Cleveland State University


Cleveland State University, also known as Cleveland State and CSU, is a member of the University System of Ohio. The main campus of this public institution is located in downtown Cleveland and a satellite campus can be found in the nearby suburb of Westlake.

The university’s mission is “to encourage the development of human and humane knowledge in the arts, sciences, humanities and professions through scholarship, creative activity and research while providing an accessible and contemporary education to all individuals.” The school also emphasizes its metropolitan setting, encouraging students to consider issues from the metro to the global level in their life and world.


Information Summary

Ranks 43rd in Ohio and 1023rd overall. See the entire top 2,000 colleges and universities list
Overall Score (about) 80.1
Total Cost On-Campus Attendance $29,045
Admission Success rate N/A
ACT / SAT 75%ile scores 25 / 1200
Student Ratio Students-to-Faculty 21 : 1
Retention (full-time / part-time) 72% / 42%
Enrollment Total (all students) 16,069


The school initially began as a YMCA educational program, which became the private Fenn College in 1929. The state took control of Fenn, turning it into a public institution and changing its name to Cleveland State in 1964. In 1969, CSU also took over the Cleveland-Marshall School of Law.

Today, CSU awards bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral, and professional degrees. The university is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.


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The City is Our Campus :: Cleveland State University


Students may pursue over 200 academic programs across nine different colleges:

  • Nance College of Business Administration
  • College of Education and Human Services
  • Fenn College of Engineering
  • Cleveland-Marshall College of Law
  • College Liberal Arts and Social Sciences
  • College of Sciences and Health Professions
  • Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs
  • School of Nursing
  • College of Graduate Studies

Two divisions also exist to assist students with academic support services and with continuing education.

Bachelor’s degrees are awarded in a number of different disciplines, including business, computer science, education (which includes teacher licensure requirements), engineering, humanities and social sciences, hard sciences, and urban affairs. Students may also enroll on a post-baccalaureate basis.

Master’s degrees are awarded in English, history, music, philosophy, Spanish, five different business categories, education, nine engineering fields,numerous health fields, mathematics, and fields in the social sciences and urban affairs. Two degrees (JD and LLM) are awarded in Law, and there are several joint degrees between the College of Law and the rest of the University.

Cleveland State awards nine doctoral degrees and an educational specialist degree (Ed.S.) as well as graduate certificates in a number of fields, including adult learning and development, gerontological studies, local/urban management, software engineering, and other health, education, and business areas.

Research Opportunities

The university is home to numerous centers and special programs that primarily facilitate faculty research, but also afford opportunities for students to assist and benefit from related academic activities that the centers present. Some of the more unique centers include the Bioethics Center, Great Lakes Environmental Finance Center, the Center for Modeling Integrated Metabolic Systems, and the Center for Sacred Landmarks.

Library Resources

CSU’s library system offers a wide selection electronic catalogs and on-line databases, in additional to physical volumes stored on site. It is also a member of OhioLink, which provides access to 31 million library items across the state of Ohio. The libraries contain a number of local history collections.

Most Popular Fields of Study

Unique Programs

The Center for International Services and Programs provides interested eligible students with opportunities to participate in exchange programs and benefit from the curriculum at participating international institutions. The Center is also Cleveland State’s ambassador organization to the American Council on Education and Ford Foundation initiative to improve global learning. The Center strives to help students learn to lead productive, responsible and satisfying lives in their own communities as well as the world as a whole.


Prospective freshmen can apply via the online Admissions system. Applicants must provide proof of a high school diploma or GED and have not previous bachelor’s degree or equivalent. Applicants must also meet basic high school GPA and SAT / ACT standardized test score requirements, which are set by the university. Students who do not meet these requirements may be enrolled in the University Studies program on a provisional basis.

Applications to the undergraduate programs are accepted through July 15 for the fall semester, with a modest fee. In addition to the application form and fee, students must provide official transcripts and official test scores. Applications can be submitted on-line.

Graduate students must provide the following for admissions to the graduate school: application form, fee, official transcripts, letters of recommendation, official scorer ports, and any related materials required by the particular graduate program. Law school applicants must submit a completed application a modest fee, LSDAS report, two or three letters of recommendation, and a personal statement.

Financial Aid

Eligible CSU students may receive financial aid in a combination of grants, scholarships, loans, and work-study programs. Recipients must demonstrate financial need and also satisfactory academic progress, including GPA requirements, completion rate requirements, and minimum class load requirements.

Cleveland State welcomes and facilitates access to Federal Perkins Loans and Federal Stafford Loans for students, as well as the Federal Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS). There are also a number of private loan options for first-time baccalaureate degree-seeking students. Incoming freshmen have access to more than a dozen scholarship programs, including the Honors Program Scholarship and Phi Theta Kappa.

In order to determine eligibility for financial aid, students must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year.

Student Financial Aid Details

Ranks 4262nd for the average student loan amount.
Secrets to getting the best scholarships and financial aid in Ohio.


Student life includes leadership programs, an annual orientation program, mentoring, volunteering, and a large number of student clubs and organizations. The campus is home to a large selection of fraternities and sororities. The student body adheres to the “Viking Community Creed,” which outlines the community’s shared vision of treating people fairly and improving the society around them.

A modern, cutting edge student rec center was completed in 2006 as well as other building renovations on campus. Three years later, CSU announced its long term goal to increase the number of students living on the mostly-commuter campus by adding new apartment-style dorms. Cleveland State also worked with the city to develop new housing, retail, and other student-friendly amenities near campus, including the addition of public bus rapid transit, making transportation to and from campus a bit easier.

Student Enrollment Demographics

Student Graduation Demographics


The Cleveland State Vikings are a member of the NCAA’s Horizon League. The university’s Division I sports teams include baseball, basketball, fencing, golf, soccer, swimming and diving, tennis, and wrestling for men and basketball, cross-country, fencing, golf, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, and volleyball for women.

School colors are forest green and white.

Local Community

Cleveland, the most populated city in Ohio, is located in the northeastern part of the state on the shores of Lake Erie. The CSU campus is downtown, near various recreational centers, business buildings, museums, theaters, and the Western Reserve Historical Society.

The city is a sports lover’s paradise. Fans of the Cleveland Browns, Indians, and Cavaliers are known for their devotion to their teams. The I-X Indoor Amusement Park offers thrill seekers a more extreme brand of entertainment.Music lovers can enjoy the Cleveland Orchestra and the Tri-C JazzFest.

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