The University of San Francisco was founded by Jesuits in October of 1855, making it the city’s first university. It has grown from three students when the university first opened its doors to 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students as of 2012. Like its Jesuit founders, the school is committed to providing each student with an education that is both high-quality and globally-minded.
One of USF’s goals is to make Jesuit-influenced education relevant to students in the 21st century. In accordance with Jesuit principles, USF educates students of all walks of life and therefore all faiths. Students who wish to explore Jesuit or Ignatian spirituality may participate in many ways, from individual consultations to peer retreats and community service opportunities. Everyone attending USF must enroll in a service learning course in order to do their part to advance the university’s mission to facilitate social justice.
Student life at USF is rich. Students may join one of 100 clubs, from Greek organizations to choir and theater performance groups, or cheer on the San Francisco Dons in various men’s and women’s sports including basketball, golf, soccer, and tennis. USF students also have good cause to get off-campus regularly. In 2011, San Francisco was named the best college town in the United States due to its arts, diversity, entrepreneurial activity, and capacity for research. And for students who are interested in study off-campus for a semester, the possibilities are even greater–USF is affiliated with over 50 study abroad programs worldwide.
USF has five main schools: the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Education, the School of Law, the School of Management, and the School of Nursing and Health Professions. Through these, the university makes available more than 50 undergraduate, 50 master’s, and 10 Ph.D. programs, as well as many non-degree certificate programs. USF’s branch campuses in downtown San Francisco, San Jose, Sacramento, Pleasanton, and Santa Rosa hold weekly evening and weekend classes in order to accommodate students with full-time responsibilities at home or work.
Graduate students who need distance learning options can choose from several online graduate programs offered by The University of San Francisco Online. Online degrees include three master’s degree programs: teaching English to speakers of other languages (MATESOL), public administration, and nursing. Each of these programs can be completed in two years and students can begin University of San Francisco classes online at the start of each spring, summer, and fall semester. These programs are among the best offered online. Like their on-campus corollaries, these classes are small, led by a distinguished member of the USF faculty, and embody the Jesuit values of social justice and diversity.