San Francisco is a great place for lifelong learning, with many of the city’s colleges, universities, and university extensions offering special programs for older adults.
The Older Adults Department of City College of San Francisco offers free classes to anyone 55 or older. Classes are located at 41 sites around the city, and include such topics as physical and mental fitness; art, music, and theater appreciation; sculpture and drawing; writing workshops and literature; and computers. You can join a class any time during the semester, as long as space is available. For more information see their website or call (415) 550-4384 or 550-4415.
Osher Lifelong Learning Institute
The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute is a program of San Francisco State’s College of Extended Learning. It is open to people over 50 and offers more than 60 courses per year taught by senior and retired professors, professionals, artists, and writers. The Institute also offers field trips, forums, and special interest groups. Classes meet at the SFSU Downtown Center, the SFSU campus, and at the San Francisco and Peninsula Jewish Community Centers. Cost for most classes is $95. An annual membership, for $500, allows unlimited admission to all classes and events. For more information, see their website or call (415) 405-7700.
San Francisco State University
While the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute offers its own classes that are designed for its membership, San Francisco State also has two programs for older learners who would like to take regular university classes. One program is for people who want to take classes on a non-credit basis. The other is for people who want to work towards an undergraduate or graduate degree:
– Eldercollege is open to people over 50. Participants may audit any regular San Francisco State University class on a space-available basis with instructor approval, and may also use the campus library and gym facilities. Cost is $55 per semester. For more information, call (415) 405-7700.
– Over 60 Degree Program offers people over 60 the opportunity to earn bachelors or masters degrees at SFSU without paying the regular fees. For info on undergraduate studies or an application form, call (415) 338-1113 or e-mail [email protected] For info on graduate studies, call (415) 338-2234.
UC Berkeley Extension
The Center for Learning in Retirement, at the UC Berkeley Extension, offers its members free daytime peer-led classes in San Francisco as well as free enrollment in two regular Extension classes per year throughout the Bay Area. They also offer social and cultural events, trips, walks, and groups. Membership costs $220.00 per year, and is open to all adults 50 and older. For more information, see their website, email [email protected], or call (415) 543-3965.
University of San Francisco
The Fromm Institute for Lifelong Learning at USF offers daytime non-credit college level courses taught by retired professors. All retired people, regardless of their educational backgrounds, are welcome. Classes meet once a week for eight weeks. Membership includes up to four classes per eight-week session. Membership costs $200 per session, or $550 for an annual membership which includes three sessions. You may also enroll as a scholarship member, and pay what you can. For more information, see their website, call (415) 422-6805, or email [email protected]