San Francisco State University

San Francisco State University


Located in one of the world’s most vibrant and beautiful cities, San Francisco State University is a recognized leader in addressing issues both global and close to home.

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Located in one of the world’s most vibrant and beautiful cities, San Francisco State University is a recognized leader in addressing issues both global and close to home.

The University has been the launchpad for thousands of successful, world-changing alumni, including Black Lives Matter co-creator Alicia Garza, San Francisco’s first African American mayor, Willie Brown, Jr., and tech pioneers who played pivotal roles in the development of the microprocessor and the Internet. At last count, San Francisco State graduates had won 21 Pulitzers, 16 Oscars, 49 Emmys, 10 Grammys, and 12 Tonys. And the University itself has won top honors while encouraging innovations that put it at the forefront of academia. Home to the nation’s first and only College of Ethnic Studies, SF State was #7 for ethnic diversity among national universities in the 2019 U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges rankingsBoth Variety and The Hollywood Reporter have named SF State’s School of Cinema one of the top film programs in the country, and the University’s Estuary & Ocean Science Center makes it the only institution of higher education with a marine science laboratory on San Francisco Bay.

Academic Life

Ever since it was established in 1899 as a teacher-training school, SF State has been known for its commitment to excellent teaching. Students work closely with senior professors and other instructors from freshman year through graduation. Trained in some of the finest institutions in the world, faculty members include winners of prestigious teaching awards, cutting-edge researchers, and professionals devoted to solving community problems.

SF State awards bachelor’s degrees in 72 academic areas with an additional 39 areas of concentration, master’s degrees in 62 academic areas with an additional 28 areas of concentration and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership. The University also offers a clinical doctorate, Doctor of Physical Therapy (D.P.T.), jointly with UC San Francisco. In addition, SF State offers 16 credential programs and 41 certificate programs.

SF State’s motto is Experientia Docet — Experience Teaches. Graduates consistently say that hands-on learning was what helped them most when beginning their careers. Students apply their talents and classroom learning to real-world challenges through community-service learning, credit-earning internships, and participation with community-focused centers and institutes that address issues relating to health, education, the environment, business, child care, and underserved communities.

Student Life

Student life is continually growing at SF State with various ways for students to get involved on campus. More than 200 student organizations, including fraternities and sororities, help students explore their interests and network with student peers, faculty, staff, and alumni. The Associated Students, SF State’s student government, offers leadership opportunities, programs, and services to enhance the student experience. Students can also get involved by forming an intramural team, joining a sports club, or participating in one of the campus’ many open rec opportunities.

Intercollegiate sports for women are basketball, indoor and outdoor track and field, soccer, softball, and volleyball. For men, SF State offers baseball, basketball, track and field (outdoor), soccer, and wrestling. The University is a member of the California Collegiate Athletic Association, an NCAA Division II conference, for all sports except wrestling, which is in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference.

SF State is an arts and culture center, with hundreds of workshops, guest lectures and exhibits throughout the year. Events and exhibits feature the work of students and faculty members as well as professionals from outside the University community.

Campus residence halls and apartments offer proximity to around-the-clock computer labs and study rooms, study and support groups, and cultural activities and social events. Two residence halls, Mary Ward and Mary Park, and the Towers at Centennial Square Apartments and Jr. Suites provide housing for first-year freshmen in the heart of campus. Apartment-style living is available for second-year, transfer and graduate students at the Village at Centennial Square and University Park townhomes and apartments. There are a variety of Living Learning Communities within the housing community for students who share a common academic focus, such as science and technology, health, and business. Programs, events, and support are provided.

Mission of the University

From the heart of a diverse community, SF State honors roots, stimulates intellectual and personal development, promotes equity, and inspires the courage to lead, create, and innovate. Building on a century-long history of commitment to quality teaching and broad access to undergraduate and graduate education, the University offers comprehensive, rigorous, and integrated academic programs that require students to engage in open-minded inquiry and reflection. SF State encourages its students, faculty, and staff to engage fully with the community and develop and share knowledge.

Inspired by the diversity of our community (which includes many first-generation college students) and the courage of an academic community that strives to break down traditional boundaries, SF State equips its students to meet the challenges of the 21st century. With the unwavering commitment to social justice that is central to the work of the University, SF State prepares its students to become productive, ethical, active citizens with a global perspective.


The University is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). WASC is located at

985 Atlantic Avenue
Suite 100
Alameda, CA 94501

and the telephone number is (510) 748-9001. Various specialized programs at the University are accredited by the following agencies.

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