San Jose State University

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Updated August 6, 2020

San Jose State University has the distinction of being one of the oldest colleges in California as well as being one of the oldest colleges in the western United States. Founded in 1857 as the Minns Evening Normal School, it initially appealed to students who thought they didn't have time to go to school. It offered classes that met at night for those who wanted to work as teachers. To meet the needs of more traditional students, the school added daytime classes and changed its name to the California State Normal School. Many of the students enrolled during its early years were young women. The school became a state teachers college in the early 1920s and then a state college in the 1930s. It also operated as California State University, San Jose for a brief period in the 1970s. San Jose State University is still part of the California State University school system but uses a separate name today.

Like other schools, the university has seven on-site colleges that each feature different departments and programs for students who want to major and minor in subjects in business, education, engineering and science. The university also added several specialized schools that allow students to focus on journalism, nursing, social work and other specific fields of study. There are approximately 69 degree programs for undergrads, three doctoral programs and 65 majors for graduate students. Graduate students can pick concentrations in 29 fields, while undergrads have access to 81 different minors. U.S. News & World Report ranked San Jose State University as the 33rd best college in the western region, and Forbes ranked the university as one of the top colleges in America.

San Jose State University Accreditation Details

No matter what you want to study, the odds are good that San Jose State University has accreditation for that program. More than 20 of the degree programs that this university offers has accreditation, including those in nursing, business, music, journalism and health education. Those types of accreditation come from organizations and groups like the Accreditation Board for Engineering & Technology, Inc. (ABET), Accrediting Council on Journalism and Mass Communications and Planning Accreditation Board. The American Library Association accredited all its programs in library science as well as all related programs that prepare students for working in community and school settings. San Jose State University also has regional accreditation, which comes from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).

San Jose State University Application Requirements

San Jose State University has a department that is responsible for reviewing all the applications that it receives each year. Those working in this department look at factors like the amount of real life or professional experience that you have as well as your test scores and the college classes you took. To qualify for one of its graduate programs, you must have a bachelor's degree from an accredited university or college. If you do not already have your degree, you must be on track to graduate and be in good academic standing with that school. You will also need to have a grade point average of at least 2.5 over the course of the last two years.

The university opens its application window in October of the year prior for the following fall semester. When you get your application in sooner, you have a better chance of getting a spot in one of its graduate programs. You can apply online and pay the $55 application fee with either a PayPal account or a credit card. San Jose State University may ask for a resume, standardized test score, writing sample and/or letters of recommendation too.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Unlike other colleges that charge one rate for full-time students and a per credit hour rate for part-time students, San Jose State University charges a flat rate. Full-time students taking more than six credit hours pay around $5,700, but part-time students taking fewer than six credit hours of work will pay around $4,200. You will also pay fees of close to $2,000 that allow you to visit the campus health center, use the student activity center and take advantage of other resources on the SJSU campus. Don't forget to factor in the cost of textbooks and other supplies too.

While you might think that graduate students do not qualify for a lot of aid, SJSU offers a number of financial aid options for those in graduate school. The most common type of aid is a loan. With unsubsidized loans, you can borrow a set amount based on your year in college, though most loans only go to full-time students. There are alternative loans available to grad students and their parents as well as loans designed just for parents and guardians. SJSU can also help you find a job working for one of its professors or another position on campus and help you learn if you qualify for grants. You'll need to provide the school with the FAFSA to receive school assistance.

School of Information Programs

All the library science programs that San Jose State University offers are available through its School of Information. The most popular program is its Master of Library and Information Science program, which awards graduates an MLIS degree. This program requires that you take 43 units of classes. Required courses include online learning: tools and strategies for success, information retrieval system design, applied research methods and advanced topics in library and information science. The university also offers electives designed for those who want to work in government centers, schools and other settings. You'll also need to do a thesis. SJSU recommends that library science majors do an internship too.

Related Resource: Top 30 Affordable Online Master's in Library Science Degree Programs

While working on your degree, you have the chance to earn your credentials or a certificate. The university offers certificates in big data and in digital assets and services. You need to take 31 units to earn your teacher librarian credential, but some of those credits will count towards your MLIS degree. There is also a Master of Archives and Records Administration degree program available for those who want to work for museums and research centers. San Jose State University added a MLIS certificate program for students who have a master's degree in another field and want to work in the library science field.

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