Distinctive Education 

Founded in 1855, the University of San Francisco is the City’s premier private University, its first institution of higher education, and the third oldest in the State of California. Throughout its history, the University has fulfilled its Jesuit Catholic mission to fashion a more humane and just world by educating the whole person. Focusing on the exploration of the mind and the engagement of the heart, the University of San Francisco prepares its students and graduates to become the leaders of just and ethical change in their communities and workplaces.

Reasons to Return to School  

You are not alone in looking for something new, or in thinking about educational opportunities. Enrollments in institutions of higher learning have been on the rise since 1975, growing from 2 million to over 17 million. Adult undergraduate students make up 43% of the enrollment in postsecondary educational institutions. Sixty-five percent of those students are 30 years or older.

According to the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education (2006), there are over five million non-traditional, adult undergraduate students attending college on a part-time basis and that number is expected to continue to rise. The U.S. Department of Education indicates that total enrollments are expected to increase 13.5% by 2012, to 23 million adult students.

Seventy-eight million members of the U.S. population are nearing retirement age. The post World War II baby boomers are the largest and best-educated generation of Americans ever. The retirement of the boomers will create new opportunities for workforce positions commanding good salaries, but they will also require more education.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has determined that the majority of the fastest growing jobs require some post-secondary education and that most of the working population will experience periodic unemployment or underemployment sometime in their lives. Career change is a natural life progression; the average job seeker will change careers — not just jobs, several times over the course of his or her lifetime.

Fifty-four million members of the U.S. workforce lack a college degree (Bureau of Labor Statistics). Thirty-four million have no college experience. On the average, only one in four Americans over the age of 25 graduates from college. You are the exception if you graduate from college – making our graduates very valuable to their employers and communities.

Median annual income rises proportionately to educational attainment.

H.S. graduates earned


Some college, no degree earned


Associate’s Degree earned


Bachelor’s Degree earned


Master’s Degree earned


We know that adult students have multiple roles — as professionals, family members, friends, and community members — even before they consider adding academic demands to their overtaxed schedules. Our programs are designed specifically with the adult learner in mind.

Small Seminar Classes

USF classrooms are friendly, relaxed, supportive, and informal. Low student-faculty ratios, combined with high student-faculty interaction and active, collaborative learning experiences result in increased student engagement, satisfaction, and persistence.

The emphasis in our adult learning community is on hands-on learning; providing opportunities for students to share their own knowledge and experiences. Group discussions, case studies of real life events and companies, small seminars, skill practice sessions, group work activities, team projects, and give and take discussions are the norm. 

Convenient Program Locations and Times

Most of the programs offered at the branch campuses are designed to allow students to come to class one night a week (plus possible occasional Saturdays) and earn their degree at a flexible pace designed for working adults. Classes typically meet one night a week, in the evening or on weekends. Please consult your preferred School or Campus for specific program offerings each semester.       

Outstanding Faculty and Staff

Extraordinary faculty comprised of PhD’s and accomplished working professionals inspire students to stretch and realize their full potential. All are dedicated to providing students with the close, personal attention that is the hallmark of a USF education.

Dedication to Lifelong Learning

There are many educational opportunities offered to students beyond their bachelor’s degrees. We encourage students to start planning for their graduate degree before completing their bachelor’s degree by visiting our graduate programs web site,