Campus Visit: San Jose State University

Tower Hall Best
Tower Hall

On May 2, 2014, I visited the San Jose State University (SJSU) campus in San Jose, California. SJSU was founded in 1857 as the Minn’s Normal School in San Francisco and moved to the current location in 1870. San Jose State University is the oldest public university on the West Coast. It is part of the California State University system.

San Jose State University currently has over 30,000 students. Approximately 25,000 of the students are pursuing undergraduate degrees. The average class size for lower division courses is 35 and 26 for upper division courses. SJSU is the largest university in the Silicon Valley.

The SJSU campus is located in downtown San Jose. The campus is 154 acres and covers 19 city blocks. The campus has 23 academic buildings and seven residence halls. SJSU’s one library is jointly shared with the city of San Jose. The Martin Luther King, Jr. library is the first in the country to be funded, managed and operated by a city and a major university. The campus is located less than five miles from the San Jose International Airport and approximately one hour from San Francisco.

MLK Library
Martin Luther King, Jr. Library

San Jose State University offers 69 bachelor’s degrees with 81 concentrations. Most students will be able to find a major that they will enjoy studying at SJSU.

  • Most popular majors include Business, Engineering, Visual and Performing Arts, Nursing, Education, Psychology, Kinesiology, Journalism and Computer Science.
  • Programs that are unique at San Jose State include Aviation Science, Transportation Management, Meteorology and Sustainable and Green Manufacturing Technology.
  • Silicon Valley firms employ more graduates of SJSU than from any other university in the country.
  • Forbes has ranked SJSU as one of the top 20 “Colleges that will make you rich.”
  • The Davidson College of Engineering ranked as Silicon Valley industry’s first choice for new engineering hires by the Silicon Valley Business Journal (2012).
  • SJSU is the number one supplier of education, engineering, computer science and business graduates to Silicon Valley.
  • SJSU is a national leader in graduating minority students.
  • 90% of SJSU students taking the NCLEX (National Council Licensure Examination for Nursing) exam passed the test on the first attempt.
  • Ranked among the top 200 university in the nation for total research spending (National Science Foundation).
  • A research partner with NASA Ames Research Center.

San Jose State University
San Jose State University Campus

Student Activities
With over 30,000 students, the SJSU campus always has something going on. Unlike many large state universities where students go home on the weekends, the SJSU campus is usually bursting with activities.

  • Nearly 400 recognized student organizations
  • 43 fraternity and sororities
  • Numerous leadership opportunities and leadership development programs
  • The SJSU Spartans compete in the Mountain West Conference (MWC) at the NCAA Division I Level. Spartans compete in men’s baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf and soccer. Women Spartans compete in basketball, cross grounty, golf, gymnastics, soccer, softball, tennis, volleyball, water polo, track & field and swimming & diving.

Olympic Statues
Olympics Statue

Students apply to San Jose State University using the CSUMentor, the application for all universities in the California State University system. The application fee is $55, or students can obtain an application fee waiver (available on the CSUMentor website). The application for all CSUs opens on October 1 and must be submitted by November 30. Students must complete the A-G requirements with a C- or better in high school, submit SAT or ACT test scores and meet the minimum eligibility index (combination of GPA and official SAT/ACT scores).

SJSU is a somewhat selective college and admitted 65% of the applicants that applied for Fall 2013.

SJSU is a state university, so the cost of attendance is on the low side.  Tuition for the 2014-2015 academic year is $7,484 (and an additional $372 per unit for out-of-state students). Housing is $13,350 for the academic year.  SJSU students are eligible all federal and state grants and loans.  In addition, SJSU offers many scholarships.

Shaded Walkway
SJSU Campus

Who Would Fit?
As I walked around campus and explored the classrooms and buildings, it is clear that SJSU could be a good fit for both students that are shy and those that want to be very involved. Shy students can be a face in the crowd because of the number of students in classes and involved in activities. But, students that want to make a name for them can do so as well because of the active student life population. The majority of students that attend SJSU are from California, but the number of out of state students is slowly growing.

Campus Tour
Campus Tour

Interested in SJSU? Find out more!
SJSU offers campus visits daily. You can also sign up to receive more information and be notified of important information.

New and Old
More pictures of SJSU campus here

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