San Francisco State ALI
American Language Institute

Fast Facts

  • School Size


  • Cost of Attendance

    $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 helping thousands of students improve their English to reach their academic and personal goals.

San Francisco is known as "America's Favorite City," famous for its great beauty and tremendous mixture 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 offers you two programs:

  1. English for Academic Preparation
  2. San Francisco Discover

The English for Academic Preparation (EAP) 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 actively 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.

Qualified ALI students also can receive special admission to San Francisco State University, and all ALI students receive substantial assistance in applying to colleges and universities from the ALI advisors.

ALI students can receive a TOEFL waiver for admission to SF State undergraduate programs and certain graduate majors.  

There are three semesters of English for Academic Preparation 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: $5000
  • Summer Semester: $4700

Additional costs: $150 application fee (non-refundable); Student Health Insurance: $433.50 (Summer ’18)

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 the Art, Business, Culture, and Technology that’s shaping San Francisco while improving your English language skills.

San Francisco Discover is a four-week non-academic English language program that uses the city of San Francisco as the classroom. The program combines language study at our beautiful San Francisco State University Downtown Campus with trips throughout the city's culturally diverse neighborhoods.

  • Improve your spoken English
  • Experience the entrepreneurial and innovative culture of San Francisco
  • The program is offered multiple times per year
  • It is a short term four-week program that does not require a student visa

San Francisco Discover Session Dates:

Winter: February 5 – March 2
Summer Session 1: July 16 – August 10
Summer Session 2: August 13 – September 7

For more details, please visit ​and fill out the "Contact This Program" form at the top of this page.

ALI is a member of EnglishUSA.

San Francisco State ALI
American Language Institute

1600 Holloway Ave.
San Francisco CA 94132
P: 415.338.1438
EnglishUSA Member
For more information: San Francisco State ALI
American Language Institute