Describing the University

When writing about San Francisco State University, it’s important to emphasize the unique qualities and values that make the University special. They’re encapsulated in the four pillars of the University's SF State Brand strategy: inclusivity (campus life), discovery (academics), access (location) and empowerment (services). When combined with key data points — the fact that 64% of our students receive financial aid, for instance — it’s easy to make the case that SF State is exceptional and important.  

Below is sample language that can be used in letters, brochures and website copy whenever a description of the University, its mission and its unique, critical role in the Bay Area is needed. You’ll also find facts, figures and historical background on our SF State Facts page that will help you paint a picture of SF State’s present and past. 

Elevator Pitch Overview

Sometimes, there’s not a lot of time or space to sum up what the University does. In those instances, a couple sentences might do the trick.

San Francisco State University, a champion of equity and community inclusion, envisions a world where students are empowered to pursue their education bravely, confidently and passionately. With our inclusive campus life, world-class faculty, supportive services and location in San Francisco, Biotech Bay and Silicon Valley, we ignite the power of education for all so our students can positively impact their communities and the world.  

Just-the-Facts Overview

Other times, more facts and figures are appropriate. But even then it’s possible to work in important messages.

Part of the 23-campus California State University system, San Francisco State University is a public university serving students from the San Francisco Bay Area, across California and around the world, with nationally acclaimed programs that span a broad range of disciplines. A total of 23,700 students are currently enrolled at the University, and its more than 293,000 graduates have contributed to the economic, cultural and civic fabric of San Francisco and beyond. Through them — and its more than 1,800 world-class faculty members — SF State proudly embraces its legacy of academic excellence, community engagement and commitment to social justice.  

Messaging Overview

Then there are those times when there’s room to work in everything, including background information, facts and figures, and messages designed to reinforce a specific aspect of the University (such as its important role in workforce development).

Since 1899, San Francisco State University has championed equity and community inclusion, envisioning a world in which every student is empowered to pursue their educational dreams bravely, confidently and passionately. With our inclusive campus life, world-class faculty, supportive student services and location in the City of San Francisco, Biotech Bay and Silicon Valley, we ignite the power of education for all, so our students can go on to make a positive impact in their communities and the world. 

Nearly a third of San Francisco State students are the first in their families to attend college, and nearly two-thirds receive financial aid. Most — 60% — hail from the Bay Area region, while 80% of our alumni remain here after graduating. That makes SF State a regional engine driving innovation and change in the private sector, arts and culture, public service and activism. From biotech to elected office, from creatives to nonprofit leaders, our more than 293,000 graduates embody the Bay Area’s uniquely forward-thinking culture of possibility.