May 18, 2024  
2021/2022 University Catalog 
2021/2022 University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

About SDSU

students playing saxophones

At San Diego State University, we are dedicated to preparing global citizens, compassionate leaders, and ethical innovators who will help find solutions to the world’s greatest challenges.

When students work alongside our exceptional faculty, researchers and scholars, and have the opportunity to observe and practice purposeful innovation, we begin to achieve our collective vision to impact the world through our graduates.

SDSU is the oldest institution of higher education in the San Diego region, with a campus and microsites in San Diego and locations in Southern California’s Imperial Valley and Tbilisi in the Republic of Georgia. Additional academic offerings are provided through SDSU Global Campus, which provides online training, certificates and degrees in various areas of study. With a range of access points, SDSU provides transformational academic and research experiences to meet the current and future needs of students everywhere.

In California, SDSU is situated on Kumeyaay land near the U.S.-Mexico border and is an academically rich, research-focused urban university. SDSU is known for its academic strength and affordability, and for its remarkable students, exceptional and dedicated faculty and staff, and innovative programs. We are a community committed to the ideals of diversity and equity and dedicated to human growth and development. We are committed to student success, transformative research, creative activities, and community engagement.

Together, we are making an impact on the future of San Diego, the binational community in which our campus sits, and other communities around the world.

Academic and Community Engagement

SDSU is a community of leaders committed to student success and life-changing opportunities for students, such as study abroad, undergraduate research, leadership training, and entrepreneurial experiences.

SDSU is the oldest higher education institution in the San Diego and Imperial Valley regions, and our deep community roots provide access to internships, mentoring relationships, and volunteer opportunities that complement and enhance the classroom experience.

SDSU is an academically rich university that provides endless possibilities for students: bachelor’s degrees in 97 areas, master’s degrees in 84 fields, and 23 doctoral degrees (Ph.D., Ed.D., Au.D., and D.P.T.). SDSU is a place for the best and brightest to dream of whom they will become and to make those dreams a reality.

SDSU’S Values and Commitments

SDSU is committed to providing research oriented, high-quality education for undergraduate and graduate students. Through excellence and distinction in teaching, research, and service, the university’s community continually identifies and implements solutions to problems and challenges, locally and globally.

At SDSU, students, faculty, and staff strive to impart an appreciation and broad understanding of the human experience throughout the world and the ages. This education extends to diverse cultural legacies and accomplishments in many areas, that include: the arts and technology; the advancement of human thought through philosophy and science; the development and sustainability of economic, political, and social institutions; and the physical and biological evolution of humans and their environment.

Education and Global Perspectives

One of our goals at SDSU is to prepare global citizens. Whether curriculum content, cultural campus activities or international research and exchange programs, we are creating an experience that will be transformational for our students. SDSU ranks No. 5 in the nation for the number of students who study abroad. More than 3,000 SDSU students study abroad each year in more than 70 countries, including the United Kingdom, China, Italy, Mexico, and Spain. These transformational experiences help students to gain new perspectives and to grow personally and intellectually, and provide them with the very competencies and skills the workforce demands.

Our campus-based academic programs reinforce this global perspective. These programs include the Center for International Business Education and Research, the Center for Latin American Studies, the International Security and Conflict Resolution degree program, and the International Business program, which ranks No. 11 in the nation.

Diversity and Inclusive Excellence

SDSU deeply values diversity and inclusion. The university’s community strives to maintain an environment where students from all backgrounds achieve excellence and success. The university has been recognized nationally for significant increases in graduation rates and for nearly eliminating achievement gaps among ethnic and racial groups.

SDSU’s campus reflects the diversity of our region and the world. Students from more than 90 nations contribute to SDSU’s dynamic mix of ethnic, racial, and social backgrounds.

SDSU tied for No. 7 in the nation for ethnic and racial diversity, received the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award for five consecutive years, is recognized as a Hispanic-Serving institution, and is one of the top universities in economic diversity. More than half of our students and 43 percent of our tenure- track faculty members are women.

We are a national model for educating military veterans and offer Army, Navy, and Air Force ROTC programs. Also, SDSU ranks as one of the most LGBTQ+-friendly campuses in the nation.

Through our “One SDSU Community” initiative, our campus fosters shared experiences, values, and aspirations that embrace our unique identities, respect our diversity, and recognize our common humanity.

Student Life

SDSU students study hard, but they also know how to have fun outside of the classroom. You can join an intramural sports team or an honor society, join one of more than 300 recognized student clubs and organizations on campus, lead a community service project or live on our lively campus or fraternity row. SDSU’s Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union - given LEED Double Platinum status as one of the most energy-efficient facilities in the world - is a hub for student activities with its Commuter Resource Center, restaurants, bowling alley and game room, meeting spaces and theatre.

You can cheer on 19 NCAA Division I athletics teams, which are setting new standards for success. A record number of Aztec teams are qualifying for post-season competition, and both our men’s and women’s basketball teams have advanced to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament. Our football team has played in 10 consecutive bowl games.

Research and Creative Endeavors

SDSU is a leading public research university with a thriving research agenda and competitive awards totaling over $148 million in 2018-19-including funding from the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Defense, and the California Department of Health Services.

Undergraduate research and entrepreneurship are hallmarks of SDSU. Students collaborate with faculty and staff in on-campus laboratories to address national and global challenges, and they create new companies and social enterprises in our entrepreneurship and innovation centers.

More than 90 SDSU students have earned prestigious Fulbright awards since 2005-06, while other students have received Gilman International Scholarships, Boren Awards for International Study, the Udall Scholarship for environmental work, and Gates Cambridge Scholarships.

A Global Network of Leaders and Mentors

SDSU’s legacy of leadership is found in research and innovation, entrepreneurship, community engagement, and global competition.

Our alumni base is more than 400,000 strong, meaning you will find fellow Aztecs all over the world. SDSU also maintains the Aztec Mentor Program, which pairs current students with supportive and experienced professionals who serve as their mentors. Since its inception in 2013, the program has matched 10,066 students with mentors. SDSU alumni lead governments, businesses and organizations throughout the world. They are legislators, CEOs, company presidents and founders, renowned artists and filmmakers, school administrators, and engineers. Aztecs run biotech companies, accounting firms, restaurant chains, and hospitals and have also been to space, just to name a few contributions and industries.