Üsküdar American Academy

Coordinates: 41°01′29″N 29°01′57″E / 41.0246°N 29.0324°E / 41.0246; 29.0324
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Üsküdar American Academy
Üsküdar Amerikan Lisesi

Coordinates41°01′29″N 29°01′57″E / 41.0246°N 29.0324°E / 41.0246; 29.0324
TypePrivate co-educational
Established1876; 147 years ago (1876)
FounderAmerican Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions
PrincipalÖzgür Akas
HeadmasterPeter Coles
GradesPrep, 9–12
Campus0.78 km2 (0.30 sq mi) (Urban)
Student Union/AssociationAmerican Academy Student Association
AthleticsUAA Tigers
RivalRobert College
AccreditationCIS, IB

Üsküdar American Academy (Turkish: Üsküdar Amerikan Lisesi, pronounced [ys.cyd.aɾ a.me.ɾi.kan li.se.si]) often abbreviated as Üsküdar American or UAA, is a private coeducational high school located in Üsküdar borough of Istanbul, Turkey.

The school was established by the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions in 1876.[1] Today, it is owned and administered by the Health and Education Foundation (Sağlık ve Eğitim Vakfı, or SEV) along with other former ABCFM institutions in Turkey.[2]


American Academy for Girls was founded in 1876 in Bahçecik,[3] a town in the city of Kocaeli by the Congregational missionaries of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions. The school was moved to Adapazarı where it remained until World War I.[citation needed].

The site in Bağlarbaşı [tr], an area of Üsküdar, Istanbul, a neighbourhood on the Asian part of Constantinople (now İstanbul), was originally the American College for Girls. ACG vacated the Baglarbaşı site in 1914 and moved to Arnavutköy, a neighborhood on the European side of Bosphorus, leaving the Baglarbaşı campus empty from 1914 to 1921 except for the years 1914–1915 when the buildings of the school were used as an orphanage by the Americans and the years 1915–1918 when the Turkish army used the school as a barracks.[4]

When Üsküdar American Academy for Girls was looking for a new location in Istanbul, it moved to the present site in Baglarbaşı in the early 1920s. With its new site and in the spirit of the new Republic of Turkey, the school became dedicated to quality education for girls. In 1925, the education at the school was being done in the basement of Barton Hall and in Bowker Hall. The Round House was in the same place as it is today. There was a wooden black building in the place of Emir Konak. There was a chapel in the place of the present gymnasium in which Sunday worship services were held for the local Christian community. During the week it was an assembly hall and classes were held in the basement. There was originally a stable on the site where Kinney Cottage stands today. The school's need for milk was met by the cows that lived in the stable. The stable was later demolished and the Practice House (Kinney Cottage) was built as a homemaking skills practicing center for the seniors. The building was named Kinney Cottage in memory of Mary Kinney who was the principal of the school when it moved from Adapazarı.

Bowker Hall
Bowker Hall

Üsküdar American Academy experienced a radical change in 1990 when it admitted boys for the first time into the Orta Prep class. With this change, "American Academy for Girls" became part of history and the school became known as "Üsküdar American Academy". With the help of USAID grants, the Sabancı Holding, supportive parents, and the Health and Education Foundation (SEV) physical changes have also continued with the building of a gymnasium, the restoration of Bowker and Barton Halls, and the construction of Morgan Hall, the science, math and computer building. Today the school, like its sister schools American Collegiate Institute in Izmir, Tarsus American College in Tarsus, SEV American College in Istanbul, as well as the American Hospital in Gaziantep, is under the governance of the Health and Education Foundation (SEV), which carries full responsibility and authority for operating the school.

The current campus of Üsküdar American Academy is situated on a hill in a residential district of Üsküdar. The campus falls in the officially recognized neighborhood (mahalle) of Selamiali (Selamsız),[5] but the school lists its address as Bağlarbaşı neighborhood.[6]

Campus and curriculum[edit]

The Uskudar American Academy Library is located on the ground floor of Martin Hall.

Established in 1876, Üsküdar American Academy is one of the oldest schools in the region. Today the school is governed by a Turkish non-profit trust, The Health and Education Foundation and it provides an English language, college preparatory program of studies to Turkish students.

Uskudar American Academy is accredited as an international school, offering a blend of Turkish and American educational systems. The school is accredited by the Council of International Schools (CIS) and offers Advanced Placement (AP) courses as well as the International Baccalaureate (IB) programme.[7]

Situated on a hill in the residential district of Üsküdar, the school campus includes 8 buildings sited on 18,000 square meters.[8]


Uskudar American Academy has a variety of buildings in their campus, most having dedicated subjects taught in them. Buildings are commonly named after former Uskudar American Academy faculty members.

Kinney Cottage[edit]

Named after the second principal of the school Mary Kinney who was the principal between 1910 and 1930. Kinney served the school until she passed away as the principal.[9] Kinney Cottage was built on the lot which used to be a horse stable.[9] The first classes taught in the new building were homemaking and home economics courses.[4]

Martin Hall[edit]

Named after the Jessie Martin, the principal who served thrice between 1936-1941, 1944-1949, and 1950-1956.[9] Martin was a very influential member in the school's history. Martin was in charge of the school during the construction of Huntington Hall and Martin Hall with the latter named after her. Martin Hall opened with a ceremony on November 14 1955.[9] Martin Hall is the home to the UAA library in 2023.[10]

Barton Hall & Bowker Hall[edit]

As the oldest buildings of the school, both Barton Hall and Bowker Hall has been active since early 19th century.[4] Barton Hall is home to the English department and Bowker Hall is home to the Turkish and Visual Arts departments.[10]

Morgan Hall[edit]

Similar to Jessie Martin, Helle L. Morgan was a principal who served thrice between 1956-1960, 1960-1966, and 1967-1977.[9] The building was developed for the laboratories and computer center of the school.[4] As of 2023, the building is home to the Physics, Chemistry, and Biology departments and well as the Redroom, a multipurpose room.[4][11]

Huntington Hall[edit]

Huntington Hall began construction in 1955 when Jessie Martin was acting as the principal for her final time.[4] Construction was completed on fall of 1958. The building was named after George Huntington and his wife Mrs. Clarke who both contributed generously towards scholarships for more than twenty-five years. Huntington was a professor at the other prestigious American school in Istanbul, Robert College.[9] Huntington Hall is home to the faculty building, the auditorium, and the iconic organ which has been Uskudar American Academy property since 1950.[9][10]


Roundhouse has been an active building since 1946[9] and is currently being used by the Music department.[10]

Emir Konak[edit]

During 1950s, Jessie Martin decided to renovate the campus. The renovations began by renovating Emir Konak, a building which had been used since 1925.[4] The building was deemed a fire hazard by the Istanbul Fire Department and was converted to a laundry and store building rather than being the dormitory. The renovations were completed and the "New" Emir Konak was opened in 1952.[9] Currently Emir Konak is home to the computer center and the "Maker Lab", the classroom with 3D printers that the "Maker Club" uses.[10][12]

Sports Hall[edit]

The sports hall of Uskudar American Academy has a multi-use games area in which different sports such as basketball, volleyball, and kin-ball is played. The building has a table tennis and a fitness room.[10] Uskudar American Academy has over 10 sports related student clubs with most using the sports hall to practice.[12]

On 9th of January 1996, Özdemir Sabancı, a businessman and President of SEV's Trustees Governing Council was murdered. The Sabancı family had contributed to the school and the foundation, hence the sports hall was renamed as Özdemir Sabancı Sportshall.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Kaplan, Pervin. "Üsküdar Amerikan'da TEOG sınavları eşit". PervinKaplan.com.
  2. ^ Timeline of ABCFM institutions
  3. ^ "Tarihçe - Üsküdar Amerikan Lisesi". Üsküdar Amerikan Lisesi (in Turkish). Retrieved 25 November 2022. Üsküdar Amerikan Kız Lisesi, 1876 yılında Bahçecik'te kuruldu. Okul bugün İzmir, Tarsus'taki Amerikan okulları gibi Sağlık ve Eğitim Vakfı yönetimi altındadır.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g "About UAA - History". Üsküdar American Academy. Retrieved 2 June 2019.
  5. ^ İstanbul Büyük Şehir Belediyesi. İstanbul Şehir Rehberi. URL: http://sehirrehberi.ibb.gov.tr/map.aspx December 25, 2010.
  6. ^ "Contact Us | Üsküdar American Academy". www.uaa.k12.tr. Retrieved 11 July 2023.
  7. ^ "Fast Facts". Üsküdar Amerikan Lisesi. Retrieved 2 June 2023.
  8. ^ "Career Opportunities- Üsküdar American Academy". Üsküdar American Academy. Retrieved 25 November 2022. CAMPUS: Situated on a hill in the residential district of Üsküdar, the school campus includes eight buildings sited on 18,000 square meters.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Linder, Fay (2000). History of Üsküdar American Academy 1876-1996. Istanbul: SEV Printing and Publishing Co.
  10. ^ a b c d e f "Üsküdar Amerikan Koleji 360 Sanal Tur | Kolejimizi 3 Boyutlu Olarak Gezebilirsiniz". www.uaa.k12.tr. Retrieved 11 July 2023.
  11. ^ "Auditorium & Multi-Purpose Rooms". Üsküdar American Academy. Retrieved 11 July 2023.
  12. ^ a b "Student Clubs". Üsküdar American Academy. Retrieved 11 July 2023.

External links[edit]