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California State University - San Marcos Data & Information Overview

239 awards Ranking Badges
Fair Price Value for Your Money
93% Acceptance Rate
Get the facts about California State University - San Marcos. Learn how it ranks, what majors it offers, how diverse it is, and much more.
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How Well Is California State University - San Marcos Ranked?

#439 Best Colleges in Nation
#75 Best Colleges in CA
Registered Nursing Highest Ranked Major

2024 Rankings

College Factual recognizes the best colleges and universities in its annual rankings. These rankings include categories for best overall colleges, best colleges for each major, best value schools, and much more.

California State University - San Marcos was awarded 239 badges in the 2024 rankings. The highest ranked major at the school is registered nursing.

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Overall Quality

According to College Factual's 2024 analysis, CSUSM is ranked #439 out of 2,217 schools in the nation that were analyzed for overall quality. This is an improvement over the previous year, when CSUSM held the #483 spot on the Best Overall Colleges list.

CSUSM also holds the #75 spot on the Best Colleges in California ranking.

See all of the rankings for California State University - San Marcos.

Is It Hard to Get Into CSUSM?

93% Acceptance Rate
63% Of Accepted Are Women

Acceptance Rate

With an acceptance rate of 93%, California State University - San Marcos is easier to get into than many other schools. But that doesn't mean you can slack off on your application. Make sure to treat this school like any other when submitting requested materials and documents.

Learn more about California State University - San Marcos admissions.

California State University - San Marcos Faculty

25 to 1 Student to Faculty
48% Full Time Teachers

Student to Faculty Ratio

At California State University - San Marcos, the student to faculty ratio is 25 to 1. Compared to the national average of 15 to 1, this is somewhat high. This could mean that class sizes may be larger than they are at other colleges or universities or that professors may be required to teach more classes.

Percent of Full-Time Faculty

In addition to the student to faculty ratio, some people look at what percentage of faculty members are full-time as a sign of how much time professors will be able to spend with their students. This is because part-time teachers may not be be on campus as much as their full-time counterparts.

The full-time faculty percentage at California State University - San Marcos is 48%. This is comparable to the national average of 47%.

Full-Time Faculty Percent  48 out of 100

Retention and Graduation Rates at California State University - San Marcos

79% Freshmen Retention
15% On-Time Graduation Rate

Freshmen Retention Rate

The freshmen retention rate of 79% tells us that most first-year, full-time students like California State University - San Marcos enough to come back for another year. This is a fair bit higher than the national average of 68%. That's certainly something to check off in the good column about the school.

Freshmen Retention Rate  79 out of 100

Graduation Rate

When we say that a student has graduated on time, we mean that they have finished their bachelor's degree within four years. The on-time graduation rate at CSUSM is 15%. That's lower than the national rate of 33.3%

On-Time Graduation Rate  15 out of 100

Find out more about the retention and graduation rates at California State University - San Marcos.

California State University - San Marcos Undergraduate Student Diversity

12,381 Full-Time Undergraduates
67.5% Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
62.8% Percent Women

During the 2017-2018 academic year, there were 15,040 undergraduates at CSUSM with 12,381 being full-time and 2,659 being part-time.

How Much Does California State University - San Marcos Cost?

$13,218 Net Price
23% Take Out Loans
$20,964 Total Student Loans
The overall average net price of CSUSM is $13,218. The affordability of the school largely depends on your financial need since net price varies by income group. See the table below for the net price for different income groups.

Net Price by Income Group for CSUSM

$0-30 K $30K-48K $48-75 $75-110K $110K +
$9,397 $10,348 $14,309 $18,439 $21,551

The net price is calculated by adding tuition, room, board and other costs and subtracting financial aid.Note that the net price is typically less than the published for a school. For more information on the sticker price of CSUSM, see our tuition and fees and room and board pages.

Student Loan Debt

Almost 66% of college students who graduated with the class of 2018 took out student loans, but that percentage varies from school to school. At CSUSM, approximately 23% of students took out student loans averaging $5,241 a year. That adds up to $20,964 over four years for those students.

The student loan default rate at CSUSM is 3.3%. This is significantly lower than the national default rate of 10.1%, which is a good sign that you'll be able to pay back your student loans.

Get more details about paying for California State University - San Marcos.

How Much Money Do CSUSM Graduates Make?

$54,811 Avg Salary of Grads
High Earnings Boost
The pay for some majors is higher than others, but on average, students who graduate with a bachelor's degree from CSUSM make about $54,811 a year during their first few years of employment after graduation. This is good news for future CSUSM graduates since it is 29% more than the average college graduate's salary of $42,485 per year.


See which majors at California State University - San Marcos make the most money.

Location of California State University - San Marcos

California State
12,381 Full-Time Undergraduates
Suburb Campus Setting
California State University - San Marcos is a public institution situated in San Marcos, California. The suburban atmosphere of San Marcos makes it a great place for students who want the amenities of city life without actually living in the middle of a constant hustle and bustle.

Get more details about the location of California State University - San Marcos.


Contact details for CSUSM are given below.

Contact Details
Address: 333 S Twin Oaks Valley Rd, San Marcos, CA 92096-0001
Phone: 760-750-4000

California State University - San Marcos Majors

38 Majors With Completions
3,721 Undergraduate Degrees
459 Graduate Degrees
During the most recent year for which we have data, students from 38 majors graduated from California State University - San Marcos. Of these students, 3,721 received undergraduate degrees and 459 graduated with a master's or doctor's degree. The following table lists the most popular undergraduate majors along with the average salary graduates from those majors make.

Most Popular Majors Bachelor’s Degrees Average Salary of Graduates
Business Administration & Management 610 $45,186
General Psychology 327 $29,075
Nursing 294 $90,827
Sociology 268 $30,004
Criminology 266 $31,316
Communication & Media Studies 231 $35,822
Human Development & Family Studies 223 $27,490
General Biology 183 $32,192
Liberal Arts General Studies 174 $23,647
Health & Physical Education 173 $29,198

Learn more about the majors offered at California State University - San Marcos along with which ones have the highest average starting salaries.

Online Learning at CSUSM

86% Take At Least One Class Online
34% Take All Classes Online

Online learning options are becoming more and more popular at American colleges and universities. Online classes are great for students who have busy schedules or for those who just want to study on their own time.

In 2020-2021, 14,003 students took at least one online class at California State University - San Marcos. This is a decrease from the 16,353 students who took online classes the previous year.

Year Took at Least One Online Class Took All Classes Online
2020-2021 14,003 5,539
2019-2020 16,353 16,183
2018-2019 3,935 568
2017-2018 4,566 490
2016-2017 4,405 1,000

Learn more about online learning at California State University - San Marcos.

If you’re considering California State University - San Marcos, here are some more schools you may be interested in knowing more about.

Curious on how these schools stack up against CSUSM? Pit them head to head with College Combat, our free interactive tool that lets you compare college on the features that matter most to you!

Notes and References


*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.


More about our data sources and methodologies.

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