Located three miles from the Pacific Ocean, California State University Long Beach is a community within itself, boasting a student population of more than 37,000 and its own zip code.
The urban campus spreads across 323 acres and has 84 buildings, 63 academic departments and programs, 24 centers, four institutes and four clinics. The minimalist-designed buildings, created primarily by architect Edward Killingsworth, places emphasis on landscaping, giving CSULB a naturalistic, park-like layout that has earned numerous design awards.
The University recently opened a state-of-the-art net zero energy classroom for College of Continuing and Professional Education, the first of its kind in the California State University system. Its Platinum LEED rating is the highest energy efficient building on campus. Five buildings have earned LEED ratings of Gold or Silver.
The student-operated University Student Union is located at the center of the campus, providing a focal point for the campus community. The three-story glass building occupies roughly 180,000 square feet and houses offices, a study lounge, ballroom, food court, bowling alley, arcade and movie theater.
Brotman Hall, located near the University Student Union, is where administrative offices and many centralized campus services can be found. There are also specialized facilities for Engineering Technology, Art, Industrial and Interior Design, Music, Molecular and Life Sciences, and Nursing.
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 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 and the many art pieces located on the grounds.
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.
Organization of the University
During the regular session California State University, Long Beach is as large as a small city. More than 37,000 students, nearly 2,000 faculty and 1,600 professional staff members study and work on campus each week.
The academic organization at this University is the department. Departments often coincide with a discipline and usually share the same name. Faculty are members of departments. For instance, 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, such as 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.
These departments and sub‑divisions often 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 develop, refine and review curriculum. At the University, level faculty members from all of the colleges are elected to councils and the Academic Senate to deal with campus‑wide issues. These councils, their subcommittees, and the Academic Senate provide for staff, student, and administration membership.
For new students, 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 started to focus their academic interests, exploration of the departments and programs beyond the first contact area will often prove to be a valuable part of the process of choosing an academic major.