San Diego State University

San Diego State University is the oldest and largest higher education institution in the San Diego region. Since it was founded in 1897, the university has grown to become a nationally ranked research university. Each year, SDSU provides more than 35,000 students with the opportunity to participate in an academic curriculum distinguished by direct contact with faculty and an increasing international emphasis, preparing them for a global future.

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.

Take a tour of SDSU's historic buildings

The curriculum was limited at first to English, history and mathematics, but 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.

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, creating a union that lasted until 1946.

By the 1920s, San Diego State 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-style buildings surrounding a common area still known as the Main Quad.

Four years later, the 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.

In 1960, San Diego State became part of the newly created California State College system, now known as the California State University system. In the early 1970s, with legislative approval, San Diego State College became San Diego State University. Leading the institution during the 1970s were Acting President Donald E. Walker (1971-1972), President Brage Golding (1972-1977), Acting President Trevor Colbourn (1977-1978) and President Thomas B. Day, whose tenure spanned from 1978 to 1996. In 1996, Stephen L. Weber became the university's seventh president.

Beginning its 112th academic year in fall 2008, 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 34,000 students, SDSU has grown into the largest institution of higher education in the San Diego region and one of the largest in California. SDSU is increasingly becoming a top choice for undergraduates as evidenced by the record 62,000 applications received for fall 2008.

Renowned for its academic excellence, the university is home to top-ranking programs in education, international business, social work, speech-language pathology, biology and public administration. Overall, San Diego State students can choose from 85 undergraduate majors, 75 master's programs and 14 joint doctoral degree programs and two independent doctoral degree programs.

SDSU produces thousands of graduates each year, 60 percent of whom stay in San Diego to pursue their careers, making San Diego State a primary educator of the region's work force, as well as a leader in expanding access to higher education. Committed to serving the richly diverse San Diego region, SDSU ranks among the top universities nationwide in terms of ethnic and racial diversity among its student body, as well as the number of bachelor's degrees conferred upon students of color.

The mission of San Diego State University shall be to provide well-balanced, high quality education for undergraduate and graduate students and to contribute to knowledge and the solution of problems through excellence and distinction in teaching, research, and service. The university shall impart an appreciation and broad understanding of human experience throughout the world and the ages. This education shall extend to

  1. Diverse cultural legacies,
  2. Accomplishments in many areas, such as the arts and technology,
  3. The advancement of human thought, including philosophy and science,
  4. The development of economic, political, and social institutions, and
  5. The physical and biological evolution of humans and their environment.

The university shall accomplish this through its many and diverse departments and interdisciplinary programs in the creative and performing arts, the humanities, the natural and mathematical sciences, and the social and behavioral sciences. Through the President's Shared Vision , students, parents, faculty, staff, administrators, and the community have identified the following five challenges:

  • 1.1 To extend and enhance the university's deep and abiding commitment to academic excellence expressed through superior teaching, research, creative activity, and public service;
  • 1.2 To nurture a learning-centered university that supports the growth and development of the whole person;
  • 1.3 To create a community proud of its diversity and committed to furthering social justice on and off campus;
  • 1.4 To promote the growth, development, and wise use of our human and fiscal resources; and
  • 1.5 To create a global university.

2.0 Academic goals

Responding to these and other challenges, the university shall pursue the following academic goals to sustain and strengthen our position as a leading university:

All first-time freshman applicants will be admitted to the premajor (including undeclared) in which they applied. There will be a limited number of enrollment slots in each premajor. Applicants will be ranked by their eligibility index, which is a combination of GPA and SAT/ACT test scores. In addition, students must complete the pattern of college preparatory curriculum ( a–g courses ) by the end of spring 2012.

SDSU's local admission area applicants will be assigned a credit to increase their eligibility so SDSU can maintain its traditional balance of out-of-area to in-area students. Students are in SDSU's local admission area if they graduate from a high school in San Diego County located south of state route 56 and extending eastward AND Imperial County high schools.

First-time freshmen from outside SDSU's local admission area are required to live in on-campus housing their first year.

CSU Grade Point Average

All grades earned in the 15-unit college preparatory pattern of approved a–g courses taken in 10th–12th grades are used to calculate your grade point average.

Honors points for A, B and C grades will be awarded for a maximum of eight semester courses taken in 11th and 12th grades, including up to two IB or AP courses, or honors courses with 11th or 12th grade content taken in the 10th grade.

Grade Point Average Calculator

First-Time Freshman CSU Eligibility Index

The eligibility index is the combination of your high school grade point average and your test score on either the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT Reasoning Test) or the American College Test (ACT). Note: November 2011 is the last month to take the SAT/ACT if you are applying for fall 2012 admission.

Calculate your eligibility index using the calculator form below, or use the formulas to do the math yourself. Neither ACT nor SAT writing scores are included in the calculation of the CSU Eligibility Index.

The minimum eligibility index for admission to a CSU differs depending on whether you're using the SAT or the ACT:

  • California residents need a minimum eligibility index of 2900 using the SAT or 694 using the ACT.
  • Nonresidents of California need a minimum eligibility index of 3502 using the SAT or 842 using the ACT.

Founded in 1897, San Diego State University is a public institution of higher education located in southern California. SDSU is the oldest and largest university in San Diego and the third largest in the state.


Programs offered:

Noteworthy items:

  • Research : SDSU researchers continue to be among the most productive in the nation, securing 799 research grants and contracts worth nearly $145.2 million during the last fiscal year.
  • Study abroad : SDSU ranks in the top 25 universities nationwide, and third in California, for students studying abroad as part of their college experience.
  • Diversity : SDSU ranks seventh in the nation and second in California for bachelor's degrees awarded to Hispanics.
  • Fulbright scholars : SDSU has more student Fulbright recipients than any other California State University and is tied with UCLA for third in California behind Stanford and UC Berkeley.

Student Population

  • Total enrollment: about 30,000
  • Undergraduate enrollment: about 25,000
  • Graduate enrollment: about 5,000
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: about 20:1
  • 100+ countries represented

Admitted Student Profile Fall

Average high school GPA: 3.62
Average SAT score: 1080
Average ACT score: 23.6

Transfer students
Average college GPA: 3.23

Student Life and Activities

Unique to SDSU

  • The San Diego Trolley is an affordable way to get from SDSU to all of the hot spots around San Diego, including Qualcomm Stadium, Fashion Valley mall, and Old Town San Diego.
  • Viejas Arena is one of the premiere collegiate arenas in the nation: home to Aztec Basketball and host to entertainers like Gwen Stefani, Van Halen, Maroon 5 and Jennifer Lopez.
  • One in seven adults in San Diego who holds a college degree attended SDSU. This alumni connection provides students with internships and career opportunities after graduation.
  • KPBS , San Diego's public television and radio station, is owned and operated by SDSU. The station is rated among the top 10 public broadcasting stations in the country.
  • The Cultural Arts and Special Events program offers a coffeehouse talent series, multi-cultural noon-time concerts, films screenings, and many special events.

The University of San Diego

USD is located on 180 acres overlooking the city of San Diego, Mission Bay and the Pacific Ocean. The campus is renowned for its beauty, and features Spanish Renaissance-inspired architecture.

The University of San Diego is committed to academic excellence, Catholic intellectual and social traditions, and providing a top-notch liberal arts education for scholars of all faiths.

For more than six decades, the University of San Diego has been dedicated to the values originally articulated by its founders, Mother Rosalie Hill of the Society of the Sacred Heart and Bishop Charles Francis Buddy of the Diocese of San Diego.

Our mission and vision statement captures the values that have made USD a prominent Catholic university and a vibrant institution of quality higher education.

Our history begins with two extraordinary leaders who had a vision of a new kind of Catholic university and brought it to life.

Our Catholic identity gives USD a solid foundation in religious faith, ethical conduct, compassionate service and social justice.

Our strategic initiatives build our institutional strengths to chart a course for future excellence and growing societal impact.

Our community involvement enhances the education of our students and serves the needs of our neighbors and partners.

We welcome you to meet our admi nistration , learn interesting facts about USD , check out the latest news and events and discover opportunities for working at USD .

USD Facts

Our Campus

  • Roman Catholic. Private. Coeducational. Residential. Independent.
  • 180 acres perched on a pristine canyon – easily navigable, pedestrian-friendly
  • Beautiful 16th century Spanish Renaissance architectural style
  • Beaches, mountains, downtown and the Mexican border – all within a short drive
  • Carnegie classification of “Doctoral/Research University”
  • Fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges since 1956


  • Undergraduate Programs: 39 bachelor's degrees with many concentrations; 48 minors
  • Graduate Programs: 33 master's degrees, the JD, five LLM degrees, three doctorates
  • Faculty: 393 full time, 450 part time – 843 head count, 549 FTE
  • Degrees Awarded: 1,156 bachelor's, 627 master's, 318 law, 57 doctoral – 2,158 total


  • Enrollment: Approximately 7,800 FT equivalent undergraduate, paralegal, graduate and law students
  • Fall Entrants: 1,150 freshmen, 417 transfers, 581 graduate students, 331 law students
  • Demographics: 31 percent minority students, 5% international students
  • Alumni: More than 54,000, in all 50 states and 97 countries, with 70 percent living in California

Campus Life

  • Residential campus: 95 percent of freshman and 46 percent of undergraduates live on campus
  • 10 separate living areas, with styles ranging from shared rooms to apartments
  • Member, West Coast Conference and Pioneer Football League
  • 17 NCAA Division I teams, 19 sports clubs, many recreation clubs and fitness classes
  • Five national fraternities and six national sororities
  • Student Life Pavilion offers dining options, student activities, and a full-service market


The University of San Diego is governed by a Board of Trustees and led by a president. Mary E. Lyons , who was appointed in 2003, is the third chief executive since the modern University of San Diego was established in 1972. Her predecessors were Author E. Hughes, who served as president from 1972 to 1995, and Alice B. Hayes, who was president from 1995 to 2004.

The university is dedicated to providing a values-based education grounded in Catholic social teachings. Today, it has six academic divisions: the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Law, the School of Business Administration, the School of Leadership and Education Sciences, the Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science, and the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies. USD offers 39 bachelor's degree programs, 31 master's degrees programs, five law degree programs, and three doctoral degree programs (in nursing and leadership studies).

Strategic Initiatives

USD's strategic initiatives are developed through Strategic Directions, a planning process yielding broad, overarching, visionary goals that support strategic planning at all levels. At the university level, strategic initiatives usually involve inter-division collaboration to devise and implement new programs for the university. Within a division or department, strategic initiatives improve or enhance the unit's work.

University-wide strategic initiatives developed and implemented during the first planning period between 2004 and 2009 included Catholic social thought, inclusion and diversity, integrated learning, internationalization and sustainability. Initiatives undertaken within divisions included the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, enrollment management, technology infrastructure, undergraduate research, program accreditation, endowment development and new branding and marketing standards.

At the annual Fall Convocation held on Sept. 3, 2010, President Lyons announced a new round of strategic planning. She reviewed the university's many achievements between 2004 and 2009, and she challenged the audience to participate in all phases of the next five-year cycle, beginning with information-gathering sessions for the campus community.

Please visit the Strategic Directions website for more detailed information about USD's strategic initiatives, and contact with comments or questions.

Community Involvement

Every year, in every part of the region, USD community projects serve people in need with a range of programs, such as:

  • CASA (Center for Awareness, Service and Action) promotes cultural awareness and social consciousness by providing outreach opportunities and making lasting connections between USD and the community.
  • Free specialized legal clinics staffed by USD law students offer legal assistance to lower-income individuals and families.
  • The annual Thanksgiving House Project provides USD business students the opportunity to renovate the home of a deserving family in the nearby Linda Vista neighborhood.
  • The Institute of College Initiatives hosts such college preparation programs as Upward Bound, Expanding Your Horizons, and Global Youth Leadership Connection.

Service learning reflects USD's emphasis on social justice and ethical conduct. The Center for Community Service-Learning , founded in 1994, offers students a broad spectrum of service and educational opportunities. USD's standing as an innovator of university-community engagement has been recognized widely, including such honors as:

  • One of 76 campuses to receive the Carnegie Foundation's "Community Engagement" classification, and one of 62 recognized by Carnegie for curricular engagement as well as outreach and partnership.
  • Listed on the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for Distinction for Community Service.
  • Chosen as one of four California sites for a $120,000, three-year “Learn and Serve” grant from California Campus Compact.
  • Honored in a Princeton Review/Campus Compact book, Colleges with a Conscience: 81 Great Schools with Outstanding Community Involvement.

Offices and Departments

By Alphabet, By School


University of San Diego 5998 Alcalá Park San Diego, CA 92110

Visit Campus

Student–guided tours are offered twice a day, year– round, Monday through Friday, at 10:00 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

Each begins with an hour and a half long campus tour, followed by a 30 minute information session. The information session is led by a member of our admissions staff and is designed to address the admissions application process, financial aid, and highlight various aspects of life at USD.

If you can't fit a campus tour into your schedule, stop by while you are in town to pick up some general information. Families are always welcome on our campus to look around or enjoy a meal in one of our dining facilities and meet some of our students.


From the North : Use I-5 South, exit Sea World Dr./Tecolote Rd. and proceed left at stoplight toward Morena Blvd. Turn right on Morena, left on Napa, and left on Linda Vista Rd. Travel to the second stoplight to USD's east entrance, turn left and enter campus.

From the South (or the airport) : Use I-5 North, exit Morena Blvd. (signs will say: Morena Blvd. use I-8 East) Stay to the right and follow the signs for Morena Blvd. Take the first right onto Linda Vista Rd. Travel to the third stoplight to USD's east entrance, turn left and enter campus.

From the East : Use I-8 West, exit at Morena Blvd., go right onto Linda Vista Rd. and travel to the third stoplight to USD's east entrance, turn left and enter campus.

From the airport : The campus is a 10-minute cab ride (approximately $15.00).

Once you have entered campus (from all directions) : Please see the Campus Map (viewable and printable versions available) to navigate to the appropriate building or parking area.

UC San Diego

We Make Changemakers

Recognized as one of the top 15 research universities worldwide, our culture of collaboration sparks discoveries that advance society and drive economic impact. Everything we do is dedicated to ensuring our students have the opportunity to become changemakers, equipped with the multidisciplinary tools needed to accelerate answers to our world's most pressing issues.

We're looking for fearless innovators. Bold risk-takers. Those with a compulsive urge to take things apart, discover what makes them tick and put them back together in surprising new ways. People who are eager to swap ideas, share experiences and explore the world with a fresh perspective. If that sounds like you, start building your future at UC San Diego.


With approximately 8,500 students in every incoming class, we wanted a way to make your university experience feel more personal and approachable. As a UC San Diego undergraduate, you'll be assigned to one of the university's Colleges, each with its own residential neighborhood, general education curriculum, support services and distinctive traditions.

We do things a little differently than other universities, so you'll be free to pursue your chosen major no matter which College you attend . This approach gives you the unique opportunity to live and study alongside people with diverse interests, backgrounds and educational paths. Learn more here and at .

You bring the will. We'll help with the way.

Every student with a bright mind and a burning desire to learn deserves the opportunity to experiment and explore at UC San Diego. Please note: Students from other U.S. states are not eligible for California financial aid, however the University of California will help out-of-state students receive federal aid for which they are eligible. International students are not eligible to receive federal or state financial aid. To be granted a visa, international students must prove sufficient funds to meet all estimated expenses for studying in the U.S.


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