San Francisco State University

1600 Holloway Ave, San Francisco, CA

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Campus image of San Francisco State University

San Francisco State University (SFSU), located in San Francisco, California, offers 115 bachelor's degrees, 97 master's degrees, a Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership, a Ph.D. in Education with a concentration in Special Education, and a Master's of Science (M.S.) in physical therapy.  Additionally, SFSU offers 27 credential programs and 37 certificate programs.

SFSU is known for its innovative learning programs and excellent faculty.  The faculty at SFSU includes Academy Award winners, renowned researchers and professionals who are known for their commitment to public and community causes.


San Francisco Stat University was founded in 1899 as a two-year teacher training college. Its first name was "San Francisco State Normal School.  It had five names over the years, becoming San Francisco State University in 1974.

The first graduating class, in 1901, included 36 women. SFSU became part of the California State College System in 1960.


San Francisco State University runs on the semester system, with fall and spring semesters of 16 weeks each, and a summer semester that runs June through August.

Colleges and Schools

The academic colleges at San Francisco State University are:

  • College of Behavioral and Social Sciences
  • College of Business
  • College of Creative Arts
  • College of Education
  • College of Ethnic Studies
  • College of Health and Human Services
  • College of Humanities
  • College of Science and Engineering

Student Life

The motto of SFSU is "Experientia Docet," which means "Experience Teaches."  There are many opportunities for learning experiences at San Francisco State University, including on-campus living in one of the many residence halls and apartments available on the main campus.  There are "Theme and Learning" communities available for those students who wish to be placed with others sharing similar majors and interests.

For SFSU students interested in arts and culture, there are many workshops, conferences, lectures, debates, forums, exhibits and other programs to attend or participate in.  The College of Creative Arts also produces many dramatic, musical and dance performances that are open to students and the public.

Further, like the city it is located in, San Francisco State University is known for its political activism, social engagement and community service.  Princeton University has deemed SFSU one of the "Colleges with a Conscience" in America.  Thus, there are many causes and social programs for students to become involved in at SFSU.

There are almost 300 student clubs and organizations at SFSU that help students connect and explore their interests.  Additionally, there are many services and amenities offered to students including childcare services, affordable healthcare, legal resources, and more. Intramural sports leagues are also available.


San Francisco State University has 10 athletics teams competing in intercollegiate sports. Its mascot is the alligator, and the school colors are purple and gold.  The SFSU "Gators" teams include the following:

Men's Sports:

  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Cross Country
  • Soccer
  • Wrestling

Women's Sports:

  • Basketball
  • Cross Country
  • Soccer
  • Track and Field
  • Volleyball

Satellite Campuses

In addition to SFSU's main campus in the Southwest region of San Francisco, there are several off-campus centers, including:

  • Downtown Campus
  • Romberg Tiburon Center for Environmental Studies
  • Sierra Nevada Field Campus
  • Moss Landing Marine Laboratories

Community Life

San Francisco is one of the most beautiful cities in California, if not the world.  Like the city, SFSU has a very diverse, international population. Students will find it easy to commute to and from SFSU campus via public transport, as well as by bicycle or car.  Though SFSU's main campus is well outside the downtown area, there are many parks and beaches nearby, along with renowned attractions that are easy to visit like the Golden Gate Bridge, the Coit Tower, Fairmont Hotel, Fisherman's Wharf, and more.

Admission Requirements & Details

The admissions information below may give an overview of the candidates San Francisco State University accepts. The details may include application requirements and recommendations, as well as any AP credits that may be transferred.

College Credits Accepted

  • Dual Credits
  • Life Experience Credits
  • AP Course Credits

Student Enrollment

Total enrollment at San Francisco State University is around 30,000 students, where graduate students make up roughly 14% of the student body.


Estimated Costs & Financial Aid

The average "out of pocket" cost of attendance, after any grants and scholarships are considered, is around $12,900. To calculate a more personalized cost visit the net price calculator. There is also a $55 application fee for students applying to the school. The figures listed below are for informational purposes only and do not represent current or future tuition, fees, and expenses.

Tuition & Fees Information

  • Annual tuition range estimates:
    • State Residents: $5,500-$6,600
    • Out-of-State: $17,000-$19,960

Financial Aid Details

The table below breaks down the types of financial aid, the percent of students receiving aid, and average amount of aid per student per year.

 Percent of StudentsAverage Amount
Any Financial Aid78%-
Receiving Grants & Scholarships72%$8,299
Receiving Student Loans42%$5,520

Academics & Student Services

Student Services

To help students and alumni, San Francisco State University may provide services to students like:

  • Distance learning
  • Remedial courses
  • Counseling assistance
  • Student employment
  • Assisting students to find work
  • Child care

Graduation Rates

San Francisco State University has an overall graduation rate which is approximately 45%.

Number of Year to GraduatePercent of Entering Class
Students Graduating in 4 Years13%
Graduating in 5 Years22%
Graduating in 6 Years10%

Specialized Programs & Accreditations

  • Art and Design Program
  • Dietetics Program (more info)
  • Music Program (more info)
  • Bachelor's Degree in Nursing (BSN) Program (more info)
  • Nursing (MSN, DSN) Program (more info)
  • Graduate Level Public Health (Outside School of Public Health) Program (more info)
  • Speech-Language Pathology Program
  • Theatre Program

Intercollegiate Athletics

San Francisco State University is a Member of National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), with many of the sports belonging to the NCAA Division II (without football) classification. The most popular sports played are listed below:

  • Baseball (California Collegiate Athletic Assoc)
  • Basketball (California Collegiate Athletic Assoc)
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Track and Field, Indoor
  • Track and Field, Outdoor
  • Track and Field, X-Country
  • Volleyball
  • Wrestling

Programs Offered

The program list below is organized by areas of study. The programs that have a link will direct you to the program's profile page where you can learn more about education requirements and career pathways.

Get more information about the programs offered by San Francisco State University by clicking the request information to the right.

(C) Certificate or Award | (A) Associate's | (B) Bachelor's | (M) Master's Degree | (D) Doctorate (PhD,...)

Biological and Biomedical Sciences

Business and Marketing Studies

Communications and Journalism

Computer and Information Sciences



Engineering Technology

English Language and Literature

Ethnic Cultural and Gender Studies

Family and Consumer Sciences

Foreign Languages and Literature

Health and Clinical Professions


Interdisciplinary Studies

Liberal Arts and Sciences

Mathematics and Statistics

Natural Resources and Conservation

Philosophy and Religious Studies

Physical Sciences


Public Administration and Social Services

Recreation and Fitness Studies

Security and Protective Services

Social Sciences

Visual and Performing Arts

Other 4-Year Public Colleges

The list of schools below have been selected by researching which schools offer similar programs to San Francisco State University.

See a list of all the colleges and universities by clicking on one of the links below:

Request Information

Contact Information

General Contact

Admissions Office

Financial Aid Office

Virtual Tour of Campus

Virtual Tour of San Francisco State University

College Video Tour

School Map