California State University, Northridge (CSUN) is located near the geographic center of the San Fernando Valley and is its only state university. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, this region, which is northwest of downtown Los Angeles, would be the fifth largest city in the U.S. if it were incorporated as a whole.
As of a 2010 study published by the Valley Economic Alliance and CSUN, nearly 50 percent of the Valley’s area and 37 percent of its population belong to the City of Los Angeles. In addition, according to a recent Los Angeles Times survey, Valley residents tend to be better educated than those of other parts of Los Angeles County, with more than 26 percent of residents over the age of 25 having earned four-year degrees.
Though aerospace played a major role in the economic growth of the Valley from World War II through the 1980s, the entertainment industry – which has been a major contributor to the Valley’s economy from the earliest days of movie making – is now its leading industry.
CSUN, chiefly through its Mike Curb College of Arts, Media and Communication, maintains educational partnerships that have long provided entertainment-industry internship opportunities and career paths for students in a wide range of industry-related disciplines. With the 2011 opening of the university's Valley Performing Arts Center (VPAC), CSUN is now a regional center for world-class entertainment of all kinds.
The CSUN campus has been used as a location in numerous films (including “Star Trek”) and television shows (including “Criminal Minds”).