The University of San Francisco is a private, coeducational, Jesuit Catholic institution located in San Francisco, California. Established by Jesuits in October of 1855, the University of San Francisco (often abbreviated USF) was the city’s first university. Originally known as St. Ignatius Academy, the school began with only 3 students when it first opened its doors; that number quickly grew to 65 by the year 1858 and in 1859 the State of California granted the college its charter. Today, the University of San Francisco has been recognized as one of the “Best Western Colleges” (The Princeton Review). Located on a 55 acre campus, the University is located on top of a hill next to Golden Gate Park, overlooking downtown San Francisco and the Pacific Ocean.
Academic ProgramsThe University of San Francisco’s vision is to be “internationally recognized as a premier Jesuit Catholic, urban university with a global perspective that educates leaders who will fashion a more humane and just world.” The University’s mission is to “promote learning in the Jesuit Catholic tradition.” USF is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and has been so since 1949.
The University of San Francisco offers more than 100 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in a variety of fields. The University is comprised of several schools and a college, including the College of Arts & Sciences, the School of Education, the School of Law, the School of Management, and the School of Nursing & Health Professions. Programs are also offered at several off-campus locations including in Orange County, Pleasanton, Sacramento, San Jose, and Santa Rosa plus as well as Online Education options. USF students may also choose from more than 120 study abroad programs which are available in over 50 countries.
Student LifeThe University of San Francisco boasts a highly diverse student body and has a total enrollment figure of nearly 11,000, including well over 6,500 undergraduate students – more than 35% of students are the first in their families to attend college. Student housing is offered through one off- and at least half a dozen on-campus residence halls. These include gender-inclusive housing options as well as several living-learning communities which allow students of a particular major or interest to live together on a designated floor.
The University of San Francisco recognizes more than 100 undergraduate student clubs and organizations which cater to a wide range of professional and academic interests. These and other campus events and activities provide students with valuable opportunities to interact with one another outside of the classroom and to develop leadership qualities and skills. An NCAA Division I-AAA school, USF fields several varsity athletic teams which compete in the West Coast Conference. USF has won nearly a dozen national championships since 1949, including in soccer, basketball and tennis.