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Top 10 Reasons to Attend Fresno State

1.   Commitment to our community

Community serviceWe’re a campus community that treasures scholarship and creative thinking. Our Smittcamp Family Honors College offers the best students from California’s high schools a scholarship that pays for academic and living expenses along with a rigorous program of study and community service. It is a model, too, for the new Husband-Boeing Honors Scholars Program in Engineering, funded by the aircraft company in memory of space shuttle commander Col. Rick Husband, a Fresno State alumnus. Community service is a cornerstone of the Fresno State experience. The Richter Center for Community Engagement and Service-Learning program promotes the value of community service to students, faculty, and staff. Central California represents opportunity for the people of California, and Fresno State is sparking innovation and positive change for the region.

2. World-class agriculture

Fresno State Agricultural Sciences and TechnologyFresno State operates the first commercially bonded winery on any U.S. university campus, where student-produced wines have won hundreds of awards in tasting competitions against some of the world’s best-known vintages. Grape and wine production, key industries in Central California, are among the highlights of our nationally acclaimed Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology. We also are pioneering water development and water-saving irrigation techniques and equipment with worldwide application. The campus is home to a 1,000-acre student-staffed farm that is home to numerous permanent and annual crops and livestock.

3. Entertainment and leisure

Save Mart Center and Student Rec CenterThe 16,000-seat Save Mart Center on campus is one of the world’s best-attended concert venues and home to Bulldog men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball. It has featured everything from nationally televised professional bull riding and NCAA basketball playoffs, religious convocations and commencement ceremonies to performances by the Rolling Stones, Madonna, Andrea Bocelli and George Strait. Best of all, it was paid for through donations and sponsorships – not state funds. Next to the Save Mart Center is the state-of-the-art Student Recreation Center, which also is home to the Lyles Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and the Leon S. and Pete P. Peters Education Center.

4. Bulldog pride!

Fresno State boasts some of the best collegiate sports programs in California for our men and women student-athletes, with all major sports facilities paid for entirely with private gifts. Bulldog teams appear regularly in NCAA postseason tournaments and bowls and frequently air on national television.

In 2008, our Bulldogs baseball team won the College World Series, and Fresno State athletes have won Olympic gold medals and competed in professional sports. Our booster group, the vaunted Red Wave, is one of the largest and most loyal in the country, and our Bulldog Foundation has been one of the nation’s top volunteer fundraising units for two decades.

5. Emphasis on academics


The complete spectrum of education is represented on campus, from an acclaimed preschool program and one of the nation’s top-ranked charter high schools to a rigorous, diverse college curriculum and doctoral programs. In 1911, Fresno State got its start as a teachers college and it is still the region’s biggest producer of teachers and administrators and also its top research institute and community education partner. Each year, the California State University Summer Arts program brings students from throughout California to the campus to learn from world-renowned performers and artists who also give public performances during their stay. This multidisciplinary system-wide program offers academic credit plus a festival in the visual, performing, and literary arts. The academic component offers two-week residency courses for undergraduates, graduates, and professionals in creative writing, dance, music, film, video, theatre, performance, visual arts, design, arts education, and new technology.

6. Centrally located in California

The Sierra NevadaFresno State is the California campus most associated with the Sierra Nevada. Students can leave the campus and in one hour be skiing or hiking at 7,000 feet in the Sierra National Forest or visit world-class Kings Canyon or Sequoia national parks. Kings Canyon National Park gives easy access to the Sierra Nevada backcountry, and at its deepest point is thousands of feet deeper than the Grand Canyon. Yosemite National Park is a little over two hours away. State Route 168, which adjoins the campus, links directly to Sierra Summit Ski Resort and numerous quaint mountain communities. The campus conducts research in Sierra and rangeland conservation, alpine biology, ecology, anthropology and numerous other disciplines. Our Department of Earth and Environmental Science classes have explored the Sierra Nevada, and our environmental sciences students have participated in a wide variety of research projects throughout the region. Fresno State has the only university experimental range to research commercial livestock production and patterns and processes working in the ecosystem of the Sierra Nevada.

7. Excellence in academic research

Fresno State - Powering the New CaliforniaResearch is booming at Fresno State, where faculty are attracting a growing amount of support for studies ranging from how to use new technologies to improve the skills of K-12 teachers to groundbreaking experiments in cell genetics and vulcanology. Fresno State has 13 endowed chairs that support top-flight research and teaching. The range of funded projects makes Fresno State's Office of Research and Sponsored Programs one of the largest in California. Another example of practical research: our professors teamed up with one of the leading international software companies to help develop a computer-based system to identify criminals. Faculty and student researchers study a broad range of topics of vital concern to the community, including the environment, education, water, criminology and health. As a center for research, the newly remodeled and expanded Library is the academic and architectural heart of the campus.

8. Environmental sustainability

WET Center and solar parking lot at Fresno StateThe university has undertaken numerous environment-friendly initiatives designed to develop good “green” habits throughout the community and to develop, efficiently use and preserve resources. Fresno State and Chevron Energy Solutions teamed on the nation’s largest solar-energy, shaded-parking installation on a college campus. The Water and Energy Technology Center (WET Center, for short) on campus nurtures good ideas in those two areas into businesses. Recycling, energy conservation, alternative fuels, encouraging public transportation, pedestrian-friendly paths, sustainable farming practices and a campus that is an arboretum are part of the landscape at Fresno State. And a new campus master plan will add to that commitment.

9. Distinguished alumni

Fresno State alumni are setting the pace in education, agriculture, industry and government from our local communities to the state and national levels and, even into space. Our alumni include winners of Oscars, Emmys and Golden Globes in entertainment; space explorers; a U.S. ambassador; a cabinet secretary; university presidents; best-selling authors; top executives for influential corporations; and elected officials.

10. Richness in culture, creativity and diversity

Diverse student populationOur students truly make Fresno State unique. Central California is one of the most culturally diverse regions in the world. In the past, farming drew people from throughout the world to the San Joaquin Valley - from Armenia, Mexico, Germany, Cambodia, Sweden and Japan. As the region has grown larger and more cosmopolitan than its original farming roots, that cultural richness has remained. Now more than 120 different languages are spoken by our residents. Some of the largest cultural events in the world are held here. And there's a richness of artistic expression in writing, poetry, the visual arts, music and dance that matches any of California's largest cities. Diversity at Fresno State is not only appreciated but promoted and celebrated through the First Generation Web site, a place where students and faculty who are the first in their family to go to college are encouraged to write and share their stories.