Head-to-Head UC vs. CSU

November 2, 2011 Category: California State University News, University of California News



There are many differences between the University of California (UC) school system and the California State University (CSU) system.  It is important to consider each school system’s various strengths and weaknesses.  This is important especially when bearing in mind the major you plan to undertake. You also need to take into account the different comparative factors that may lead to be a deciding influence.

Financial Factor – Who Costs More?

The UC system tends to be significantly more expensive than the CSU system.  CSU are state schools and as such they are able to keep their costs lower due to state funding.  If finances are in question this fact may sway your decision.

Research vs. Practical Application

The UC system has a great strength in their research and theory based teaching.  Many of the professors have research projects and tend to enlist the help of their teaching assistants to help teach classes.  The CSU system tends to be more developed for practical application and non-research oriented career candidates.  This fact does not mean that one system is “better” than the other, but it should be looked into when thinking about your post graduate goals.

Overall Size of the Institutions

Always remember the type of student you tend to be.  If you are a self- starter and your style for learning is self- motivation, then the UC system may be right for you with a larger campus and larger class sizes.  CSU schools tend to focus on small and direct class sizes where you have a more localized contact with the professor.

Reputation

Now if school reputation is a weighing issue for you, well due to the research that is associated with the UC schools, these schools have the inclination of having a higher reputation.  Consider reputation as an opinion not a fact because it does not mean that higher reputable schools provide a more appropriate education for those going straight into the workforce instead of into research.

End Goal

Choose a college that best suits your learning needs and career goals.  If you are research oriented and thinking of becoming a professor then a UC school would probably be in your best interest.  If you plan to find a job right after your bachelors, a CSU school may be most beneficial.

As in life, it is not as much the college you go to but the amount of work you put into your undergraduate studies.  Future employers look for a little bit of everything from GPA to the experience you have.  Do your own research into each of the colleges you are considering.  Be it a UC or a CSU, you are bound to find information above and beyond that which can be provided in an easily visible manner.  With the numerous programs and even extracurricular activities that are out there, you will find the school that is right for you.

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