San Diego State University Admissions: Everything You Want to and Need to Know
Overview of San Diego State University
San Diego State University (SDSU) is a public research institution situated on the city’s northeastern edge. The institution has a large selection of undergraduate and graduate degree programs for students to choose from. A robust student/faculty ratio supports students, and professors take a personalized approach to the teaching and learning process. Outside of the classroom, students will find plenty of opportunities to engage with the campus community via the university’s many clubs and organizations. SDSU’s strengths in the liberal arts and STEM earned it a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa. In athletics, the San Diego State Aztecs play in the NCAA Division I Mountain West Conference.
- Total Enrollment: 34,881 (30,393 undergraduates)
- Gender Breakdown: 45 percent male/55 percent female
- 90 percent full-time
Cost of Attendance Information
- Tuition and Fees: $7,510 (in-state); $19,390 (out-of-state)
- Books: $1,969
- Room and Board: $17,752
- Other Expenses: $3,291
- Total Cost: $30,522 (in-state); $42,402 (out-of-state)
Financial Aid Information
- Percentage of New Students Receiving Aid: 60 percent
- Percentage of New Students Receiving Types of Aid
- Grants: 46 percent
- Loans: 31 percent
- Average Amount of Aid
- Grants: $8,370
- Loans: $6,407
Academic Programs Offered
- Most Popular Majors: Business Administration and Management, General; Psychology, General; Health and Physical Education/Fitness, General; Criminal Justice/Safety Studies; and Biology/Biological Sciences, General
Retention and Graduation
- First-Year Student Retention (full-time students): 89 percent
- Transfer-Out Rate: 2 percent
- 4-Year Graduation Rate: 36 percent
- 6-Year Graduation Rate: 74 percent
NCAA Athletic Programs
- Men’s Sports: University of California, Davis, Penn State University Park, University of Cincinnati, Hofstra University, Temple University, Auburn University, Seton Hall University
- Women’s Sports: Basketball, Cross Country, Crew-Rowing, Golf, Lacrosse, Soccer, Softball, Swimming and Diving, Tennis, Track and Field, Volleyball, Water Polo
Overview of San Diego State University Admissions
San Diego State University is one of the larger and more selective universities in the California State University System. About 33% of applicants are accepted. Students whose SAT/ACT scores and GPA are within the institution’s requirements have a good chance of being admitted. This institution has a robust admissions process that involves a multitude of academic measures. Applicants must complete an online application. A persuasive essay and glowing recommendation letters can bolster your application, along with being involved with student organizations and attempting a challenging course load. Students with unique talents and accomplishments can still receive strong consideration even if their GPAs are outside of the admissions offices mean range. Interested students should check out the university’s website, which has helpful tips and contact information for the admissions offices. Students should make a campus visit to determine if the institution is a good fit for them.
During the 2018-19 admissions phase, San Diego State University had an acceptance rate of 35%. for every 100 students who submitted applications, 35 students gained admission, making SDSU’s admissions process competitive.
SAT Requirements and Scores
During the 2018-19 admissions phase, 84% of students provided SAT scores. This admissions data reveals that most of SDSU’s students score within the top 35% nationally on the SAT. 50% of students admitted to SDSU scored between 560 and 650 on the evidence-based reading and writing part, while 25% scored under 560 and 25% scored over 650. 50% of students scored between 550 and 660 on the math part, while 25% scored under 550, and 25% scored over 660. Applicants with a cumulative SAT score of 1310 or higher will have particularly competitive chances at San Diego State University.
ACT Requirements and Scores
During the 2018-19 admissions phase, 43% of students provided ACT scores. This admissions data reveals that most SDSU students score within the top 37% nationally on the ACT. The median 50% of students admitted to San Diego State University received a cumulative ACT score between 22 and 28, while 25% scored over 28, and 25% scored under 22.
In 2019, the mean high school GPA for first-year students admitted to SDSU was 3.69. Successful applicants have A and B grades primarily.
Safety Net Schools: Easy to Gain Admission
If past admission data predicts that you would be a competitive candidate for San Diego State University, it should be easy to gain admissions to the schools below. If San Diego State University is currently out of your reach, then you are sure to be a competitive candidate for the schools below.
Quinnipiac University, Ohio University, University of North Texas, California State University Long Beach, Pace University, Florida Gulf Coast University, Washington State University
Same Tier: Just As Hard to Gain Admission
If you’re a competitive candidate for San Diego State University, you should have an equal chance of gaining admissions at these schools.
Auburn University, University of Arizona, Seton Hall University, University of Houston, University of California, Riverside, University of Oklahoma, Florida International University
Reach Institutions: Gaining Admissions Will be More of a Challenge
These schools are more challenging to gain admission into than San Diego State University. If you improve your GPA and SAT/ACT scores, then you’ll be a competitive candidate for these schools.
University of Connecticut, Rochester Institute of Technology, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Syracuse University, United States Military Academy, Penn State University Park, University of Cincinnati
Applying to San Diego State University
Application Deadline: November 30
Undergraduate Admissions Website:
Undergraduate Application Link(s):
Graduate Admissions Website:
Graduate Application Link(s):