San Francisco State University (commonly referred to as San Francisco State, SF State and SFSU) is a public research university in San Francisco. As part of the 23-campus California State University system, the university offers 118 different bachelor's degrees, 94 master's degrees, and 5 doctoral degrees along with 26 teaching credentials among six academic colleges.   It is  classified among "R2: Doctoral Universities – High research activity".
The university was founded in 1899 as a state-run
normal school for training school teachers, obtaining state college status in 1921 and state university status in 1972. The 141-acre campus is located in the southwest part of the city, less than two miles from the Pacific coast. San Francisco State has 12 varsity athletic teams which compete at the NCAA Division II level, most as members of the California Collegiate Athletic Association. San Francisco State is an Hispanic-serving institution (HSI) and is eligible to be designated as an Asian American Native American Pacific Islander serving institution (AANAPISI).
San Francisco State's past and present faculty and alumni include 21
Pulitzer Prize winners, 16 Academy Award winners, 49 Emmy Award winners, 10 Grammy Award winners, 12 Tony Award laureates, 4 billionaires, and 1 astronaut.
Graduating class, State Normal School at San Francisco, June 1906
1899 – Founded as
San Francisco State Normal School, in the first year enrollment was 31 women, and the campus originally located on Powell Street near Clay Street.  1901 – First graduating class.
 1906 – The
1906 earthquake and fire forces the school to relocate from Nob Hill to a temporary campus at the Grant School in Oakland, followed by a new campus at Buchanan and Haight Streets.  1921 – Renamed
San Francisco State Teachers College  1923 – First Bachelor of Arts degree awarded
1929 – First known African-American to graduate from the school is teacher Grace Hackett.
 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
Black Student Union, Third World Liberation Front, and Students for a Democratic Society. They protested college policies and off-campus issues such as the Vietnam War with sit-ins, rallies, marches, and teach-ins, sometimes clashing violently with police. 1968–1969 – A lengthy
student strike erupted in November, led by the Black Student Union and the Third World Liberation Front, who demanded an Ethnic Studies program and an end to the Vietnam War. It was a major news event for weeks in the aftermath of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. The strike ended in March 1969 with an agreement to create 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
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. Two years later a new Malcolm X mural was painted, without the controversial symbols.   1999 – Celebrated 100th birthday
 2007 – Downtown Campus opened at 835 Market Street
2013 – The Science Building was found to have "unsafe levels" of airborne mercury, lead and asbestos in the basement as a result of reports that pesticide-laden Native American artifacts were previously stored with a material now known to be highly hazardous. As a result of the contamination, over $3.6 million was spent for remediation of the pervasive contamination. University Administration terminated several employees who reported the contamination, resulting in several wrongful termination and whistle-blower lawsuits, including one by the recently hired director. In July 2014, Cal/OSHA cited the university for various health and safety violations in the Science Building, which included SFSU failing to locate asbestos in the building and warn employees about the hazards of mercury.  SFSU previously ran into trouble with its Environmental Health and Safety program when the director prior, Robert Shearer, was accused of taking bribes from a waste disposal firm in exchange for at least $4 million in university funds.  
SF Students hold signs in solidarity and support of the Third World Liberation Front 2016, the name of the court students on a hunger strike to defend the SF State College of Ethnic Studies, during an emergency press conference in the Quad Monday, May 9
2017 – A group of Jewish students accused SFSU of encouraging
anti-Semitism, and excluding Jewish student pro-Israel activist groups from campus activities.   These students filed a court case, however a federal judge dismissed the suit in 2018.  In 2019 the university granted Zionist student groups equal rights with other student groups.   2020 – SFSU faculty Rabab Abdulhadi and Tomomi Kinukawa were hosting a virtual class lecture on Zoom (software) by Leila Khaled, a Palestinian political activist with a militant history, when the Zoom canceled the broadcast due to the support of a pro- Zionism stance.  The event brought SFSU into a tense national news debate.   
Fall Freshman Statistics
In Fall of 2013, the university had 1,620 faculty, of which 683 (or 42 percent) were on the tenure track.
The university's academic colleges are:
Liberal & Creative Arts
Health and Social Sciences
Science and Engineering
In addition, the university has a College of Extended Learning. There is also an unofficial eighth college, the Experimental College,
which allows students to teach each other.
SF State is on the
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.
The most popular undergraduate majors are Business Administration, Biology, Kinesiology, Engineering, English, Communication Studies, Psychology, Criminal Justice Studies, Sociology, and Cinema.
The student-faculty ratio at San Francisco State University is 23:1, and 27.1 percent of its classes have fewer than 20 students. 
The university is accredited by the WASC Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities.
The College of Business is accredited by the  Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International). The School of Engineering is accredited by the  Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).
Distinctions and rankings
In 2020, San Francisco State was ranked the 19th top university in the United States by
PayScale and CollegeNET's Social Mobility Index university rankings. In 2022, the  Philosophical Gourmet Report listed San Francisco State University as one of the top eight universities to earn a terminal MA in philosophy. 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). The university is the only one in California to offer a bachelor's degree in technical and professional writing.  It is also the only university in the California State University system to offer a master's degree in  Classics.
In 2011, SFSU ranked 18th among the top 20 undergraduate schools whose alumni went on to be admitted to the
State Bar; many subsequently ran for public office. The university's College of Extended Learning offers the only  American Bar Association-approved paralegal studies program in San Francisco.
Cinema Department, in the College of Liberal & Creative Arts, was named one of the world's best film schools by in 2019. Variety SFSU was also listed as one of the nation's top 25 film schools by  , having produced many leading filmmakers, with over 13 The Hollywood Reporter Academy Award wins among its alumni. 
The Sutro Library, located within the J. Paul Leonard Library, houses the largest collection of
genealogical records west of Salt Lake City.
In 1969, the longest
student strike in U.S. history resulted in the establishment of the College of  Ethnic Studies and increased recruiting and admissions of students of different and varied ethnic backgrounds.
ranked San Francisco State as the 11th most diverse college in America, citing 51% minority students. Forbes Among 121 Western Universities, San Francisco State was ranked sixth in terms of campus diversity by  U.S. News & World Report in 2013. In 2016, San Francisco State was ranked as the most diverse student body among the 100 largest American universities by Priceonomics. 
San Francisco State has the second largest Asian and Filipino American enrollment percentage in the Cal State system.
Main campus buildings
Campus dorms and apartments
Burk Hall (BH)
Creative Arts (CA)
Ethnic Studies & Psychology (EP)
Fine Arts (FA)
Health & Social Sciences (HSS)
Hensill Hall (HH)
Liberal and Creative Arts (LCA)
J. Paul Leonard Library (LIB)
Sutro Library (in LIB)
Thornton Hall (TH)
Marcus Hall (MH)
Residence buildings, communities, and services
City Eats Dining Center (DC)
  Manzanita Square (MZS)
 Mary Park Hall (MPH)
 Mary Ward Hall (MWH)
 Towers Junior Suites (TJS)
 The Towers at Centennial Square (TCS)
 The Village at Centennial Square (VCS)
 University Park North (UPN)
 University Park South (UPS) 
A dormitory building, Verducci Hall, was imploded in 1999, having sustained damage from the
1989 Loma Prieta earthquake.
Seven Hills Conference Center
 Towers Conference Center 
Note: The Downtown Campus has a conference room. The Bay Conference Center
is located in the Romberg Tiburon Campus.
Student life and Administrative services
Cesar Chavez Student Center (CCSC)
Children's Campus (formerly Child Care Center) (A.S. ECEC)
Mashouf Wellness Center (MWC)
Student Health Center (SHS)
Student Services (SSB)
Entrance at 19th Ave and Holloway Ave
In addition to the main campus, the school also has three satellite campuses.
The Downtown Campus is part of the Lam Family College of Business and the College of Extended Learning and is located in the office area of
Westfield San Francisco Centre. 
The Sierra Nevada Field Campus is located in
Sierra County near Yuba Pass and the Sierra Valley and offers accredited courses to the general public.
The Romberg Tiburon Campus is a 53-acre research campus located in
Marin County. It is home to the Estuary and Ocean Science Center, a marine research lab.
The daycare center on the main campus is known as the Children's Campus.
San Francisco State Gators wordmark
The school's intercollegiate athletics teams, nicknamed the Gators, compete in
NCAA Division II and are a member of the California Collegiate Athletic Association ( wrestling competes in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference). SF State fields twelve sports: men's and women's cross country, men's and women's soccer, women's volleyball, men's and women's basketball, men's baseball, wrestling, indoor track and field, outdoor track and field and softball.
SF State has produced three
Major League Baseball players, of which two 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 ranks. Jared MacLane played in the soccer 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.
SF State Wrestling sent a wrestler to a national championship meet every year from 1963–64 to 2016–17.
As of 2019, the Gators have earned one NCAA team championship at the Division II level:
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 students 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. 
Associated Students host the San Francisco State Folk Festival. including 5th Annual San Francisco State College Folk Festival April 15–17, 1966.  7th Annual San Francisco State College Folk Festival April 24–27, 1968,  2nd Annual San Francisco State College Folk Festival 1963, with  Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter (lyricist) 6th Annual San Francisco State College Folk Festival in March and April 1967,  4th Annual San Francisco State College Folk Festival 1965.  San Francisco State College Folk Festival, September 25, 1970. 
KSFS is a college radio station run by Broadcast and Electronic Communication Arts (BECA) students,
streaming online,  at 100.7 on Comcast Cable radio in San Francisco, and at 88.1 FM near the SFSU campus mini transmitter.  
Notable faculty and alumni
– prolific pornographic actress, activist and educator ('85)
^ Other consists of
Multiracial Americans & those who prefer to not say.
^ The percentage of students who received an income-based federal
Pell grant intended for low-income students.
^ The percentage of students who are a part of the
American middle class at the bare minimum.
^ As of June 30, 2020.
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