History | Programs, Facilities, and Services | Chico Geographical Facts | Chico Community

Quick Facts

  • California State University, Chico
    (popularly called "Chico State")
  • Founded: 1887
  • President: Paul J. Zingg
  • Student/Faculty ratio: 23.6 to 1
  • Average Undergraduate Class Size: 30
  • Campus Acreage: Main campus 119 acres; University Farm 800 acres; Ecological Reserves 2,330 acres
  • Total General Fund Budget, including revenue: $181,037,250
  • Location: 90 miles north of Sacramento; 174 miles northeast of San Francisco
  • Service Counties: Butte, Colusa, Glenn, Lassen, Modoc, Plumas, Shasta, Siskiyou, Sutter, Tehama, Trinity, Yuba
  • School Mascot: Wildcat
  • School Colors: Cardinal and White
  • Alumni/ae: 134,761

Students

(Fall 2013)

Full-Time Equivalent students 15,375
(FTE: total number of course hours enrolled in during a particular semester, divided by 15 for undergraduates; divided by 12 for graduate students)

Total Number of Students 16,356
Freshmen: 3,730 (2,340 first-time; 1,390 transfer or continuing) (22%)
Sophomores: 2,320 (14%)
Juniors: 3,745 (23%)
Seniors: 5,470 (33%)

Postbaccalaureate Students: 1,091 (7%)

Age
CSU, Chico Average (undergraduate and graduate): 23
Undergraduate Average: 22

Ethnicity
American Indian: 0.6%
Asian: 5.5%
Black/African American: 1.8%
Hispanic/Latino: 22.1%
Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander: 0.1%
White: 52.4%
Two or More Races/Ethnicities: 4.8%
Declined to State: 8.6%
Non-resident Alien: 4.0%

Gender
Female: 53%
Male: 47%

Student Profile
Our students come from 47 nations, 36 states, and 2 U.S. territories.

95% of the total student population comes from California: 32.7% from CSU, Chico's service area; 21.2% from the rest of Northern California; 23.6% from Central California; and 17.6% from Southern California. 4.9% are out-of-state or international students.

All students are members of the Associated Students of CSU, Chico, a multimillion-dollar corporation managed by students. The AS is responsible for the Student Government, the Chico State Wildcat Store, Information Center, Adventure Outings, the student union (Bell Memorial Union), and other services for students, including CAVE (student volunteer program), Child Development Lab (campus daycare), CLIC (community legal services), and EARC (Environmental Action and Resources Center).

Student publications include The Chico Historian academic journal and The Orion newspaper.

Freshman Profile
Average High School GPA: 3.40 (admits) / 3.27 (enrolled)
Mean SAT Scores (Composite): 1058 (admits) / 1031 (enrolled)

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Ten Largest Majors

Based on current number of students officially declaring majors.

  1. Business Administration 1,477
  2. Psychology 846
  3. Liberal Studies (elementary school teaching) 588
  4. Criminal Justice 531
  5. Pre-Nursing 509
  6. Exercise Physiology 425
  7. Kinesiology 421
  8. Recreation Administration 384
  9. Communication Studies 355
  10. Mechanical Engineering 339

Bachelor's Degrees Granted

Based on actual number of degrees granted during the 2012–13 academic year.

  1. Business Administration 587
  2. Psychology 213
  3. Liberal Studies (elementary school teaching) 199
  4. Communication Design 129
  5. Recreation Administration 125
  6. Criminal Justice 122
  7. Construction Management 120
  8. Health Science 106
  9. Exercise Physiology 101
  10. Communication Studies 100

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Faculty & Staff

(Fall 2013)

Instructional Faculty 901*

  • Full-time Faculty: 49%
  • Part-time Faculty: 51%

Full-time Faculty with Doctorates/Terminal Degrees 83%

Staff 946*

* Coaches, librarians, and others who have faculty status but primarily engage in non-instructional functions are counted as staff rather than instructional faculty.

Ethnicity - Instructional Faculty
American Indian/Alaska Native: 0.7%
Asian: 6.4%
Black/African American: 1.2%
Hispanic/Latino: 3.8%
Two or More Ethnicities: 0.7%
White: 80.2%
Not Specified: 6.9%

Ethnicity - Staff
American Indian/Alaska Native: 1.4%
Asian: 4.1%
Black/African American: 2.3%
Hispanic/Latino: 7.8%
Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Island: 0.3%
Two or More Ethnicities: 1.9%
White: 76.2%
Not Specified: 5.9%

Gender - Instructional Faculty
Female: 49%
Male: 51%

Gender - Staff
Female: 57%
Male: 43%

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Academic Programs

CSU, Chico has 7 colleges, 5 schools, and 28 centers:

Centers and Institutes

Agribusiness Institute
Agricultural Teaching and Research Center
American Language and Culture Institute
California Pavement Preservation Center
Center for Applied and Professional Ethics
Center for Bilingual/Multicultural Studies
Center for Communication Disorders
Center for Corporate Governance and Values-Based Leadership
Center for Economic Development
Center for Enterprise Systems and Informatics Research
Center for Entrepreneurship
Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching
Center for Mathematics and Science Education
Center for Nutrition and Activity Promotion
Center for Regional and Continuing Education
Center for the Study of Computers in Education
Center for Water and the Environment
Community Legal Information Center
Geographical Information Center
Humanities Center
Institute for Research in Intelligent Systems
Institute for Sustainable Development
Interdisciplinary Center on Aging
McLeod Institute of Simulation Sciences
Northeast Information Center
Northern California Local Government Leadership Institute
Passages Adult  Resource Center
Peace Institute
Reading Center
Center for the Public Understanding of Religion

Fall 2014

  • Bachelor of Arts Programs 38
  • Bachelor of Science Programs 31
  • BA and BS Options (within the Major) 90
  • Master of Arts Programs 15
  • Master of Science Programs 13
  • MA and MS Options (within the Major) 23
  • Minors 105
  • Certificate Programs 29
  • Professional Education Credential Programs 15
  • Other Programs Offered:
    • Bachelor of Fine Arts
    • Master of Business Administration
    • Master of Fine Arts
    • Master of Public Administration
    • Master of Social Work
    • Pre-Professional Programs in Dental Hygiene, Dentistry, Forensic Science, Forestry, Law, Medicine, Optometry, Pharmacy, Physical Therapy, Theology, and Veterinary Medicine
  • The Honors Program offers special opportunities for motivated undergraduate students with high grade point averages. These opportunities range from specially designed courses in general education (Honors in General Education Program) and in selected majors (Honors in the Major Program) to many honors societies that students can join.
  • CSU, Chico is accredited by the Western Association of Colleges and Schools, as well as 25 professional associations covering all seven colleges within CSU, Chico.

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Tuition Fees*

Undergraduate (spring 2014):
0 - 6 units: $2,337 Total Per Semester
6.1 + units: $3,486 Total Per Semester

Graduate (spring 2014):
0 - 6 units: $2,703 Total Per Semester
6.1 + units: $4,119 Total Per Semester

Credential (spring 2014):
0 - 6 units: $2,592 Total Per Semester
6.1 + units: $3,924 Total Per Semester

(Nonresident tuition (spring 2014): $372 per unit, in addition to fees)

*All CSU tuition fees should be regarded as estimates that are subject to change upon approval by the Board of Trustees.

Estimated Costs and Finances

Residence Hall rates

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Philanthropic Support

(2012–2013)

Donor Gifts and Pledges: $8,871,183
Total Individual Donors: 14,296
Total Endowment: $48,498,024

CSU, Chico's History

The Mechoopda Maidu Indians were the original inhabitants of the area issued as the Rancho Arroyo Chico land grant to William Dickey in 1845. General John Bidwell, pioneer, statesman, and founder of Chico, subsequently bought the grant. In 1887, Bidwell donated eight acres of cherry orchard, and construction began on Chico State Normal School. The campus opened in 1889 with 90 students and five faculty members. The first class of teachers graduated in June 1891. Chico State Normal School became Chico State Teachers College in 1921. The legislature converted its teachers colleges to state colleges in 1935, and Chico State Teachers College became Chico State College. In 1972, the college became California State University, Chico.

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Programs, Facilities, and Services

Academic Technologies: Technology and Learning Program, Media Productions, Classroom Technology Support, Distributed Learning, Presentation Graphics Lab, Library Copy Center, Graphic Design, and Web Services.

Art Galleries and Museums: The Turner Print Museum features a collection of over 3,000 prints, while the Humanities Gallery and the University Gallery host exhibitions of art by faculty, students, alumni, and guest artists from throughout California. The Department of Art galleries in Ayres Hall exhibits student work. The Valene L. Smith Museum of Anthropology offers exhibits and a lecture series, and the Gateway Science Museum creates educational programs to teach school children about our region's rich natural heritage.

Athletics: There are 13 Division II men's and women's athletic teams, with an all-weather track, putting green, jogging trails, two gyms, a soccer stadium, softball fields, Nettleton Stadium (for baseball), tennis, basketball, weight room, and other facilities.

Housing: The University provides 2,018 living spaces in six on-campus residence halls and one off-campus apartment complex (University Village). See Housing website for housing costs.

Institute for Sustainable Development: The institute manages several land preserves for the primary purposes of protection, enhancement, research, and education. These include the 3,950-acre Big Chico Creek Ecological Reserve, the 300-acre Butte Creek Ecological Reserve, and the 80-acre Eagle Lake Field Station.

Laboratories: Agriculture, Anthropology, Archeology, Art, Biology, Bio-Psychology, Chemistry, Child Development, Computer Science, Consumer Science, Counseling Psychology, Dietetics/Food Nutrition, Engineering, Exercise Physiology, Foreign Language, Kinesiology, Geosciences, Manufacturing, Physics, Physical Anthropology, Psychology, and Agriculture and Biology greenhouses are among the many labs on campus. In addition there are many student computing facilities (three university open-access labs, including a 24-hour lab; 40+ department labs; and seven residence hall labs).

Meriam Library: The university library is a four-story building housing close to a million print volumes with complete Wi-Fi coverage on all floors. It also contains computer labs, private study rooms, and high-tech collaborative learning spaces. Through the Library ReSEARCH Station, users can access more than 100 electronic databases leading to full-text articles in over 41,000 journals and get help with their research online using Ask A Librarian. Special Collections houses the northeastern California collection of books, photographs, and manuscripts as well as the University Archives and the Rare Book Collection.

Northstate Public Radio: Northstate Public Radio is the regional NPR affiliate and serves a 10-county broadcast area by way of KCHO-FM in Chico at 91.7 FM and KFPR-FM, Redding at 88.9 FM. The network offers international, national, regional, and local news and public affairs programming as well as a wide variety of national and locally produced music and cultural programs. Northstate Public Radio also streams worldwide on the web at www.kcho.org.

Performing Arts and Public Events: More than 150,000 people from the region attend activities on campus each year. The University has three theatres, one auditorium, two gyms, and three athletic stadiums. The School of the Arts presents an active calendar of student performances and art events of all kinds, including the North State Symphony; the annual spring musical; and galleries showcasing work of students, faculty, and invited artists. The Humanities Center hosts an eclectic calendar of speakers and faculty symposia. Chico Performances presents a variety of professional touring artists in music, dance, and theatre. It also hosts the Chico World Music Festival and the President's Lecture Series, which has included Mikhail Gorbechev, Desmond Tutu, Jane Goodall, and Shimon Peres.

Regional Education: As the anchor institution in Northern California, CSU, Chico serves a 12-county service area, the largest in the 23-campus California State University system. The Center for Regional and Continuing Education provides higher education access to this distributed population through distance education programs, Open University, lifelong learning programs, and continuing education courses and conferences for professionals. Continuing Education manages accelerated academic sessions in the winter and summer. To extend the University globally, Continuing Education administers the American Language and Culture Institute (ALCI Chico), an intensive English language program for international students.

Student Life and Leadership: The University recognizes more than 225 student organizations each year, including fraternities; sororities; and special-interest, social, and professional groups. Student Life and Leadership also sponsors the Cross-Cultural Leadership Center and Recreational Sports.

Student Newspaper: The Orion has won numerous awards, including 11 National Pacemaker awards—widely considered the top prize for general excellence in college journalism. The Orion won the award six times in the 1990s and was inducted into the Associated Collegiate Press Hall of Fame in 2005. In 2009, the paper was also awarded its second Online National Pacemaker Award in three years, and its print edition placed second in the Best of Show competition. Nine times since 1994, the California Newspaper Publishers Association has selected The Orion as the state's No. 1 university paper among all dailies and weeklies. The National Newspaper Association and the Society of Professional Journalists have each named The Orion the nation's best university weekly in recent years.

Student Services: The University offers the following support programs: Academic Advising Program; AS Children's Center; Chico State Career Center; Accessibility Resource Center; Educational Opportunity Program; Financial Aid and Scholarship; International Student Advising; Counseling and Wellness Center; Campus Alcohol and Drug Education Center (CADEC); Veterans Affairs; Student Computing Services; Student Employment Center; Student Health Center; Student Learning Center; and the University Writing Center.

University Farm: The 800-acre Agricultural Teaching and Research Center (University Farm) offers lab experience in beef, swine, sheep, goat, and organic dairy production; meat lab; ag mechanics; orchard management, crops, soils, and sustainable agriculture.

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Chico Geographical Facts

  • Chico is 90 miles north of Sacramento.
  • Chico is 174 miles northeast of San Francisco.
  • Chico is 8 miles from the Sacramento River.
  • Chico is 2 miles from the foothills of the Sierra Nevada.
  • Bidwell Park has a total of 3,670 acres, making it one of the largest municipal parks in the United States.
  • Chico is 230 feet above sea level.
  • Average annual rainfall is 22.6 inches.
  • Chico has an average of 219 clear days in a typical year.
  • Population of Butte County (2012 estimate) is 221,539.
  • Population density of Butte County is approximately 135 persons per square mile, compared to 244 for the state of California.

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Chico Community

City of Chico Government: City Council and City Manager

Date of City Incorporation: Jan. 8, 1872

Population within Chico City Limits (2012 estimate): 87,714

Total Population of "Chico Urban Area": approximately 100,000

General: Chico is a consummate college town, with an abundance of cultural and recreational resources in combination with a small-town feel.

The city has been named in many "Best of" lists, including “Best Towns” (2011, Outside); “Best Place to Retire” (2008 U.S. News & World Report and 2005 and 2006 CNN Money.com); “Best Green Places to Live” (2007 U.S. News & World Report); “Fastest Commute Time” (2006 Money Magazine); “Best Places in America” (2000 Forbes Magazine); “America’s Best Bike Town” (1997, Bicycle); and “Best Mid-Size Downtowns” (2007 California Planning & Development Report). Chico was also rated #10 by author John Villani in his book Top 100 Best Small Art Towns in America, listed in USA Today’s “10 Great Places for Big-City Art, Small-Town Feel,” and rated among the top eight college towns in the United States by MSN.com.

Visit Chico for a firsthand look at the unique Chico Experience.

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