In 1957, Cal State Fullerton became the 12th State College in California to be authorized by the Legislature. The following year a site was designated in northeast Fullerton. It was purchased in 1959, when Dr. William B. Langsdorf was appointed as founding president, the first staff was selected and plans for opening the new college were made. Orange County State College started classes for 452 full- and/or part-time students in September, 1959, using leased quarters for its administrative offices on the Fullerton Union High School campus and for its classrooms at Fullerton’s Sunny Hills High School. In the fall of 1960, the college opened classes on its own campus, where it occupied 12 temporary buildings. The name changed to Orange State College in July 1962, to California State College at Fullerton in July 1964, to California State College, Fullerton in July 1968 and to California State University, Fullerton in June 1972. The first permanent building, the six-story Letters and Science Building (now known as McCarthy Hall), was occupied in 1963.
Today, there is much dramatic evidence of additional, rapid growth. Several new buildings have been completed, and enrollment has climbed to more than 31,540. Since 1963 the curriculum has expanded to include lower-division work and many graduate programs, as well as numerous credential and certificate programs.
The Donahoe Higher Education Act of 1960 established the California State Colleges as a system under an independent Board of Trustees, redefined the functions of the State Colleges, and related them to both the community colleges and the University of California system.
California State University, Fullerton offers affordable, high quality undergraduate and graduate programs that reflect the best of current practice, theory and research in linking professional studies with preparation in the arts and sciences to meet the evolving demands of our diverse students, as well as our local community and state. The academic programs available include 54 bachelor’s degrees, 46 master’s degrees, 50 minors, 5 resident certificates and 11 teaching credential programs.