About California Lutheran University

Founded in 1959, California Lutheran University. is a Private college. Located in California, which is a city setting in California, the campus itself is Urban. The campus is home to 2,892 full time undergraduate students, and 1,282 full time graduate students.

The California Lutheran University Academic calendar runs on a Semester basis. In the school year the student to faculty ratio was 14:1. There are 198 full time instructional teachers. Degrees awarded at California Lutheran University include: Bachelor's Degree, Masters Degree, Post-master's certificate, Doctor's degree.

Quick Facts

Acceptance Rate64%
Application Deadline
Application Fee25
SAT Range993-1200
ACT Range22-27

Admissions at CLU are considered Selective, with ,70% of all applicants being admitted.

In the school year, of the students who applied to the school, only 11 of those who were admitted eventually ended up enrolling.

95% of incoming freshmen are in the top half of their high school class. 68% were in the top quarter, and 37% were in the top tenth. You can apply online.


We asked, and students answered these important questions about student life at California Lutheran University.

California Lutheran University REVIEWS

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  • How would you rate on-campus housing?

    145 Students rated on-campus housing 4.1 stars. 36 % gave the school a 5.0.

  • How would you rate off-campus housing?

    108 Students rated off-campus housing 2.8 stars. 0 % gave the school a 5.0.

  • How would you rate campus food?

    152 Students rated campus food 3.2 stars. 12 % gave the school a 5.0.

  • How would you rate campus facilities?

    161 Students rated campus facilities 4.4 stars. 50 % gave the school a 5.0.

  • How would you rate class size?

    162 Students rated class size 4.8 stars. 81 % gave the school a 5.0.

  • How would you rate school activities?

    161 Students rated school activities 4.2 stars. 43 % gave the school a 5.0.

  • How would you rate local services?

    160 Students rated local services 4.2 stars. 48 % gave the school a 5.0.

  • How would you rate academics?

    162 Students rated academics 4 stars. 38 % gave the school a 5.0.

What's your overall opinion of California Lutheran University?

35 Students rated California Lutheran University

Evan - 02/07/2023

I really enjoy the school. The class sizes are, for me, the best thing about it averaging around 20 students. While the immediate local area lacks much action, it is only a 1 hour drive from Los Angeles. They are very generous with financial aid, and I would recommend it to anyone of any major.

Phung - 07/16/2020

Cal Lu is a great commuting school. That being said you don't really get parties or college town experience. The science and math professors are amazing, they normally do a good job at the new hires. The food at Ullmans is a hit or miss, sometimes you can get sick from it and other times the food is excellent.

Iliana - 06/26/2020

I have had an amazing experience at Cal Lutheran. The staff is incredible! They answer emails, give you their cell phone to text when needed - this is my third institution of higher learning, and so far, it is ranking at the top. I am pleased to know that my tuition is well-spent here.

Andre - 08/12/2019

California Lutheran University was great school. The reason I chose it was for the small classroom sizes. Your professors were very accessible since there aren't as many students trying to get to them. I have heard from other students from other big universities that they would sometimes only speak with a teacher's assistant but here, you are assured to speak with the professor directly.

California Lutheran University FAQS

  1. What is the Acceptance Rate at California Lutheran University?

    The fall 2020 acceptance rate for California Lutheran University is 64%. That means, out of _____ applications received in 2020 , _____ students were offered admission. The number of males who applied was _____ vs the number of females which was _____.

  2. What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

    If I could go back I would warn myself that it was going to be a lot harder than I could imagine. I would warn myself of how much I would miss my family but I would also suggest ways to keep in contact with them to make it less hard, things such as skype, handwritten letters and weekly phone calls. I would also tell myself to stay focused on me and that although I would be living with three other people I shouldn't let my mothering instict take place. I would need to worry about me and not what is going on with others. Also, I would make sure to remind myself that reading is key to passing classes. And also that skim reading isn't going to help but that I would have to really sit down and take time to focus on what I was reading. Ultimately, if I could give myself any advice it would be to not let dorm life get the best of me.

    Read all  237 answers
  3. What do you consider the worst thing about your school? Why?

    Don't get the feel of a big university

    Read all  51 answers
  4. What kind of person should attend this school?

    Anyone can attend this school because its very diverse and everyone gets along great!

    Read all  48 answers
  5. Describe the students at your school.

    My classmates are really smart, some more open-minded than others, but all welcome new ideas.

    Read all  41 answers
  6. Describe your favorite campus traditions.

    My school is best known for the small class sizes and campus. There is only about five hundred kids in my graduating class, which is the biggest graduating class the school has had to date. California Lutheran is also known for its Lutheran background and strong support in the faith.

    Read all  38 answers
  7. Describe how your school looks to someone who's never seen it.

    Small university with a big heart for its students.

    Read all  37 answers
  8. What's the most frustrating thing about your school?

    Besides not having a commuter lounge room, there is nothing frustrating about Cal Lutheran. The school is actually building a new cafeteria and there would be one there. Besides that everything is perfect, even parking! Cal Lutheran gives you lots of financial aid, four places where one can eat, a library opened until midnight, a pool, a huge gym, and many other exercise classes that help students stay in shape and forget about stress. Another thing that is awesome about Cal Lutheran is that it has small classes taught by really intelligent professors that allow students to participate while learning.

    Read all  36 answers
  9. What kind of person should not attend this school?

    One should not attend California Lutheran University if he/she has no motivation, does not make schoolwork a priority, and prefers larger classroom settings. He/she is the type of person who prefers the city and having amusement and fun places to go outside of school.

    Read all  36 answers
  10. What's the one thing you wish someone had told you about freshman year?

    CLU is a wonderful place to attend school, but to get the most out of your college experience I have one peice of advice: get involved! While this is a cliche statement that you'll hear about most schools, it is especially true for California Lutheran University. What's more is that it is super easy to become involved at CLU. CLU offers many different events and clubs that you can join. Doing activities with different people will allow you to make friends and make the most of your time at CLU. Just don't forget to study hard too!

    Read all  36 answers
  11. What's unique about your campus?

    Close community

    Read all  33 answers
  12. What do you brag about most when you tell your friends about your school?

    When talking about my institution I usually show off how beautiful our campus is, how friendly people are here, and the opportunities it offers, such as: studying abroad and interning.

    Read all  31 answers
  13. Here's your chance: Say anything about your college!

    It's small and you get to know everyone. I really love it here.

    Read all  28 answers
  14. What is your overall opinion of this school?

    Though hardly anyone I run in to here on the East Coast has heard of CLU, I feel that's indicative of it being a hidden treasure! CLU's student body is large enough to allow some anonymity, the chance to get to know people of many different cultures and backgrounds, and to provide a variety of unique classes, but small enough to allow for intimate classes, professors who know you well, and the chance to be involved in many areas, from drama to politics. CLU also has several special opportunities, from the ability to explore faith and reason, simultaneously, the connection with Scandanavian culture, and the chance to work and be involved with KCLU. When I was at CLU, over 15 years ago, Thousand Oaks didn't seem to want to recognize the presence of college students in their midst. Now, things are much better. Though Thousand Oaks still doesn't have a "college town" feel, the relationship with the town and the school is congenial. Though students sometimes complain about living on a "dry" campus, I never knew it to "cramp" anyone's style. What it did do, in my opinion, was reduce the number of alcohol-related incidents. When I speak with friends who've attended larger universities that allowed alcohol on campus, I hear about a lot of really awful things, from rapes to major injuries, that occured as a result of binge drinking. Things like that didn't happen much, if at all, at CLU, and I really appreciated it.

    Read all  4 answers
  15. What are the academics like at your school?

    Professors definitely know your name--they also know about your passions, your hobbies, your family, your friends, and your favorite foods. In other words, you get to know your professors at CLU! My sister attended UCSB, and she literally had a number she had to put on her papers in her classes where there were over 1,000 students. Your largest class in your entire career at CLU might have around 50 people, tops. Most will be from 15-25 students, and your professor will get to know all of you intimately. Between the time in class, office hours, time spent at their houses, and all the activities on campus, you'll get to know them too. This is a blessing because I truly believe CLU has some of the most amazing professors around. They are extremely talented, willing to share their expertise with others, and dedicated to their work. I was an English major and also spent a great deal of extra time with the English faculty outside of my classes, as I was an editor for the literary and art magazine, Morning Glory, for three years, and a departmental assistant for two years. The faculty is outstanding, full of creative, fun, and exquisitely intelligent people. I learned so much from them all, and many are still at CLU today.

    Read all  4 answers
  16. What is the stereotype of students at your school? Is this stereotype accurate?

    Stereotype seems to be we are snooty conservatives. This is entirely inaccurate. In fact, the majority of students are very liberal and very friendly. We aren't a party school, for sure, but that doesn't mean fun doesn't happen.

    Read all  2 answers
  17. What are the most popular student activities/groups?

    Sports are definitely a big part of this school. Whether its at the NCAA level or Intramurals.

    Read all  2 answers
  18. What is the stereotype of students at your school?

    I think some people may believe that CLU students are overly religious (and all Lutheran) or very reserved.

    Read all  1 answers
  19. Where is the best place to get work done on campus?

    The library for sure. The study rooms in the dorm halls are great too.

    Read all  1 answers
  20. What do people really wear to class?

    It's a big range. Some people always come in sweats and some people always get dressed up and put effort in. A lot of the time people are in workout clothes. It's really not something to worry about just dress the way you want.

    Read all  1 answers
  21. I don't drink. Will it be hard for me to go to parties?

    Not at all. There is not a high level of peer pressure here. I myself don't drink but still get to hangout and go to parties. Everyone is really accepting.

    Read all  1 answers

Student Body







Total Undergrad Enrollment


Total Grad Students









Student Organizations







On-Campus Housing


of students living on campus

Student Diversity

% American Indian/Alaskan Native
% Asian/Pacific Islander
% Black or African-American
% Hispanic/Latino
% White or Caucasian


All students must apply yearly for financial aid. This process starts with the FAFSA. Though financial aid deadlines vary by school, it is a good idea to apply as soon as possible. For the upcoming school year, you can apply as early as October 1 for the FAFSA. Additional school aid will be dependent on the FAFSA results.

97% of students attending California Lutheran University receive some sort of financial aid. 27% were awarded federal grants. While 59% received federal loans. Many students do also need to apply for additional private student loans.

Cost Out of State


Tuition and fees(Out of state)


Books and Supplies


Room and Board


Total On Campus

Actual Cost By Income Level(W/Financial Aid)

Family Income
$0 - $30K
$30 - $48K
$48 - $75K
$75 - $110K
$110K & UP

We use student reviews and the most current publicly available data on our school pages. As such, we don't typically remove or edit college information. Sources for school statistics and data include the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System. Portions of college data include copyrighted material, which is reproduced on this website by permission of Wintergreen Orchard House, a division of Carnegie Communications. © 2009-2016 by Wintergreen Orchard House. All rights reserved.


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