Founded in 1897 as a training college for elementary school teachers, San Diego State University (SDSU) is the oldest and largest higher education institution in the surrounding area. It is the third largest university in the state of California.
Starting out with just seven faculty and 91 students meeting above a downtown drugstore, it is now a public research university that has around 7,700 faculty and staff and more than 35,000 students.
In its early days, the curriculum was limited to the study of English, history and mathematics. The modern SDSU now offers a vast range of subjects, comprising 91 undergraduate courses, 78 masters’ programmes and 22 doctoral degrees.
The university has a broad international outlook. Over 2,000 of its students annually take advantage of the 400 or so programs it offers in 67 countries worldwide. Additionally, SDSU welcomes more than 2,300 international students each year to its institution from a large variety of countries including China, Saudi Arabia and many European countries.
SDSU is a State Grant University and has been classified as a “research high” university by the Carnegie Foundation. It particularly prides itself on the programs it offers in business, engineering, public health and education, among others.
Since 2000 it has received more than $1 billion in grants and from other contracts, to be used for research and programme administration. It spends roughly $120 million a year on research.
Many of the university’s buildings are listed on the national register of historic places, including the central Hepner Hall, which can also be found on the university’s emblem and seal.
The university is also home to the Malcolm A. Love library, which comprises more than two million books, around 140,000 e-books, a modern media centre and 24/7 study rooms. It also acts as both a state and federal depository library.
SDSU has an alumni network more than 280,000 strong. Some notable people that went to the university include American actors Gregory Peck and Raquel Welch, and the CEO of Costco, Jim Sinegal.