San Francisco State University | History San Francisco State University

San Francisco 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 over 100 areas of study from nine academic colleges. San Francisco State University consistently ranks among the top 50 master's–granting universities in the west by U.S. News & World Report. 

In the year of 2009–2010, approximately 30,469 students were enrolled at San Francisco State University, of whom 82.1% were undergraduate students and 17.9% were graduate students. The university was founded in 1899, making it one of California's oldest public universities.

  • 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–Present 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 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 - In March, 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
  • 1993 - Downtown campus opened
  • 1999 - Celebrated 100th birthday
  • 2007 - New Downtown Campus opened at 835 Market Street
  • 2009 - Students occupied the business building before dawn Wednesday, December 9th for 24 hours to protest higher tuition, massive layoffs, hundreds of classes cut and millions for administration salary. Hundreds of students linked arms at various points throughout the day in solidarity against the complete dismantling of the education system in California.

The university's academic colleges are:
  • Behavioral and Social Sciences
  • Business
  • Creative Arts
  • Education
  • Ethnic Studies
  • Health and Human Services
  • Humanities
  • Science and Engineering
In addition, the University has a College of Extended Learning.

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.

SF State is a major training ground for lawyers and lawmakers in California. It ranks 18th among the top 20 undergraduate schools whose alumni go on to be admitted to the State Bar.

The Cinema department, in the College of Creative Arts, was named one of the nation's "top film schools" by Entertainment Weekly in 2000. Alumni of the program have worked on such films as Titanic, Schindler's List, and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

  • The university is currently ranked as the 45th best master's-granting university in the Western United States by U.S. News & World Report.
  • U.S. News & World Report ranks San Francisco State University 1st in reputation among its "Western University peers" in 2000.
  • Among Western Universities, of which there are 112, San Francisco State was ranked 10th in terms of campus diversity by U.S. News and World Report.
  • U.S. News & World Report ranks San Francisco State as 8th nationally in the number of transfer students.
  • San Francisco State University's physical therapy master's program is consistently ranked among the top 20 in the country by U.S. News and World Report.
  • San Francisco State University ranks 1st nationwide in the number of biological sciences undergrads who go on to earn biology Ph.D.s according to the most recent National Science Foundation report.
  • The Philosophical Gourmet Report lists San Francisco State University as one of the top universities to earn a terminal MA in philosophy.
  • San Francisco State University is among the top 201 colleges and universities that offer "real world," job-focused services and skill development, according to Great Colleges for the Real World by (Michael P. Viollt, Octameron Associates, 2002).
  • San Francisco State University is listed as having "one of the nation's top film schools" by Entertainment Weekly.
  • Each year San Francisco State University's College of Business awards more business degrees than Stanford, UC Berkeley and the University of San Francisco—combined.
  • San Francisco State University sends more master's graduates into Ph.D. programs than any other masters'-granting university in the country.
  • San Francisco State University is the only university in California to offer a bachelor's degree in technical and professional writing.
  • 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).
  • San Francisco State University's College of Extended Learning offers the only American Bar Association-approved paralegal studies program in San Francisco.
  • San Francisco State University was one of the first California State University campuses to offer a doctorate of education.
  • San Francisco State University is the first and only university in the United States to house a College of Ethnic Studies.
  • San Francisco State University was instrumental in the establishment of the International University Of Kyrgyzstan (1993).
Classes and services
  • Administration (ADM)
  • Burk Hall (BH)
  • Business Building (BUS)
  • Cesar Chavez Student Center - a unique building with an unusual floor plan. The ground floors are shaped like hexagons, containing open areas, concessions, the book store and the cafeteria. Each hexagon is topped by a thin pyramid approximately five stories tall. Both pyramids lean at approximately 45 degrees towards each other. The inside of the pyramids contain a stacked set of ever-higher living-room-like areas with couches and tables.
  • Creative Arts Building (CA)
  • Ethnic Studies and Psychology (EP)
  • Fine Arts Building (FA)
  • Gymnasium (GYM)
  • Hensill Hall (HH)
  • Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS) Building
  • Humanities Building (HUM)
  • J. Paul Leonard Library (currently under renovation expected completion date 2012)
  • Library Annex I and II (temporary facilities due to library renovation)
  • Science Building (SCI)
  • Student Health Center - An underground building with a center open-air court area.
  • Student Services Building (SSB)
  • Thornton Hall (TH)
Residence buildings, communities, and services
  • CafĂ© in the Park
  • City Eats Dining Center (DC)
  • Mary Park Hall (MPH)
  • Mary Ward Hall (MWH)
  • Science and Technology Theme Community (STTC)
  • The Towers at Centennial Square (TCS)
  • The Village at Centennial Square (VCS)
  • University Park North (UPN)
  • University Park South (UPS)