California State University, Bakersfield, founded in 1970, is one of twenty-three campuses of the CSU System and currently has an enrollment of 9,700 students. The University services a socially and ethnically diverse population of 800,000 in an area of 10,000 square miles. The city of Bakersfield
(population over 375,000) is located in the southern San Joaquin Valley and has a much lower cost of living than coastal California. Los Angeles, the Pacific Ocean, Mojave Desert, and Sierra Nevada Mountains are all within a two-hour drive from campus.