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Overall Score: 74.21

San Francisco State University

San Francisco, CA
Community service is a key feature of San Francisco State's programs. The school of about 26,000 undergrads and nearly 3,000 graduate students was one of the first universities in the U.S. to offer academic credit for community work, as well as one of the first to include community service learning hours on students' transcripts. Students can choose among about 300 public service-related courses in a wide variety of areas, including health care fields, education and public administration. Bachelor's degrees are available in around 200 areas of study from six different colleges while master's degrees in more than 90 programs range from business to the arts. SFU has two doctorates as well – an Ed.D. in education leadership, and a Ph.D. in special education, offered jointly with UC-Berkeley. A unique offering at the school is its College of Ethnic Studies, which houses programs in Asian American Studies, Africana Studies, Latina/Latino studies, and other disciplines. The school takes pride in its entertainment-oriented coursework, such as cinema, music, and writing, and counts an impressive number of Oscar, Emmy, and Pulitzer Prize nominees among its alumni, including actors Annette Bening and Danny Glover. Two off-campus centers provide on-the-ground opportunities for field work: the Romberg Tiburon Center for Environmental Studies, which focuses on tidal marshes and estuarine habitat; and SFU's Sierra Nevada Field Campus, a site for classes and research in environmental subjects.


Est. full price 2022-2023
% of students who get any grants
Est. price for students who receive aid
Average price for low-income students


Acceptance rate
Median SAT/ACT score
SAT/ACT required?
Undergraduate enrollment

Financial Aid

% of students with need who get grants
% of need met
% of students who get merit grants
Average merit grant

Student Success

Graduation rate
Average time to a degree
4.7 years
Median student debt
Early career earnings
% earning more than a high school grad

Notes: Students who get merit grants are full-time undergraduates who had no financial need and were awarded grants. Graduation rate measures degree completion within six years for both transfer students and first-time students. Early career earnings are the median earnings for both graduates and non-completers, 10 years after they first enrolled.

Sources: U.S. Department of Education, Peterson’s, Money/Witlytic calculations.

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