About the University


Established as a state-assisted university in 1964, Cleveland State University assumed a tradition for excellence when it adopted the buildings, faculty, staff, and programs of Fenn College, a private institution of 2,500 students. In 1969, the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law became part of Cleveland State University.

A young university with a rich history, Cleveland State traces its historical roots to 1870, when the Cleveland YMCA began to offer free classes. The YMCA program was formalized in 1881, reorganized in 1906 as the Association Institute, and became the Cleveland School of Technology, later renamed Fenn College. The Cleveland-Marshall College of Law traces its origins to the founding of Cleveland Law School in 1897 as the first evening law school in the state and one of the first to admit women and minorities. In 1946, Cleveland Law School merged with the John Marshall School of Law, founded in 1916, to become Cleveland-Marshall Law School.

Throughout its long history, Cleveland State University and its predecessors pioneered work in developing student internships with business and industry, expanding an extensive co-op program, and attracting students who did not otherwise have access to higher education. Today, Cleveland State continues to grow by supporting the flexibility of its course offerings, programs, and affordable price with an excellent faculty and state-of-the-art facilities.

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Mission Statement

Our mission is to encourage excellence, diversity, and engaged learning by providing a contemporary and accessible education in the arts, sciences, humanities and professions, and by conducting research, scholarship, and creative activity across these branches of knowledge. We endeavor to serve and engage the public and prepare our students to lead productive, responsible and satisfying lives in the region and global society.

Vision Statement

We will be recognized as a student-focused center of scholarly excellence that provides an accessible, engaged and exceptional education to all. We will be a place of opportunity for those who seek truth, strive toward excellence and seek a better life for themselves and for their fellow citizens. As a leader in innovative collaboration — both internally and externally — with business, industry, government, educational institutions and the community, the University will be a critical force in the region's economic development. We will be at the forefront of moral, ethical, social, artistic and economic leadership for the future and embrace the vitality that comes with risk. We will be the strongest public university in the region and be known for our scholarship and diversity in service to students and to our community.

Eight Colleges

Courses of instruction leading to degrees are offered through Cleveland State's eight colleges. Undergraduate students enroll in one of the six undergraduate colleges:

Many degrees are available from these colleges in the evening.

Other programs available to undergraduates include: Black Studies, a selection of courses, available in various departments, which explores the Black experience in America; and the Women's Comprehensive Program, which offers special programming and counseling as well as course work.

Graduate work is offered through the College of Graduate Studies and the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law.

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A Dynamic Campus Environment

The Cleveland State campus consists of 85 acres--the largest footprint in downtown Cleveland--with 40 buildings used for teaching, research, housing, administration, and recreation. Nineteen-story Rhodes Tower contains the University Library, classrooms, and many faculty offices and is a striking feature on the Cleveland skyline. University buildings feature a blend of old and new architectural styles, with historic landmark Mather Mansion sharing the stage with such modern facilities as Glickman-Miller Hall, home of the Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs, and the 13,000-seat Bert L. and Iris S. Wolstein Center. The university boasts more than 200 student organizations, including 13 national fraternities and sororities and 17 NCAA Division I men’s and women’s varsity sports.

For Northeast Ohio to be economically competitive, it needs an educated work force. To make that education more convenient than ever before, Cleveland State has extended campuses in Westlake and Solon, where students have access to the same quality education as they have downtown.

The university is  implementing a $500 million, multi-phase campus master plan.  Already completed is a 130,000-square-foot recreation center; the renovation of historic Howe Mansion into Parker Hannifin Hall, the new home of the College of Graduate Studies; the new Parker Hannifin Administration Center; conversion of landmark Fenn Tower into student housing for 400-450 students; the $7.8 million law building renovation; and  green spaces and a new parking garage. The new College of Education and Human Services building opened in spring 2010, followed by the spectacular new Student Center and 600-bed Euclid Commons residence suites, both on Euclid Avenue. Still to come is the North Campus Neighborhood development, 25 acres of mixed use market-rate housing, athletic fields, retail, and parking.  
The Campus Master Plan rethinks the University’s role in the city and how campus design and development can help stimulate private investment in downtown Cleveland. The Plan brings not only a bold new look to campus, but a bold new vision as well. It’s all about new attitudes, a new outlook and a new Cleveland State University.

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Campus411 is the place to go for information and assistance with registration, academic records, student billing, and financial aid. Cleveland States comprehensive approach to providing student service is based on a "one-stop" philosophy: provide a central office to serve the university community effectively and efficiently. Campus411 is located on the Main Classroom Plaza Level in room 116G. If you have questions or concerns or if you need information about student services, please visit Campus411.

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