Research at SDSU

At San Diego State University, we use a broad definition of research that includes creative activities. The university strives to impart an appreciation and broad understanding of the human experience throughout the world and the ages. This education extends to diverse cultural legacies; the advancement of human thought including philosophy and science; the development of economic, political, and social institutions; and the physical and biological evolution of humans and their environment.

SDSU continues its ascent as a leading national university and a Carnegie R2: Doctoral Universities – Higher research activity university. US News and World Report’s annual ranking of America’s Best Colleges lists SDSU at No. 74 among public universities, and No. 146 overall among national universities. The overall ranking represents a jump of 37 spots since 2011. In addition, according to the US New Diversity Index, SDSU is among the top 7 in the country for ethnic diversity – a point of pride for SDSU, where students from all backgrounds are achieving academic excellence. The university is also recognized as one of the best colleges for LGBT students and received a 2016 INSIGHT Into Diversity Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award.

SDSU is the research flagship university of the California State University System.  Over the last two decades, SDSU has staged an institutional transformation from its historic identity as a regional comprehensive university to a top 100 public research university with more than 100 masters and 22 joint doctoral programs and $130 M in annual research funding in academic year 2015 – 2016 (including nearly $25M from the NIH) the most of any California State University campus.  SDSU faculty members have received a total of more than $1.7 billion in external funding since 2000.  The university’s strategic plan “Building on Excellence,” developed in 2012 and first implemented in 2013, prioritizes faculty research, a commitment materialized through its construction of a new $90 million Engineering and Interdisciplinary Sciences building, cluster hires in seven competitively selected interdisciplinary “areas of excellence” and increased seed, start-up, matching, and bridge funding for all faculty and grant-seeking training programs for junior faculty.