The Federation's primary academic and leadership center of higher education for its Starfleet officer corps is based at San Francisco, Earth, adjoining Starfleet Headquarters in a complex near the landmark Golden Gate Bridge.

Founded in 2161, the same year as the Federation, the Academy bears the motto "Ex Astra, Scientia? — "From the stars, knowledge,? and its cadets wear a uniform similar to but distinctive from the current Starfleet design. Aside from its beautifully landscaped oceanside campus, the Academy can operate via satellite starbases around the Federation, such as Relva VII, and operates spacebound facilities for training like the Saturn flight range. A training program for enlisted personnel is also offered.

The campus is overseen by a Starfleet officer dubbed a "superintendent,? usually an admiral, although the term "commandant" has been used in the past. It offers a full four-year curriculum of traditional higher learning as well as the cultural, scientific, personal development and strategic needs required for future Starfleet officers. A newspaper, yearbook, sports teams (including wrestling, boxing, precision flying, track and field, and Pareses squares) and other extra-curricular activities typical of universities are all offered. Typically, cadets also undergo a field training assignment in their second year.

Admission is open to any Federation citizen, or non-citizens by sponsorship of a Starfleet command-level officer; minimum entry age for humans is 16. Admission tests are required for final consideration but may be taken remotely; a psych test is also required, and may be administered at satellite centers or any Starfleet base upon arrangement.