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About California State University, Fresno

With 103 years of excellence, California State University, Fresno is leading the way in Central California through innovation and by inspiring our students to think of higher levels and pursue their dreams.

The story of our university is a fascinating one as we look back to its beginnings. With a population in the early 1900s of about 15,000, Fresno was growing as people from throughout the state, the country and the world were coming here to put down roots. Community leaders saw a bright future. But one problem was apparent – a teacher shortage – because there was no local institution to train residents to become teachers.

Fresno’s leaders began a campaign to convince the state Legislature that a school to train teachers was needed. In April 1911, a state appropriation of $10,000 launched Fresno State Normal School, whose doors opened with 150 students on September 11, 1911.

Fresno State Normal School expanded and grew, progressing from a teaching college to today’s California State University, Fresno, where more than 23,000 students are seeking to expand their knowledge and horizons.

With majors in 62 bachelor’s, 45 master’s, one educational specialist degree and three doctoral degrees, Fresno State has come a long way from its humble beginning.

Today, Fresno State serves the richly diverse region of Central California. The U.S. Department of Education designates our university as both a Hispanic-Serving Institution and an Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institution.

Fresno State students are tomorrow’s teachers, nurses, engineers, winemakers, entrepreneurs and more. Our researchers are finding answers to health, science and quality-of-life problems in this region and beyond. And our partnerships with private industry, public agencies, schools and others are helping create new jobs and innovative ways of doing business.

As the premier university in Central California, Fresno State is one of the strongest, most positive influences on the economy.

Fresno State's Impact (PDF 1.6MB)