The students participated in a "Day of Class Action" at 23 Cal State campuses across the state Wednesday protesting tuition hikes of 10 percent this fall. The school also stands to lose $500 million in state funding.
The Los Angeles Times said funding cuts and tuition hikes are possible in many other states and rallies and teach-ins were also held in Oregon, New Jersey and Boston.
Organizers said the goal of the rallies is to increase public awareness of the consequences of cuts in higher education. Additionally, they want faculty and students to have a greater voice in policy decisions.
California Gov. Jerry Brown has proposed cutting $1.4 billion from the state's higher education budget and the cuts could go higher if a budget stalemate isn't overcome.
"The harder you hit us, the louder we get," said Donald Bessom, a political science graduate student.
UCLA students will get into the act Thursday with a concert and rally near the state office building downtown.
The event, called "Can You Hear Us Now," is expected to attract hundreds of students from UCLA and other UC campuses, the Times said.