California State University, Chico (Chico State) is the second-oldest campus in the California State University system. CSU Chico’s approximately 16,356 students enjoy it’s 119-acre campus located in downtown Chico, California, about ninety miles north of Sacramento. Chico State also owns a 1,050–acre farm and five acres of off-campus dorms about one mile from the main campus, and the University manages the 3,950–acre Big Chico Creek Ecological Reserve and the 300–acre Butte Creek Ecological Reserve.
Chico’s ten largest majors, in descending order by population, are:
The University has three theatres, one auditorium, two gyms, and three athletic stadiums. The School of the Arts presents an active calendar of student performances and art events of all kinds, including the North State Symphony; the annual spring musical; and galleries showcasing work of students, faculty, and invited artists. The Humanities Center hosts an eclectic calendar of speakers and faculty symposia. Chico Performances presents a variety of professional touring artists in music, dance, and theatre. It also hosts the Chico World Music Festival and the President’s Lecture Series, which has included Mikhail Gorbechev, Desmond Tutu, Jane Goodall, and Shimon Peres.
CSU Chico recognizes more than 225 student organizations each year, including fraternities; sororities; and special-interest, social, and professional groups. Student Life and Leadership also sponsors the Cross-Cultural Leadership Center and Recreational Sports.
Chico is home to many art galleries and museums. The Turner Print Museum features a collection of over 3,000 prints, while the Humanities Gallery and the University Gallery host exhibitions of art by faculty, students, alumni, and guest artists from throughout California. The Department of Art galleries in Ayres Hall exhibits student work. The Valene L. Smith Museum of Anthropology offers exhibits and a lecture series, and the Gateway Science Museum creates educational programs to teach school children about our region’s rich natural heritage.
The university’s athletic teams are known as the Chico State Wildcats. The school sponsors soccer, basketball, cross country, golf, and track and field for both men and women. The school sponsors softball and volleyball for women, and baseball for men. The school competes in Division II of the National Collegiate Athletic Association in the California Collegiate Athletic Association.
Founded by John Bidwell in 1860, Chico has since expanded to a population nearing 100,000, but it feels much smaller. With a canopy of mature trees, creeks meandering through town, and charming architecture, Chico is ideal for walking or biking to campus, cruising around town, or exploring this jewel of the North Valley. Chico has been named one of the best art cities in the nation and features a rich cultural offering of music, museums, and great dining. At 3,680 acres, nearby Bidwell Park offers countless opportunities for recreation and relaxation. Chico is situated only about three hours from Lake Tahoe to the east and San Francisco to the southwest, providing convenient access to other treasures of Northern California.
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