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San Diego City College: Academics, Admissions & Tuition Info

Learn about San Diego City College. Read about its admission requirements, financial aid, and degree and certificate programs to make an informed education decision.

About San Diego City College

San Diego City College (SDCC) is a part of the San Diego Community College District. The college was founded in 1914 and was the first community college in San Diego. The school has undertaken a 20-year facilities master plan and has, since 2005, added high-tech classrooms, an academic success center, and career technology center. In 2011, the school began construction of new arts and humanities; business technology; and mathematics, social and behavioral science buildings.


SDCC offers more than 100 majors and 100 certificate programs through six schools. Students can take vocational or academic classes with the intention of earning a certificate of performance or achievement, or an associate's degree in the arts or sciences. The college has a First Year Services office dedicated to helping freshmen students take full advantage of their enrollment; it also runs the First Year Experience support program for qualifying students.

Students can take courses online or enroll in courses given by the college at off-campus San Diego locations. The college has an honors program that has transfer agreements with some four-year universities for students wishing to continue on into a bachelor's degree program. SDCC also has a study abroad program and opportunities for work experience.


Admission to the college is open to all applicants with either a high school diploma, California high school proficiency exam certification or a GED score of 45 or above. Applicants without these credentials may apply for provisional admission. Current high school juniors and seniors may apply for dual enrollment if they meet specified program criteria. All entering students are required to take assessment tests in math and English unless they already hold at least an associate's degree. Applicants may submit SAT, ACT, EPT, ELM or EAP scores as an alternative to placement testing, as long as the exam scores are less than two years old. All male applicants are required to register with Selective Service. Applications are accepted online and in-person.

Once enrolled, students who have taken the CLEP, AP, and other similar exams can submit those scores and request credit to be granted towards their degree. The nursing program at SDCC has an additional application and procedure that includes passing the Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS) and a meeting with a counselor to discuss the school's evaluation of all relevant academic transcripts; all nursing applications must be submitted between September 1 and December 1.

Tuition & Financial Aid

As of 2012-2013, residents of California pay a $46 enrollment fee per credit unit. Non-residents must pay an additional $183 fee per unit. All students must also pay a health fee and a student representation fee.

Students may be able to have enrollment fees waived through the Board of Governors waiver program. All students can apply for federal financial aid through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Students interested in federal grants and the work study program are encouraged to apply early, as these funds are limited and awarded as requests for aid come in.

School Type 2-year, public*
Degrees Offered Certificate, associate's degree*
Religious Affiliation None**
Academic Calendar Semesters*
School Setting Large city**
Student Body 17,728 (Fall 2011)**
Student Housing None**
Schools Six schools for academic and vocational study*
Student-Faculty Ratio 26 to 1**
Most Popular Fields of Study by Degree Level (Number of Recipients) In 2011:
Certificate (less than one year): Electrician (48)
Certificate (less than two years): Substance abuse/addiction counseling (51)
Associate's: Humanities/humanistic studies (119)**
Graduation Rates 12% in 150% of normal completion time**
Admission Rate Open enrollment*
Entering Class Size 2,652 (1,745 full-time, 907 part-time; 2010)***
First-Year Retention Rates 60% for full-time and 36% for part-time students**
Application Due Date Spring 2013 application deadline was November 30; applicants who file after November 30 may register during open enrollment on January 7, 2013*
Tuition $46 per credit unit for residents; an additional $183 per unit for non-residents (2012-2013)*
Financial Aid Sources Available (Percentage of Full-time Beginning Students Receiving It) In 2010-11: Federal grants (73%), state and local grants/scholarships (82%), institutional grants/scholarships (0%), federal loans (7%), other loans (0%)**
Percent of Full-time Beginning Students Receiving Some Form of Aid 84% in 2010-11**

Sources: *San Diego City College; **College Navigator, National Center for Education Statistics, ***IPEDS, National Center for Education Statistics.

School Contact Information

  • Address: Admissions Office, A-112, San Diego City College, 1313 Park Boulevard, San Diego, CA 92101
  • Phone: (619) 388-3475
  • Website:

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