San Francisco State University

Degrees Offered at San Francisco State University

San Francisco State University appears in our ranking of the 30 Best Colleges for Young Democrats.


San Francisco State University offers a total of more than 70 degree programs. Many of the university’s undergraduate programs require that students complete at least 60 credits of work in general education fields before they declare a major. One example is the social work program, which also asks that students take introductory courses in sociology and psychology first. Introduction to Social Service Organizations, Human Development and the Social Services and Services to Children, Youth and Their Families are some of the courses in this program. It also includes internships and fieldwork experiences that prepare students for the university’s Master of Social Work (MSW) program.

One of the more unique undergraduate programs available is a major in Africana Studies, which asks that students take classes on the culture and history of African countries. This program allows students to study in Africa later. In the apparel design and merchandising program, students learn the basics of creating new clothing for others and how to market those pieces. They also take classes on advertising and purchase orders. Some of the other majors available at San Francisco State University for undergrads include art history, studio art, marine biology, critical social thought, and cinema studies.

Featured Programs

At the graduate level, the university offers an accounting program that allows students to sit for the professional accounting exams offered in California. The university’s art program for graduate students include opportunities for them to work with galleries near the campus and both show and sell their work. Graduate students can also study women and gender studies as a major and choose a concentration in women’s health. The MSW program at San Francisco State University is also popular because it includes several fieldwork opportunities.

Other programs designed for graduate students at the university include special education, recreation, parks and tourism administration, microbiology and linguistics.

About San Francisco State University

San Francisco State University is a public university in California named after the large city around its campus. Established as the San Francisco State Normal School in 1899, it would move to a campus in 1902 after a fire swept through the city. Renamed the San Francisco State Teachers College in 1921, it began offering bachelor’s programs and saw students graduate with those degrees just a few years later. It would later become San Francisco State College, California State University San Francisco and then San Francisco State University. Some of the names used by the university include SFSU and San Francisco State.

As one of the top colleges in the city, San Francisco State now offers degrees and programs through six different colleges and schools. It ranked on the lists of the top American schools issued by Forbes, U.S. News and World Report and Washington Monthly among others. The university also ranks as one of the best colleges in terms of social mobility and one of the best schools for students earning their terminal or final degrees. U.S. News and World Report ranks SFSU as having some of the nation’s top programs in the fine arts, public health, and social work.

San Francisco State University Accreditation Details

SFSU has accreditation for many of its programs such as those in business, which have accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). Both the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) and the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) accredited the university’s programs in social work and public health. Its counseling, engineering, technology, computer science, nursing, and education programs also have accreditation. San Francisco State has regional accreditation as well from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).

San Francisco State University Application Requirements

The application for students applying to San Francisco State opens on the first of October. Students who need financial aid should submit their applications by the priority deadline of November 30 or the final deadline, which is at the beginning of May. Undergrads need to submit transcripts that show they took four years of English classes, three years of math that classes, two years of science, foreign language and history/social science courses and a few electives. The university also requires an ACT or SAT score to make sure that students have the reading and math skills needed at the college level. Though students can have their former/current schools and the testing boards submit their transcripts and test scores, they will also need to complete the SFSU application.

Graduate students have from October first through May 15 to submit their applications. There is a $55 application fee due, and the university asks for a GMAT or GRE score. Some programs will only accept one type of test score. Most programs ask for a statement of purpose that expresses the students’ reasons for attending the university and his or her interest in the graduate program. Other requirements include a resume and two letters of recommendation. The graduate programs offered at San Francisco State University usually only accept students with a grade point average of 3.0 or higher and a high test score.

Tuition and Financial Aid

San Francisco State undergrads pay $7,254 per year for tuition if they take seven or more units of classes each semester. The cost of the room and board offered by the university will add another $15,151 to their annual costs. SFSU estimates that undergrads pay $2,000 for textbooks and other expenses too. Those who are under the age of 19 and live full-time in California qualify for the in-state resident rate, but all others must pay extra fees for the nonresident tuition rate. Graduate students pay $2,846 per semester to take up to six units of classes and $4,352 per semester to take more than six units.

More than 60% of SFSU students receive financial aid, most of which comes from the federal or the state governments. Students can use the California Promise and other state grant programs to cover their costs, but they can also take out student loans and use work-study. More than 700 scholarships are available to students via the university’s scholarship search. They can search for programs based on their majors or overall merit and see how they can apply for those programs. The degree programs available at San Francisco State University also allow students to use private loans and external scholarships.