San Francisco's Best Schools, Colleges, and Universities

College or a 4 year vacation in SF?

San Francisco is a creative city filled with people who have a number of diverse interests. As such, there are colleges of all kinds to assist people in getting certified or degreed in their areas of interest. From public and private four-year colleges to specialized certifications in areas such as massage and human sexuality, there are campuses across the city where students are learning the skills that they need to forge ahead in their careers.

There are dozens of small specialized colleges throughout San Francisco offering specialized studies. Here are just one dozen of the major public and private universities in San Francisco:

  • San Francisco State University - This is San Franciscoís four-year public university. The school has a diverse range of different programs offering Bachelorís, Masters and Doctoral degrees. This is the kind of university which is attended both by people who have a direct educational goal that they are trying to pursue and by people who are testing out different areas of interest during their college years. Cultural studies students, tax and accounting students, pre-medical students and art students all mingle on this campus.

  • University of California San Francisco - This is a four year college offering Bachelorís, Masterís and Doctorís degrees in a range of different program areas related to medicine. The school is affiliated with a leading hospital and is a research-intensive university. Biology, medical sciences, social sciences, nursing and other related degrees are the programs commonly studied here.
  • Academy of Art University - This is a four year private school offering degrees in art and design. Specific areas of study include advertising and marketing, film, fine arts, graphic design, fashion design, interior design and photography. The Academy of Art is just one of the many schools in San Francisco where highly creative minds congregate.
  • Art Institute of California, San Francisco - This is a four-year private school offering degrees in design and various other creative careers. Fashion design and graphic design are the most studied programs at this institution. Additional programs include related fields such as fashion marketing and diverse options such as culinary management.
  • California Culinary Academy - This is a two-year private college offering degrees to those people interested in pursuing culinary careers. There are several different degrees offered including basic certificates for resume-boosting purposes and Associateís Degrees. San Francisco is a city known for its restaurant scene and the chefs coming out of this school often find that there are plenty of job opportunities awaiting them in the area.
  • City College of San Francisco - City College is San Franciscoís community college. Students can attend here and receive an Associates degree or take care of their general education requirements before transferring to a four year program at one of the state universities. Degrees including technical and vocational programs as well as pre-professional studies. Students looking into certification to become auto mechanics, substance abuse counselors and dental assistants often come to this school.
  • Golden Gate University - This is a private four year college offering specialized degrees in business and law. The school offers a number of different degrees related to these fields, including such areas as political science, international business and organizational behavior studies. Bachelors, Masters, Doctors and various professional degrees are offered here.
  • Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality - We all know that sexuality is an important issue in open-minded San Francisco. The sex isnít just out in the streets; itís also in the classroom. This college offers academic and professional degrees and certifications in various aspects of human sexuality including public health applications of human sexuality.
  • San Francisco Art Institute - This private four-year college offers degrees in art including printmaking, sculpture, painting and other visual arts. This college has been providing San Franciscans with art degrees for more than a century and is considered one of the most established art schools in the nation.
  • School for Self Healing - Northern California is known for its openness to alternative lifestyles and this school is one which encourages careers in this vein. Students interested in careers in holistic health and massage therapy can get their requirements met here while other students interested more in the experience than the degree can pursue various specialized areas of healing study.
  • University of California Hastings - This is a highly specialized school for students interested in the field of law. The degree obtained from this school is a Juris Doctorate intended for the purpose of practicing law. Hastings also offers an L.L.M. degree which is an advanced Masters of Law degree.
  • University of San Francisco - USF is a private university offering a number of different types of programs. Although it is most commonly attended by students seeking a four year degree in a range of different study areas, students can also attend this school for every degree ranging from basic one-year certificate programs to doctoral level degrees. Accounting, arts, business, education, hotel management, design, law and nursing are just a few of the degrees that are offered. The difference between this school and SFSU is that it is a public school, not a state school.

Want to learn more? Our new guide to private universities in San Francisco is comprehensive and includes detailed pricing.