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What Makes Us Unique

Stephen F. Austin State University is a public four-year university located in the Pineywoods of East Texas only a few hours drive from Houston and Dallas. Established as a teachers' college that held the first classes in 1923, the university today is perfectly sized. Enrolling more than 11,000 students, SFA offers a wide variety of quality academic programs with the personalization one would expect to find at a private college. Through seven colleges, students can choose from 80 undergraduate majors and 120 areas of study and nearly 60 graduates degrees, including two doctoral programs.

At SFA, students can count on a challenging, high-quality education delivered by professors who sincerely care about their well-being and academic success. Career preparation is a top priority, and internships, hands-on study and research opportunities are an important part of preparing students for a rewarding career and fulfilling life.

The safe, friendly campus offers a welcoming environment, and its impressive setting among towering pines has led many groups to name it one of the most beautiful in the state. Approximately $168 million in new capital construction recently has been completed or is being finished or designed. Projects include two new housing facilities that will house approximately 1,000 students, an expanded and renovated Student Center, a new Student Recreation Center and three parking garages.

Nacogdoches offers the friendliness and hospitality of a small town with the conveniences of a city. A popular tourist destination, the city entices visitors with its old brick streets of downtown and its many antique shops and dining opportunities. The city also is steeped in history and offers a number of museums, including the Stone Fort Museum on the SFA campus.

Outside of class, students have numerous opportunities to make friends and develop leadership skills through a thriving Greek community or one of the more than 200 student organizations. The university competes in the intercollegiate varsity athletics in men's baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf and track, and women's basketball, cross country, equestrian, soccer, softball, tennis, track and volleyball.

Famous Alumni

  • Bill Owens - Governor of Colorado
  • Joseph W. Kennedy - Co-discoverer of plutonium
  • Michael Schneider - U.S. district judge for the Eastern District of Texas
  • Nancy Dickey - President, Texas A&M University Health Science Center; First woman president of the American Medical Association
  • Nell Fortner - Head women’s basketball coach, Auburn University; Former head coach of USA Basketball
  • O.A. "Bum" Phillips - Former Houston Oilers head coach
  • Will Jennings - Oscar and Grammy Award-winning songwriter; songs include "My Heart Will Go On" from "Titanic" and "Tears in Heaven" with Eric Clapton

Fun Facts

Stephen F. Austin State University is located in Texas' oldest town, Nacogdoches. The main campus includes 360 acres in the heart of Nacogdoches, part of the original homestead of Thomas J. Rusk, an early Texas patriot and United States senator. Four signers of the Texas Declaration of Independence are buried in nearby Oak Grove Cemetery.

Traditions / School Myths

Each football season, the Stephen F. Austin State University Lumberjacks and Northwestern State University Demons of Natchitoches, La., play for the wooden statue of Chief Caddo.

The statue originated in 1960 when longtime rivals SFA and Northwestern State decided to award the winner of future football contests a unique prize. The two institutions chose a statue of a legendary Indian chief whose tribe was responsible for settling the locations that became English-speaking Nacogdoches and Natchitoches.

The loser of the 1961 game would have a tree chopped down from its nearby forests, which would be sent to the winning school to carve the statue.

Northwestern State won the 1961 game, 35 to 19, and SFA brought a 2,000-pound black gum log to Northwestern State. Woodcarver Harold Green spent some 230 hours fashioning the statue.

Chief Caddo was carved to honor the Indian tribe that had not only settled the two communities but also provided safety for the early settlers in the area.

Colleges to Consider

Can I Get In? Polls

Students interested in Stephen F Austin State University also expressed interest in the following colleges:
1. Sam Houston State University
2. Texas A & M University
3. Texas Tech University
4. The University of Texas at Austin
5. University of North Texas
6. University of Houston
7. Baylor University
8. Texas State University-San Marcos
9. Texas Christian University
10. Tarleton State University
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