Qualtrics Survey Software Guide

SF State provides Qualtrics Survey Software to faculty, staff and students to support the mission and purpose of the University. Qualtrics is an easy to use, full-featured web-based survey tool for creating and conducting online surveys. Features include:

  • Survey Builder that guides beginners through creating a survey
  • Survey Library with customizable templates
  • Send and track participation invitations and reminders
  • Display survey results, graphically and statistically
  • Export data in a variety of formats including CSV and XML

All data collected using Qualtrics surveys must follow the campus Confidential Data Policy that outlines which data elements can be collected using Qualtrics. Qualtrics does not encrypt the data at rest.

The Qualtrics Survey Tool is not a secure platform for the collection of Personal Identity Information (PII). PII must follow the California State Law that requires that PII is appropriately protected. Qualtrics software should not be used to collect this type of data. Information on what type of data constitutes PII or Level 1 and Level 2 data is available on the Confidential Data Policy website.

How Do I...

Use Qualtrics to:

Get Help


Login to Qualtrics

Login to Qualtrics using your SF State ID and password. Access Qualtrics through the SF State Gateway:

  • Faculty and staff: select IT Services and then the Qualtrics Survey Software link
  • Students: select Academics and then the Qualtrics Survey Software link
  • Qualtrics can also be accessed directly at: http://sfsu.qualtrics.com

First time users are given the option to create an account. Existing trial users will be given the option to convert their account (this option is only offered once).

Use Qualtrics to:

Create new surveys

To create a new survey, select the Create Survey tab after logging in. Use the"Quick Survey Builder" to help build a survey, or pick a survey template from the "Survey Library."

Edit existing surveys

To edit an existing survey, select the "Edit Survey" tab. For more information on using Qualtrics to create and distribute surveys, visit Qualtrics University.

Share surveys with other user(s)

Qualtrics collaboration tools allow users to grant other users access to edit, view results, copy or distribute their existing surveys. Access can be granted to users with an SF State account, or to an external user of Qualtrics. Visit the Sharing a Project page on Qualtrics University to learn more.

Move surveys to another user

Qualtrics allows users to export or import surveys (.qsf file). The file can be used to archive surveys, or to transfer ownership to another user. Learn more about this feature on Qualtrics University's Import and Export Surveys page.

Download survey data

Qualtrics users can export collected raw data for use in the following statistical programs: SPSS, SAS, STATA or Excel. The available file types are .CSV, SPSS, Fixed Field Text, XML, and HTML. Learn more about this feature at Qualtrics University's Download Formats page.

Export a survey:

  1. On the Edit Survey page, select Advanced Options
  2. Select Export Survey or Export Survey to Word
  3. Select to Download or Save the file in the browser download box
    Note: With Internet Explorer, you might need to click on the yellow bar at the top of the page to give it permission to download the file

Import a survey:

Open the Advanced Options menu on the Edit Survey page and click Import Survey. There are two options for importing a survey:

  • .QSF – This would be a survey you had created and exported or that someone else had created and sent to you. The survey will import without any further formatting.
  • .TXT – The text file option is appropriate in an automated system, where you have a back-end program that automatically generates .TXT surveys for you to import. Generally, if you are creating surveys yourself or bringing a survey in from another survey platform, it is quicker and easier to simply recreate it in Qualtrics.

Get Help

For help accessing Qualtrics, managing account settings, or accessing surveys, submit a service request or contact the ITS Help Desk at 415.338.1420.

Qualtrics University

Qualtrics University provides in-depth tutorials, step-by-step instructions, with screenshots and videos:


Contacting Qualtrics

Call Qualtrics' 24 x 7 support line at 1.800.340.9194 for help from Qualtrics trained specialists.