San Francisco State University - San Francisco State University - Study in the USA San Francisco CA

San Francisco State University
Center for Global Engagement

Fast Facts

  • School Size


  • Tuition

    $1,000—$5,000 Semester

  • Affiliation


  • Type of School

    University/Intensive English Program

  • Student Body Gender


  • Religious Affiliation

    No Affiliation

  • Scholarships for International Students


  • Conditional Admission Available


  • Setting


  • Accreditation and Certification

    EnglishUSA Member, WASC

  • Type of Housing

    Residence Hall, Apartment, Dormitory

  • Social Media

The American Language Institute (ALI) of San Francisco State University is one of the oldest and most respected intensive English programs in the country. Since 1961, the ALI has been helping thousands of students improve their English to reach their academic and personal goals.

San Francisco is known as "America's Favorite City," famous for its great beauty and tremendous mixture of people from so many cultures.  San Francisco is also the center of the technology world with multinational corporations, start-up ventures and social media companies such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Uber, Yelp, Pinterest, Airbnb, Zynga and many more nearby.

The ALI offers you two programs:

  1. English for Academic Preparation
  2. San Francisco Discover


The English for Academic Preparation (EAP) program will give you the skills and strategies you need to succeed in an American university.
ALI teachers are very well-prepared and enthusiastic about teaching and they really love their students.  Every week, you will learn:

  • reading and writing strategies to help you write effective essays and read and analyze articles
  • listening and speaking strategies to help you understand university lectures, give presentations, and participate actively in class discussions
  • grammar that will improve your speaking and writing
  • content in electives such as Business English, American Culture, and American Literature

The ALI also offers supplemental TOEFL Preparation courses on Fridays for a small fee.

Qualified ALI students can receive special TOEFL waivers for admission to SF State undergraduate programs.  All ALI students receive substantial assistance in applying to colleges and universities from the ALI advisors.

There are three semesters of English for Academic Preparation per year.

  • Spring: February 3, 2020 - May 7, 2020 (12 weeks of instruction) 
  • Summer: May 29, 2019 – August 7, 2019 (10 weeks of instruction)
  • Fall: September 11, 2019 – December 11, 2019 (12 weeks of instruction)

Tuition costs are currently:

  • Fall and Spring Semesters: $5000
  • Summer Semester: $4700

Additional costs: $150 application fee (non-refundable); Student Health Insurance: $433.50 (Summer ’19)

Books: approximately $150; living expenses: (housing, food, transportation) approximately $6,000 per semester.

Housing on the SF State campus is available, but you must apply early.


Discover the Art, Business, Culture, and Technology that’s shaping San Francisco while improving your English language skills.

San Francisco Discover is a two or four week non-academic English language program that uses the city of San Francisco as the classroom. The program combines language study at our beautiful San Francisco State University Downtown Campus with trips throughout the city's culturally diverse neighborhoods.  In the San Francisco Discover Program, you will:

  • Improve your spoken English
  • Experience the entrepreneurial and innovative culture of San Francisco
  • Use English as you explore the exciting city of San Francisco

San Francisco Discover is a short term two or four-week program that does not require a student visa

2020 San Francisco Discover Session Dates:

Session 2020 Program Dates Program Fee Campus Housing Fees

Priority Application Deadline*

Winter - 4 weeks January 6 - January 31 $2,796 Not available November 1, 2019
Winter - 3 weeks January 13 - January 31 $2,097

Not available

November 1, 2019
Winter - 2 weeks January 20 - January 31 $1,398

Not available

November 1, 2019
Summer A - 4 weeks** July 13 - August 7 $2,796 To be determined May 1, 2020
Summer A - 3 weeks** July 13 - July 31 $2,097

To be determined

May 1, 2020
Summer A - 2 weeks** July 13 - July 24 $1,398

To be determined

May 1, 2020


*Applications may be accepted after the priority deadline on a space available basis.

**SF State on-campus housing is available for Summer A session only. Lower rate is for double rooms in residence halls with hall bathrooms. Higher rate is for double rooms in university apartments with living rooms and kitchenettes. Linens, breakfast and dinner included. Housing guaranteed for applications received before March 29. After March 30, housing will be available on a space-available basis.

Note: Program fee will be due in full 1 week after the priority deadline.

If you have questions, email us at:

For more details, please visit 

ALI is a member of EnglishUSA.

EnglishUSA Member
For more information: San Francisco State University
Center for Global Engagement

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San Francisco State University
Center for Global Engagement

Main Campus
1600 Holloway Ave.
San Francisco CA 94132
P: 415.338.1438

Downtown Campus
835 Market St, 6th Floor
San Francisco CA 94103
P: 4154057700
Certificate/Short Term
  • Business
  • English Language (ESL)
  • Hospitality and Tourism
  • Summer Intensive English
English Programs
  • Business English
  • English for Academic Purposes
  • English for Specific Purposes Programs
  • English Language (ESL)
  • Intensive English as a Second Language
  • Intensive Language & Culture
  • Pathway Program
  • Summer Intensive English
  • TOEFL and University Preparation
  • English Language (ESL)
  • Summer Intensive English
  • Summer Pre-University

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