San Francisco State ALI - Study in the USA San Francisco CA

San Francisco State ALI
American Language Institute

Fast Facts

  • School Size


  • Tuition

    $1,000—$5,000 Semester

  • Affiliation


  • Type of School

    University/Intensive English Program

  • Student Body Gender


  • Religious Affiliation

    No Affiliation

  • Scholarships for International Students


  • Conditional Admission Available


  • Setting


  • Accreditation and Certification

    EnglishUSA Member

  • Type of Housing

    Residence Hall, Apartment, Dormitory

  • Social Media

The American Language Institute (ALI) of San Francisco State University is one of the oldest and most respected intensive English programs in the country. Since 1961, the ALI has been offering a serious program of language training that emphasizes academic skills and university preparation to students from all around the world.

San Francisco is known as "America's Favorite City," famous for its great beauty and tremendous mix of people from so many cultures.  San Francisco is also the center of the technology world with multinational corporations, start-up ventures and social media companies such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Uber, Yelp, Pinterest, Airbnb, Zynga and many more nearby. 

The ALI program will give you the skills and strategies you need to succeed in an American university.
ALI teachers are very well-prepared and enthusiastic about teaching and they really love their students.  Every week, you will learn:

  • reading and writing strategies to help you write effective essays and read and analyze articles
  • listening and speaking strategies to help you understand university lectures, give presentations, and participate in class discussions
  • grammar that will improve your speaking and writing
  • content in electives such as American Culture, American Literature, and Business English.

The ALI also offers supplemental TOEFL Preparation courses on Fridays for a small fee.

Special admission to San Francisco State University is provided for qualified ALI students, and all ALI students receive substantial assistance in applying to colleges and universities

Two possible TOEFL waivers for admission to SF State undergraduate programs are available for ALI students. Either waiver will meet the SF State English proficiency requirements. You do not need to complete ALI’s highest level to receive a TOEFL waiver.  If you are interested in graduate degree programs, SF State offers a TOEFL waiver through the ALI for certain majors.

As an ALI student, you can:

  • use all SF campus facilities including sports facilities, restaurants, the library, and computer labs.
  • join ALI social activities, such as playing and watching sports, museum visits, and movies.
  • participate in the Conversation Partner program, which pairs you with an American university student for informal conversation.
  • visit our full-time advising staff if you need help with immigration, academic and personal matters.

There are three semesters per year.

  • Summer: May – August (10 weeks of instruction)
  • Fall: September – December (12 weeks of instruction)
  • Spring: February – May (12 weeks of instruction)

Tuition costs are currently:

  • Fall and Spring Semesters: $4315
  • Summer Semester: $4030

Additional costs: $50 application fee (non-refundable); $200 deposit (non-refundable); Student Health Insurance: $450 (Fall ’17)

Books: approximately $150; living expenses: (housing, food, transportation) approximately $6,000 per semester.

Housing on the SF State campus is available, but you must apply early.



Discover San Francisco’s Arts, Business, Culture and Technology industries while improving your English communication skills.

The American Language Institute at SF State will run an exciting new program this summer called SAN FRANCISCO DISCOVER.  This is a 4 week program from July 10 to August 4 that will be held at the beautiful Downtown Campus of SF State. The Downtown Campus is located in the heart of the business district.

SF State housing is available for all San Francisco Discover Program students. This program does not issue an F-1 visa.

For more information, please visit

ALI is a member of EnglishUSA.

EnglishUSA Member
For more information: San Francisco State ALI
American Language Institute

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San Francisco State ALI
American Language Institute
1600 Holloway Ave.
San Francisco CA 94132
P: 415.338.1438
English Programs
  • Business English
  • English for Academic Purposes
  • English for Specific Purposes Programs
  • English Language (ESL)
  • Intensive English
  • Summer Intensive English
  • TOEFL and Test Preparation
  • English Language (ESL)
  • Summer Intensive English
Certificate/Short Term
  • English Language (ESL)
  • Summer Intensive English

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