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San Francisco State University: Academics, Admissions & Tuition

Learn about San Francisco State University. Read about its admission information, financial aid and degree, certificate and credential programs to make an informed education decision.

About San Francisco State University

San Francisco State University (SFSU) is a 4-year, public university off Highway 1 in San Francisco. SFSU was first established in 1899 as a teacher training school. In 2011, SFSU was ranked 48th in Regional Universities-West category by U.S. News and World Report.

SFSU offers a variety of bachelor's, master's and doctorate degrees. It also offers certificate and credential programs. In 2011, construction on an on-campus fuel cell plant was completed, providing students with instruction and research opportunities. It also cut university energy usage by utilizing the heat generated by boilers to heat university buildings.


SFSU has seven colleges, including the colleges of Business, Health and Human Services, Liberal and Creative Arts, and Science and Engineering. The university offers 78 bachelor's degrees with 46 available areas of concentration. It offers 62 master's degrees with 42 available areas of concentration. There are four doctoral degree programs offered in education and physical therapy.

SFSU offers 17 credential and 35 certificate programs. According to the university, the ten most popular undergraduate majors in the 2011-2012 school year were business administration, biology, kinesiology, English, engineering, psychology, criminal justice, communications and cinema. Art and sociology tied for the tenth spot. The National Center for Education Statistics reported the student to faculty ratio to be 25 to 1. Online courses are also available.

SFSU has one library, the Leonard Library, which offers an extensive collection of books and documents, as well as access to LINK+, a library lending service. In spring 2012, the library completed a major renovation and expansion project, which added study rooms, 200 computer workstations and more space for books.


SFSU accepts applications twice a year for spring and fall admission. Applications for spring admission are accepted in August of the year prior to intended enrollment. Applications for Fall are accepted in October and November. There is a $55 application fee.

Freshmen must have a high school diploma or a General Educational Development (GED) credential. Prospective students must take the SAT or ACT by December of the year prior to expected enrollment. Eligibility is determined by combining the high school GPA and SAT or ACT score.

Tuition & Financial Aid

Tuition for the 2011-2012 school year is $6,938 for in-state residents. Out-of-state residents pay an additional $372 per unit. Tuition is due before the start of each semester and installment plans are available. Tuition and fees do not include books, housing or other related living expenses.

School Type Public, 4-year*
Degrees Offered Bachelor's, master's, doctorate degrees. Also, certificates and credentials*
Academic Calendar Semester**
School Setting Urban
Student Body 25,383 undergraduates, 4,158 graduates (Fall 2011*)
Schools and Programs 7 colleges; 196 degree programs, credentials and certificates**
Student-Faculty Ratio 25 to 1*
Most Popular Fields of Study by Degree Level (Number of Recipients) In 2010-2011:
Bachelor's: Business Administration and Management (1,170)*
Master's: Education (302)*
Doctor's: Physical Therapy (26)*
Undergraduate Graduation Rates 4-year: 12%*, 6 year: 48%*, 8 year 55%*
Admission Rate 61% in 2011*
First-Year Retention Rates 81% for full-time*, 45% for part-time*
Average SAT and ACT Score of Admitted Students 2011-2012:
SAT: Critical reading 440*
Math 450*
ACT Composite: 19*
Application Due Date Applications accepted October 1 through November 30 for fall admission; August 1 through August 31 for spring admission**
Tuition (Fall 2012) $6,938 for full-time undergraduate (not including fees or out-of-state residency costs)**
Financial Aid Sources Available (Percent of Students Receiving it) For 2010-2011: Federal grants (39%)*, Local grants or scholarships (29%)*, Federal student loans (43%)*
Percent of Students Receiving Some Form of Aid For 2010-2011: 63%*

Sources: *NCES, **

School Contact Information

  • Address: 1600 Holloway Ave., San Francisco, CA 94132
  • Phone: (415) 338-1111
  • Website:

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