From the School

San Diego State University is a major public research institution providing transformative experiences and a rich campus life, both inside and outside of the classroom, for its 36,000 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students.

SDSU is a major public research institution with a community of people committed to student success and life-changing opportunities for students, such as study abroad, undergraduate research, internships and entrepreneurial experiences. SDSU is the oldest higher education institution in the San Diego region, and these deep community roots provide access to internships, mentoring relationships, and volunteer opportunities that complement and enhance the classroom experience.


From The School

SDSU attracts highly qualified students each year. The average high school GPA for fall 2017 admitted freshmen was 3.88 with an average SAT Reasoning (critical reading and math) score of 1229 or ACT score of 27. Prospective students can apply as a freshman for fall 2018 as long as they haven’t graduated from high school and are on track to graduate with a high school diploma by spring 2018, or they haven’t taken any college-level classes beyond the summer after high school graduation.

Students can apply online at between October 1 and November 30, 2017 for fall 2018 admission.

The following criteria is used to evaluate applications:

  1. Eligibility Index (a calculation of GPA and SAT/ACT scores)
  2. Completion of the “a-g” college prep curriculum
  3. Intended major

For more information about applying to SDSU for fall 2018 admission, visit


Acceptance Rate
Average HS GPA

GPA Breakdown

Over 3.75
3.50 - 3.74
3.25 - 3.49
3.00 - 3.24
2.50 - 2.99

Need to boost your grades? We can help.

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SAT Reading
25th-75th percentile
(enrolled students)
490 - 600
SAT Math
25th-75th percentile
(enrolled students)
510 - 620
SAT Writing
25th-75th percentile
(enrolled students)
480 - 590

Concordant SAT Scores

SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing
25th-75th percentile (enrolled students)
540 - 650
SAT Math
25th-75th percentile (enrolled students)
540 - 640

ACT Composite
25th-75th percentile (enrolled students)
23 - 28

Testing Policies

ACT Writing Policy
ACT with or without Writing accepted

SAT Essay Policy
SAT with or without Writing accepted


Regular — November 30

Other Admission Factors


Rigor of Secondary School Record
Academic GPA
Standardized Test Scores

Selectivity Rating

Get a personalized plan for a competitive application from an admissions expert.

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From The School

Academic Programs

SDSU ranks in the top 10 in the number of students who study abroad to gain new perspectives and to grow personally and intellectually. More than 2,400 SDSU students study abroad each year in 65 countries, including the United Kingdom, China, Italy, Mexico and Spain.

The campus-based academic programs reinforce this global perspective. They include the Center for International Business Education and Research; the Center for Latin American Studies; the International Security and Conflict Resolution degree program; and the International Business major, which ranks No. 14 in the nation.

Additionally, SDSU is dedicated to entrepreneurship and innovation with the belief that these skills encourage students to turn their ideas into tangible products that will benefit the student, SDSU and the San Diego community. Entrepreneurship at SDSU involves a unique blend of coursework and experiential learning opportunities. This combination enables students to adopt innovative thinking and develop the competencies they will need to succeed in today’s society, regardless of their educational field.

Majors and Degrees Offered

SDSU is an academically comprehensive university that provides endless possibilities for students: bachelor’s degrees in 91 areas, master’s degrees in 78 fields, and 22 doctoral degrees (Ph.D., Ed.D., Au.D., DNP, and DPT). SDSU is a place for the best and brightest to study disciplines from biology and viromics to international business. And from entrepreneurship to musical theater.

Faculty and Class Information

Total Faculty
with Terminal Degree


Most frequent class size
20 - 29
Most frequent lab / sub section size
20 - 29

Graduation Rates

Graduate in 4 years
Graduate in 5 years
Graduate in 6 years


  • Area, Ethnic, Cultural, and Gender Studies

  • African-American/Black Studies
  • American Indian/Native American Studies
  • Asian Studies/Civilization
  • Central/Middle and Eastern European Studies
  • Ethnic, Cultural Minority, and Gender Studies, Other
  • European Studies/Civilization
  • Hispanic-American, Puerto Rican, and Mexican-American/Chicano Studies
  • Latin American Studies
  • Women's Studies

  • Biological and Biomedical Sciences

  • Biology/Biological Sciences, General
  • Ecology
  • Microbiology, General
  • Zoology/Animal Biology

  • Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services

  • Accounting
  • Business Administration and Management, General
  • Finance, General
  • Financial Planning and Services
  • Hospitality Administration/Management, General
  • Human Resources Management/Personnel Administration, General
  • International Business/Trade/Commerce
  • Marketing/Marketing Management, General
  • Operations Management and Supervision
  • Real Estate

  • Communication, Journalism, and Related Programs

  • Advertising
  • Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric
  • Digital Communication and Media/Multimedia
  • Health Communication
  • Journalism
  • Public Relations/Image Management
  • Radio and Television

  • Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services

  • Computer Science
  • Information Technology

  • Education

  • Early Childhood Education and Teaching
  • Music Teacher Education

  • Engineering

  • Aerospace, Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering
  • Civil Engineering, General
  • Computer Engineering, General
  • Electrical, Electronics and Communications Engineering
  • Engineering, General
  • Environmental/Environmental Health Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering

  • Engineering Technologies/Technicians

  • Construction Engineering Technology/Technician

  • English Language and Literature/Letters

  • English Language and Literature, General
  • Writing, General

  • Foreign languages, literatures, and Linguistics

  • Classics and Classical Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics, General
  • Classics and Classical Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics, General
  • Classics and Classical Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics, General
  • Classics and Classical Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics, General
  • Comparative Literature
  • French Language and Literature
  • German Language and Literature
  • Japanese Language and Literature
  • Linguistics
  • Russian Language and Literature
  • Spanish Language and Literature

  • Health Professions and Related Clinical Sciences

  • Athletic Training/Trainer
  • Communication Disorders, General
  • Dietetics/Dietitian (RD)
  • Health Services/Allied Health/Health Sciences, General
  • Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse
  • Speech-Language Pathology/Pathologist

  • History

  • History, General

  • Liberal Arts and Sciences, General Studies and Humanities

  • General Studies
  • Humanities/Humanistic Studies
  • Liberal Arts and Sciences/Liberal Studies

  • Mathematics and Statistics

  • Applied Mathematics
  • Mathematics, General
  • Statistics, General

  • Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies

  • Gerontology
  • Multi-/Interdisciplinary Studies, Other

  • Natural Resources and Conservation

  • Environmental Science
  • Environmental Studies

  • Parks, Recreation, Leisure, and Fitness Studies

  • Health and Physical Education, General
  • Kinesiology and Exercise Science
  • Parks, Recreation and Leisure Studies

  • Philosophy and Religious Studies

  • Jewish/Judaic Studies
  • Philosophy
  • Religion/Religious Studies

  • Physical Sciences

  • Astronomy
  • Atomic/Molecular Physics
  • Chemistry, General
  • Geology/Earth Science, General
  • Physical Sciences
  • Physics, General

  • Psychology

  • Psychology, General

  • Public Administration and Social Service Professions

  • Public Administration
  • Public Administration and Social Service Professions, Other
  • Social Work

  • Security and Protective Services

  • Criminal Justice/Safety Studies

  • Social Sciences

  • Anthropology
  • Economics, General
  • Geography
  • International Relations and Affairs
  • International Relations and National Security Studies
  • Political Science and Government, General
  • Social Sciences, General
  • Sociology
  • Urban Studies/Affairs

  • Visual and Performing Arts

  • Art History, Criticism and Conservation
  • Art/Art Studies, General
  • Dance, General
  • Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts, General
  • Fine/Studio Arts, General
  • Graphic Design
  • Interior Design
  • Music Performance, General
  • Music, General

Students Say

Students lucky enough to attend San Diego State University receive a "quality, affordable education," all while they soak up that brilliant "San Diego sun!" And with a "wide array [of] majors and minors" along with a good deal of "flexibility in course choices," it's understandable why individuals are drawn to this institution. Speaking of majors (and minors), undergrads at SDSU rush to underscore a handful of really stellar academic departments. For starters, the "science programs have vigorous requirements that [truly] prepare you for grad school or medical school." Additionally, the "music program strives to create the best educators and performers." The nursing school is also "amazing" and really works to "accommodate…each individual." And the international business program is considered "one of the top…in the nation."

When it comes to professors, while there's the occasional bad or "boring" apple, the vast majority at SDSU are "dedicated and eager to teach." Moreover, they typically approach their time in the classroom with "enthusiasm" and manage to "bring life to every lecture." Indeed, they "make learning the material easy and fun." It's also quite apparent that they "care about their students" taking the time to "check in with them" and making themselves "accessible outside of the classroom." And, as a grateful religious studies major explains, they often "inspire [you] to become a more intellectual person and involved student."


Doctoral Other
Post-Bachelor's certificate

Career Services

On-Campus Job Interviews Available

Career Services

Alumni Network
Alumni Services
Interest Inventory
Opportunities at School


Notable Faculty

Prominent Alumni

Kathleen Kennedy
Academy Award winning producer

Tony Gwynn
Major League Baseball Hall of Fame

Kawhi Leonard
NBA Defensive Player of the Year 2015

Jim Sinegal
Costco founder and retired CEO

Marshall Faulk
National Football League Hall of Fame

Ellen Ochoa
NASA's Johnson Space Center director

David Hasemyer
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist

Academic Rating

Graduation Rates

Graduate in 4 years
Graduate in 5 years
Graduate in 6 years

Career Services

On-Campus Job Interviews Available

Career Services

Alumni Network
Alumni Services
Interest Inventory
Opportunities at School


ROI & Outcomes

Information from PayScale:

Starting Median Salary (Up to Bachelor's degree completed, only)

Mid-Career Median Salary (Up to Bachelor's degree completed, only)

Starting Median Salary (At least Bachelor's degree)

Mid-Career Median Salary (At least Bachelor's degree)

Percent High Job Meaning

Percent STEM

Students Say

San Diego State does a wonderful job of “ensuring students have local and abroad opportunities during college, as well as job offers waiting at graduation.” One in seven adults in San Diego with a college degree attended SDSU, which, needless to say, makes for excellent alumni networking and internship opportunities. The popular Aztec Mentor Program connects alumni and professional mentors with juniors, seniors and graduate students to help them prepare for a career, and even alumni can use the online Aztec Career Connection (also available as an app) to find jobs and internships. The school partners with thousands of alumni and organizations to provide as many opportunities as possible, and the school recently hosted its first two-day career and internship fair to accommodate them all. Of all of the San Diego State alumni visiting, 53 percent report that they derive a high level of meaning from their jobs.


From The School

Tuition, Room, Board and Fees

SDSU is consistently ranked among the best value universities in the nation and for the number of students graduating with the least amount of debt. California resident students are charged flat rate tuition and fees depending on enrollment. Full time fees are charged for students who enroll in more than 6 units; part time fees are charged for students enrolling in 6 or fewer units. In addition to basic tuition and fees, nonresident and international students pay non-resident tuition. SDSU has a wide variety of on-campus housing and dining options. Costs vary depending on location, number of roommates, and meal plan chosen.

To apply for all federal, state, and institutional aid, file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as soon as possible after October 1. Be sure to check AidLink, SDSU’s online financial aid system, regularly to see if additional documentation is needed.

SDSU offers a large number of scholarships based on need, academic merit, and other criteria. Applications are submitted online, and the largest scholarship cycle runs from August through February.

Financial Aid

To apply for all federal, state, and institutional aid, file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as soon as possible after October 1st. Be sure to check AidLink, SDSU’s online financial aid system, regularly to see if additional documentation is needed.

SDSU offers a large number of scholarships based on need, academic merit, and other criteria. Applications are submitted online, and the largest scholarship cycle runs from August through February.


Application Deadlines
Mar 2
Notification Date
Mar 15

Required Forms

State Aid

Financial Aid Statistics

Average Freshman Total Need-Based Gift Aid

Average Undergraduate Total Need-Based Gift Aid

Average Need-Based Loan

Undergraduates who have borrowed through any loan program

Average amount of loan debt per graduate

Average amount of each freshman scholarship/grant package

Financial aid provided to international students

Expenses per Academic Year

Tuition (In-State)
Tuition (Out-of-State)
Required Fees
Average Cost for Books and Supplies

Tuition / Fees Vary by Year of Study
Board for Commuters
Transportation for Commuters

On-Campus Room and Board
Comprehensive Fee

Available Aid

Financial Aid Methodology

Scholarships and Grants


Need-Based College/University Scholarship or Grant Aid from Institutional Funds
Need-Based Federal Pell
Need-Based Private Scholarships
Need-Based SEOG
Need-Based State Scholarships

Institutional non-need-based scholarship or grant aid is available

Federal Direct Student Loan Programs
Direct PLUS Loans
Direct Subsidized Stafford Loans
Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans

Federal Family Education Loan Programs (FFEL)
College/university loans from institutional funds

Is Institutional Employment Available (other than Federal Work Study)

Direct Lender

Financial Aid Rating


From The School

Diversity is a hallmark of the SDSU’s community of 36,000 students. Upon becoming Aztecs, students embrace the 120-year history of SDSU and its mission of education, research and service. They are active in more than 300 different student clubs and organizations, many of which participate in community service and philanthropic projects. Our students are enthusiastic supporters of Aztec Athletics; in fact, The Show, a legion of men’s basketball fans, has created a game-day atmosphere rivaled by few in the nation.

Faculty in SDSU’s eight colleges are equally committed to ensuring student success and advancing research in their fields. Our faculty members have authored (widely used) textbooks, chaired national academic organizations, published research in peer-reviewed journals, and received research funding from the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation. At the same time, they are skilled teachers and mentors, drawing on knowledge of the latest developments in their fields to enrich the classroom experience.

Through partnerships, education and programming, SDSU’s Career Services Department provides current Aztecs and Aztec alumni with many opportunities to define, develop and realize their career potential. We work closely with employers and community partners to fill important staffing and internship positions from within the diverse and talented Aztec student body. Career Services oversees two important programs – The Aztec Mentor Program, which pairs more than 1,200 students with alumni mentors in their chosen fields, and Aztecs Hiring Aztecs, which works with alumni-owned and -operated businesses to transition recent graduates into the workplace.

Student Body Profile

Total Undergraduate Enrollment
Foreign Countries Represented



54% female
46% male
9% are out of state
90% are full time
10% are part time

Students Say

San Diego State is comprised of a "diverse community of students who are as laidback as they are hard-working." Indeed, the university does a great job of attracting undergrads "from all over the world and all walks of life." Students happily report that their peers are both "social" and "academically driven." As one mechanical engineering major explains, "They are people that know how to party Friday and Saturday but know to stay in when they need to write a paper." Even better, "they are supportive and seem to always be open to help others who are struggling." Undergrads also appreciate that there are "endless opportunities to meet new people because the campus is swarming with students." And, for the most part, San Diego undergrads are "very accepting of one another and open minded." Of course, all of this goodwill can partially be attributed to the lovely surroundings. As one business students sums up, "It's hard not to be happy when living in beautiful San Diego."


From The School


DSU's campus is within a 15-minute drive of downtown San Diego and the Pacific Ocean and only two hours south of Los Angeles. The second largest city in California, San Diego is a thriving cultural, scientific and educational center. Bordering the Pacific Rim and Mexico, San Diego is recognized globally as a dynamic international hub. SDSU’s Spanish revival architecture reflects the diversity and history of the region, with bell towers, beautiful arched walkways and ornamental ironwork.

Campus Facilities & Equipment

SDSU’s campus is a unique blend of old and new, classic and modern. The exterior of the Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union, for example, draws inspiration from historic Spanish revival architecture. But its interior is an ultramodern Double LEED Platinum certified hub for student organizations, events and activity. The soon-to-open Engineering and Interdisciplinary Sciences Complex also embraces the Spanish style architecture with an interior that will feature state-of-the-art labs and collaborative teaching space necessary for transformative innovation and exploration.

Campus Life

Undergrads living on campus
Help finding off-campus housing

First-Year Students living on campus

Campus Environment
Large Urban

Housing Options

Apartment Single
Disabled Student
Dorms Coed
Frat Sorority
International Student
Theme Housing
Wellness Housing

Students Say

Simply put, life at San Diego State is "wonderful." And, no matter whether you opt to participate in "Greek life, a student organization or a sport, everyone [finds] something to do." Additionally, SDSU's Associated Students is great about sponsoring a number of "fun" events such as "Distress Fest, Haunted Montezuma and the Polar Plunge." A thrilled speech pathology major rushes to brag, "Every Thursday, there is a farmer's market on campus where students can enjoy a wide array of international cuisines prepared by local restaurants. SDSU also has "amazing athletics" and undergrads love "attending football [games], basketball [games] and other sporting events." Of course, given that San Diego has "[beautiful] weather year round," you won't catch SDSU students…spend[ing] much time indoors." It's quite common to see students riding "bikes or skateboards across campus." And a business administration major pipes in, "The beach is a huge draw for people whether you like surfing, paddle boarding, or just swimming." Additionally, the "campus is located 10 minutes from Fashion Valley or Balboa Park and there are tons of good restaurants around. It is also very close to the Mexican border for easy day trips."

Special Needs Admissions

Program / Service Name
Student Disability Services

Type of Program
For all students with disabilities

Pamela J. Starr

College Entrance Tests Required

Interview Required

Documentation Required for LD

Documentation is evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Typically successful documentation includes a recent psycho-educational evaluation, history of accommodations and evidence of functional limitations.

Documentation Required for ADHD

Documentation is evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Typically successful documentation includes a recent psycho-educational evaluation, history of accommodations and evidence of functional limitations.

Special Need Services Offered

Calculator allowed in exams

Dictionary allowed in exams

Computer allowed in exams

Spellchecker allowed in exams

Extended test time



Oral exams


Distraction-free environment

Accommodation for students with ADHD

Reading machine

Other assistive technology

Student Activities

Registered Student Organizations
Number of Honor Societies

Number of Social Sororities
Number of Religious Organizations

8% join a fraternity
9% join a sorority


Athletic Division
Division I

Men's Sports (Aztecs)
6 Sports

Women's Sports (Aztecs)
14 Sports

Crew Rowing
Cross Country
Track Field Indoor
Track Field Outdoor
Water Polo

Student Services

Day Care
Womens Center
LGBT Support Groups
Army ROTC Offered on-campus
Navy ROTC Offered on-campus
Air Force ROTC Offered on-campus


You might expect a school located in a city like San Diego in a state like California to be on the more enlightened side of green. But San Diego State University isn’t just “green by association”—it puts serious muscle into its commitment to sustainability. At last count, the university diverts 49 percent of its waste from landfills, thanks to a comprehensive single-stream recycling program. As a member of the California State University system, SDSU is committed to both local and national green building standards. Two major construction projects on campus are scheduled to be completed in the next few years with a goal of LEED Silver certification, and a third project, SDSU’s new Aztec Student Union will seek LEED Platinum certification. Even two off-campus student housing facilities recently achieved LEED Gold certification: Sterling Alvarado and Fifty Twenty-five. In the fall 2012 semester SDSU launched its sustainability major, which explores the cultural values that shape resource use, consumption and governance. Students and faculty in the major will work hand-in-hand with San Diego State’s Center for Regional Sustainability (CRS), which supports academic engagement, faculty training, research and programming to further sustainability on campus. The CRS also coordinates green internships and research with community partners. One example in the community is the Sage Project, which is a partnership between SDSU and a city in the region. Through course work students, tackle real-world projects that focus on the city’s smart growth, quality of life, and sustainability goals. Green research opportunities are plentiful through the annual Student Research Symposium. The Faculty-Student Mentoring Program also provides opportunities for students to work with individual faculty on research projects, and the Service Learning Program offers hands-on sustainability research opportunities. A student fee to support sustainability on campus keeps student-led green groups active, including the Associated Students Green Love campaign; E3, the environmental business society, Greeks Gone Green; and PowerSave. In addition, SDSU signed the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment, which committed campus to developing a plan to achieve climate neutrality.

Campus Security Report

Campus Security Report

The Jeanne Clery Act requires colleges and universities to disclose their security policies, keep a public crime log, publish an annual crime report and provide timely warnings to students and campus employees about a crime posing an immediate or ongoing threat to students and campus employees.

Please visit The Princeton Review’s page on campus safety for additional resources:

The Princeton Review publishes links directly to each school's Campus Security Reports where available. Applicants can also access all school-specific campus safety information using the Campus Safety and Security Data Analysis Cutting Tool provided by the Office of Postsecondary Education of the U.S. Department of Education:

Other Information

Campus-wide Internet Network

Email and Web Access Available

% of Classrooms with Wireless Internet

Number of Computer Labs / Classrooms

Average Number of PC's per Lab

Network Access in Dorm Rooms

Network Access in Dorm Lounges

Fee for Network Use

Student Web Pages Permitted

Student Web Pages Provided

Partnerships with Technology Companies

Online Class Registration Available

Personal computer included in tuition for each student

Require Undergraduates to Own Computers

Discounts Available with Hardware Vendors

Apple Dell HP Sony Adobe Samsung Microsoft Lenovo

Webcasting, Digital Audio or Video-Streaming of Courses

Webcasting, Digital Audio or Video-Streaming of Campus Radio / TV Stations

Campus Visits Contact

5500 Campanile Drive
San Diego, CA 92182-7455



Experience College Life

Most Popular Places On Campus
Aztec Student Union
Aztec Recreation Center & Aquaplex
SDSU Library
Open Air Theatre and Viejas Arena

Most Popular Places Off Campus
Beaches at La Jolla, Mission Bay, Pacific Beach
Balboa Park
Coronado Island
Downtown San Diego
San Diego Zoo
SeaWorld, Cabrillo National Monument, Old Town

Campus Tours

Campus Visiting Center
Monday - Friday
9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Campus Tours
Appointment Required: Yes
Dates: Year-round
Times: Varies
Average Length: 1 hour

On Campus Interview

Campus Interviews

Information Sessions
Not Available


Faculty and Coach Visits

Dates/Times Available

Class Visits

Dates/Times Available


Overnight Dorm Stays

Overnight Dorm Stays
Not Available


Types of Transportation Available to Campus
Bus, shuttle and trolley. Lindbergh Field in downtown San Diego is 15 miles west of campus.

Driving Instructions to Campus
If you are coming from: Los Angeles I-5 South Merge onto I-8 East Riverside I-15 South Merge onto I-8 East Yuma I-8 West Mexico 805 North Merge onto I-8 East San Diego International Airport Turn left onto N. Harbor Dr. Turn left onto W. Grape St. Merge onto I-5 South Merge onto CA-163 North Merge onto I-8 East From I-8, take College Avenue exit and go south. San Diego State University will be on your right. Proceed past Canyon Crest Drive through (the first stoplight) then make an immediate right turn to the green Information Booth for parking information. Ask the parking guard for directions as to where you may park. Paid visitor parking is available in designated campus lots. Please refer to the campus map for specific visitor locations

Articles & Advice