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San José State University College Portrait

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San José State University

San José State University is a major, comprehensive public university located in the center of San José and in the heart of Silicon Valley. SJSU is the oldest state university in California. Its distinctive character has been forged by its long history, by its location, and by its vision - a blend of the old and the new, of the traditional and the innovative. Among its most prized traditions is an uncompromising commitment to offer access to higher education to all persons who meet the criteria for admission, yielding a stimulating mix of age groups, cultures, and economic backgrounds for teaching, learning, and research. SJSU takes pride in and is firmly committed to teaching and learning, with a faculty that is active in scholarship, research, technological innovation, community service, and the arts.


Living in the San José State Community

Graphic Silhouette of College Students

Located in the heart of Silicon Valley, the world’s high-tech capital, San José State University is an exceptional place to pursue undergraduate or graduate study. From its beautiful, tree-lined campus in downtown San José, the university sends more business, engineering, education and computer science graduates into Silicon Valley than any other school. Serving a student body of more than 34,000, San José State offers degrees in more than 134 programs and concentrations. Students benefit from the excitement of studying at a large, urban university—a true crossroads of cultures—in the nation’s 10th largest city. Yet they enjoy the personal attention of faculty within the smaller setting of the university’s seven colleges. Founded in 1857, SJSU is the oldest public institution of higher education on the West Coast. Today the university is recognized for its award-winning faculty, high-achieving students, cutting-edge programs and innovative collaborations with the community and the corporate world.


The Big Picture: How many students were on campus in Fall 2015?

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Undergraduate and Graduate Student Total
Total Students 32,773

Undergraduate Snapshot

Undergraduate Student Demographic Breakdown
Total Undergraduate Students 26,822
Women 12,810 48%
Men 14,012 52%
American Indian / Alaskan Native 41 <1%
Asian 9,652 36%
African American / Black 905 3%
Hispanic 6,843 26%
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander 106 <1%
White 5,132 19%
Two or More Races 1,420 5%
International 1,654 6%
Race/Ethnicity Not Reported 1,069 4%
Geographic Distribution (Degree-Seeking)
Where do SJSU undergraduates call home?
California 95%
Other US States & Territories 1%
Other Countries 4%
How old are SJSU undergraduates?
Average Age 23
Percent of Undergraduates Age 25 or Older 20%

New Student Applications (Fall 2015)

Of the 30,586 new freshman applicants, 55% were admitted and 20% of the admitted students enrolled at San José State University in Fall 2015.
Of the 15,890 transfer applicants, 60% were admitted and 37% of the admitted students enrolled at San José State University in Fall 2015.

New Freshmen High School Background and Test Scores

Test(s) Required for Admission: SAT or ACT recommended

Shows middle 50% of testing range
Test Scores of Enrolled New Freshmen ACT SAT
Composite 20 - 26  
Math 20 - 27 470 - 610
English 19 - 25  
Critical Reading   450 - 570
50% of admitted students have test scores within the ranges listed, 25% have scores above, and 25% have scores below.
High School Preparation
High School Background of Enrolled New Freshmen
Percent in top of graduating class Data Not Available
Average High School GPA (4-point scale) 3.40
Percent who submitted High School GPA 99%

Sticker Price: How much does it cost on average?

Typical Undergraduate Costs for without Financial Aid (Full-Time, In-State Students)

Total Typical Cost of Attendance: $26,294

Out-of-State & Other Costs

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The cost to attend San José State University varies based on the individual circumstances of students and may be reduced through grants and scholarships.

How much would I pay?

Financial Aid: How much help is there to pay?

Scholarships & Grants

  • <1% of full-time undergraduates received need-based grants or scholarships; the average award for the year was $0. Scholarships and grants are financial aid that does not need to be repaid and is sometimes referred to as gift aid.

Annual Need-Based Loans

  • <1% of full-time undergraduates received need-based work-study and/or loans (not including parent loans); the average loan for the year was $0. Loans need to be repaid. Typically, repayment starts once you are no longer enrolled full-time. Please refer to page 12 of the Funding Education Beyond High School guide on the US Department of Education's Federal Student Aid website for more information about Financial Need.

Percent of 2014 Full-time Beginning Students Receiving Each Type of Financial Aid

NOTE: Students may receive aid from more than one source.


SJSU Classes & Instructors

Classroom Environment
Students per Faculty 23 to 1
Undergraduate classes with fewer than 30 students 49%
Undergraduate classes with fewer than 50 students 84%
Total Full-Time Instructional Faculty 687
% of Full-Time Instructional Faculty Who Are Female 49%
% of Full-Time Instructional Faculty Who Are Persons of Color 10%
% of Full-Time Instructional Faculty Who Have the Highest Academic Degree Offered in Their Field of Study Data Not Available

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Campus-based Housing

56% of new freshmen live in campus-based housing or residence halls.
13% of all undergraduates live on campus

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Campus Safety

The safety and security of students, faculty and staff at San Jose State is the full-time responsibility of the University Police Department. A force of 32 sworn positions provides protection of the campus itself, ensures the orderly flow of traffic and enforces parking regulations. UPD officers patrol near campus, where many students live, and works with other police agencies on enforcement and investigation.

Campus Crime Statistics


Carnegie Classification of Institutional Characteristics

The Carnegie Classification's were created "to reference the great diversity of colleges and universities in the United States, and ... enable [people] to identify groups of roughly comparable institutions." For information on the Carnegie Classifications system, please visit their website: http://classifications.carnegiefoundation.org/

Basic Type
Master's Colleges and Universities (larger programs)
Size and Setting
Medium four-year, primarily nonresidential
Enrollment Profile
High undergraduate
Undergraduate Profile
Medium full-time four-year, selective, higher transfer-in
Undergraduate Instructional Program
Balanced arts & sciences/professions, high graduate coexistence
Graduate Instructional Program
Postbaccalaureate comprehensive

NOTE: Institutional classifications based on the Carnegie 2005 edition.

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Student Activities and Involvement at SJSU

Students who are actively involved in their own learning and development are more likely to be successful in college. Colleges and universities offer students a wide variety of opportunities both inside and outside the classroom to become engaged with new ideas, people, and experiences. Institutions measure the effectiveness of these opportunities in a variety of ways to better understand what types of activities and programs students find the most helpful.

Institutions participating in the VSA program measure student involvement on campus using one of four national surveys. Results from the one survey are reported for a common set of questions selected as part of VSA. Following are the selected results from the National Survey of Student Engagement v2 (NSSE2). The questions have been grouped together in categories that are known to contribute to student learning and development. The results reported below are based on the responses of seniors who participated in the survey.

Group Learning Experiences

  • 98% of senior worked with other students on course projects (1h)
  • 98% of seniors explained course material to one or more students (1f)
  • 24% of seniors spent at least 6 hours per week participating in co-curricular activities such as student organizations and intramural sports (15b)

Active Learning Experiences

  • 87% of seniors spent at least 6 hours per week preparing for class (15a)
  • 15% of seniors worked on a research project with a faculty member (11e)
  • 41% of seniors participated in an internship, co-op, field experience, student teaching, or clinical placement (11a)
  • 20% of seniors spent at least 6 hours doing community service or volunteer work (15e)
  • 7% of seniors participated in study abroad (11d)
  • 92% of seniors made at least one course presentation last year (1i)

Institutional Commitment to Student Learning and Success

  • 94% of seniors who believe this institution emphasizes providing support to help students succeed academically (14b)
  • 64% of seniors who rated the quality of interactions with academic advisors to be positive (13b)
  • 63% of seniors reported that this institution provided help in coping with work, family and other non-academic responsibilities (14g)
  • 85% of seniors reporting that their course challenged them to do their best work most of the time (10)

Student Interaction with Campus Faculty and Staff

  • 91% of seniors reported that faculty members provided prompt and detailed feedback on tests or completed assignments (5e)
  • 70% of seniors discussed course topics, ideas, or concepts with a faculty member outside of class (3c)

Experiences with Diverse Groups of People and Ideas

  • 69% of seniors reported that they often tried to understand someone else's point of view (2e)
  • 89% of seniors reported their experiences at this institution contributed to their understanding people of other backgrounds (17h)
  • 84% of seniors often had serious conversations with students of a different race or ethnicity (8a)

Student Satisfaction

  • 79% of seniors would attend this institution if they started over again (19)
  • 80% of seniors rated their entire educational experience as good or excellent (18)
  • 84% of seniors who rated the quality of interactions with other students to be positive (13a)
  • 75% of seniors who rated the quality of interactions with faculty to be positive (13c)

Evaluation of Experiences

Survey Administration Process

Survey Information


Majors and Degrees

Degrees awarded at San José State University in 2014-15
Degrees awarded at San José State University in 2014-15
Bachelor's 5,281
Master's 2,631
Total 7,912

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Areas of Study with the largest number of bachelor's degrees awarded in 2014-15
Areas of Study with the largest number of bachelor's degrees awarded in 2014-15
Business Administration, Management and Operations. 23%
Psychology, General. 6%
Fine and Studio Arts. 5%
Teacher Education and Professional Development, Specific Levels and Methods. 4%
Communication and Media Studies. 4%
Links to degree programs at San José State University
Links to degree programs at San José State University




Future Plans of Bachelor's Degree Recipients

Survey Response Rate: 30%

Survey Administration Process


Student Success & Progress Rate

A 93% four-year success and progress rate means that 93% of students starting in Fall 2009 either graduated or are still enrolled at a higher education institution four years later.

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Counts for the Fall 2009 entering class shown in the graph above.
  • 2,621 First-Time, Full-Time Students
  • 1,436 Full-Time Transfer Students

Success & Progress Rate Table


Retention of Freshman Class

First-time students in Fall 2014 that returned for their second year: 86%

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Student Learning at San José State University

All colleges and universities use multiple approaches to measure student learning. Many of these are specific to particular disciplines, many are coordinated with accrediting agencies, and many are based on outcomes after students have graduated.

Learning Assessment Examples


Pilot Project to Measure Core Learning Outcomes

Colleges and universities participating in the College Portrait measure the typical improvement in students' abilities to think, reason, and write using one of three tests. This is part of a pilot project to better understand and compare what students learn between their freshman and senior years at different colleges and universities.