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San Francisco State College

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San Francisco State College

San Francisco State University
Motto Experientia Docet (Latin)
Motto in English Experience Teaches
Established 1899
Type Public
Endowment $51.2 million (2012)[1]
President Leslie E. Wong
Academic staff 1,506[2]
Admin. staff 2,010[2]
Students 27,515 (Spring 2013)[3]
Undergraduates 23,819 (Spring 2013)
Postgraduates 3,696 (Spring 2013)
Location San Francisco, California, United States
Campus Urban, 141.61 acres (57.31 ha)[4]
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)
Colors Purple and Gold         
Athletics NCAA Division II
11 Varsity Sports
Mascot Gators
Affiliations California State University

San Francisco State University (commonly referred to as San Francisco State, SF State and SFSU) is a public university located in San Francisco, California. 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.[4][5][6] San Francisco State University consistently ranks among the top 50 master's–granting universities in the west by U.S. News & World Report.[7] SFSU has one of the top ranked engineering schools in the world by Business Insider.[8]


  • 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 Black Students Union, Third World Liberation Front, and 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[9]
  • 2007 – New Downtown Campus opened at 835 Market Street


The university's academic colleges are:

  • Liberal & Creative Arts
  • Business
  • Education
  • Ethnic Studies
  • Health and Human Services
  • Science and Engineering

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

Fall Freshman Statistics[10][11][12][13]

  2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007
Freshman Applicants 34,235 31,462 30,089 29,376 28,218 30,796 27,451
Admits 20,070 19,569 18,401 20,465 20,351 18,370
 % Admitted 63.79 65.03 62.63 72.52 66.08 66.91
Enrolled 3,807 3,537 3,695 4,032 3,600 3,465
GPA 3.14 3.15 3.12 3.11 3.13 3.10
SAT Composite 995 1007 1009 1011 1015 1002
ACT Composite 22 22 22 21 21 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.[14]

The The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.


The university is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities, a subgroup of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.[16] The College of Business is accredited by The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International).


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

San Francisco State University's joint physical therapy master's program with UCSF is consistently ranked among the top 20 in the country.[20] The Philosophical Gourmet Report lists San Francisco State University as one of the top ten universities to earn a terminal MA in philosophy.[21] SFSU is listed as having "one of the nation's top film schools" by "Entertainment Weekly" having produced countless leading filmmakers.[22] 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).[22] The University's College of Extended Learning offers the only American Bar Association-approved paralegal studies program in San Francisco.[22] 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).[22] The University is the only one in California to offer a Bachelor's degree in technical and professional writing.[22]


Demographics of student body
African American 5.9%
Asian American 29.8%
White American 29.6%
Hispanic American 15.9%
Native American 0.5%
International 6.2%
Ethnicity unreported/unknown 11.9%

In 1968, what was then the longest student strike in the nation's history,[23] 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.[24]


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. [25][26]

The team was called the Golden Gaters until the late 1940s. At that time, they began having two live alligators at football games, Oogee (oo-gee) and Ougee (aug-gee). The name was changed to the Golden Gators. The alligator mascots were dropped shortly and Golden was dropped from the name in the early 1970s.

Campus buildings

Residence buildings, communities, and services

  • City Eats Dining Center (DC)[27][28]
  • Mary Park Hall (MPH)[29]
  • Mary Ward Hall (MWH)[29]
  • Science and Technology Theme Community (STTC)[30]
  • The Towers at Centennial Square (TCS)[31]
  • The Village at Centennial Square (VCS)[32]
  • University Park North (UPN)[33]
  • University Park South (UPS)[34]

Conference facilities

  • Seven Hills Conference Center[35]
  • Towers Conference Center[36]
  • Downtown Campus[37]


Main article: San Francisco State Gators

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.


Controversies include:

  • Students shut down the business building to protest budget cuts during finals time causing many classes to be canceled.
  • Student protests of military recruiters on campus (in which the administration defended its actions[38]), and confrontations between students with differing views on the Iraq War (in which the administration defended its actions again[39]).
  • The National Lawyers Guild charged that the university violated due process rights of campus anti-war activists.[40]
  • The Campus Antiwar Network (CAN) has charged that the university violated due process rights of campus anti-war activists.[41]
  • 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.[42]
  • 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.[43] Two years later a new Malcolm X mural was painted, without the controversial symbols.[44]
  • During the campus protests of 1968-69 to gain an Ethnic Studies program, school President S. I. Hayakawa drew the ire of students by pulling the wires from a loudspeaker so that protesters could no longer be heard. He also threw the first rock to destroy the existing Student Center making way for a new one to be built.

Notable faculty and alumni


External links

  • Official Athletics website

Coordinates: 37°43′24″N 122°28′47″W / 37.72333°N 122.47972°W / 37.72333; -122.47972

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