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San Diego State University: Academics, Admissions & Tuition Info

Research San Diego State University. Learn about its admission info, degree programs and financial aid to make an informed education decision.

About San Diego State University

Since its founding in 1897, San Diego State University (SDSU) has grown into the largest public university in San Diego today and the third largest school in California. Serving around 30,000 full- and part-time students, SDSU's campus is two hours south of Los Angeles. Students are minutes away from downtown, the Pacific Ocean and the mountains.

The university has more Fulbright scholars than any other California State University, according to The Fulbright Program, one of the country's top international educational exchange programs. Students also have access to additional learning opportunities including ROTC programs, teacher certification and 335 study abroad programs. SDSU is ranked within the top 25 schools in the U.S. in terms of the number of students that study abroad during their college years.


SDSU offers about 260 undergraduate and graduate degrees and 16 pre-professional programs. It also offers a series of lifelong learning classes, seminars, and certificate programs through the College of Extended Studies. Students who want to attend SDSU online may enroll in more than 20 certificate programs and three graduate-level degree programs via the university's Open University initiative.


SDSU admitted about 30% of all applicants during the 2010 school year. The school considers applicant's GPA, school record and SAT/ACT scores during the evaluation process. The school requires that all incoming freshmen complete a college preparatory program prior to enrollment. The application fee is $55 and applications may be submitted online.

SDSU had a diverse student population in Fall 2011, with the top ethnic backgrounds comprised of white (39%), Hispanic (27%) and Asian (14%). The university is ranked 7th nationally in terms of undergraduate degrees awarded to Hispanic students.

Tuition & Financial Aid

Resident undergraduate tuition was about $6,600 per academic year and about $17,800 per year for non-resident students in 2011-12. The university participates in federal financial aid programs and offers tuition payment plans as well. About 60% off all SDSU students receive some form of financial aid.

Student housing is available and the university requires all first-time freshmen to live on campus if they're from outside the school's local area. Also, freshmen who participate in the university's honors program must also live on campus. Estimated undergraduate costs for food and housing during the 2012-2013 school year was about $11,500.

School Type Public, 4-year **
Degrees Offered Bachelor's, master's and doctorate**
Religious Affiliation None**
Academic Calendar Semesters*
School Setting City, large**
Student Body 25,796 undergraduates and 4,745 graduate students in 2011**
Student Housing Available**
Schools and Programs Nearly 160 undergraduate majors and minors, 16 pre-professional programs, 100 graduate programs*
Student-Faculty Ratio 27 to 1**
Most Popular Fields of Study by Degree Level (Number of Recipients) In 2010-2011:
Bachelor's: Business administration and management (1,294)
Master's: Business administration and management (316)**
Undergraduate Graduation Rates for 2003 cohort 28% in four years
66% in six years
70% in eight years**
Admission Rate 30% in 2010**
Entering Class Size 3,364 in 2019**
First-Year Retention Rates About 89% (full-time students)
81% (part-time students) in 2011**
Average SAT Score of Admitted Students 1080 in Fall 2011*
Undergraduate Application Due Date November 30*
Decision Notification Date Mid-March*
Tuition Undergraduate tuition for 2012-13 was $6,578 for in-state undergraduates and $17,738 for non-residents. **
Financial Aid Sources Available (Percentage of Students Receiving it) In 2010-2011: Federal grant aid (29%), state/local grant aid (34%), institutional grant aid (25%), loan (36%)**
Percent of Students Receiving Some Form of Aid in 2010-2011 60%**

Sources: *San Diego State University; **IPEDS Data Center, National Center for Education Statistics

School Contact Information

  • Address: 5500 Campanile Drive, San Diego, CA 92182
  • Phone: (619) 594-5200
  • Website:

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