San Jose State University

San Jose State University Enrollment and Financial Aid Info

San Jose State University is a public, 4-year college located in California's Silicon Valley that offers bachelor's and master's degrees. Read about the pros and cons of the school, plus ranking, tuition and admission information.

Is San Jose State University the Right School for You?

San Jose State University (SJSU) is the oldest of the 23 colleges in the California State University system. The school offers 134 undergraduate and graduate programs in 110 different fields. Read more to find out about the pros and cons of San Jose State University.


  • Large number of program offerings
  • Diverse student body
  • Offers on-site daycare, non-remedial tutoring and health services


  • Graduation rate for full-time, first-time students was 33 percentage points lower than the national average
  • Student-to-teacher ratio was 25:1, which is 9 students higher than the national average
  • Acceptance rate is 6.8 percentage points lower than the national average
  • In-state total cost is $6,535 higher than the national average, and out-of-state total cost is $5,128 higher than the national average

Rankings and School Analysis

San Jose State University prides itself on its diversity, as well as its reputation as a research university. International students come from more than 30 countries each semester, and as of 2011, the school's student population was 34% Asian, 4% black, 22% Hispanic/Latino and 25% white. SJSU is home to the Howard Hughes Medical Institute SCRIBe Undergraduate Research Program, where you may have a chance to participate in cancer research. Additionally, San Jose State University ranked 38th in the West for regional universities, according to U.S. News & World Report in 2013. Some other notable resources at this school include its center for the study of John Steinbeck's work, its comprehensive program in nuclear science and its partnership with NASA's Ames Research Center.

As a large school with over 30,000 students, it may not be a surprise that the student-to-faculty ratio is almost 10 students higher than the national average at 25:1. According to U.S. News & World Report, about 67% of classes contained between 20 and 49 students in 2011. As of that year, the most popular major at SJSU was business, and other popular majors included health professions, visual and performing arts, engineering and psychology.

The 4-year graduation rate for first-time, full-time SJSU students was 33 percentage points lower than the national average for 4-year, public schools from 2005-2009, yet there is a marked increase in graduation rates for students earning their degrees in 6 years. The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) reported that 46% of SJSU students were able to complete their courses of study within 6 years, and 57% graduated within 8 years.

SJSU's 57% acceptance rate was slightly lower than the national average, but students from local San Jose school districts are given priority consideration on their applications, which may increase their chances of admission. Whether you are a state resident or non-resident, you can expect your total cost of attendance, including room and board, to be roughly $5,000-$6,500 more than the national average for comparable schools.

Getting In and Financial Aid at San Jose State University

If you want to apply for fall admission to SJSU, you should have your application in by November 30. As of 2012, out-of-state students were allowed to submit applications for the spring semester between August 1 and September 30. All prospective students are encouraged to fill out an online application and are expected to have completed a college preparatory course of study in high school, including 2 years of foreign language study. Both SAT and ACT scores are accepted, and all applicants are expected to choose a major before applying. Both international applicants and non-residents of California must meet a higher minimum standard than local or state residents.

If you want to apply for financial aid to help cover some of the cost of your education, SJSU urges students to apply by the March 2 priority deadline. U.S. News & World Report stated that about 70% of students applied for aid in 2011, and almost 25% had their need fully met.

Application and Tuition Info
Regular Application Deadline (2012) November 30*
Financial Aid Application Deadline (2013) June 15***
Application Fee (2012) $55**
Acceptance Rate (2010) 57%**
Tuition and Fees (2011-2012) $6,828 in-state; $17,988 out-of-state**
Average Financial Aid Package (2011) $13,079****
Percent of Students With Need Met (2011)24.8%****
Average Student Debt at Graduation (2011) $14,549****
Student Loan Default Rate (2009) 5.2%**

Student Life at San Jose State University

SJSU is located in a large city in the heart of Silicon Valley. As an SJSU student, you can participate in a wide range of extracurricular activities, including NCAA Division I sports, aquatics, music, dance, theater, Greek life and cheerleading. SJSU is also home to the Ira F. Brilliant Center for Beethoven Studies, which holds the largest collection of Beethoven artifacts outside of Germany, including a lock of his hair.

More than 12 Olympic athletes call SJSU their alma mater. According to the school's website, 75% of graduates go on to live and work in the Bay Area. SJSU claims to be a national leader in graduating minority students.

Student Life Info
Campus Setting Large city
Student Population (2011) 24,804 undergraduate students, 5,432 graduate students**
Male-to-Female Student Ratio (2011) 49% to 51%**
% of Full-Time Students (2011) 81%**
% of In-State Students (2011)98%**
% of International Students (2011) 1%**
Retention Rate for Full-Time Students (2011) 87%**
Campus Housing Available Yes
% of Undergraduates Living On Campus (2011)8%***
Noteworthy The Ira F. Brilliant Center for Beethoven Studies houses the largest collection of Beethoven artifacts outside of Germany

Article Sources: *SJSU, **NCES College Navigator, ***College Board, ****U.S. News & World Report

Contact Information

  • Address: One Washington Square, San Jose, CA 95192-0011
  • Phone: 408-283-7500