San Diego State University

Degree Programs at San Diego State University

San Diego State University appears in our ranking of Master’s in Hospitality Management Online: Top 25 Values.


Though San Diego State University has a strong reputation for its doctoral degree programs, it offers programs for both undergrads and graduate students too. Options for undergrads range from accounting to women’s studies. The women’s studies program looks at how the role of women in society changed over the years and some of the issues that women experienced in America and other countries. A comparative literature program teaches students how to look at literature and compare and contrast the theme and ideas found in those pieces. Other majors include biology, dance, finance, economics, kinesiology, statistics, philosophy, and social work. The pre-professional programs offered by the university prepare students for both law school and medical school.

The main campus in San Diego offers just one way for graduate students to earn their degrees. These students can also study on the university’s Imperial Valley campus or enroll in a self-support program. Its self-support programs require that students pay for their courses and do not provide them with any financial aid. The main campus offers programs in aerospace engineering and anthropology as well as theater arts and women’s studies. A Master of Social Work is available on the Imperial Valley campus. This MSW program pairs students with advisors who can help them find work experiences near the campus and ensure that they meet the program requirements.

Featured Programs

SDSU’s College of Extended Studies offers one bachelor’s degree (business administration), 9 master’s degrees, and over 50 certificate programs.  Many certificates and degrees can be completed online, such as the Professional Certificate in Forensic Psychology, Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Master of Science in Hospitality and Tourism Management, MPH, and many more.

Many of the doctoral degree programs offered by San Diego State University are technical programs that ask students to do research in the field. Biology majors can choose concentrations in evolutionary biology or ecology, while education leaderships majors can study community college and post-secondary education or focus on K-12 education. There are also doctoral programs with an emphasis on geography, physical therapy, engineering, public health, and chemistry among others. The university has a school psychology program with a credential option for those who want to work as licensed school counselors in California. Students can also enroll in one of five concurrent graduate programs and earn two degrees. Some examples of concurrent programs include a social work and public health option and a Latin American and public health program. San Diego State University also offers a business program for graduate students with an emphasis on Latin American studies.

About San Diego State University

San Diego State University is a large public university in San Diego, California. Established as a normal school in 1897, it is one of the oldest colleges in the California State University system. Also called both San Diego State and SDSU, the university first served as the San Diego Normal School before becoming the San Diego State Teachers College. It became San Diego State College in 1935 after adding other programs. During the 1970s, the university used the California State University, San Diego name before finally adopting the SDSU name.

As a full university, SDSU now offers bachelor’s, doctoral and master’s degree programs. It is the most popular university in the CSU system for doctoral students and now has its highest enrollment of those students in its history. U.S. News and World Report ranked SDSU as the 127th best university in America, and is ranked number 120 on a similar list created by Washington Monthly. The university also appeared on a list released by The Daily Beast of the nation’s best schools. As one of the largest schools in the CSU system, San Diego State has an enrollment of more than 34,000 students.

San Diego State University Accreditation Details

The Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) granted San Diego State the regional accreditation that it needs to grant financial aid packages to all types of students and to accept transfer credits. SDSU established its own review committee that makes sure the university can retain its accreditation. Its physical therapy, psychology, midwifery, nursing, public health, and other programs have accreditation also.

San Diego State University Application Requirements

Though SDSU students should know what they want to study before they apply, the university will accept undergrads who are still undecided. The Cal State Apply website makes it easy for prospective students to apply and allows them to submit applications to more than one university in the state. They need a credit card to pay the application fee online. SDSU charges a $55 application fee and has a November 30 deadline for undergrad applications. Students should also supply the university with an official score from one of the two standardized tests: the ACT or SAT.

Graduate and doctoral students should look at the application requirements for each program because those requirements can vary. They will all submit an application to the university’s graduate school. The university usually only accepts those with a grade point average of at least 3.0 and those who took advanced courses in high school that relate to their graduate fields of study. Certain programs may ask that students supply the contact information for professional or academic references or that their references write letters on their behalf. They may need to submit transcripts and official test scores and supply writing samples and resumes too.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Students who are California residents qualify for the university’s in-state tuition rate. They pay $7,488 a year for fees and their tuition. Nonresidents pay an added $11,880 fee, which increases their costs to more than $18,200 a year. These rates only apply to SDSU undergrads though. Both graduate and doctoral students pay the $8,922 a year as a California resident and a little more than $16,000 a year as a nonresident. The university recommends that students look at the costs of room and board, which can climb to more than $16,000 a year for undergrads.

Cal Grant funds go to full-time California residents enrolled in college. Those who want one of these grants must submit the FAFSA by March 2 and provide proof of their school grade point averages. Students can also join the federal work-study program and get federal Pell grants and loans through the FAFSA. SDSU has several scholarships available too, which students can view online. These scholarships have applications and a deadline near the beginning of February. Graduate students can use alternative loans and get both grants and loans from the federal government. Most majors enrolling in the San Diego State University degree programs get their financial aid packages by the late spring.