We Make Careers Happen

At San Francisco State University, we are serious about student success -- and the proof is in the impressive achievements of our alumni.

One student looks into a camera while two others watch

Graduates of SF State's education program are the highest paid in the country. We boast the California State University system's highest number of science graduates who subsequently earn a University of California doctorate. SF State is also a major training ground for lawyers and lawmakers, among the top 20 undergraduate schools whose alumni go on to be admitted to the California State Bar. And we rank seventh for the number of alums employed at Apple.

In the world of entertainment, SF State alumni have racked up 15 Oscar wins, and the University has been named one of the nation's top film schools by Entertainment Weekly and The Hollywood Reporter. Alums have won 10 Pulitzer Prizes -- for poetry, journalism and musical composition -- as well as 47 Emmys, 10 Grammys and 12 Tonys.

Perhaps what makes SF State grads so successful is that they leave the University with practical knowledge. SF State emphasizes learning by experience, and many students perform hands-on professional work in their field:

  • SF State's community service-learning program, consisting of almost 500 courses, places students in nonprofits where they learn directly from community leaders and develop the skills and passion for public service.
  • Students are frequently credited as primary authors of scientific research documenting new discoveries, such as porcelain crabs' ability to adapt to global warming.
  • Through our theatre arts department, students write, produce and star in their own plays.
  • At the Vista Room, SF State's lab restaurant, tourism and hospitality students learn the fundamentals of food presentation and customer service befitting a fine-dining establishment.
  • During our annual Business Ethics Week, students engage in dialogue with prominent business leaders to develop the skills to confront real-world ethical issues.

Providing students with practical guidance for job hunting is also a priority. Knowledgeable career counselors help students craft effective resumes and hone interview skills. Each year SF State hosts a number of career fairs, on-campus interview sessions and symposiums where students can connect with employers.

Here's how some notable alumni credit SF State with preparing them to succeed:

  • Annette Bening, actress: "I knew I loved acting, but at San Francisco State I got the chance to develop that love. I am grateful for the safe, challenging environment I had in which to educate myself, develop my aspirations and, most importantly, a place where I could practice and learn to trust and value my own individual creative instincts."
  • Leona Bridges, former managing director of Barclays Global Investors: "My years on campus helped shape me as a young student who was eager to learn more about the business world but didn't know the starting point. My professors were my guiding light."
  • Peter Casey, co-creator and executive producer of "Frasier": "[SF State] introduced me to the world of television production. It infused me with so much enthusiasm and self-confidence that I paid scant attention to how long the odds were that I might succeed in Hollywood."
  • Thomas Peters, former chief of staff of San Francisco's Department of Public Health: "My decision to come to SF State still ranks as one of the very best choices of my life. The plurality of interests, the diversity of the faculty and students and the sheer electricity of the times were all of value beyond measure."

Inspired? Read about our many other impressive alumni, who have excelled in such diverse fields as art, business, literature, sports and more.

If you're considering SF State as the first step toward your own successful career, start by learning more about our programs:

Ready to join us? We can help you apply, learn about financial aid options and find housing.