San Francisco State University

San Francisco State University
Former names
San Francisco State Normal School (1899–1921)
San Francisco State Teachers College (1921–35)
San Francisco State College (1935–72)
California State University, San Francisco (1972-74)
Motto Experientia Docet (Latin)
Motto in English
"Experience Teaches"
Type Public
Established 1899
Endowment $67.7 million (2015)[1]
President Leslie E. Wong
Academic staff
1,620 (Fall, 2013)[2]
Administrative staff
Students 30,256 (Fall 2015)[4]
Undergraduates 26,815 (Fall 2015)[4]
Postgraduates 3,441 (Fall 2015)[4]
Location San Francisco, California, United States
Campus Urban, 141.1 acres (57.1 ha)[5]
Colors Purple and Gold[6]
Athletics NCAA Division IICCAA
Nickname Gators
Mascot Gator
Affiliations California State University

San Francisco State University (commonly referred to as San Francisco State, SF State and SFSU) is a public comprehensive university located in San Francisco, California, United States. As part of the 23-campus California State University system, the university offers 118 different Bachelor's degrees, 94 Master's degrees, 5 Doctoral degrees including two Doctor of Education, a Doctor of Physical Therapy, a Ph.D in Education and Doctor of Physical Therapy Science, along with 26 teaching credentials among six academic colleges.[5][7][8]



Cesar Chavez Student Center

In Fall of 2013, the university had 1,620 faculty, of which 683 (or 42 percent) were on the tenure track.[2]

The university's academic colleges are:

In addition, the university has a College of Extended Learning.

SF State is on the semester system.

The university awards bachelor's degrees in 115 areas of specialization, master's degrees in 97, and a doctor of education (Ed.D.) in educational leadership. It jointly offers three doctoral programs; a doctorate in education in partnership with University of California, Berkeley with a concentration in special education, and two doctorates in physical therapy with University of California, San Francisco.

SFSU ranks 18th among the top 20 undergraduate schools whose alumni go on to be admitted to the State Bar; many subsequently run for public office.[10]

The Cinema department, in the College of Liberal & Creative Arts, was named one of the nation's "top film schools" by Entertainment Weekly in 2000.[11]


The university is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities, a subgroup of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.[12] The College of Business is accredited by The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International). The college of engineering is accredited by the ABET except the computer engineering program.


SFSU Campus JPL Library

San Francisco State was ranked the 24th top college in the United States by Payscale and CollegeNet's Social Mobility Index college rankings.[13] The university is currently ranked as the 50th best master's-granting university in the Western United States by U.S. News & World Report[14] U.S. News & World Report also ranks San Francisco State University 1st in reputation among its "Western University peers" in 2000.[15][16] Among Western Universities, of which there are 112, San Francisco State was ranked 10th in terms of campus diversity by USNWR.[16] Furthermore, U.S. News & World Report ranks San Francisco State as 8th nationally in the number of transfer students.[16]

San Francisco State University's joint physical therapy master's program with UCSF is consistently ranked among the top 20 in the country.[17] The Philosophical Gourmet Report lists San Francisco State University as one of the top eight universities to earn a terminal MA in philosophy.[18] SFSU is listed as having "one of the nation's top film schools" by "Entertainment Weekly" having produced countless leading filmmakers.[19] The Academy of Management, the leading professional association for management scholars in the world, honored San Francisco State University's College of Business' Ohrenschall Center for Entrepreneurship with the McGraw-Hill/Irwin Innovation in Entrepreneurship Pedagogy Award (2002).[19] The University's College of Extended Learning offers the only American Bar Association-approved paralegal studies program in San Francisco.[19] SFSU was one of the first California State University campuses to offer a doctorate of education. It was also instrumental in the establishment of the International University Of Kyrgyzstan (1993).[19] The University is the only one in California to offer a bachelor's degree in technical and professional writing.[19]


Demographics of student body - Fall 2014[20]
African American 5.5%
Asian American 34.8%
White American 25.5%
Hispanic American 25.3%
Native American 0.4%
Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander 1.5%
Two or More Races 6.9%

In 1968, what was then the longest student strike in the nation's history[21] resulted in establishment of a College of Ethnic Studies and increased recruiting and admissions of students of color. In 2002 there was much tension between pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian students.[22]

Campus buildings

Student Union Building

Residence buildings, communities, and services

Conference facilities


The school's athletic teams, called the Gators, compete in the California Collegiate Athletic Association (except in wrestling, in which they compete in Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference), in the Division II of the NCAA. SFSU fields eleven sports for men and women for the fall, winter, and spring seasons. Fall sports for men include cross country and soccer. Fall sports for women include cross country and soccer. Winter sports for men include basketball and wrestling. Winter sports for women include basketball and indoor track and field. The spring sport for men is baseball. Spring sports for women include outdoor track and field and softball.

SFSU has produced three major league baseball players, of which two later became All-Stars (former Mets shortstop Bud Harrelson, and former Brewers and Red Sox outfielder Tommy Harper). The soccer program has had one player enter the professional leagues. Jared MacLane played in the Professional First Division in Santa Cruz, Bolivia.

The Gators have also produced thirteen National Football League players, including Billy Baird, Elmer Collett, Maury Duncan, Carl Kammerer, Douglas Parrish and Floyd Peters. Mike Holmgren got his collegiate coaching start as the team's Offensive Coordinator in 1981. The football program ended in 1995.

Wrestling has been the most successful sports team in SFSU history. The Gators have scored at a National Championship meet every year since 1963–64. They currently have the sixth longest scoring streak of any collegiate squad. Lars Jensen has been the head coach since 1983–84 and has had an All-American in 22 of his 24 seasons. He has coached nine individual NCAA Champions, 50 All-Americans and in 1996–97, he led SFSU to the NCAA Division II National Championship.


The school first adopted their mascot, the Gator, in 1931. After a call for a mascot by the student newspaper the Bay Leaf, students suggested the "alligator" for its strength and steadfastness. The student also suggested the spelling "Golden Gaters," with an "e," in reference to the Golden Gate. Students voted in favor of the name, but after numerous "misspellings" by the newspaper, the use of Gator, with an "o," stuck.[34][35]


Controversies include:

Notable faculty and alumni


  1. As of June 30, 2015. "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 Endowment Market Value and Change in Endowment Market Value from FY 2014 to FY 2015" (PDF). National Association of College and University Business Officers and Commonfund Institute. 2016.
  2. 1 2
  3. SF State Facts 2006-2007: Faculty & Staffs, San Francisco State University
  4. 1 2 3 Monica Malhotra. "Total Enrollment by Sex and Student Level, Fall 2015 Profile". Retrieved February 20, 2016.
  5. 1 2 SF State Facts 2009–2010, San Francisco State University
  6. "Color System | Identity System Guidelines". 2015-07-14. Retrieved 2015-10-20.
  7. "Search CSU Degrees". Retrieved 2014-02-05.
  8. "California State University Credential Programs : 2013-2014" (PDF). Retrieved 2014-02-05.
  9. Hoover, Ken (March 21, 1999). "1899–1999 `100 Years of Opportunity' A century and 185,020 degrees after its humble beginnings, San Francisco State University proudly celebrates its legacy of service, activism and diversity". San Francisco Chronicle. Hearst Communications. pp. SC–1. Retrieved December 10, 2009.
  10. "San Francisco impact report". Retrieved November 4, 2011.
  11. Entertainment Weekly – Top Showbiz Schools – 11-17-00 at the Wayback Machine (archived February 11, 2001)
  12. "SF State WASC Accreditation".
  13. "Social Mobility Index". Social Mobility Index. CollegeNet and PayScale. 2014. Retrieved June 5, 2015.
  14. "San Francisco State University | Best College | US News". Retrieved 2014-02-05.
  15. "U.S. News & World Reports Ranks San Francisco State University Top in Reputation Among Peers". Retrieved November 4, 2011.
  16. 1 2 3 "SF State News". August 25, 2003. Retrieved November 4, 2011.
  17. "Best Physical Therapy Programs | Top Physical Therapy Schools |US News Best Graduate Schools". Retrieved 2014-02-05.
  18. "Philosophical Gourmet Report". Retrieved December 18, 2014.
  19. 1 2 3 4 5 "Programs - San Francisco State University". Retrieved 2014-02-05.
  20. "SF State Facts 2014-2015". San Francisco State University, University Communications. Fall 2014.
  21. "SFSU Centennial history". Retrieved November 4, 2011.
  22. "SFSU's Response to Pro-Israel – Pro-Palestine Tensions on Campus << SF State News << San Francisco State University". February 21, 2008. Retrieved November 4, 2011.
  23. "Welcome to DineOnCampus at San Francisco State University by Chartwells Higher Education". Retrieved November 4, 2011.
  24. "Dining Center – SF State University Property Management". Retrieved November 4, 2011.
  25. 1 2 "Mary Park and Mary Ward Residence Halls – SF State University Property Management". Retrieved November 4, 2011.
  26. "Science and Technology Theme Community – SF State University Property Management". Retrieved November 4, 2011.
  27. "Towers at Centennial Square – SF State University Property Management". Retrieved November 4, 2011.
  28. "Village at Centennial Square – SF State University Property Management". Retrieved November 4, 2011.
  29. University Park North at the Wayback Machine (archived June 3, 2008)
  30. University Park South at the Wayback Machine (archived February 20, 2009)
  31. "Meeting and Conference Facilities- Seven Hills – SF State University Property Management". Retrieved November 4, 2011.
  32. "Meeting and Conference Facilities-Towers – SF State University Property Management". Retrieved November 4, 2011.
  33. "Sf State Downtown Campus". February 11, 2008. Retrieved November 4, 2011.
  34. SFSU Centennial History, San Francisco State University
  35. "Mascot - SFSU" (PDF). Retrieved 2014-02-05.
  36. "Career Fair protest – SF State News – San Francisco State University". March 19, 2008. Retrieved November 4, 2011.
  37. ""Free speech is not free reign" [sic] – SF State News – San Francisco State University". Retrieved November 4, 2011.
  38. St. John, Kelly (October 10, 2010). "SFSU studies rally tapes for misconduct / Pro-Israel students clashed with supporters of Palestinians". The San Francisco Chronicle.
  39. "Malcolm X Mural Is Marred Amid Dispute on Its Content". The New York Times. May 22, 1994.
  40. Archived April 30, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  41. "San Francisco State University statement in response to on-campus incident". San Francisco State University. Retrieved 1 April 2016.
  42. Borrello, Stevie (March 30, 2016). "University to Investigate After Video Shows Female Student Confronting Male Student for His Dreadlocks". ABC News. Retrieved 1 April 2016.
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Coordinates: 37°43′24″N 122°28′47″W / 37.72333°N 122.47972°W / 37.72333; -122.47972

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