Study Abroad Information Sessions

Wednesdays 5-6 pm in SSC 150

Fridays 2-3 pm in SSC 150

*every week except for holidays, dead week & finals week

General Information

We are extremely pleased you are interested in spending time with us at California State University, Chico.

Below is some general information about our city and our university.

The City of Chico:

Chico is unlike any other city in California. Founded by John Bidwell in 1860, Chico has since expanded to a population nearing 100,000, but it feels much smaller. With a canopy of mature trees, creeks meandering through town, and charming architecture, Chico is ideal for walking or biking to campus, cruising around town, or exploring this jewel of the North Valley.

Chico has been named one of the best art cities in the nation and features a rich cultural offering of music, museums, and great dining. At 3,680 acres, nearby Bidwell Park offers countless opportunities for recreation and relaxation. Chico is situated only about three hours from Lake Tahoe to the east and San Francisco to the southwest, providing convenient access to other treasures of Northern California.

California State University, Chico:

For a detailed list of information about Chico State, please click here.

Quick Facts

  • California State University, Chico
    (popularly called "Chico State")
  • Founded: 1887
  • President: Paul J. Zingg
  • Student/Faculty ratio: 23 to 1
  • Average Undergraduate Class Size: 30
  • Campus Acreage: Main campus 119 acres/0,80 km2; University Farm 800 acres/3,24 km2; Ecological Reserves 2,330 acres/ 9,3 km2
  • Location: 90 miles/145 km north of Sacramento; 174 miles/280 km northeast of San Francisco
  • School Mascot: Wildcat
  • School Colors: Cardinal and White
  • Alumni/ae: 134,761

Student Profile

Our students come from 39 nations, 40 states, and 2 U.S. territories.

95% of the total student population comes from California: 30% from CSU, Chico's service area; 20% from the rest of Northern California; 24% from Central California; 21% from Southern California. 5% are out-of-state or international students.

All students are members of the Associated Students of CSU, Chico, a multi-million dollar corporation managed by students. The AS is responsible for the Student Government, the Student Bookstore, Adventure Outings, the student union (Bell Memorial Union), AS Live (events) 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).

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.