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San Diego State University is a public institution that was founded in 1897. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 31,086 (fall 2020), its setting is urban, and the campus size is 560 acres. It utilizes a semester-based academic calendar. San Diego State University’s ranking in the 2022 edition of Best Colleges is National Universities, #148. Its in-state tuition and fees are $8,136; out-of-state tuition and fees are $20,016.
San Diego State University is the oldest and largest higher education institution in the San Diego region. Now in its 117th year, San Diego State University can take pride in more than a century of achievement in education, research and service. With an enrollment of more than 35,000 students, SDSU at San Diego State University is increasingly becoming a top choice for undergraduates as evidenced by the record number of applications received each year.
San Diego State University ,SDSU is nationally recognized for academic excellence and is currently ranked No. 65 among public universities, according to U.S. News & World Report’s annual ranking of America‘s Best Colleges
General Information of San Diego State University
In The Beginning
Serving the San Diego region has always been a core part of SDSU’s mission.
Founded March 13, 1897, San Diego State University began as the San Diego Normal School, a training facility for elementary school teachers. Seven faculty and 91 students met in temporary quarters over a downtown drugstore before moving to a newly constructed 17-acre campus on Park Boulevard.
The curriculum was limited at first to English, history and mathematics at San Diego State University . Course offerings broadened rapidly under the leadership of Samuel T. Black, who left his position as state superintendent of public instruction to become the new school’s first president. Black served from 1898 to 1910.
San Diego State University , From 1910 to 1935, President Edward L. Hardy headed a vigorous administration that oversaw major changes to the fledgling institution. In 1921, the Normal School became San Diego State Teachers College, a four-year public institution controlled by the state Board of Education. In that same year, the two-year San Diego Junior College, forerunner of today’s local community colleges, became a branch of San Diego State Teachers College. That union lasted until 1946.
By the 1920s, the college was already beginning to outgrow its Park Boulevard location, and San Diegans launched a campaign to build a new campus on the city’s eastern border.
In February 1931, students, faculty and staff moved into seven Mission Revival-style buildings surrounding a common area still known as the Main Quad.
Four years later, the state Legislature authorized expansion of degree programs beyond teacher education, and San Diego State Teachers College became San Diego State College. Also in 1935, Walter R. Hepner took the helm as president, beginning a 17-year tenure.
The college continued to grow over time, reaching an enrollment of more than 25,000 students during the administration of Malcolm A. Love, who served as president from 1952 to 1971. The SDSU library is named after Love.
In 1960, San Diego State College became part of the newly created California State College system, now known as The California State University system.
In 1963, just months before he was assassinated, President John F. Kennedy gave the commencement address at San Diego State College. President Kennedy received the university’s first honorary doctorate – also the first in the CSU system.
Now in its 121st year, San Diego State University can take pride in more than a century of achievement in education, research and service.
SDSU ranks in the top 10 for students studying abroad and for ethnic and diversity; Forbes, Fortune and U.S. News & World Report rank it top 25 for entrepreneurship; and the university has produced 88 Fulbright student scholars since 2005.
Renowned for its academic excellence, the university is home to highly ranked graduate programs in business; engineering; public health; psychology; fine arts; biological sciences; public affairs; education; and speech, language, and hearing sciences. Ranked undergraduate programs include business, engineering and international business. Overall, SDSU students can choose from 91 undergraduate majors, 76 master’s programs and 23 doctoral degree programs.
Committed to serving the richly diverse San Diego region, SDSU ranks among the top universities nationwide in terms of ethnic, racial and economic diversity among its student body, as well as in the number of bachelor’s degrees conferred upon students of color.
The Price Community Scholars program provides financial support for first-generation local students with track records of strong academic achievement and leadership in high school. In turn, these students mentor local middle school students on the road to higher education. SDSU’s Guardian Scholars program provides support, including academic mentoring and year-round housing, to students leaving the foster-care system.
Increasingly recognized for innovative research, SDSU is Carnegie classified as a R2 doctoral university with higher research activity. Students pursue real-world challenges under the guidance of internationally recognized mentors in cutting-edge labs, entrepreneurship centers and business incubators.
Beyond accolades and campus expansion, San Diego State University remains, as always, most proud of its alumni family, more than 400,000 strong.
Among those who call themselves Aztecs are Hollywood producer and Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy; former Federal Trade Commission chair Timothy Muris; former Air Force Chief of Staff, Gen. Merrill A. “Tony” McPeak; San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer; San Diego County Supervisors Greg Cox, Dianne Jacob, Ron Roberts and Bill Horn; astronaut and Johnson Space Center director Ellen Ochoa; Costco co-founder Jim Sinegal; and restaurant executives Linda A. Lang, former CEO of Jack in the Box restaurants, and Ralph Rubio, founder and chairman of Rubio’s Fresh Mexican Grill.
The success of these individuals and thousands of other SDSU alumni attest to the motivating influence of their alma mater. From modest beginnings, San Diego State University has evolved into a premier center of education, research and service.
San Diego State University’s 2022 Rankings
San Diego State University is ranked #148 in National Universities. Schools are ranked according to their performance across a set of widely accepted indicators of excellence.
San Diego State University Admissions
San Diego State University admissions is more selective with an acceptance rate of 37%. Half the applicants admitted to San Diego State University have an SAT score between 1090 and 1300 or an ACT score of 22 and 29. However, one quarter of admitted applicants achieved scores above these ranges and one quarter scored below these ranges. The application deadline is Nov. 30 and the application fee at San Diego State University is $70.
Academic Life at San Diego State University
The student-faculty ratio at San Diego State University is 25:1, and the school has 25.6% of its classes with fewer than 20 students. The most popular majors at San Diego State University include: Business Administration and Management, General; Psychology, General; Sports, Kinesiology, and Physical Education/Fitness, General; Multi-/Interdisciplinary Studies, Other; Mechanical Engineering; Biology/Biological Sciences, General; Economics, General; Criminal Justice/Safety Studies; Art/Art Studies, General; and Computer Science. The average freshman retention rate, an indicator of student satisfaction, is 89%.
Student Life at San Diego State University
San Diego State University has a total undergraduate enrollment of 31,086 (fall 2020), with a gender distribution of 44% male students and 56% female students. At this school, 8% of the students live in college-owned, -operated or -affiliated housing and 92% of students live off campus. In sports, San Diego State University is part of the NCAA I.
Tuition & Financial Aid
At San Diego State University, 54% of full-time undergraduates receive some kind of need-based financial aid, and the average need-based scholarship or grant award is $11,660.
Paying for college doesn’t have to be difficult or devastating. Go to the Paying for College knowledge center to get advice on raising cash and reducing costs, or use the U.S. News 529 Finder to choose the best tax-advantaged college investment account for you.
Campus safety data were reported by the institution to the U.S. Department of Education and have not been independently verified. The numbers for criminal offenses reflect reports of alleged offenses to campus security and/or law enforcement authorities, not necessarily prosecutions or convictions. Experts advise prospective students and their families to do their own research to evaluate the safety of a campus as well as the surrounding area.
Of the students at San Diego State University, 5% have cars on campus. Alcohol is permitted for students of legal age at San Diego State University.