University of San Francisco

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Updated August 7, 2020

The University of San Francisco appears in our ranking of the 10 Most Affordable Doctorate in English Language Learning Online 2018.

The University of San Francisco is one of the largest institutions of higher learning in central California in terms of both enrollment and overall size. Established as St. Ignatius Academy in 1855, the school began offering degree programs just a few years after opening, which led to it adopting the St. Ignatius College name. The school briefly became the University of St. Ignatius before reverting back to St. Ignatius College. It wasn't until 1930 that it became the University of San Francisco. This helped the university reflect the commitment that it had to the community at large. Usually called USF today, the university retains an affiliation with the Roman Catholic Church.

USF has a main campus that it calls its Hilltop campus in San Francisco. Students can also take classes on other campuses and earn credit towards a degree. The university also operates campuses in downtown San Francisco, Orange County, Sacramento, San Jose, Pleasanton and Santa Rosa. Students also take classes on its Presidio campus.

Washington Monthly ranks USF as the 110th best college in the United States and as the 30th best school for its service learning opportunities. U.S. News & World Report also ranks the university on some of its best lists, including the best colleges in America, the most diverse American schools and one of the top options for international students. USF has an enrollment of more than 4,000 graduate and doctoral students and more than 6,800 undergrads.

University of San Francisco Accreditation Details

The Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) granted regional accreditation to USF. This also goes by the name of institutional accreditation because it gives the university the right to create degree programs and award graduates a degree. Regional accreditation of this type also allows students of all ages to use the FAFSA and apply for financial aid. They can also transfer credits between any two schools that both have regional accreditation, though the university has some rules in place regarding the credits that it will accept.

University of San Francisco Application Requirements

Students applying to one of the USF doctoral programs must look at the application requirements of each individual program. Those programs all have their own requirements and steps that students must follow. Most programs ask that students start with the USF application. When they submit their applications, they'll pay a $55 nonrefundable application fee.

USF doctoral programs will only accept students who have both a bachelor's degree and a master's degree from colleges with regional accreditation. It asks for official transcripts from the schools where students earned their degrees. Those still working on their degrees can submit unofficial transcripts when applying, but the university will ask for official transcripts later to verify that they completed their degrees. The transcripts also allow the university to see the classes that students took relating to the fields they want to study. USF requires that incoming doctoral students have a grade point average of 3.0 or higher in all the graduate courses they took.

Another requirement is a statement of intent. This statement must explain why they want to study at the USF School of Education and why they want to study one specific subject. It should also detail the goals the student has while in the program and his or her career goals. They should submit a recent and updated resume and two letters of recommendation. USF asks that students submit valid and current letters of recommendation that have the signature of the author on the bottom. Those letters should explain why the student is a good fit for the university.

University of San Francisco Tuition and Financial Aid

USF charges different rates for all its graduate and doctoral programs. Those enrolled in its international and multicultural education program will pay $1,320 per unit. Though the number of classes that students take will determine their total annual costs, it typically costs more than $16,000 a year to attend the university. Students also pay a $30 fee per semester to use campus resources. They may face other fees also. USF offers health insurance for students who need it too. They can go online to look at the plans and pay for one.

The university encourages students to apply for financial aid with the FAFSA. Some loans and grants only go to students who completed the FAFSA. Doctoral students can apply for different types of financial aid through the university itself. All incoming students receive a scholarship that pays for the first three to six credits of classes that they take. Its School of Education offers a social justice scholarship too. It goes to students who demonstrate financial need and have a long history of helping those in need. Students can also apply for a graduate assistantship. Assistants receive money for working for the university and can work up to 200 hours a year.

Ed.D in International and Multicultural Education

San Francisco is a very diverse city and is home to people of all types. USF is one of the only colleges in the nation that offers an international and multicultural education doctoral program. Designed for those who want to work with people from different backgrounds, this program looks at sociological and cultural issues as well as economic and political issues. Students will also learn more about social justice and some of the changes that they can make happen on a global or local level.

USF offers concentrations in second language acquisition and human rights education. The human rights education concentration allows students to learn more about human rights issues around the world, while the second language acquisition concentration can help them become fluent in another language. Students will create their own portfolios and take classes like Applied Educational Statistics and Research Methods in Education. Other classes in this program include Critical Race Theory and Praxis, Gender and Globalization and Cross-Cultural Literacy.

Students must take at least 48 credits of work at the university above the graduate level. This allows them to select a concentration or take general courses and classes from both concentrations. Those who choose a concentration must take 12 credits of courses within that area. The program also has a dissertation component that requires students do their own research on a select subject or topic. Students attending the University of San Francisco must take a few classes before beginning their dissertation work.

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