California State University-Chico: Academics, Admissions & Tuition

About California State University, Chico

California State University's Chico campus, located northeast of San Francisco in Chico, CA, is one of 23 campuses in the California State University system. The public university was founded in 1887 and is commonly known as Chico State.

In 2012, U.S. News & World Report ranked Chico State #6 among the top public schools in the west. The Princeton Review also included Chico State on its 2010 list of 'Best Business Schools' for the third year in a row.


Chico State has 7 academic colleges for areas such as agriculture, business and engineering. Students can choose from 66 undergraduate majors, 35 graduate degree programs and both undergraduate and graduate certificate programs. The school's most popular majors are business administration, psychology and liberal arts.

The university features an 800-acre instructional farm for agriculture students, about 30 research centers and institutes, 6 on-campus museums and 13 NCAA Division II athletic teams. A number of academic courses and career training programs are available online each semester.


Students can prepare and submit their applications on the school's website between October 1 and November 30. Applicants must include SAT or ACT scores and sign up for math and English placement tests, but students with qualifying AP, ACT or SAT scores may be exempted from the tests. The school also accepts AP scores of 3 or higher for credit in most programs.

Of the more than 14,000 applicants in 2010, 62% were admitted and 21% enrolled. In 2011, roughly 51% of Chico State students were female and 95% of attendees were from California; 58% of students were white and 18% Hispanic/Latino.

Tuition & Financial Aid

In 2012, tuition and fees for California residents were $3,719 a semester for undergraduates and $4,412 for graduate students. Out-of-state students pay the applicable undergraduate or graduate costs plus an additional $372 fee for each credit hour. Estimated costs for students living on campus were $11,138 for housing and $1,746 for books and supplies in 2011-12.

The university offers a deferred payment plan that allows tuition to be paid in 3 installments. Students may be eligible for scholarships based on academics, financial aid and other factors. Research assistantships and fellowships are available to graduate students.

School Type 4-year, public**
Degrees Offered Bachelor's and master's degrees; undergraduate, post-bachelor's and post-master's certificates*
Religious Affiliation None**
Academic Calendar Semesters*
School Setting Small city**
Student Body 14,766 undergraduates and 1,154 graduates in 2011**
Student Housing 6 residence halls, 6 themed houses and 1 university-owned apartment complex*
Schools and Programs 7 colleges; more than 300 academic programs*
Student-Faculty Ratio 25 to 1**
Most Popular Fields of Study by Degree Level (Number of Recipients) In 2011:
Bachelor's: Business Administration and Management (614)
Master's: Education (76)**
Undergraduate Graduation Rates 16% in 4 years
58% in 6 years
63% in 8 years (students who started in fall 2003)**
Admission Rate 62% in 2010**
First-Year Retention Rates 88% for full-time and 50% for part-time students in 2011**
Average ACT and SAT Scores of Admitted Students SAT critical reading, 502; SAT math, 514; ACT composite, 22*
Application Due Date November 30 for following fall semester*
Decision Notification Date Rolling notifications starting February 1*
Tuition $7,438 per year for California students; out-of-state students pay an additional $372 for each credit hour*
Financial Aid Sources Available (Percent of Students Receiving it) For 2010-2011: Federal grants (38%), state and local grants and scholarships (36%), institutional grants or scholarships (36%), federal student loans (42%)**
Percent of Students Receiving Some Form of Aid 63% in 2010-2011 academic year**

Sources: *California State University, Chico, **National Center for Education Statistics.

School Contact Information

  • Address: Admissions Office, California State University, Chico, Student Services Center 130, 400 West First Street, Chico, CA 95929
  • Phone: (530) 898-6322
  • Website:

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