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San Diego State University

Diversity Starts Here


Numerous student groups, scholarships and departmental programs support students from diverse backgrounds and help them succeed at SDSU. The university’s course offerings also reflect the diversity of its student body, faculty and staff.

In 1970, SDSU created one of the first academic departments in California dedicated to the study of Mexican culture in America—Chicano/Chicana Studies. The department offers courses such as U.S.-Mexico Border History, Mexican Immigration History and Policy, and Mexican Images in Film.

Founded in 1970, SDSU’s Department of Women’s Studies grew out of the feminist activism of the 1960s and was the first of its kind in the United States. For four decades it has continued as a leader in the field of Women's Studies. The program offers a bachelor’s and a master’s degree and is home to the SDSU Women’s Resource Center which provides free, accessible information, resources, and referrals regarding women's health, body image, eating disorders, sexuality, and other gender-related issues faced by students, faculty, and staff at SDSU.

SDSU’s Educational Opportunity Program (EOP), also started in 1970, is designed to assist economically or otherwise challenged students and has since played a key role in diversifying the SDSU student body, helping up to 3,500 students a year.

SDSU’s Africana Studies Department was founded in 1972. It offers a broad, interdisciplinary program covering a variety of subjects pertaining to Africa and the African diaspora.

The Asian Studies program’s resources include the Japan Studies Institute, the China Studies Institute and the Center for Asian Pacific Studies  Asian/Pacific American Archives.

SDSU plays a key role in California’s Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) program, which helps educationally disadvantaged students enter and excel in technical professions.

SDSU has been designated as a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) by the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, which could result in funding to help boost Hispanic enrollment and graduation rates, as well as benefit the entire student body.

The McNair Scholars program identifies students from low-income backgrounds with potential to become university professors, provides them with mentors and supplies them with a $2,800 stipend to conduct research.

There are more than 35 student organizations to support diversity on campus, including Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan (MEChA), the Association of Chicana Activists, the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) and the Native American Student Alliance.

Safe Zones works to ensure a campus atmosphere that is supportive, informative and welcoming to all members of the campus community by providing an accepting and pro-active environment for LGBTQIA (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, gender fluid identified, queer, questioning, intersex, ally) students, faculty, staff and administrators and their allies.

In 2011, SDSU created a Diversity and Inclusion Pledge, an official pledge document that signifies individual commitment to diversity and inclusion at San Diego State.