SDSU offers small, affordable graduate school programs

Tanya Marsh

Tanya Marsh

Many students make the decision to attend graduate school, and about 1,500 students have made SDSU their choice. But why? What does this university offer that would make it an ideal place to pursue a higher degree?

David Hilderbrand is the Dean of Graduate School, Research and Sponsored Programs at SDSU. He said SDSU has many graduate programs available to students.

“We offer a Ph.D. in Chemistry, Biological Sciences, Animal Science, Agronomy, Sociology, Atmospheric Environmental and Water Resources. And then we offer a Master of Arts in English and a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction or Educational Administration,” he said.

The list continues. “We offer a Master of Science in about 20 different areas, and one additional program is the doctor of pharmacy degree.”

The relatively small size of the graduate school SDSU offers is one reason students choose it.

Gabriela Chilom, a third year graduate student pursuing a doctorate in Chemistry, said she sought out a small university.

“I did my undergraduate and master work in Europe, not here. When I started to choose American universities, [I looked for ones offering] analytic and physical chemistry and not a very big university, and I think SDSU fulfilled all three of those,” she said.

There are many reasons Chilom wanted a small university. “First of all is the main advantage of a small department ? you can keep in touch with your adviser, which I think is the main thing in pursuing an advanced degree.”

She added, “Everyone here is really nice. It’s a small city and the people here are very friendly.”

In his first semester of pursuing a masters in Civil and Environmental

Engineering is Ryan Anderson, who also chose SDSU in part because of its size.

“[I liked] the ability to work one-on-one with the professors,” he said.

“The availability. They’re there to help you. At least in my field, you’re given more of a chance because there’s less students than at a larger school.”

Anderson also had other reasons for his choice.

“I did my undergrad here and there was a good number of opportunities for me to do my thesis work when I decided to attend grad school here,” he said.

“It was the right place at the right time to get it done ? the opportunity was there for me to start on my thesis right away so I could get finished soon.”

The quality of education is another reason students choose to attend SDSU.

Hilderbrand said, “The reason most students pick their institution is frequently determined by research programs available, and SDSU has strong research.”

Research is certainly important to Chilom. “All the time I’m just in my lab, which I think is great,” she said.

The financial aspect of SDSU’s graduate program also led some students to select the university.

According to Hilderbrand, graduate students pay the same fees as undergraduate students. That is, it’s $94.75 per credit hour for in-state tuition and $279.30 for non-residents. However, there is financial assistance available to graduate students.

Hilderbrand said there are about 350 graduate assistenceships available every semester. “If a graduate student is on a graduate assistenceship, then they pay one-third of in-state tuition, regardless of residency.”

To receive an assitenceship, Hilderbrand recommends first going through the department.

Chilom appreciates SDSU for the financial side of her degree work. “The financial aspect of graduate school here is good,” she said. “The financial support is okay so you can make it.”

For students who are searching for the right graduate school for them or searching for more information on graduate schools, there are a number of websites. Try or to get searching.