Golden Gate University (informally referred to as GGU, or simply as Golden Gate) is a private, nonsectarian, coeducational university located in the South of Market district, immediately south of the Financial District of downtown San Francisco, California. Founded in 1901, GGU specializes in educating professionals through its schools of law, business, taxation, and accounting. The University offers two undergraduate degrees with eight concentrations and 15 graduate degrees with 24 concentrations.
The university evolved out of the literary reading groups of the San Francisco Central YMCA at a time when, according to one contemporary estimate only one of every two thousand men had a college education. GGU shares its YMCA roots with a number of other U.S. universities, including Northeastern University (Boston, Massachusetts), Youngstown State University, and Michigan State University College of Law. On November 1, 1881 at the YMCA building at 232 Sutter Street, which the organization had occupied since 1868, the YMCA Night School was established. Classes were offered in bookkeeping, mathematics, stenography, elocution, Spanish and gymnastics. Successful completion of these courses led to a certificate that was recognized by more than 100 colleges and trade schools. Other offerings of the association would include a common school for boys. In April 1894 the YMCA moved to a new five-story building at the northeast corner of Mason and Ellis Streets.