San Diego State University Admissions Data

Learn About SDSU and the GPA, SAT Scores and ACT Scores You'll Need to Get In

Hepner Hall at SDSU. Photo Credit: Marisa Benjamin

San Diego State University (SDSU) is a selective school, due in large part to the sheer number of applicants each year. Between the low acceptance rate and grade/test score requirements, students will need a strong application in order to be considered for acceptance. Those interested will need to submit an application that includes official high school transcripts and SAT or ACT scores.

Why You Might Choose San Diego State University

Part of the California State University system, San Diego State University is the third largest university in California. The 293-acre campus is located on the northeastern edge of the city. The college ranks highly for study abroad, and SDSU students have a choice of 190 study abroad programs. The university has an active Greek system with over 50 fraternities and sororities. Business Management is the most popular major at SDSU, but the school's strengths in the liberal arts and sciences earned it a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa. In athletics, the San Diego State Aztecs compete in the NCAA Division I Mountain West Conference.


San Diego State GPA, SAT and ACT Data for Admission
San Diego State GPA, SAT Scores and ACT Scores for Admission. See the real-time graph and calculate your chances of getting in with this free tool from Cappex. Data courtesy of Cappex.

Discussion of SDSU's Admissions Standards:

SDSU, San Diego State University is one of the larger and more selective of the campuses in the California State University System. Roughly one-third of applicants get accepted. The green and blue dots in the above graph represent accepted students. The majority of successful applicants had "B+" averages or higher, SAT scores (RW+M) of 950 or higher, and ACT scores of 20 or better. Higher grades and test scores improve your chances of admission significantly. You'll notice that some students with lower grades and scores were accepted, and also that there are many spots of red (rejected students) in the middle of the graph. Some students with grades and test scores that seem to be on target for San Diego State University will still get rejected.

What makes the difference between an acceptance and a rejection? Unlike the University of California System, the California State University admission process is not holistic. Except for EOP students, applicants do not need to submit letters of recommendation or an application essay, and extracurricular involvement is not part of the standard application. Thus, the reason why an applicant with adequate scores and grades would be rejected tends to come down to a couple factors such as insufficient college preparatory classes, high school classes that weren't challenging, or an incomplete application.

Admissions Data (2016)

  • San Diego State University Acceptance Rate: 35%

Test Scores -- 25th / 75th Percentile

  • SAT Critical Reading: 490 / 600
  • SAT Math: 510 / 620
  • SAT Writing: - / -
  • ACT Composite: 23 / 28
  • ACT English: 22 / 28
  • ACT Math: 23 / 28

More San Diego State University Information

As you come up with your college wish list, be sure to consider factors such as cost, financial aid, and graduation rate.

Costs (2016 - 17)

  • Tuition and Fees: $7,084 (in-state); $18,244 (out-of-state)
  • Books: $1,818 (why so much?)
  • Room and Board: $14,812
  • Other Expenses: $2,880
  • Total Cost: $26,594 (in-state); $37,754 (out-of-state)

San Diego State University Financial Aid (2015 - 16)

  • Percentage of New Students Receiving Aid: 62%
  • Percentage of New Students Receiving Types of Aid
    • Grants: 52%
    • Loans: 33%
  • Average Amount of Aid
    • Grants: $7,436
    • Loans: $6,495

Academic Programs

  • Most Popular Majors: Art, Biology, Business Administration, Criminal Justice Studies, Health and Physical Education, Nursing, Political Science, Psychology, Speech and Rhetorical Studies

Graduation, Retention and Transfer Rates

  • First Year Student Retention (full-time students): 89%
  • Transfer Out Rate: 2%
  • 4-Year Graduation Rate: 34%
  • 6-Year Graduation Rate: 73%

Intercollegiate Athletic Programs

  • Men's Sports: Football, Soccer, Tennis, Golf, Basketball, Baseball
  • Women's Sports: Rowing, Soccer, Swimming, Volleyball, Basketball, Track and Field, Lacrosse

If You Like San Diego State, Be Sure to Check Out These Other Schools

Applicants to San Diego State University often look at other schools in Southern California including the University of San Diego, CSU Long Beach, UCLA, and UCSD. Realize that the University of California schools tend to be quite a bit more selective than the Cal State schools.

Other popular choices among SDSU applicants are Arizona State University, UC Santa Cruz, and Cal State Fullerton.

Data Source: Graph courtesy of Cappex. All other data from the National Center for Educational Statistics.