San Diego State University

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#131, overall score 44.5/100

Fun Fact:

SDSU’s raucous student cheering section, called The Show, invented the now-common practice of waving giant cutouts of celebrities’ heads in order to distract opponents.

Why should Jewish students attend SDSU? SDSU is very unique in that Jewish students are encouraged by both major organizations on campus to get involved in everything Jewish. There are so many programs that they could get involved with and the energy is positive and comfortable. A Jewish student will feel at home at SDSU regardless of their background or affiliation — it’s just that great of a place. — Rabbi Chaim Boudjnah, Chabad at San Diego State University


  • Location: San Diego, Calif.
  • Region: West
  • Campus type: Big city
  • Public/Private: Public
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 29,853
  • Jewish undergraduate enrollment: 1,080
  • Jewish population share: 4%
  • Student origin: 90% in-state / 10% out-of-state
  • Student newspaper: The Daily ­Aztec
  • NCAA Division: I
  • NCAA team: Aztecs
  • Ultimate Frisbee teams: Federales / Gnomes

COST & AID Score: 6.67/15

  • Score: 6.67/15
  • In-state tuition: $7,460
  • Out-of-state tuition: $19,340
  • Room & board costs: $15,966
  • Average annual scholarship/grant package: $3,700
  • Average loan debt: $19,633
  • Starting median salary: $51,100
  • Scholarship for Jewish students: No

ACADEMICS Score: 5/20

  • Score: 5/20
  • Acceptance rate: 35%
  • Student/faculty ratio: 27:1
  • Median SAT range: 1090-1290
  • Jewish Studies program: Yes
  • Jewish Studies major: Yes
  • Hebrew major: No

ISRAEL Score: 10.67/20

  • Score: 10.67/20
  • Size of Birthright trip: 55
  • School-approved study abroad program in Israel: Yes
  • Israel Studies center: No
  • Israel-related clubs: Students Supporting Israel, IAC Mishelanu
  • BDS vote in last four years: Proposed, didn’t pass

SAFETY Score: 9/11

  • Score: 9/11
  • Anti-Semitic incidents in 2017: 0
  • Campus crime rate: 2.83/1,000 students (medium low)
  • City crime rate: 24.02/1,000 people (medium low)
  • LGBT center: Yes

JEWISH LIFE Score: 13.17/34

  • Score: 13.17/34
  • Hillel: Hillel at San Diego State University
  • Chabad: Chabad House
  • OU-JLIC: No
  • Jewish fraternities: AEPi, ZBT
  • Jewish sororities: None
  • Can you get kosher food on the school meal plan? No
  • Chicken soup hotline: Yes
  • Hillel Friday night services: 1
  • Average Shabbat attendance – Hillel: 75
  • Average Shabbat attendance – Chabad: 120
  • Synagogues within 10 miles: 6 (2 Orthodox, 3 Conservative, 1 Reform)
  • Eruv: Within 1 mile of campus
  • Most famous Jewish alum: Julie Kavner
  • Most unique/noteworthy club: Jewish Student Union and Students Supporting Israel are the two main groups that provide a range of social, educational, community service and Israel programs in which students can become involved.
  • Where do Jewish students come from? Mostly from California, Arizona and Nevada, though there are students from other states, as well. The number of out-of-state students has been increasing.
  • Kosher food details: There is no supervised kosher food on campus, but kosher food is available nearby. The Chabad house offers its own meal plan for daily meals Monday to Thursday, which costs $400 per semester.

Do you attend this school? Do you want to tell us more about what life there is like? Take our survey here, and your feedback could be featured in next year’s guide! And if you’re a student or campus professional, join our online community Jewish Campus Confidential, and apply to become a Forward Campus Ambassador.

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