San Francisco Colleges and Schools

San Francisco is probably best known for its foodie culture, pleasantly cool weather, rolling hills, infamous fog, and close proximity to Silicon Valley, the mecca of technology startups. Students can thrive in a big city environment with a vast amount of culture to stimulate their creativity.

This city also in interested in increasing access to higher education. Its Free City initiative waives enrollment fees for any City College of San Francisco student who has California residency and currently lives in the city.

Fun Facts about Trade and Technical Schools in San Francisco

Founded in 1935, City College of San Francisco is the only community college in the city, but the school offers career and technical education in a vast number of fields across its 11 campuses, including culinary arts, dental assisting, and nursing. The school is also well-known for its online classes and hybrid course offerings for students in need of a more flexible schedule.

San Francisco colleges can also be a hub for creative arts students, as the city is home to the Academy of Art University, American Conservatory Theater, San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and a campus of the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising.

Fun Facts about San Francisco Colleges and Universities

The University of San Francisco, founded by Jesuits in 1855, was the first university established in the city. Nicknamed "The Hilltop," it sits upon Lone Mountain, one of the city's major geographical features. Popular majors at USF include marketing, nursing, and finance.

The largest public colleges in San Francisco are San Francisco State University and the University of California, San Francisco. UCSF is dedicated entirely to health sciences and is a major hub for medical and biological research, while SFSU students gravitate toward communications and journalism, visual and performing arts, social sciences, and biomedical sciences.

Graduate Schools in San Francisco

A number of universities in San Francisco offer graduate-level programs. USF, SFSU, and UCSF each offers dozens of master's programs in a variety of fields, including business, biology, education, psychology, and specific cultural or religious studies. Doctoral programs are available as well.

Other universities in San Francisco that offer advanced degree programs include UC Hastings School of Law and Presidio Graduate School. Students at Presidio can pursue an MBA or MPA separately or as a dual degree option.

To learn more about higher education options in the state, see our list of California colleges.


  • Academic Programs, SFSU, Accessed October 2018,
  • Courses and Programs, City College of San Francisco, Accessed October 2018,
  • Education Overview, UCSF, Accessed October 2018,
  • Find Your Graduate Program, SFSU, Accessed October 2018,
  • Free City College Program, City College of San Francisco, Accessed October 2018,
  • Graduate Division Programs, UCSF, Accessed October 2018,
  • Graduate Programs, University of San Francisco, Accessed October 2018,
  • Our History, University of San Francisco, Accessed October 2018,
Education Institutes in San Francisco
Total Number of Educational Institutes
Total Enrollment in all institutes
Number of Public Educational Institutes
Number of Private For-Profit Institutes
Number of Private Non-Profit Institutes
Graduation Rate
Total Graduates With Bachelors Degree
On Campus and Online Programs in San Francisco
Number of Institutes Offering on-campus programs
Number of Institutes Offering on-line programs
Number of Institutes Offering both

Source: Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2018-19, National Center for Education Statistics,
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