San Diego State University (SDSU), founded in 1897 as San Diego Normal School, is the largest and oldest higher education facility in the greater San Diego area (generally the City and County of San Diego), and is part of the California State University system. It is the third-oldest university in the California State University system, and one of the oldest universities in California. SDSU has a student body of approximately 29,256 (as of the beginning of the Fall 2009 academic year) and an alumni base of more than 200,000. San Diego State University had an acceptance rate of 36.4 % for the 2009 academic year. According to SDSU's website, the university received 62,000 applications for the 2008 school year.
The Carnegie Foundation has designated San Diego State University a "Research University with high research activity." SDSU is the only California State University campus with this classification, which places it among the top 200 higher education institutions in the country conducting research. Notably, pursuant to the Faculty Scholarly Productivity Index (FSP Index) released by the Academic Analytics organization of Stony Brook, NY, SDSU is the number one small research university in the United States as of the last four (4) academic years, from 2005-2006 through the 2009-2010 academic years. In 2010, The Daily Beast ranked SDSU No.21 in its list of "Tech's 29 Most Powerful Colleges."
San Diego State University awards bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees (Ph.D., Ed.D, and Au.D) in a total of 151 fields. SDSU offers the most doctoral degrees of any campus of the California State University system, currently in sixteen academic and research disciplines.
San Diego State University is a member of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges, the Southwest Border Security Consortium, and the Oak Ridge Associated Universities, a national organization of universities that promotes science and technology education and research.