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The University

Mission and Vision

California State University, Long Beach is a large, urban, comprehensive university in the 23-campus California State University system. In accordance with the California Master Plan for Higher Education, its mission is to provide education of high quality which leads toward a broad range of baccalaureate and graduate degrees spanning the liberal arts and sciences and many applied and professional fields.

CSULB is committed to serving the people of California and endeavors to provide academic programs and campus services for both traditional and non-traditional students. The University enrolls students who have graduated in the top third of the State’s high school graduating class, those who have completed a community college program, and adults re-entering education.

CSULB aims, above all, to graduate students with highly valued degrees, and to prepare them for lifelong learning as well as for success in a variety of professional fields. To these ends, the mission of the undergraduate curriculum is grounded in a strong general education program, emphasizing the acquisition of writing, critical thinking, and analytical skills and knowledge of cultural and artistic traditions; the analysis of human behavior and society in the past and present; and scientific modes of inquiry.

The mission of all degree programs is to provide each student with the skills necessary to pursue knowledge and to integrate information from various sources, and also to provide depth in at least one area of specialization. The mission of the graduate programs is to prepare students to enter careers requiring training beyond the baccalaureate, to advance in their jobs, or to pursue advanced study. Doctoral programs are intended to provide both advanced knowledge and the skills needed to pursue independent research. Educational support programs and services for students emphasize the importance of personal, interpersonal, and social development.

A fundamental goal of the University is to prepare students to function effectively in a culturally diverse society by developing an understanding of our diverse heritage, including the essential contributions of women and ethnic minorities. Instruction in all disciplines emphasizes ethical and social dimensions as well as their applications to contemporary world issues. The University also emphasizes global awareness, through internationally-focused curricula and encouragement of study abroad.
CSULB seeks to engage students directly in their learning by offering most of the curriculum in small sections taught by fully qualified, professionally active faculty members, and by providing opportunities for students to work with faculty members in independent research and creative activities. CSULB serves the surrounding community through applied research, training and community service programs, and other forms of civic engagement. Faculty and staff are committed to student success and are actively involved in fostering that success both in and out of the classroom.

The Faculty

The faculty of California State University, Long Beach is highly educated and dedicated to the success of the students. They create an intellectual atmosphere that encourages students to develop a spirit of investigation which becomes a life-long approach to issues and problems.

The role of the university professor is somewhat different from that of the high school teacher. University faculty are involved in the creation of knowledge as well as the dissemination of it. Our expectation is that students will not only use the 145 instructional days per year to the best possible advantage, but also to reflect on the learning process and to think about how the professor came to understand and organize the knowledge presented, and thus take full advantage of the University’s resources and take responsibility for their own education.

The explicit policies of the University, developed by the faculty, on grades and grading, on class attendance, withdrawal from courses, and cheating and plagiarism are located elsewhere in this Catalog. These and other policies reflect the concerns of the faculty that students take seriously the opportunities made available to them. Beyond these rules and regulations the faculty expect student participation in their education that may be different from or more active than what students have been used to in secondary schools.

In addition, the California State University (CSU) is committed to upholding and preserving the principles of academic freedom: the right of faculty to teach, conduct research or other scholarship, and publish free of external constraints other than those normally denoted by the scholarly standards of a discipline. (CSU AS-2649-04/FA)

Professors, guided by a deep conviction of the worth and dignity of the advancement of knowledge, recognize the special responsibilities placed upon them. Their primary responsibility to their subject is to seek and to state the truth as they see it. To this end professors devote their energies to developing and improving their scholarly competence. They accept the obligations to exercise critical self-discipline and judgment in using, extending, and transmitting knowledge. They practice intellectual honesty. Although professors may follow subsidiary interests, these interests must never seriously hamper or compromise their freedom of inquiry.
As teachers, professors encourage the free pursuit of learning in their students. They hold before them the best scholarly and ethical standards of their discipline. Professors demonstrate respect for students as individuals and adhere to their proper roles as intellectual guides and counselors. Professors make every reasonable effort to foster honest academic conduct and to ensure that their evaluations of students reflect each student’s true merit. They respect the confidential nature of the relationship between professor and student. They avoid any exploitation, harassment, or discriminatory treatment of students. They acknowledge significant academic or scholarly assistance from them. They protect their academic freedom. (PS 00-07)

Faculty earn academic rank as they develop their course materials, research and creative activities, academic and community service, and publications. The highest faculty rank is “Professor,” sometimes called “full Professor.” The intermediate rank is “Associate Professor.” Most faculty begin their careers as “Assistant Professors.”

Academic Organization of the University

During the regular session California State University, Long Beach is as large as a small city. More than 33,000 students, nearly 2,000 faculty, and 1,600 professional staff members study and work on campus each week. In order to operate, the campus has been organized into eight colleges and many academic departments and programs. The names of the colleges, departments, and programs and their current deans are included later in this Catalog.

The elemental unit of academic organization at this University is the department. Departments are most often coincident with a discipline and usually share the same name. Faculty are members of departments. Thus the Department of Biological Sciences has many “programs,” including degrees in Biology and Microbiology, a minor in Biology, and a certificate in Biomedical Art. This Catalog also has information on academic areas, like Gerontology, which are not part of any one department. Some of these areas are called “Studies,” e.g., Women’s Studies, Medieval and Renaissance Studies. This means that the field is essentially an interdisciplinary one and is the product of the activities of faculty from many departments.

Normally these departments and sub-divisions have committees to discuss curriculum and other matters. Since departments and programs are constituent parts of the colleges, they also send members to college-level committees and councils. These bodies serve to develop, refine, and review curriculum. At the University level faculty members from all of the colleges are elected to several councils and to the Academic Senate. These bodies concern themselves with campus-wide issues. Many of these councils, their subcommittees, and the Academic Senate have also provided for staff, student, and administration membership.
For students who have just begun their life in the University, some of the departments will be unknown territory. Other departments and programs will turn out to be considerably different from first expectations or previous experiences with high school subjects of the same or similar names. For students who have begun to focus their academic interests, exploration of the departments and programs of a college beyond the favorite first contact area will often prove to be a valuable part of the process of choosing an academic major.

The University Library

The mission of the University Library is to connect students, faculty, staff, and members of the local community with the information resources they need for study, research, and recreation. The library contains substantial collections of books, journals, government documents, videos, maps, and other physical materials, all listed in its online catalog, COAST (http://coast.csulb.edu).

These resources are enhanced by the more than 5 million volumes available through the Link+ consortium, by the library’s subscriptions to thousands of web-based reference sources and full-text journals, and by its rapidly growing collection of electronic books. Increasingly, the library is able to deliver needed information to the desktop at any time of the day or night.

The library’s staff and faculty are committed to efficient, helpful service, whether at the circulation desk, the reference center, the interlibrary services desk, or any of its other departments. Librarians guide scholars through the process of identifying, retrieving, organizing, and evaluating sources of information appropriate to their educational needs or personal interests.

A wide range of library instruction opportunities is available to the campus community, from a credit course designed to introduce new students to basic concepts of information literacy, to librarian workshops geared to the needs of a particular course, to in-depth consultation focusing on a specific research topic.

The library provides adaptive devices to make its print and electronic resources accessible to the disabled and works closely with Disabled Student Services to insure that equipment, facilities, and collections are responsive to special needs. The University Library’s Special Collections Department contains rare, significant, or unusual books, manuscripts, correspondence, art prints, and photographic prints; details can be found at http://www.csulb.edu/library/guide/serv/special.html.


The hilltop portion on the 322-acre campus overlooks the Pacific Ocean. Eighty permanent buildings house the various colleges, 63 academic departments and programs, 24 centers, 4 institutes, and 4 clinics.

The student-operated University Student Union is located at the crossroads of the campus, providing a focal point for the total campus community. Brotman Hall, near the Union, houses many centralized campus services and administrative offices. There are also specialized facilities for Engineering Technology, Art, Industrial and Interior Design, Music, Molecular and Life Sciences, and Nursing as well as the International House student residence hall and meeting complex.

A state-of-the-art building for the College of Business Administration, complete with decision-support laboratories, multi-media capability, and modern lecture halls, opened in 1991. The Department of Dance occupies quarters in the largest and best-equipped instructional dance facility in the nation.

The striking beauty of the campus owes much to the planting of 3,200 Helen Borcher flowering peach trees that were donated by the citizens of Long Beach. Secluded landscape areas and buildings of appropriate scale help maintain a learning environment that encourages small group identification and personal privacy in the midst of 37,000 individuals sharing the same site, on what is essentially a large urban campus.

In 1965, the International Sculpture Symposium contributed 9 monumental pieces and designs to the University. These works received credits in 21 national and international publications, and in 1972 additional community funds in the form of a trust provided for the completion of the Carlson Memorial Tower, designed by French sculptor Andre Bloc. The campus sculpture collection has continued to expand, with the addition of works by artists such as Guy Dill, Michael Davis, Robert Irwin, Bryan Hunt, and Woods Davy. These acquisitions were made possible by private donations and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts to the University Art Museum.


Los Angeles-Orange County State College opened its doors on September 28, 1949, to an entering group of 169 juniors and seniors. The Schedule of Classes listed 25 courses taught by thirteen faculty members in support of five undergraduate majors. The campus consisted of two converted apartment buildings at 5381 and 5401 Anaheim Road in Long Beach. Within two years the City of Long Beach purchased a permanent site for the fledgling institution and donated it to the state, construction began on the first permanent buildings, and the renamed Long Beach State College moved to its present location. Two decades later the rapidly growing institution had earned designation as a university and became the largest single campus in the California State University system.

The Legislature voted to establish a state college in the Long Beach area because it recognized that rapid suburban development would create a need for more trained teachers and business employees. Instead of limiting itself to those fields, however, California State University, Long Beach has evolved into one of the nation's leading urban comprehensive universities.

In addition to Colleges of Education and Business Administration, CSULB developed a nationally renowned College of the Arts, a College of Engineering that attracts millions of dollars in government contracts and corporate donations, and a College of Health and Human Services that prepares a wide range of skilled personnel for the health care industry. The College of Liberal Arts and the College of Natural Science and Mathematics provide a solid foundation in general education for all CSULB undergraduates as well as majors ranging from anthropology to physics and from biochemistry to philosophy.

Campus Distinctions

California State University, Long Beach has much to offer its students. The faculty has made a commitment to excellence in both teaching and research, and most university classes are taught in small sections so students have an opportunity for regular contact with their professors as well as involvement in original research and creative activities under faculty supervision. As a result, CSULB has attracted 350 California high school valedictorians and National Merit Finalists among its current undergraduate population.

CSULB also offers a wealth of cultural and recreational opportunities. There are live performances of plays, music, and dance in the University's seven theater facilities virtually every night of the week. The University Art Museum and the student and faculty galleries in the Art and Design departments afford access to exciting innovations in the visual arts.

Eighteen men's and women's sports compete in our excellent and competitive NCAA Division I athletic program. The women's volleyball team has appeared in 8 Final Fours in the last 15 years, winning 3 national championships and finishing second in 2001. The athletic program also includes club or intramural competition in approximately 30 different sports.

The Associated Students, Inc. and the Office of Student Life and Development sponsor nearly 200 additional campus organizations, ranging from fraternities and sororities to cultural associations, religious clubs, honor societies, political and social action clubs, and special interest clubs. Students at CSULB are assured of a well-rounded collegiate experience if they take advantage of the opportunities that surround them.