California State University-San Marcos Campus Life Reviews

On-Campus Housing
Excellent

31%

Very Good

24%

Average

24%

Poor

14%

Terrible

6%

Off-Campus Housing
Excellent

0%

Very Good

39%

Average

29%

Poor

16%

Terrible

17%

Campus Food
Excellent

14%

Very Good

24%

Average

27%

Poor

18%

Terrible

16%

Campus Facilities
Excellent

54%

Very Good

36%

Average

7%

Poor

1%

Terrible

1%

Class Size
Excellent

45%

Very Good

36%

Average

15%

Poor

3%

Terrible

1%

Activities
Excellent

15%

Very Good

36%

Average

28%

Poor

15%

Terrible

7%

Local Services
Excellent

50%

Very Good

24%

Average

16%

Poor

8%

Terrible

1%

Academics
Excellent

39%

Very Good

39%

Average

15%

Poor

6%

Terrible

2%

Overall Review for California State University-San Marcos

Excellent

41%

Very Good

41%

Average

12%

Poor

4%

Terrible

2%

We Asked Students, What's your overall opinion of this school?

Chloe

CSUSM is a small school, there's no denying that. It's also a commuter school so most people do not live on campus. But, it's still very tight knit and active. There is always something happening on campus. Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12 to 1 is U-Hour when there are no classes for anyone. That's when clubs meet and other events usually happen. Connecting to other people, including faculty, is a priority at CSUSM.

Elizabeth

The school is a nicely built and maintained campus. The library and librarians are very helpful. Some instructors are great and are easy to get ahold of, but some you can only seem to reach during class time or when it is too late. The financial aid office is sloppy. They disburse money late and seem to mess something up each semester. Administration, in general, do not truly care about helping students, even if they are the ones who have made a mistake.

jenna

interesting

Lilly

It is a nice and beautiful school with many ways to get involved in the community and with each other. Parking can be a bit of a hassle, but most schools are like that. Plus there's an alternative transportation so we don't have to bother with on campus parking. The professors I've met are extremely nice and want you to succeed.

Arianna

My first year of attending California State University-San Marcos is almost over, but although the year went by surprisingly quick, I feel more at home in my dorm on campus than I do in the home I've spent about 19 years of my relatively short and moderately pleasant existence. The students actually want to be here and are willing to put in an amazing amount of effort to get what needs to be done finished. In my hometown, I didn't feel safe walking around by myself, but at the university I can walk around all I want whether it's to go to the nearby Ralphs for groceries or just to walk around to clear my head. I may be new to the college experience but I can safely say without a doubt that I know I chose the right college for me.

Josue

It is a college that accepts everyone, it is affordable, and earning a degree is fairly easy.

Jacqueline

I will be attending this school in the fall and I have visited this campus quite a few times. all in all, its very welcoming and everyone around are so nice and very helpful if you have questions. Also, the three classes I took during the summer were very well taught also by a very nice and understanding professor.

Rose

I love living here. The beach is so close and is so so SO nice that all of the dorms are apartment style. Having a kitchen and a living room is amazing and I feel so fortunate to have it. I love the campus but walking up the hill from the Quad is a pain in my ass.

Chyna

San Marcos is still growing since it is fairly new but it is such a nice campus already. They are so diverse, loving and inclusive and the students and professors seem to look out for each other and keep the school at being the best it can. There are plenty of things to get involved in and there are usually activities going on around the campus. It is in a beautiful location and the convenience of the nearby stores is a really nice plus.

Angelica

Overall, CSU - San Marcos is a decent campus for commuter and transfer students. The courses I've taken are challenging and engaging and professors are accessible. The student body is diverse and there are opportunities to engage with the community.

Neala

I first noticed that this school was smaller than other college campuses. It is also very clean and has a lot of scenery. The faculty and professors want to see the students succeed. The community is very welcoming and diverse and many groups get representation. The academics are well taught and the teachers are very accessible.

Lillian

This campus is a lot smaller than other CSU's. It has been such an incredible experience so far. The campus is calm and relaxing. The class sizes are respectively small, around 30 or less in a class. Unless your in a big lecture hall then its a lot bigger. The parties are thrown my the frats and sororities. This schools housing is amazing. The Uva has a pool and its great.

Justin

The campus is very nice and conveniently located with nice views of San Marcos and the hills surrounding it making for a nice place to hangout and study. I have been satisfied with the courses offered and very satisfied with the professors I have had. The school provides everything I have needed. I graduate in the fall and I have to admit that I will miss it.

Adriane-Jenelle

I am in love with the school. I can honestly say that I feel safe and welcome on campus at all times. The class sizes are set so that we are not just faces to our professors and I can truly tell that the professors are here for us. The campus, itself, is breathtaking. The people there are genuine and really there to learn. The students and staff at CSUSM are truly proud to be where they are, and they emit a positive energy every second they are there.

Mackenzie

California State University San Marcos is a beautiful campus with lots of stairs. The people and the environment are amazing. The housing is incredible and extremely inclusive. There is a near by shopping center that students can walk to for some lunch or maybe to get some groceries. Anything you could possibly imagine is extremely accessible.

Amanda

This school has prepared me for my future career and schooling. The staff is friendly and accessible and dedicated to student success. It was also rated one of the safest schools in Ca this last year. They also are located in a great part of town with lots of near by housing complexes, grocery stores, restaurants across the street. They are also located next to great hikes, and other recreation activities.

John

I believe CSUSM is a fantastic university where a student is able to explore multiple opportunities for the career path they have chosen. It is a relative small campus which means students have smaller class sizes that delivers a greater one on one experience with professors. The campus is continuously growing and developing more ways to help students succeed.

Hayley

San Marcos is an ever growing campus that grows the more students join the school. San Marcos is the ideal campus for students who are solely dedicated to their studies and enjoy club activities instead of partying or sports activities. We have a club for any interest and our clubs only enhance our education and make us more aware and open minded people.

Liana

The thing that drew me to CSUSM was the small class sizes and teacher-student ratios. A professor is never unwilling to help a student in need, and will give each person a fair chance for success. In my personal experience, I have had great relationships with professors and fellow students. This has really enhanced my college experience, both academically and personally.

Alondra

California State University - San Marcos was not first choice, but I ended attending here. I instantly fell in love with this campus after my first week of school. Everything is so great here, people are so nice and welcoming! Everyone Proud to be a student here.

Tatiana

CSUSM is a very big campus, and that is what I love about that. There is much to discover around. When I am on campus I feel very welcomed and that is one of the first things I noticed when I went to orientation. The teachers there are very friendly and always happy to help out the students when they have trouble. I feel very safe at the campus because I know that police is around to supervise the campus, when needed.

Julienne

California State University San Marcos has been such an amazing experience. The main characteristic of my school is diversity, and everyone abides that characteristic. Students, teachers, and staff are accepting to one another no matter what race, sexual orientation, political views, gender, etc you are. The school is open to free speech, which allows students to express themselves and what they truly believe in. Additionally, everyone gets involved in many school activities, making students' college experiences the best times of their lives. The more involvement that students have with the school, then the more fun the students will have within the four years of the college reputation.

Michael

I believe that California State University-San Marcos is an amazing University and has so much to offer given its tuition price, which is the most affordable I've seen amongst the other universities I have researched. CSUSM, home of the Cougars, is hands down the best university in my opinion.

Kaitlyn

Overall, I believe Cal State San Marcos is a great place to attend school. My only complaints would have to be regarding safety and the actual food choices available on and off campus nearby. The professors all seem to be heavily involved in the success of their students, and the campus is relatively new. There have been a few concerns since I started attending this school, but the police presence seems to be much higher and the campus overall seems safer

Justin

In my opinion California State University San Marcos is a very diverse and has a lot of opportunities when it comes to the different organizations and different programs, but to put it bluntly this school is overrated. The campus on the outside looks as if it has just been built, but as soon as you step into a classroom much of the seating and floors appear faulty or broken. There is a lack of decent eating places both on and off campus, and the closest shopping center is twelve miles away. The on campus housing is nice so I have to give credit to where credit is deserved. The last problem this school has is the parking situation. The cost to park on campus is very exorbitant and you can never find a parking spot. CSUSM gets a lot of students every year, and I think the parking situation should be given a little bit more attention. Overall this school is not that bad when it comes to academics. Professors strive to help you and there are tons of resources on campus such as math, language, English, science tutoring at no cost to the students.

Alexis

Cal State San Marcos is the perfect school to balance both academics and a social life. You often see familiar faces on campus because there is not an excessive amount of people but you also have plenty of people to meet on a daily basis. The class sizes are small and intimate. San Marcos has a nice balance of both Greek life as well but not an overwhelming amount. This school has a perfect balance of everything that is considered when looking into college and where students would want to go.

Shannon

During campus tours and the application process, the school seemed to really care about its students. However, it wasn't until I completed a full semester at San Marcos that I realized the professors really do not care if you are passing their class. the majority of upperclassmen I met were fifth years and it is extremely hard to get the classes you want. The housing on campus is beautiful, I lived in the Quad and had my own room and loved it, however, the school itself was not my cup of tea.

jennifer

Love the school. It gives great resources and opportunities for their students. Great campus and great professors! Join clubs to get the most college experience ever. I haven't had the chance to actually live in the dorms but I have entered inside and looked pretty decent. If you have the opportunity to live on campus you should. Take advantage of the resources.

Isabel

As an incoming freshman at CSUSM, I was very nervous. After I had my orientation I soon discovered that, CSUSM is a very fun and friendly campus. The professors are very helpful. They even had a meet and greet with all the new incoming students for the College of Science and Mathematics. I had ice cream and got to meet the Biology faculty department.

Joshua

Where do I begin? Cal State is NOT for a person who actually wants an education. The library is ALWAYS loud and overcrowded (even on weekends). I went there for three years before I had to transfer. There is no academic integrity. Very few students have any intellectual thought processes of their own. All they know how to do is regurgitate political ideas or scientific experiments that their professor told them about. One time I had a student tell me that cellulose was the major energy source for the brain! Like WTF? How stupid can you be? On a side note, the campus itself will not be FULLY developed till 2030 (as it says on their campus master plan https://www.csusm.edu/pdc/campus-master-plan/index.html). Unless you are planning to go here in the LATE 2020's I would suggest you do not transfer or apply here.

Kayla

Overall I really enjoy attending CSUSM. Most of the professor are amazing and the teach so much. However there are a few professors that do not add anything to the class or leave you more confused that when you entered. Student life is wonderful if you know how to look for event, with a really friendly campus.

Angela

So far I have only been at Cal State San Marcos for the fall semester. I have already attended community college so I kind of knew what to expect. However, attending this university has really exceeded my expectations. I really feel like I made the right choice by attending this university. The campus size is large but not so big that it is overwhelming. It just took me a couple days to get use to the campus and be able to get around without getting lost. The university provides places to buy food, and has a Starbucks that usually has a long line. The campus is near other food places and markets so the students have a nice variety of choices. At first, I did not like that the university had so many stairs, but now I tend to choose the stairs over the elevators. The campus also has a lot of trees, plants, grass, and animals; which makes it a nice environment to be around. Not to mention, this semester it became a smoke free campus; which I greatly appreciate. The university contains various facilities where students can do there work, study, and just relax. Plus, they have areas that students can sit outside if they do not want to be inside a building. There are many programs, extracurricular activities, and clubs that students can get involved in. I am in the EOP program and the help they offer makes a big difference to me and I greatly advice others to apply for it. So far, I have not had one complaint against any of my professors, they are very understanding and fantastic at their jobs. They do give out a decent amount of work but it is very manageable. I do feel like the permits for parking are a bit expensive and I think the price should be lowered. The dorming situation seems to be secure since students need a card to get into the dorms. On the other hand this year there has been a report of a non-student assaulting a student after the student let them in the dorm building. I commute and I do not think there is a human being on this planet who enjoys traffic, luckily it is not the bad except on Fridays going home. Overall, I really enjoy attending San Marcos and I hope I continue attending it until I graduate.

Maiya

It’s a safe environment for students, smaller classes which means more opportunities to talk to your professor and create good relationships with classes mates and professors! Lots of school spirit! Most students partake in school events and activities which creates a great environment and brings us close even if the school itself is big.

Antoinette

California State University San Marcos is a great school that is very diverse and extremely open to new people and their ideas. The students, faculty, and staff on-campus are very helpful even if it doesn't portray to their specific job title. Housing and the community surrounding is great environment with a lot to do.

Samuel

CSU San Marcos is politically liberal and diverse. The graduation rate is at most 60%. It may be because the classes are excessively hard, but it's also because not many students put effort into their academics. Combining both the excessively intense academics and students' lack of effort shows how this school is lowly ranked. But, there are many resources for students to take advantage of to pass their classes. This school puts full effort satisfying the students' needs accessible. CSUSM is in progress of academically improving itself to help more students graduate on time.

Taylor

I think this college is great. The campus has a very comfortable feel. There was some frustration when classes would be so difficult to get into because so many students needed them for prerequisites. However, I loved my experience here. I will probably be coming back for my Masters soon!

Alondra

Very nice and warm. I like the environment. I'm a minimalist so the school fits perfect for me. The crowd isn't so much that people are cramped up that one may feel uncomfortable and unsafe. Easy to breathe in, good programs and food. Welcoming and has helping hands.

Melannee

CSU San Marcos is a great school with many opportunities for students! They present hands on learning directed towards your major, and they have great support systems. Living on campus is made to be a lot of fun thanks to the apartments themselves, and the student's ability to choose their own roommates by matching with them through the campus app!

Vicente

CSUSM has its pros but it is a mainly a commuter campus which leads to a lack of campus life. They don't have a real cafeteria either. There are like three restaurants covered by the meal plan and as a student living on campus, I just cook for myself.

Sonia

California State University has values that align with mine. They value equality, diversity, acceptance and tolerance. They encourage their students to speak up and fight for what is ethically correct and for the values previously mentioned. They want their students to properly articulate arguments and different points of view; therefore the university incorporates writing assignments into all the departments.

Jasmine

This is a school where they take an individual and mold them to become their best selves and help them identify with who they are as an individual. I love this school because we are such a tight knit community where every group on campus is a family.

Alyssa

ok

Alexis

It is a very convenient and great school, it could use some improvement on the faculty and how much they help and understand he scheduling for students. The teachers really care about the students and about our success which makes it really easy to want to succeed.

Eva

Simply amazing.

Valentin

There are many possibilities for careers out of my major of Mathematics, the two careers I have planned for myself to be prepared for mostly is being a Middle or High School Teacher, and also being a Statistician. My major is mostly aimed towards being a High School teacher and that is what I am shooting for but my backup plan is to become a statistician which my major also prepares me for. I am also considering minoring in Spanish which will allow my possibilities for careers expand as well and give me more options for what I would like to do. There are many steps a teacher may need to take to get to that field of work. First you will need four years of schooling to receive a Bachelor’s Degree, then you need a completion of a teacher preparation program and supervised experience in teaching, which is typically gained through student teaching. Then you are ready for a background check and then the general teaching certification test that demonstrates your knowledge on the subject you are interested in teaching. This process can be different among states but my plan is to teach in California so that is my path at this moment. For Statisticians the route is a little bit different, Statisticians typically need a master’s degree but some entry-level positions may accept candidates with a bachelor’s degree. To land a job in a more effective way it is recommended to take as many math courses as possible. As my goal being a High School teacher my career will be to prepare students for life after graduation and educating them more on the subject of math. During this job there is many duties to fulfil, I will be planning lessons, assessing students, testing students, grading, communicating with parents, and preparing students for standardized test. Also being a teacher I will also have to attend staff meetings and other meeting relating to my subject of teach. As a Statistician I will be applying or developing statistical methods to collect and organize numerical data to provide usable information. As people call it I will be the people who “crunch the numbers” so that the clump of numbers becomes an easier way to understand. An example of what I will be doing is if a basketball player has shot twenty-four of fifty-seven I will be the guy to quickly tell you that he has shot a fourth-two percent for the game. The pay for a Statistician is different for the type of level you apply yourself at you can earn anywhere from $46,500 to $130,090. The median pay for this job is $80,500. The pay for this job is great and if I were to pursue it it would be just like a teacher I would make more money as I continued to stay with that career. For a High School teacher the average pay $59,170. That does not seem like the greatest number but at twenty-three years old I am sure I will be loving that number and from there all it can do if I stay to my goal of retiring as a teacher the number will only go up.

Julianna

I have enjoyed attending college here. I feel safe and always find help when I need it!

Shwana

CSU San Marcos is overall a great school. The campus is nice and spacious, always clean. It's also nice they have a few coffee shops on campus to keep us all caffeinated. Mostly locals attend the school but theres some you'll find who are from all over the world. I've only been there for a semester so far but I can definitely say everyone is very friendly, and helpful. There is also been some fun events that everyone can attend. Teachers were great my first semester. Some are kind of fast paced but office hours are helpful. This upcoming semester I checked "rate my professor" for the marketing teachers and was unfortunately disappointed. There were about only 2-3 marketing teachers and they all had terrible reviews. So I'd be careful if you have a marketing major like me. Food on campus is okay, the best spot is Panda Express or WOW cafe. They do have some vegetarian options which is nice since I do not eat meat. Its pretty simple to find yourself around campus once you get the hang of it but there is quite a lot of stairs. At least you'll be getting some exercise.

Isabella

Cal State San Marcos has a close ache feel, close to high school but also large enough to where you see different faces on campus everyday. We are not Pac-12 or Big-10 school but I am so happy with my decision to study at CSUSM! The classes are a perfect size and the teachers are very resourceful. It is a great school to attend.

Jalen

The 4 year university called California State University San Marcos is great. The first time I visited in junior year I knew right away I loved it. The campus was new and bright and just my place. It wasn’t far from San Diego and wasn’t in the middle of a busy city. I liked how the school is only around a decade old and most of our building are newer. The diversity is large and the weather is nice. After finding the housing and taking a tour, I discovered that I would have 7 roommates. That was great for me since I knew I wanted a large group of people to already know when I first started out. All in all I am pleased with California State University San Marcos.

Kim

CSUSM is a great university for students looking to work closely with their professors. The small class sizes makes it easier to build connections with classmates and professors as well as ease the transition from high school to college. Although the university is known as a commuter school, there is still ample opportunities to meet others on campus through intermural sports, academic clubs, and school events. This is a great campus for students looking to make strong connections during their academic career.

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