Established by a youthful board of trustees and community activists in 1973 in response to a deeply felt need for an innovative, co-educational, independent secondary school in the Bay area, San Francisco University High School officially opened in September 1975. The school was created through funds contributed by individuals and foundations who shared a vision of a school that would be a model of equity and excellence.
In its relatively short history, UHS has excelled as a leader in secondary education in the Bay Area, building strong and deepening ties among its students, teachers, administrators, families, alumni, and the larger community.
The School's original building, designed by the architect Julia Morgan, was constructed at 3065 Jackson Street in 1917. Its Italianate architecture is compatible with the residential character of its Pacific Heights neighborhood. Completely renovated to strict seismic codes in 1975, the building was recently modeled to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act and to restore many of its interior architectural details as classrooms are refurbished. The building houses the admissions office, humanities classrooms, and administrative and faculty offices.
The Middle Campus, across the courtyard and facing Washington Street, was constructed in the late 1960s and has undergone several transformations. The academic center with the Dennis A. Collins Library; a student center and cafeteria; science laboratories; and multiple performance venues, including a 400-seat theatre that was rebuilt in 2001, are located in the Middle Campus.
Across Washington Street, the Lower Campus holds enhanced math, science, technology, and athletics facilities. South Campus, at 3220 Sacramento Street, opened in the fall of 2006. The new building adds 17,000 square feet to the campus and is home to painting, ceramics, film and photography studios; language classrooms and the language lab; the College Counseling office; and the Summerbridge program.
University High School has grown and made necessary adjustments over its 30-year history. The focus of these changes and adjustments has always been the school’s small student body, currently numbering 389, in an ongoing effort to best meet their needs and create as open and nurturing an environment for learning as possible.