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12 Different Colleges in San Francisco

Updated on January 20, 2010

Do you need a reason to move to San Francisco for awhile? There are a lot of people who want to live here but who just can’t justify the cost of living here if they aren’t coming for a specific purpose. For that reason, a lot of people choose to move to San Francisco in order to go to school here. Attending classes makes moving here make sense. Plus there are some really great schools to choose from. Many of the best schools in the Bay Area are located outside of the city (Berkeley, Stanford, etc.) but for those people who don’t want to leave the city limits there are still a lot of great educational options. Whether you’re seeking a simple certification in a niche area of study or you want to attend post-graduate school, San Francisco does have a college or university for you.

Here is a look at 12 different schools inside of the San Francisco city limits:

1.     Academy of Art University. This is a formal art school that is highly respected in San Francisco. The school offers four-year degrees in a variety of different areas of art study. These areas include fashion and interior design, graphic design, fine arts, film studies and photography. The school is a private school so it’s a little bit pricey but it comes along with a solid reputation and a lot of credibility for getting jobs upon graduation.

2.     Art Institute of California, San Francisco. This school is often compared to the Academy of Art University. It is a four-year private college offering many of the same degrees in art and design. However this school also offers some additional classes such as degrees in the culinary arts. It’s worth it to check out both schools and choose the one that is right for you if you’re planning to attend a San Francisco Art academy.

3.     California Culinary Academy. People who are interested in the culinary arts should definitely think about coming to San Francisco. Some of the leading chefs are working in the Bay Area which provides a lot of opportunities for hands-on work experience and internship programs. This school is one of the top culinary schools in the world. It offers two-year culinary arts degrees in a number of different aspects of the field.

4.     City College of San Francisco. Students who are interested in attending a community college will be happy to know that the one available in San Francisco is a stellar one. Classes are affordable. There are associates degrees and vocational degrees available in a number of different areas of study. The school has campuses located all over the city to make it easy to attend this institution. There are even free classes for people who are interested in taking non-credit classes to easy back into school. Anyone who needs to get their gen ed requirements taken care of or who needs untraditional college classes like night classes or online classes will discover that this is a good place to start.

5.     Golden Gate University. Students who are interested in attending a private college may find that Golden Gate University is a top choice for them. This school offers Bachelor’s degrees as well as post-graduate degrees. However, the options for a degree here are limited to a few basic areas including business and law. If you’re sure that you want to enter some sort of business, legal or political career then you can get a really good start – and some great college networking done – by attending this private school.

6.     Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality. Do you have an interest in studying something that is a little bit off the wall? San Francisco is a really great place to find a high-ranking school where you can study odd things. One example is this school which is devoted to the study of sex and sexuality. If that’s a topic that interests you so much that you can envision making a career out of it then you’ll probably find that you fall in love with the challenging-but-interesting curriculum offered at this small campus.

7.     San Francisco Art Institute. If there is only one art school that you have ever heard of in San Francisco then it is probably this one since it’s been around for over a century. It’s a bit pricey even for a private institution but it offers one of the leading educational opportunities for people who are interested in pursuing lucrative careers in the visual arts.

8.     San Francisco State University. Students who are interested in attending a traditional public university will want to take a look at this San Francisco school. There are programs here for people who want to get Bachelor’s degrees as well as for students who are looking into post-graduate education. You can get many different types of degrees from this school. Among the most popular areas of study are taxes and accounting, medical studies and liberal arts.

9.     School for Self Healing. Do you have an interest in the healing arts? Would you like to know more about how to heal yourself and others using holistic medicine? Do you think it would be rewarding to become a massage therapist? All of those things and more can be studied at this interesting alternative college.

10.  University of California Hastings. There are many schools in the San Francisco Bay Area that offer law degrees. This one happens to be a leading law school located right in the heart of the city. Any student who is interested in doing a three-year juris doctorate degree but who doesn’t want to leave the city limits will want to take a closer look at this school.

11.  University of California San Francisco. People often first look at this school under the assumption that this is a traditional four-year college like San Francisco State University is. Although this is indeed a university offering Bachelor’s and post-graduate degrees, it’s not quite as wide-open in its options as SFSU is. That’s because the focus of this school is medicine. The school is a research-focused medical school affiliated with a top hospital in the city. Students can study anything from social science to medical science here but whatever they study is going to be related to medicine.

12.  University of San Francisco. This school frequently gets confused with San Francisco State University since their names are so similar. They both offer four-year degrees although this school also offers a number of shorter-term degree programs. The difference between the two schools is that this school is a private school instead of a public school. It may be more difficult to get into and classes may cost more but it’s a leading school for people who are interested in getting a high-quality San Francisco education in a number of different areas of study.


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