About ASU in California

ASU’s mission is to improve access to quality education by serving all learners at any stage of their journey. We have a long history of serving Californians, reaching learners in their local communities and in Arizona. Since fall 2000, we’ve enrolled more than 105,000 students from California. Whether through undergraduate and graduate studies or professional development education, research embedded in the state of California or industry partnerships, ASU is committed to serving the needs of Californians. 

With two state-of-the-art learning and gathering locations in downtown Los Angeles, the ASU California Center Broadway and ASU California Center Grand, ASU continues its commitment to advancing the economic and community vitality of the downtown area.  


ASU has more than 20 years of history on the ground in California, with community-embedded programs, business partnerships, top-ranked degree offerings and hands-on learning experiences throughout the state. 


Starting in 2003 with its founding in Los Angeles, Zócalo Public Square — part of the  ASU Media Enterprise — has hosted more than 600 community-focused events nationwide, inspiring conversations and uniting communities. Zócalo creates unique and compelling journalism syndicated to 290 media outlets worldwide.


In 2013, ASU opened the first ASU California Center location in Santa Monica for students in law and public programs. Journalism students soon followed, covering sports and investigative topics throughout California. 


ASU Local joined the Los Angeles location in 2019 to bring 160 high-quality bachelor’s degree options to Los Angeles students. 


In 2020, ASU Prep Digital partnered with BEST Academy to provide tuition-free online courses over the summer to California high school students in Riverview, Orange, San Diego and Imperial counties.

ASU began renovating the former Herald Examiner Building in the fall of 2020, preserving a historical landmark while providing a modern space for state-of-the-art facilities, including a creative media center, virtual reality and editing studios and special event spaces. ASU celebrated the grand opening of the building in 2022 with a week of events exploring pressing issues facing our communities


The Sidney Poitier New American Film School opened in Los Angeles in 2022, giving film students from every background an opportunity to connect with and learn in the entertainment capital of the world. The prominent LA-based faculty include Emmy Award-winners, MacArthur Grant Fellows, former show runners and founders of cinema labs. 


In 2023, ASU expanded its fashion program and presence in downtown Los Angeles with ASU FIDM and a second building — ASU California Center Grand. ASU also announced a new independent affiliate college, California College of ASU, which offers liberal arts degrees with concentrations in filmmaking practices, film and media studies, fashion studies, and digital media studies.

ASU has partnered with all 116 California community colleges to deliver over 400 pathways for transfer students into ASU, eliminating a pain point for transfer students. ASU shortens the time to complete a four-year degree, minimizes credit loss and ensures a smooth transfer experience.  

The university added ASU Local in Long Beach in 2023, where students at Long Beach City College and Southwestern College in Chula Vista in 2024 can earn bachelor’s degrees from ASU. 

These new programs and locations join a robust portfolio of ASU offerings in LA, including the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, the Thunderbird School of Global Management, and the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law. 


Today, ASU is home to more than 23,000 Californians across all locations and online. As part of our mission to increase access to higher education, ASU will continue to expand throughout California to ensure that learners of all ages succeed and thrive.