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San Diego State University appears in these rankings:

30 Most Beautiful Coastal College Campuses

50 Best Value Colleges and Universities in California

San Diego State University is a large university in San Diego that is part of the school system operated and maintained by the California State University School System. Founded as the San Diego Normal School, it originally opened as a teaching college that primarily focused on training elementary school teachers and consisted mainly of female students. When it gained the right to award degrees instead of certificates, it became the San Diego State Teachers College. It then functioned as San Diego State College before becoming part of the CSU system and transitioning from a college to a university.

More than 80,000 students apply to the university every year, but San Diego State has a highly selective admissions policy that limits acceptance to less than 35% of those who apply. Those admitted often have a grade point average of 3.82 and score a 25 or higher on the ACT. Admitted students can major in one of 160 topics and study abroad at more than 300 locations around the world. Washington Monthly listed SDSU as the 87th best school in the country, and ARWU, Forbes and U.S. News & World Report listed it among the country's best colleges. The university, which has more than 30,000 enrolled students, also received a global ranking on lists produced by ARWU and Times. It's bachelor degree in business and MBA programs are among the top in the country as well.

San Diego State University Accreditation Details

In addition to regional accreditation, San Diego State also has specialized accreditation for many of the programs that it offers. Regional accreditation, which comes from the Western Association of Colleges and Schools (WACS) is one of the first things you should look for when applying to colleges. WACS accreditation means that you will earn a degree at the end of your studies and that the federal government can provide you with financial assistance. Specialized accreditation is a type of program accreditation that applies to specific degree programs. For example, the Accreditation Board for Engineering & Technology, Inc. gave San Diego State's programs in computer, aerospace, mechanical, environmental, civil, construction and electrical engineering accreditation. More than 10 other agencies gave SDSU specialized accreditation, including the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, Council on Social Work Education Office of Social work Accreditation and Council for Interior Design Accreditation. Some of the other accreditation that the university holds come from groups like:

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
American Psychological Association
Council on Education for Public Health
Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education
Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications
Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education
Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration
American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy
Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
National Recreation and Park Association
American Physical Therapy Association

San Diego State University Application Requirements

All students entering a bachelor program at San Diego State must start in the fall and file an application between the beginning of October and end of November. Though this is an earlier deadline that other colleges have in place, it allows SDSU to send out acceptance letters and notify students early in the year they want to start. You must complete the application online and pay a $55 fee, but there are waivers available for those who cannot pay the fee. SDSU also requires your score from a standardized test. Sand Diego State does not require a transcript unless the university accepts you. The online application asks you about your past courses and the grades you received, which the university uses in its selection process. If your transcript does not match the grades you listed, the university can reject your application and resend its offer.

Those applying for admission to one of the theater, dance or music programs will need to attend an audition at the university. A panel of professors working for the university will determine if you should receive acceptance based on your audition. Prospective nursing students must submit a transcript that shows they received high grades in college prep math and science classes.

Tuition and Fees

The total cost of tuition and fees for students attending the university is around $7,000 a year. This lets you take a full load of 12 credit hours or more and pay any fees relating to those courses. For students residing outside of California, the university charges an additional tuition rate of around $11,000 a year. SDSU estimates that students will pay $15,000 or more to live on campus, which is the cost of a dorm room and a meal plan.

San Diego State recommends that students look at the total cost of attending the university before enrolling and that they complete the FAFSA. Federal Pell grants are available for students who come from lower income families and need more help. Freshmen students may qualify for more than $5,000 in federal loans and apply for a work-study job. Both students and their parents can take out alternative student loans to pay for any additional expenses. SDSU also suggests that students look into scholarships from the university and outside sources. California residents also have access to funds available through the Cal Grant program.

Degree Programs

The business administration program at San Diego State is one of the top business programs in the nation. The university has its own Business Advising Center, which provides students with help finding internships, writing resumes and applying for jobs near their graduation date. There is also a Business Honors Program open to students who earn high grades in their classes and want to learn skills not otherwise covered in their courses. Students select a concentration in a field like accounting, management, real estate or marketing.

San Diego State University also offers a degree program in athletic training, which has accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training. Students who complete the program can immediately sit for the professional examination after graduation and earn a license to work as an athletic trainer. Courses in the program include kinesiology, physical growth and development, physiology of exercise and movement skills. Students can also take courses in specific sports and activities like rock climbing and bowling. San Diego State University requires that all athletic training students do clinical work in a local facility and complete internships working for health care facilities or schools.

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