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Mission, Vision & Values


California State University San Marcos focuses on the student as an active participant in the learning process. As a Carnegie classified "community engaged" university, CSUSM students work closely with a faculty whose commitment to sustained excellence in teaching, research, and community partnership enhances student learning. The university offers rigorous undergraduate and graduate programs distinguished by exemplary teaching, innovative curricula, and the application of new technologies. CSUSM provides a range of services that respond to the needs of a student body with diverse backgrounds, expanding student access to an excellent and affordable education. As a public university, CSUSM grounds its mission in the public trust, alignment with regional needs, and sustained enrichment of the intellectual, civic, economic, and cultural life of our region and state.


California State University San Marcos will become a distinctive public university known for academic excellence, service to the community, and innovation in higher education. In its teaching and student services, CSUSM will combine the academic strengths of a large university with the personal interaction characteristic of smaller institutions. Students will select from a growing array of specialized programs responsive to state and regional needs. Our curriculum will emphasize a strong foundation in the liberal arts and sciences while it provides the knowledge, skills, competencies and experiences needed in a global society experiencing accelerated technological, social, and environmental change. A faculty of active scholars and artists will foster student learning through teaching that reflects ongoing discovery and experimentation, and that makes a difference in the life of our communities. CSUSM will celebrate and capitalize on its diversity to form a learning community committed to this shared vision.


California State University San Marcos is an academic community dedicated to the values of:

  • Intellectual Engagement: learning, teaching, discovery, and application of knowledge
  • Community: shared commitments to service, teamwork, and partnership
  • Integrity:  respect, honesty, trust, fairness, academic freedom and responsibility
  • Innovation:  creativity, openness to change, flexibility, responsiveness, and future focus
  • Inclusiveness:  individual and cultural diversity, and multiple perspectives

CSUSM CULTURE: Working Together

Intellectual engagement, community, integrity, innovation, and inclusiveness are CSUSM’s core values and the foundation for our unique culture. We share an overarching commitment to student success and meeting the needs of the communities we serve. Our culture reflects the institution’s growth and development over time (our history), creates the environment in which we do our daily work (our present), and helps shape the direction of the University (our future).

  Civility and Respect

  • We conduct ourselves with care, respect and empathy;
  • We value individual and cultural diversity, and respect multiple perspectives;
  • We agree to disagree on some issues, and attempt to find common ground;
  • We assume good intent with one another, work on the premise of mutual trust, and attempt to resolve issues directly.

  Communication and Collaboration

  • We communicate with respect even when we disagree;
  • We work with a spirit of collaboration and inclusion so that activities and initiatives flow through all divisions;
  • We consider the impact on others and seek input before making decisions, whenever possible;
  • We clearly and transparently communicate decisions and how they were made.

  Support and Success

  • We welcome new hires and support all employees to help them successfully contribute to CSUSM;
  • We learn, discover, apply knowledge, and continuously improve;
  • We create an environment of mutual support and cooperation, encourage growth and act as champions of one another, while valuing accountability and ownership;
  • We appreciate and value each other, recognize accomplishments, and celebrate successes.