San Jose State University


Founded in 1857, San Jose State is the oldest institute of higher education on the West Coast. Originally it was a normal school for teachers in the western frontier of the United States. It was also the first school established in what would later become the California State University System. The San Jose campus eventually spawned 22 other campuses to establish the massive System as the largest university system in the country.

The University awards a wide range of bachelor’s and master’s degrees. It defines its mission as “to enrich the lives of its students, to transmit knowledge to its students along with the necessary skills for applying it to the service of our society, and to expand the base of knowledge through research and scholarship.”


Information Summary

Ranks 50th in California and 701st overall. See the entire top 2,000 colleges and universities list
Overall Score (about) 84.1
Total Cost On-Campus Attendance $29,193
Admission Success rate N/A
ACT / SAT 75%ile scores 26 / 1260
Student Ratio Students-to-Faculty 34 : 1
Retention (full-time / part-time) 83% / 77%
Enrollment Total (all students) 35,400


The university houses eight colleges: he College of Applied Sciences and Arts, the College of Business, the College of Education, the College of Engineering, the College of Humanities and the Arts, the College of Science, the College of Social Sciences, and the College of Social Work. There is also a School of Library and Information Science and the Office of International and Extended Services (Continuing Education).

Collectively, these schools offer roughly 70 bachelor’s degrees in an even larger number of concentrations. Some of the more stand-out majors include Aviation, Transportation Management, Child and Adolescent Development, Communicative Disorders and Sciences, Hospitality Management, Industrial and Systems Engineering, Criminal Justice Administration, Linguistics, Nutritional Science, Occupational Therapy, and Recreation.

Master’s degrees are also awarded in roughly 70 fields, including nursing, public health, business administration (MBA), counselor education, elementary education, engineering, art, English, creative writing, chemistry, marine sciences, economics, history, social work, and interdisciplinary studies. A Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) is also awarded. A certificate is available in gerontology. There are no doctoral programs.

Accreditation is granted by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

Most Popular Fields of Study


San Jose State University San Jose State University 2
SJSU Spartans :: San Jose State University

Unique Programs

The Recreation and Leisure Studies program emphasizes health community development through personal growth in recreation. Parks and tourism programs are the primary areas of professional focus. Students learn how to coordinate various community events including festivals, parades, therapy, outdoor adventures, and leisure activities. Graduates with this focus can serve in various areas of government or higher education.

The Department of Communicative Disorders and Sciences in the School of Education prepares students to work with youth and adults in the fields of speech, language, and hearing services.


San Jose State uses the same eligibility index as other California State System campuses, combining and applicant’s GPA with their SAT or ACT test score to determine if they meet admissions requirements. Students should have taken two years of history and social science, four years of English, three years of mathematics, two years of science with laboratory, two years of a foreign language, one year of visual and performing arts, and one year of electives.

The eligibility index uses the applicant’s GPA multiplied by 800 and added to the SAT score or multiplied by 200 and added to ten times the ACT score to determine their admissions eligibility. For California residents the minimum eligibility index is 2900 with the SAT score or 694 with the ACT score. Nonresident students are subject to stricter admissions requirements and a tougher index. Most students with a GPA above 3.0 do not have to provide SAT or ACT scores, although they are encouraged to take at least one of those exams anyway.

Graduate students should consult with the particular department or program which they are interested in to find out specific admission requirements in addition to the university application.

Financial Aid

Financial aid is available in the form of a combination of grants, scholarships, loans, and work-study programs. Financial aid applicants are given seven very simple steps to applying for financial aid: Complete the FAFSA, receive the Student Aid Report (SAR), complete the necessary applications and forms from SJSU, paperwork is evaluated, award recipients are notified, and funds are disbursed. Federal student loan borrowers must attend an Entrance Loan Counseling session, which can be completed online or by appointment.

Student Financial Aid Details

Ranks 4697th for the average student loan amount.
Secrets to getting the best scholarships and financial aid in California.


The campus offers students a wide range of amenities, including a 6,500 seat arena, a full service box office, and a large Sports Club. With over 200 student organizations available ranging from academic to recreational, most students find exactly what they want to occupy their time. There is also a very active Greek community on campus that dates back to the late nineteenth century and a flourishing intramural sports program.

The library offers electronic catalogs and on-line databases, in additional to physical volumes stored on site or available through interlibrary loan. Special collections include the University archives and local historical collections. The library also has a partnership with the city public libraries, which allows students access to a wide range of materials, both academic and beyond.

Student Enrollment Demographics

Student Graduation Demographics


The athletic department, known as the Spartans, competes in the Western Athletic Conference in the sports of baseball, football, softball, basketball, cross country, golf, and soccer, among others. SJSU has receive the NCAA Division I status of “Certified,” an acknowledgement only obtained by nine other universities in the country and intended to demonstrate the University’s steadfast compliance with NCAA rules and policies.

Sports facilities include a multi-purpose stadium, and aquatic center, a softball complex, a baseball stadium, and an indoor arena. Students and fans can send athletes, coaches, or officials questions they have about athletic issues, controversies, and events via a form available on the university athletic web site.


Outstanding athletes are annually awarded the “Order of Sparta,” signifying the recognition they receive for their amazing accomplishments. Each year these students athletes are recognized and inducted into the campus Sports Hall of Fame.

Local Community

The city of San Jose is located in Northern California, at the southern end of San Francisco Bay. It is known as the capitol of Silicon Valley, and is the third largest city in the state. The area enjoys excellent weather and offers an extensive selection of recreational and entertainment venues. Some of the regional favorites include Farallone Islands whale watching expeditions, the annual Gilroy Garlic Festival (featuring garlic-flavored ice cream), Mavericks Big Wave Surfing at Half Moon Bay, and the Renaissance Pleasure Faire. Other popular attractions include the Children’s Discovery Museum, the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum, and the Winchester Mystery House.

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