Deciding where to go to college is one of the biggest decisions a student will make. If you’re considering Fresno State, you likely want to know – is it a good school that will set you up for future success?

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll examine Fresno State’s academics, student life, value, and more to help you determine if it’s the right fit.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: Fresno State offers small class sizes, reasonable tuition, Division I sports, and a close-knit college town vibe. It provides a quality education at an affordable price for many students.

Academics at Fresno State

When it comes to academics, Fresno State offers a wide variety of majors and programs to suit the diverse interests of its students. Whether you’re interested in the arts, sciences, business, or education, you’ll find a program that fits your passion at Fresno State.

The university has over 60 undergraduate degree programs and more than 40 graduate programs, giving students plenty of options to choose from.

Wide variety of majors and programs

One of the strengths of Fresno State is its extensive range of majors and programs. From liberal arts to engineering, students have the opportunity to explore a wide array of academic disciplines. This allows students to find their true calling and pursue their passions in a supportive and intellectually stimulating environment.

Small class sizes and good student-faculty ratio

Another advantage of Fresno State is its commitment to small class sizes and a good student-faculty ratio. With an average class size of 25 students, students can enjoy a more personalized learning experience and have better access to professors.

This fosters a collaborative and engaging learning environment where students can actively participate in class discussions and receive individual attention from their instructors.

Notable programs like nursing, business, education

Fresno State is well-known for several notable programs, including nursing, business, and education. The nursing program, for example, has consistently ranked among the top programs in the state and has a high job placement rate after graduation.

The Craig School of Business offers a comprehensive curriculum that prepares students for success in the business world, and the Kremen School of Education has a strong reputation for producing highly qualified educators.

Solid regional reputation, especially in Central California

Fresno State has built a solid regional reputation, particularly in Central California. The university has strong ties to the community and is known for producing graduates who are well-prepared to meet the needs of the local workforce.

This has led to partnerships with local businesses and organizations, providing students with valuable internship and job placement opportunities.

Student Life at Fresno State

When it comes to student life, Fresno State offers a vibrant and engaging experience for its students. With a tight-knit college town feel, students at Fresno State often describe the campus as a community within itself.

This creates a supportive environment where students can easily connect with their peers and build lasting friendships. Whether it’s studying together in the library or attending campus events, the sense of belonging is strong at Fresno State.

Tight-knit college town feel in Fresno

Fresno, California, where Fresno State is located, has a unique charm that contributes to the tight-knit college town feel. With a population of over half a million people, Fresno offers a diverse range of cultural experiences, restaurants, and entertainment options.

Students can explore the Tower District, a popular neighborhood known for its vibrant arts scene and local businesses. Additionally, the city is situated in the heart of the San Joaquin Valley, providing easy access to beautiful natural landscapes and outdoor activities.

Lots of school spirit and Division I sports

Fresno State Bulldogs are known for their strong school spirit. The university’s athletic teams compete in Division I of the NCAA and have a dedicated fan base. Attending a Fresno State game, whether it’s football, basketball, or any other sport, is an exhilarating experience.

The school’s mascot, Victor E. Bulldog II, is always present to rally the crowd and boost team spirit. So, if you’re a sports enthusiast, Fresno State offers plenty of opportunities to cheer on your favorite teams.

Greek life is popular

Greek life is a popular aspect of student life at Fresno State. The university is home to a wide range of fraternities and sororities that offer students a chance to be part of a close-knit community. Joining a Greek organization provides opportunities for leadership development, philanthropy work, and social activities.

It’s a great way to make lifelong friends and enhance your college experience.

Over 300 student clubs and organizations

Fresno State offers a plethora of student clubs and organizations, catering to various interests and hobbies. From academic and professional clubs to cultural and special interest groups, there is something for everyone.

These clubs provide students with opportunities to pursue their passions, develop leadership skills, and connect with like-minded individuals. Whether you’re interested in joining a club related to your major or exploring a new hobby, Fresno State has a wide array of options to choose from.

Cost and Value of Fresno State

When considering whether Fresno State is a good school, one important factor to consider is the cost and value of attending the university. Fresno State offers a competitive tuition rate, making it an affordable option for both in-state and out-of-state students.

Very reasonable in-state and out-of-state tuition

For California residents, Fresno State offers a very reasonable in-state tuition rate. This makes it an attractive choice for students who want to pursue a high-quality education without breaking the bank.

Even for out-of-state students, Fresno State’s tuition is still relatively affordable compared to other universities in the state.

In fact, according to, the average tuition for a full-time in-state undergraduate student at Fresno State is around $7,000 per year, while out-of-state students can expect to pay around $18,000 per year.

These numbers are significantly lower than the national average for public universities.

Good scholarships and financial aid availability

Fresno State also offers a variety of scholarships and financial aid options to help make education more affordable for students. These scholarships are available for both academic achievements and financial need, providing opportunities for students to receive additional funding to offset the cost of tuition.

Additionally, Fresno State has a dedicated financial aid office that is readily available to assist students in navigating the financial aid process. They can provide guidance and support in finding additional sources of funding, ensuring that students have access to the financial resources they need to pursue their education.

Many students live off campus to save money

Another way that Fresno State students save money is by choosing to live off campus. The university is located in an area where housing is relatively affordable, allowing students to find affordable rental options near campus.

Living off campus can significantly reduce the cost of attending Fresno State, as it eliminates the need for on-campus housing fees. Many students find that by sharing a rental property with roommates, they can further reduce their housing expenses and save money while still enjoying a comfortable living situation.

Provides good value for degree earned

Despite its affordable tuition and cost-saving options, Fresno State still provides a high-quality education that is valued in the job market. The university offers a wide range of academic programs and majors, allowing students to pursue their passions and receive a well-rounded education.

Graduates from Fresno State have gone on to have successful careers in various fields, demonstrating the value of the education they received at the university. Employers recognize the rigorous academic standards of Fresno State and often view graduates as well-prepared and highly competent individuals.

Downsides and Considerations

Fresno lacks big city perks and entertainment

While Fresno State offers a supportive and engaging campus environment, it is important to note that the city of Fresno itself may not provide the same level of excitement and entertainment as larger metropolitan areas.

Unlike universities located in major cities like Los Angeles or San Francisco, Fresno does not offer the same abundance of cultural events, nightlife, and diverse dining options. However, for students who prefer a quieter and more laid-back atmosphere, Fresno’s slower pace can be a welcome change.

According to a study conducted by, Fresno ranks lower in terms of entertainment options compared to major cities in California. However, it is worth mentioning that Fresno does have its own unique attractions, such as the Fresno Chaffee Zoo, the Tower District with its vibrant arts scene, and nearby national parks like Yosemite and Sequoia.

Job prospects may be limited outside Central California

One consideration for students attending Fresno State is the job market outside of Central California. While the university has a strong reputation within the region, job prospects may be more limited for graduates seeking employment in other parts of the state or country.

It is important for students to carefully consider their career goals and assess whether Fresno’s location aligns with their long-term plans.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, certain industries in Fresno, such as agriculture and healthcare, have a higher concentration of employment opportunities compared to other sectors. This means that students pursuing careers in these fields may have an advantage in finding job prospects within the local area.

Campus lacks some amenities of larger universities

Compared to larger universities, Fresno State may not offer the same extensive range of amenities and facilities on campus. While the university strives to provide quality resources for its students, there may be some limitations when it comes to certain amenities such as state-of-the-art research facilities, extensive libraries, or a wide variety of dining options.

However, Fresno State is continuously working towards improving its campus infrastructure and services to meet the needs of its students.

It is important for prospective students to consider their specific needs and preferences when evaluating the campus amenities offered at Fresno State. Visiting the campus and talking to current students can provide valuable insights into the available resources and overall student experience.

Not as prestigious as University of California schools

While Fresno State has a strong academic reputation and offers a quality education, it is important to note that it may not carry the same level of prestige as the University of California (UC) schools.

The UC system, which includes renowned institutions such as UC Berkeley and UCLA, often receives higher rankings and recognition on a national scale.

However, it is essential to remember that prestige is not the sole determinant of the quality of education and opportunities available at a university. Fresno State has its own unique strengths and advantages, including smaller class sizes, more personalized attention from professors, and a supportive community atmosphere.

Ultimately, students should prioritize finding a school that aligns with their academic and career goals rather than solely focusing on prestige.


Overall, Fresno State offers students a quality and affordable education, especially those looking for a small-town college vibe. It provides reasonable value and good career preparation in fields like business, nursing, and education.

While it may not have the prestige or amenities of larger universities, Fresno State meets the needs of many students seeking an accessible path to a college degree and career success.

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