Funding Your Education

SF State Funding for Education

San Francisco State provides a high-quality graduate education that is truly affordable in comparison to that of other Bay Area universities and national public universities. Below are the current tuition fees for post-baccalaureate students:

Semester Tuition Fees*

Credential Master’s Degree, Second Baccalaureate Doctorate
Part-time Full-time Part-time Full-time Part- and Full-time
6.0 or less units 6.1 or more units 6.0 or less units 6.1 or more units 1 or more units - PT
Tuition: $2,805 Tuition: $4,203 Tuition: $2,955 Tuition: $4,461 Tuition: $6,792

*Plus any applicable program and non-resident tuition fees:

  • Non-Resident Tuition Fee: Non-residents of California and international students pay an additional $396 per unit.
  • Master programs in Business (MBA, MSA, MSBA): Graduate students in the College of Business will be charged an additional Graduate Program Fee of $700 (0 to 6.0 units) or $1,200 (6.1 or more units) and a Professional Program Fee of $270 per unit.
  • Master of Public Administration (MPA): Graduate students in the MPA program will be charged an additional fee of $430 (0 to 6.0 units) or $850 (6.1 or more units) per semester.

Before each upcoming academic year, U.S. citizens and eligible non-citizens apply for financial aid (grants, work-study, and loans) with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). After submission, FAFSA applicants receive a Student Aid Report (SAR), which is used to determine their eligibility for financial aid.

Dreamers and other undocumented students who are eligible for AB 540/ AB 2000/ SB68 will file the California Dream Act Application. To determine if you are eligible to apply for financial aid under the California Dream Act, see the Office of Financial Aid’s AB540 site, which offers step-by-step application instructions.

Financial aid applicants must file a FAFSA or California Dream Act Application – as soon as possible after their Oct. 1 release, and no later than March 2 – in order to be considered for the maximum available grant funding.

California residents may be offered a State University Grant (SUG) as part of the financial aid offer. The SUG is specifically designated to pay a portion of students' basic tuition and fees. See the Office of Financial Aid’s explanation of State University Grants.

To prepare to apply for financial aid:

These resources may be helpful in developing an understanding of how to pay for your graduate education, and a plan for doing so:

Many – but not all – San Francisco State departments employ academically eligible graduate students as Graduate Assistants (GAs) and Graduate Teaching Associates (GTAs). Please contact your academic department directly to determine GA and GTA position availability:

GTA and GA Eligibility Requirements

Graduate students seeking a GA or GTA appointments must meet the following minimum eligibility requirements. They must:

Graduate student employment at San Francisco State may not exceed 20 hours per week.

  • Graduate Assistant (GA) positions provide currently enrolled or admitted graduate students with part-time employment helping faculty or teaching staff with various professional and technical duties associated with the subject area or programs in which the GA is doing graduate work. This work may not take precedence over the successful completion of the graduate degree program by the student in a timely manner.
  • Graduate Teaching Associate (GTA) positions provide currently enrolled or admitted graduate students with part-time employment teaching university courses and assisting faculty or teaching staff with professional and technical activities. Work assignments are closely associated with the GTA’s program of study or the academic department in which they are enrolled.
    • Be a classified or conditionally classified graduate student
    • Have a minimum cumulative post-baccalaureate GPA of 3.0 (B)
    • Cannot be on probation for earning a GPA of less than 3.0 (B) in the immediately preceding semester.
    • Be enrolled in a minimum of 3 units of coursework applicable to the master's degree
    • Not be enrolled in any course associated with work assignment
    • Be supervised by a San Francisco State faculty member.

Scholarship information provided by San Francisco State:

  • Search the Office of Financial Aid's comprehensive database of scholarships administered by the university through AcademicWorks. Click on the top right "Sign in" button to submit your student information and learn about scholarships for which you are eligible.
  • The Office of Financial Aid also posts a select list of upcoming scholarships, mostly offered by external funders.
  • Check with your college and department for scholarships they sponsor not listed elsewhere.
  • SF State's Department of Foreign Languages and Literature maintains a list Scholarships for Foreign Language Majors.

Other Scholarship Resources

International Students

In addition to the above resources,

  • Review the Office of International Program’s (OIP) Life in San Francisco webpage (expand the “Financial Information” section). This section provides valuable information for students on an F-1 VISA about financial literacy, budgeting, financial assistance (including loans and scholarships), and expectations.
  • Refer to U.C. Berkeley's International Scholarships list.

Undocumented Students

Scholarship Essay Guides

If you have not previously written scholarship essays, refer to these sites for “how to”:

Scholarship Essay Samples

These sites have some sample scholarship essays, so that you can see what a strong essay looks like:

Graduate Equity Fellowship: If you are a California resident from an economically or educationally disadvantaged background and have an outstanding academic record, you may be eligible for San Francisco State’s Graduate Equity Fellowship. Undocumented/AB540 students are eligible for this fellowship.

California Pre-Doctoral Program: The California Pre-Doctoral Program is designed to support the Ph.D. aspirations of students who are upper division undergraduates or graduate students on a CSU campus, economically or educationally disadvantaged, with focused research interests, and an interest in a university faculty career. Each Pre-Doctoral Scholar is mentored by a faculty sponsor and receives financial support for activities related to applying to and developing their candidacy for doctoral programs. Please note that the program does not provide funding for CSU tuition. For more information, please visit: the California Pre-Doctoral Program at San Francisco State website.

Chancellor's Doctoral Incentive Program (CDIP): The Chancellor's Office provides support to promising Ph.D. students with a passion for working with our diverse student body, in the hope that they will go on to become CSU faculty. San Francisco State students are eligible to apply for the CDIP as they apply to Ph.D. programs, or while they are enrolled in their doctoral studies. Participants in the program, designated CDIP Fellows, are mentored by CSU Faculty Mentors and receive up to$30,000 in financial support through low interest loans. These loans are forgivable at a specified rate for CDIP Fellows who take faculty positions in the CSU after receiving their doctorates. CDIP Fellows are also eligible for up to three annual mini-grants of up to $2,500 each for professional development and research activities, and up to $1,500 each for conference attendance. CDIP Fellows are also eligible to apply for a $5,000 dissertation fellowship to assist with completion of the dissertation. For more information, please visit: the Chancellor’s Doctoral Incentive Program at San Francisco State website.

The Fellowships Office maintains a searchable database of national fellowships, as well as other resources for prospective fellowship applicants. These include:

The Director of the Fellowships Office is available to meet with students interested in exploring or applying for national or CSU fellowships. You may email Dr. Joy Viveros to request an appointment. If you have been accepted to a San Francisco State graduate program, please wait until you are enrolled and taking classes at the University before reaching out to the Fellowships Office.

TEACH Grant:

The Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Program provides up to $4,000 a year to students who are completing or plan to complete coursework needed to begin a career in teaching. The funds do not have to be repaid if you go on to become a teacher in a high-need field in a low-income area. To learn more, visit the

Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)

If you go on to work in the public service sector, the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program forgives the remaining balance on your Direct Loans after you have made 120 qualifying monthly payments (ten years of payments) under a qualifying repayment plan while working full-time for a qualifying employer.

Qualifying employment for the PSLF Program does not concern the specific job that you do for your employer, but rather who your employer is. Employment with the following types of organizations qualifies for Public Service Loan Forgiveness:

  • Government organizations at any level (U.S. federal, state, local, or tribal)
  • Not-for-profit organizations that are tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code
  • Serving as a full-time AmeriCorps or Peace Corps volunteer also counts as qualifying employment for the PSLF Program.