About Us

The School of Art at San Francisco State University is focused on the production of future generations of socially engaged artists who understand that individual and collaborative contributions to culture are paramount to their practice.

Fine Arts building

Mission Statement

The SF State art program is designed to provide students with intellectually informed instruction in the histories and practices of the visual arts within the context of a liberal arts university. The guiding principal of its curricula and instruction is the belief that art is an important means to interpret human experience, and is a fundamental mechanism by which a society evolves, understands and reflects upon itself. It supports the university mission to offer instruction that promotes respect for and appreciation of scholarship, freedom, human diversity and the cultural mosaic of the San Francisco Bay area and beyond, and encourages critical thinking within an inclusive worldview.

The curriculum provides students pathways to engage in personal, philosophical, political and/or conceptual questions through art practice, research and writing. Using a heuristic approach to learning, fueled by curiosity, students are encouraged to understand and challenge normative paradigms, resulting in new forms and ways of thinking. The conceptual exploration of materials, objects, images, texts, actions and events develops transferable skill sets that will enrich students’ lives and prepare them for roles as artists, curators, historians and creative professionals. The program cultivates visual literacy and critical thinking, and engenders professional conduct (discipline), adaptability, social awareness and social justice, through an understanding of the role of art in the human experience. The program currently offers degrees and undergraduates majors in the areas of art and art history, as well as pathways to teaching art.

Brief History

Located in one of the most vibrant, culturally diverse and cosmopolitan cities on the West Coast, the School of Art has been growing a collective body of regionally and globally established artists since 1903. Amidst an array of San Francisco Bay Area schools and universities, it is a dynamic and affordable place to study studio art and art history as an undergraduate or graduate student.

Quick Facts

Accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Facilities include a 3,000 square-foot professional gallery, the Martin Wong Undergraduate Gallery, well-equiped studio facilities and computer laboratories.