San Diego State University Acceptance Rate | Strategies and Insights for Admission Success 2024

In the admissions cycle for the incoming Class of 2026, San Diego State University witnessed an unprecedented surge, receiving a record-breaking 76,000+ first-year undergraduate applications. When factoring in transfer students, this number surpassed 99,000. The applications weren’t limited to local residents, as candidates from all 50 states and 74 countries sought admission to this member of the California State University system. The broad geographic reach of applicants highlights San Diego State University’s transformation into a highly sought-after postsecondary institution. With a mere 38% acceptance rate, the university has clearly established itself as a selective and coveted destination for prospective students.

What is the San Diego State University acceptance rate?

In the pursuit of a spot in the Class of 2025, the university encountered a whopping 67,602 freshman applications. Out of this pool, 25,610 were admitted, resulting in an acceptance rate of 38%. This rate closely mirrors the 37% admit rate for the preceding Class of 2024.

Notably, the admission process tends to be more favorable for out-of-state applicants in comparison to local residents. For the Class of 2024, the out-of-state acceptance rate stood impressively high at 82%, while California residents faced a more competitive landscape with an acceptance rate of just 33%. This disparity underscores the varying admission dynamics for in-state and out-of-state candidates.

What is the SDSU GPA, SAT and ACT?

Students who commenced their academic journey at SDSU in the 2022-23 school year showcased an impressive academic profile, boasting an average GPA of 3.87. Among this cohort, one-third held a stellar GPA of 4.0 or above, while a substantial 65% maintained a GPA of 3.75 or higher. Academic achievements were further highlighted as 24% secured positions in the top decile of their high school class, 61% were situated in the top quartile, and a noteworthy 91% ranked in the top half.

Although SAT scores no longer play a role in the admissions process, the mid-50% range for last year’s incoming class reflected scores between 1130 and 1320. This information provides insight into the caliber of academic excellence and achievements that SDSU seeks in its student body.

What is the admissions trends at SDSU?

In May 2022, the California State University (CSU) system made a pivotal decision, voting to eliminate SATs and ACTs from the admissions evaluation process.

Among the Class of 2025, a significant 22% comprised first-generation students, marking a commitment to fostering inclusivity and diversity within the student body. Moreover, 40% of the most recent freshman class represented members of underrepresented minority groups, highlighting the university’s dedication to creating a diverse and representative campus community.

Demonstrating growth, freshman enrollment experienced a notable increase from 4,798 in fall 2020 to 5,236 in fall 2021, indicating a heightened interest and demand for admission to the institution.

Interestingly, transfer students faced a more competitive landscape in the last cycle, with an acceptance rate of under 30%, lower than the admission rate for first-year applicants. This underscores the nuanced dynamics involved in the admission process for different student cohorts at the university.

What is the admissions criteria at SDSU?

San Diego State University places significant emphasis on two factors deemed “very important” in their admissions process: the rigor of the secondary school record and GPA. Additionally, the university rates state residency and geographical residence as “important” factors. Extracurricular activities are the sole items categorized as “considered,” while all other elements, including essays, recommendations, test scores, and work experience, are explicitly noted as “not considered.”

According to the admissions office, San Diego State University’s holistic approach takes into account a diverse range of factors for each applicant. The university seeks to admit students who not only exhibit academic prowess but also demonstrate the potential to contribute to SDSU’s vibrant and diverse community. The student body at SDSU is characterized by a rich tapestry of backgrounds, interests, and passions.

Applicants are required to choose a major when applying to SDSU, and all majors are considered competitive due to more applicants than available spots—a condition known as “impaction” by the CSU. While the admissions process evaluates all college-prep coursework undertaken during high school, particular attention is given to performance and the number of units completed in courses most relevant to predicted success in the intended academic discipline.

Special consideration is extended to applicants who have overcome significant life obstacles, participated in college preparatory programs, and attend high schools within SDSU’s local admission area. This approach underscores the university’s commitment to inclusivity and recognizing the diverse paths students take to academic success.

Final Tips for Success

For those aspiring to become part of the nearly 76,000+ prospective Aztecs in the upcoming admissions cycle, it’s crucial to be aware of the following:

  1. Application Period: Applications are accepted between October 1 and December 15, providing a defined timeframe for prospective students to submit their materials.
  2. Application Platform: The application process is conducted through Cal State Apply, streamlining the submission and review of applications.
  3. A-G Requirements: To qualify as a first-year student at SDSU, meeting the A-G requirements is imperative, ensuring that applicants possess a strong academic foundation.
  4. Demonstrated Interest: While San Diego State University officially states that they do not consider “demonstrated interest” in the admissions process, it’s worth noting that the university has a low yield rate and places some reliance on Early Decision (ED) applicants. Therefore, engaging with the university through actions such as campus visits (in non-pandemic times), contacting admissions officers, and following them on social media may be beneficial.
  5. Waitlist: If you find yourself on the waitlist, it’s important to remain hopeful. In the previous year, approximately 10% of those who accepted a place on the waitlist eventually received acceptance. In the preceding year, this figure was notably higher at 38%, emphasizing that persistence can pay off for waitlisted applicants.


San Diego State University requires careful consideration and proactive engagement with the admissions process. Aspiring Aztecs should take note of the designated application period, utilize the Cal State Apply platform for submissions, and ensure they meet the essential A-G requirements for eligibility.

While SDSU officially states that “demonstrated interest” is not a factor in admissions, the university’s low yield rate and reliance on Early Decision applicants suggest that additional efforts such as campus visits, outreach to admissions officers, and social media engagement could potentially enhance one’s application.

For those finding themselves on the waitlist, maintaining hope is crucial. Recent years have seen a percentage of waitlisted individuals eventually securing admission, emphasizing the importance of perseverance in the face of uncertainty. With these considerations in mind, prospective students can navigate the admissions process with informed confidence, aspiring to become part of the dynamic and diverse community at San Diego State University.