World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

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"
Established 1899
Type Public
Endowment $65.4 million (2014)[1]
President Leslie E. Wong
Academic staff
1,620 (Fall, 2013)[2]
Administrative staff
Students 29,905 (Fall 2013)[4]
Undergraduates 26,156 (Fall 2013)
Postgraduates 3,749 (Fall 2013)
193 (Fall 2013)[5]
Location San Francisco, California, United States
Campus Urban, 141.1 acres (57.1 ha)[6]
Colors Purple and Gold[7]
Athletics NCAA Division IICCAA
Nickname Gators
Mascot Gator
Affiliations California State University
Website .edu.sfsuwww

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.[6][8][9]


  • History 1
  • Academics 2
  • Accreditation 3
  • Distinctions 4
  • Diversity 5
  • Campus buildings 6
    • Residence buildings, communities, and services 6.1
    • Conference facilities 6.2
  • Athletics 7
    • Mascot 7.1
  • Controversies 8
  • Notable faculty and alumni 9
  • References 10
  • External links 11


  • 1899 – Founded as San Francisco State Normal School.
  • 1901 – First graduating class
  • 1906 – The 1906 earthquake and fire forces the school to relocate from Nob Hill to a new campus at Buchanan and Haight Streets.
  • 1921 – Renamed San Francisco State Teachers College
  • 1923 – First bachelor of arts degree awarded
  • 1935 – Renamed San Francisco State College
  • 1953 – Current campus near Lake Merced opens; it is formally dedicated in October, 1954.
  • 1966 – Beginning of the era of campus protests led by student organizations including the Students for a Democratic Society. The protests against college policies and off-campus issues such as the Vietnam War included sit-ins, rallies, marches, teach-ins, and on several occasions violent conflicts with police. The protests were marked by counter-protests and widespread charges of corruption and election fraud in the student newspaper.
  • 1968 – A lengthy student strike erupted that developed into an important event in the history of the U.S. in the late 1960s. The strike was led by the Black Student Union and the Third World Liberation Front, and it demanded an Ethnic Studies program as well as an end to the Vietnam War. This became a major news event for weeks in the aftermath of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. At one point, University president S.I. Hayakawa famously pulled the wires out of the speakers on top of a van at a student rally. During the course of the strike, large numbers of police drawn from many jurisdictions occupied the campus and over 700 people were arrested on various protest-related charges.
  • 1969 – On March 20, an agreement was reached, and the strike officially comes to an end with the administration retaining control of hiring and admissions and the creation of the School (now College) of Ethnic Studies.
  • 1972 – Received university status as California State University, San Francisco
  • 1974 – Renamed San Francisco State University
  • 1975 - Cesar Chavez Student Center opened its doors to students
  • 1993 – Downtown campus opened
  • 1999 – Celebrated 100th birthday[10]
  • 2007 – New Downtown Campus opened at 835 Market Street


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:

  • Liberal & Creative Arts
  • Business
  • Education
  • Ethnic Studies
  • Health and Social Sciences
  • Science and Engineering

In addition, the University has a College of Extended Learning. SF State is on the semester system.

Fall Freshman Statistics[4][11][12][13][14]
2013 2012 2011 2010 2009
Freshman Applicants 31,108 34,930 31,462 30,089 29,376 28,218
Admits 20,889 20,070 19,569 18,401 20,465
% Admitted 59.80 63.79 65.03 62.63 72.52
Enrolled 3,612 3,807 3,537 3,695 4,032
GPA 3.19 3.14 3.15 3.12 3.11
SAT Composite 995 1007 1009 1011
ACT Composite 22 22 22 21
*SAT out of 1600

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.[15]

The Cinema department, in the College of Creative Arts, was named one of the nation's "top film schools" by Entertainment Weekly in 2000.[16]


The university is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities, a subgroup of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.[17] 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.[18] The university is currently ranked as the 50th best master's-granting university in the Western United States by U.S. News & World Report[19] U.S. News & World Report also ranks San Francisco State University 1st in reputation among its "Western University peers" in 2000.[20][21] Among Western Universities, of which there are 112, San Francisco State was ranked 10th in terms of campus diversity by USNWR.[21] Furthermore, U.S. News & World Report ranks San Francisco State as 8th nationally in the number of transfer students.[21]

San Francisco State University's joint physical therapy master's program with UCSF is consistently ranked among the top 20 in the country.[22] The Philosophical Gourmet Report lists San Francisco State University as one of the top eight universities to earn a terminal MA in philosophy.[23] SFSU is listed as having "one of the nation's top film schools" by "Entertainment Weekly" having produced countless leading filmmakers.[24] 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).[24] The University's College of Extended Learning offers the only American Bar Association-approved paralegal studies program in San Francisco.[24] 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).[24] The University is the only one in California to offer a bachelor's degree in technical and professional writing.[24]


Demographics of student body - Fall 2014[25]
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[26] 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.[27]

Campus buildings

Student Union Building

Residence buildings, communities, and services

  • City Eats Dining Center (DC)[28][29]
  • Mary Park Hall (MPH)[30]
  • Mary Ward Hall (MWH)[30]
  • Science and Technology Theme Community (STTC)[31]
  • The Towers at Centennial Square (TCS)[32]
  • The Village at Centennial Square (VCS)[33]
  • University Park North (UPN)[34]
  • University Park South (UPS)[35]
  • Humanities building (HM)

Conference facilities

  • Seven Hills Conference Center[36]
  • Towers Conference Center[37]
  • Downtown Campus[38]


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.[39][40]


Controversies include:

  • Student protests of military recruiters on campus (in which the administration defended its actions[41]), and confrontations between students with differing views on the Iraq War (in which the administration defended its actions again.)[42]
  • A near-riot occurred on May 7, 2002, when a pro-Palestinian group attended a pro-Israel demonstration on campus. The pro-Israel students say that the Palestinian supporters chanted anti-semitic epithets at them, such as "Hitler should have finished the job." The pro-Palestinian group say the pro-Israelis started the conflict by calling them terrorists and using epithets such as "camel jockey." No violence occurred, but campus and city police were called in to defuse the situation.[43]
  • In 1994 a mural depicting Malcolm X was painted on the student union building, commissioned by the Pan-African Student Union and African Student Alliance. The mural's border contained yellow Stars of David and dollar signs mingled with skulls and crossbones and near the words "African Blood." The next week, after demonstrations on both sides, the school administration had the mural painted over, and subsequently sand blasted.[44] Two years later a new Malcolm X mural was painted, without the controversial symbols.[45]

Notable faculty and alumni


  1. ^ As of June 30, 2014. "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 Endowment Market Value and Change in Endowment Market Value from FY 2013 to FY 2014" (PDF). National Association of College and University Business Officers and Commonfund Institute. 2015. 
  2. ^ a b
  3. ^ SF State Facts 2006-2007: Faculty & Staffs, San Francisco State University
  4. ^ a b "Common Data Set 2013-2014" (PDF). Retrieved 2014-02-05. 
  5. ^ Monica Malhotra, Lisa Limbeek. "CSU | AS | Student Enrollment in Degree Programs Report - Fall 2013". Retrieved 2014-08-17. 
  6. ^ a b SF State Facts 2009–2010, San Francisco State University
  7. ^ "Color System | Identity System Guidelines". 2015-07-14. Retrieved 2015-10-20. 
  8. ^ "Search CSU Degrees". Retrieved 2014-02-05. 
  9. ^ "California State University Credential Programs : 2013-2014" (PDF). Retrieved 2014-02-05. 
  10. ^ 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 ( 
  11. ^ "Data Book - Academic Planning and Development - SF State". 2011-06-14. Retrieved 2014-02-05. 
  12. ^ "Common Data Set 2012-2013" (PDF). Retrieved 2014-02-05. 
  13. ^ "CSU APPLICATIONS AND ADMISSIONS REPORTS, FALL 2012". 2013-05-14. Retrieved 2014-02-05. 
  14. ^ "Fall Applications for admission Submitted via CSU Mentor : Initial Application Filing Period" (PDF). Retrieved 2014-02-05. 
  15. ^ "San Francisco impact report". Retrieved November 4, 2011. 
  16. ^ Entertainment Weekly – Top Showbiz Schools – 11-17-00 at the Wayback Machine (archived February 11, 2001)
  17. ^ "SF State WASC Accreditation". 
  18. ^ "Social Mobility Index". Social Mobility Index. CollegeNet and PayScale. 2014. Retrieved June 5, 2015. 
  19. ^ "San Francisco State University | Best College | US News". Retrieved 2014-02-05. 
  20. ^ "U.S. News & World Reports Ranks San Francisco State University Top in Reputation Among Peers". Retrieved November 4, 2011. 
  21. ^ a b c "SF State News". August 25, 2003. Retrieved November 4, 2011. 
  22. ^ "Best Physical Therapy Programs | Top Physical Therapy Schools |US News Best Graduate Schools". Retrieved 2014-02-05. 
  23. ^ "Philosophical Gourmet Report". Retrieved December 18, 2014. 
  24. ^ a b c d e "Programs - San Francisco State University". Retrieved 2014-02-05. 
  25. ^ "SF State Facts 2014-2015". San Francisco State University, University Communications. Fall 2014. 
  26. ^ "SFSU Centennial history". Retrieved November 4, 2011. 
  27. ^ "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. 
  28. ^ "Welcome to DineOnCampus at San Francisco State University by Chartwells Higher Education". Retrieved November 4, 2011. 
  29. ^ "Dining Center – SF State University Property Management". Retrieved November 4, 2011. 
  30. ^ a b "Mary Park and Mary Ward Residence Halls – SF State University Property Management". Retrieved November 4, 2011. 
  31. ^ "Science and Technology Theme Community – SF State University Property Management". Retrieved November 4, 2011. 
  32. ^ "Towers at Centennial Square – SF State University Property Management". Retrieved November 4, 2011. 
  33. ^ "Village at Centennial Square – SF State University Property Management". Retrieved November 4, 2011. 
  34. ^ University Park North at the Wayback Machine (archived June 3, 2008)
  35. ^ University Park South at the Wayback Machine (archived February 20, 2009)
  36. ^ "Meeting and Conference Facilities- Seven Hills – SF State University Property Management". Retrieved November 4, 2011. 
  37. ^ "Meeting and Conference Facilities-Towers – SF State University Property Management". Retrieved November 4, 2011. 
  38. ^ "Sf State Downtown Campus". February 11, 2008. Retrieved November 4, 2011. 
  39. ^ SFSU Centennial History, San Francisco State University
  40. ^ "Mascot - SFSU" (PDF). Retrieved 2014-02-05. 
  41. ^ "Career Fair protest – SF State News – San Francisco State University". March 19, 2008. Retrieved November 4, 2011. 
  42. ^ Free speech is not free reign" [sic] – SF State News – San Francisco State University""". Retrieved November 4, 2011. 
  43. ^ St. John, Kelly (October 10, 2010). "SFSU studies rally tapes for misconduct / Pro-Israel students clashed with supporters of Palestinians". The San Francisco Chronicle. 
  44. ^ "Malcolm X Mural Is Marred Amid Dispute on Its Content". The New York Times. May 22, 1994. 
  45. ^ [2] Archived April 30, 2009 at the Wayback Machine

External links

  • Official website
  • San Francisco State Athletics website

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.