Skip Navigation Text.
About the Imperial Valley Campus
Some links of this website are to Portable Document Format Files that require Adobe Reader.
Download Adobe Acrobat Reader

About the Imperial Valley Campus

The Imperial Valley Campus is a branch campus of San Diego State University serving the desert area of southeastern California. It is accredited as an integral division of SDSU and operates under the same academic calendar. Established in 1959 by an act of the State legislature, the campus has two locations in the Imperial Valley: Calexico and Brawley. Offering the last two years of undergraduate education, graduate programs, and fifth year credential programs for teacher preparation, the campus accepts students who have at least 60 transferable units from community colleges or other accredited institutions. In addition, the Imperial Valley Campus offers, as part of its Freshman Scholars Program, first and second year undergraduate education to a select cohort of students planning to major in criminal justice, liberal studies, or psychology. The campus offers students the advantages of smaller classes and individual contact with the faculty. The Imperial Valley Campus faculty are multinational in their classroom orientation and background. Interactive television provides students in Calexico the opportunity to participate in some classes broadcast live from the campus in San Diego. The Imperial Valley Campus schedules many of its classes in three hour blocks so that students who work full time can earn 9-12 units a semester by attending classes once or twice a week. Occasional classes are also offered on the weekends. The over 900 students at Imperial Valley Campus have the opportunity to be involved in a rich campus life. Student clubs, student government, lectures, art exhibits, and musical events enhance the students’ education at SDSU –Imperial Valley Campus.

The Imperial Valley Campus is located on two sites in Imperial County which has a population of approximately 160,000 people. Calexico is 120 miles east of San Diego, 60 miles west of Yuma, Arizona, and 120 miles south of Palm Springs. Interstate 8 and State Highways 111 and 86 connect the County to the rest of the country and state. The Calexico location, six blocks from the Mexican border, provides the opportunity for involvement in a bicultural environment. Just across the border is Mexicali, a city of more than one million people.

The Brawley location is 24 miles north of the Calexico site. It is surrounded by rich agricultural fields, as agriculture is the largest industry in the Imperial Valley. Imperial Valley is one of the richest agricultural centers in the country. It has a desert climate with mild winters and little rainfall. Because of this, the area has a great potential for the development of alternative energy sources. Geothermal energy is already being produced in the area and solar and wind energy are both potentially important sources for future development. The desert also offers the opportunity to study a fragile ecological environment. Significant archaeological discoveries have been made in the area and there is continuing archaeological fieldwork.

The Imperial Valley is a vast open area that has many places for people to enjoy the outdoors. These include the Glamis dunes, the Salton Sea, which is the state’s largest inland lake, and the Laguna mountains. There are also other recreational attractions within easy driving distance of the campus including the Sea of Cortez, the Colorado River, and the Pacific Ocean.