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San Jose State University

Program Overview 

Location: San Jose, California
Culture: Innovative, diverse
Neighborhood: Spanish influenced, near beaches
Housing: On-campus dormitory
English level: Intermediate - advanced (progression available)

According to U.S. News & World Report, San Jose State University (SJSU) ranks No. 9 among all public universities in the Western United States. As the oldest California state university, SJSU has a tradition of innovation, award-winning faculty, and visionary teachers from local corporations across Silicon Valley.

San Jose State University is located in San Jose, California; the heart of Silicon Valley where firms and corporations like Apple and Google are headquartered. The city of San Jose is the third largest city in California and has preserved much of its history in its Spanish-colonial architecture and food. San Jose is a close distance to neighboring cities like San Francisco and Berkeley and to beautiful beaches like Santa Cruz and Carmel.

Moreover, the university offers the excitement of studying at a large, metropolitan campus where many cultures are brought together. SJSU is the 10th most diverse campus in the United States. SAF Scholars are likely to find someone on campus that speaks their language or is from their host country. With mild climate and more than 300 sunny days each year, students at SJSU spend most of their time outdoors.

Student Profile

SJSU is a good fit for SAF Scholars interested in joining a global campus community with high quality support services and friendly faculty. At SJSU, SAF Scholars can receive personalized advising prior to their arrival. SJSU advisors schedule skype or online calls with students to ensure that student needs are met even before arriving to campus. Students who attend SJSU are enthusiastic to study in a high-tech driven campus atmosphere that is enriched by cultural exchanges.

Other Programs at University

San Jose State University Language

Other Comparable Programs

San Francisco State University

Program Details

Program Dates by Term Availability

Fall (Late August - Mid December)
Spring (Late January - Late May)

Progression or Concurrent Notes

Progression: SAF Scholars who want to progress must achieve a “B” average in their courses and score 550+PBT toward the end of  term on institutional TOEFL. SAF Scholars who achieve a 71iBT TOEFL/6.0 IELTS before the beginning of the next semester can also progress to academic.

Concurrent: There is no concurrent option for SJSU academic; however, if an SAF Scholar would like to enroll in some ESL courses alongside their academic studies they will be admitted into the academic program and will work with their academic advisor to determine which language courses might be most useful.

Full time advanced students in the language program who meet the TOEFL requirement may be eligible to take 1-2 SJSU classes alongside the English classes. This would equate to 3-6 units of transferable university credit in a variety of subjects.

Program Strengths

SJSU Academic offers SAF scholars to work closely with an academic advisor to determine which courses will be most suitable and useful for the student.

# of Credits (per term)

SAF Scholars who are in their undergraduate career must enroll and maintain a minimum of 12–18 credit hours per semester. 12 credit hours is the common credit load for visiting students. SAF Scholar Graduates must enroll and maintain 9 credit hours per semester.

Course Registration Policies & Procedures

SAF Scholars enroll in courses during the first week of classes with the assistance of SJSU advisors. Enrollment in any specific SJSU course cannot be guaranteed.

Course/Departmental Restrictions

Some courses and departments have limited access. Therefore, SAF Scholars cannot enroll in the following courses prior to their arrival. However, if they choose, they can attend the course on their first day and check if there are any open seats and then obtain permission from the professor.
  • Aviation Studies
The following courses are impacted and are given priority to degree-seeking majors:
  • Courses within the school of Business
  • Dance
  • Design
  • Digital Media/ Arts
  • Drama/Dramatic Arts/Theatre
  • Courses within the school of Engineering 
  • Fashion/Textiles
  • Fine Arts/Studies Fine/Studio Arts
  • Graphic Design
  • Human Environment and Design

Graduate Courses

Graduate course availability varies per term. SAF Scholars will work with SJSU advisor prior to enrollment.

Housing Type

On-campus dormitory 


Meal plan not required, but advised to purchase 

Type of Room

Single, double, triple, studio
Student Life

Co-/Extra-Curricular Opportunities or Programs

SAF Scholars with have the opportunity in the yearly Silicon Valley Innovation Challenge competition where SAF Scholars who have a great idea or business plan. Winners of the competition receive cash rewards to further promote their innovation, but all participants receive mentorship and networking opportunities from SJSU faculty and industry professors through the process.

SJSU offers a Conversation Club where SAF Scholars can enhance their English speaking and listening skills in a casual and friendly environment on campus with other SJSU students. 

The Language and Cultural Exchange Program is available to SAF Scholars who would like to be paired up with another SJSU student wanting to learn about another language or culture.

Life on Campus

SJSU is an active, globally aware campus. Arts and culture are a vibrant part of the campus community. There are a number of performances and cultural events that SAF Scholars can attend each semester. The university campus is a short walk to charming downtown San Jose where many students grab a bite to eat, listen to live music and pick up fresh produce at the farmers market.
Last Updated: 1/9/19