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University High School (Irvine, California)

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University High School
University High School Logo.png
University High, Irvine, Ca - Entrance.jpg
Entrance to University High School
4771 Campus Drive


Coordinates33°39′06″N 117°49′20″W / 33.651673°N 117.822211°W / 33.651673; -117.822211Coordinates: 33°39′06″N 117°49′20″W / 33.651673°N 117.822211°W / 33.651673; -117.822211
TypeComprehensive high school
MottoUnity through Diversity
Established1970; 49 years ago (1970)
School districtIrvine Unified
NCES District ID0684500
CEEB code051-984
NCES School ID068450007067[1]
PrincipalKevin Astor
Enrollment2,558 (2016-17)[2]
Student to teacher ratio24:1
Color(s)               Navy Blue, Columbia Blue, and White
Athletics conferencePacific Coast League
NewspaperThe Sword and Shield
YearbookThe Odyssey

University High School (UHS or "Uni") is one of five public high schools serving grades 9-12 in the city of Irvine, California, United States. It was established in 1970 and is situated on 55 acres (22 ha) of land[3] in the southwestern portion of the city, adjacent to the University of California, Irvine (UCI).

The school comprises six main academic buildings, a performing arts theater, a band room for instrumental music, a swimming pool, eight tennis courts, an indoor gymnasium supplemented with other indoor athletic facilities, a stadium, and several practice fields.[4] Housed within the facilities are the departments of English, world languages, math, science, social science, instrumental music, art, industrial technology, athletics, physical education, English proficiency programs, special education, and the Orange County Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program. The school colors are navy blue, Columbia blue, and white. The school mascot is the Trojan.

University High School was named the best public high school in California and 8th best public high school in America in 2011 by Newsweek.[5] University was also the highest ranked institution on the list that was not a charter or magnet school.


University High School has consistently made Newsweeks list of Best High Schools, most recently ranking 102nd in 2013.[6] It also ranked 117th in 2005, 156th in 2006, 76th in 2007, 156th in 2008 and 2009,[7] 146th in 2010, and 8th in 2011.[5][8][9] It also ranked 182nd on U.S. News and World Report's list of Best High Schools in 2013.[10]

In May 1987, University High School was recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as an exemplary school in the Secondary School Recognition Program. In 1988 and 1992, UHS was similarly recognized as a California State Distinguished School.[11] University was accredited by Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) for six years in 2004 and also in 2010.[12]

Academic teams[edit]

University High School is often noted for its various academic teams, including Physics Bowl, Science Bowl, Science Olympiad, Model United Nations, International Space Settlement Design Competition, Speech and Debate and math competitions (including ARML, and Math Day at the Beach). These teams generally attain high scores, often winning prestigious awards such as Best Club Delegation at Berkeley Model United Nations (BMUN) in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2014, and 2018 or first place at Math Day at the Beach for three years in a row (2008–2010). University High School is also home to the largest and one of the most distinguished Junior Classical Leagues in the nation and an noteworthy chapter of the Junior State of America.[13] Furthermore, University High has sent a team to the International Space Settlement Design Competition (ISSDC) for five consecutive years[citation needed] and has won the national competition in several divisions of the National History Day contest.[14][15] University is also home to one of the most successful Mock Trial programs in Orange County, consistently placing among the top teams at the Orange County competition.[16] University High School also has numerous students named semi-finalists for the United States Physics,[citation needed] Math,[citation needed] Biology,[17][18] and Chemistry Olympiads.[citation needed] The school's Science Bowl team also placed 4th nationally in 2013 and will be returning to nationals for the 2014 competition.[19][20] University has also had Intel Science Talent Search finalists and semi-finalists,[21][22][23] Siemens Competition semi-finalists,[24] and categorical winners at ISEF.[25][26][27][28]

Deaf program[edit]

Together with Venado Middle School, University High School hosts the Regional Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program for the Orange County Department of Education, a program that brings in deaf and hard of hearing students from all of Orange County as well as some students from nearby counties. The program provides interpreters, notetakers, and other special services, and serves as "a model of regionalized programming nationwide".[29]

In 2009, University High won first place in the Deaf Academic Bowl.[30]

Performing Arts[edit]

University High's Trojan Marching Band and Color Guard performing.

The school's marching band and color guard currently competes in the 5A division with over 120 members. In 2009, the UHS marching band formally changed their name from the "University High School Marching Band and Colorguard" to the "University High School Marching Trojan Regiment."[31] In their 2010 season, the group won an unprecedented five out of six sweepstakes trophies at the Mayfair High School Tournament.

University High School is home to a colorguard program. During the fall, the colorguard accompanies the marching band in its competitive field show. In the winter and spring, the colorguard branches off and performs at competitions independently. In 2001, the University winterguard took home a gold medal in their division at the Winter Guard Association of Southern California Championships.[32]

University High's Theatre

In addition to the marching band, University High offers students other opportunities in instrumental and choral music, including four concert bands, three orchestras, two jazz bands, percussion ensemble, choirs, and an a cappella group. Its orchestra and band students are routinely accepted into all-southern, all-state, and all-national ensembles.[citation needed]

In 2013, University High School's symphonic orchestra won second place at the ASTA All-National Orchestra Festival in Providence, Rhode Island.[33]

The school's theater program puts on annual plays and musicals, and its dance program performs at school events, community events, and concerts.


University High School offers over 24 official athletics teams with numerous niche sports offered through school clubs. Some of the most popular sports include football, tennis, water polo, swimming, track and field, soccer, lacrosse, and basketball.[34]

The University High School tennis teams have been especially prominent on campus, with the boys junior varsity team going undefeated in 191 consecutive matches over multiple seasons.[35] In addition, the boys varsity team has won the CIF championship for the last four years and had a record of 137 wins and 1 loss in the last five years.[35] Numerous varsity team members are nationally ranked and are often recruited to top Division I NCAA programs. The girls tennis team is notable as well, reaching CIF Finals on numerous occasions and winning several Pacific Coast League championships in recent years.[36]

Student body[edit]

The 200-Building classrooms in front of the office.

Among the 2,463 students enrolled from 2012–13, 49.4% were Asian, 35.5% Caucasian, 7.1% Hispanic/Latino, 2.7% Filipino, 1.8% African American, 0.4% Native American, 0.3% Pacific Islander, and 2.7% Other.[37] University High School is attended by students from seventy-two countries who speak fifty-two different languages.[3]

96% of the Class of 2013 UHS graduates entered post-secondary institutions of which 63% entered four-year universities and colleges. Thirty-three percent entered community colleges.[3]

In 1992 Charles Keith, the assistant principal of University High School, stated that over 30% of the students were not native English speakers, that the students had origins from 54 countries, and that the students spoke 26 languages.[38] In 1994, 54% of the students were white, 37% were Asian, 4.5% were Hispanic or Latino, and 3% were black.[39]

Neighborhoods served[edit]

As of 1994 most students originate from the University of California, Irvine area.[39][needs update]

Residents of the UC Irvine student family housing units (Palo Verde and Verano Place) are zoned to University High School. University High School also serves the neighborhoods of Shady Canyon, Quail Hill, Laguna Altura, Turtle Ridge, Turtle Rock, University Park, some areas of Westpark, and apartment complexes near UCI.[40][41]

As of 1994, through the open enrollment program, some students living in the marine bases at El Toro and Tustin attend University High School.[39]

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ "Search for Public Schools - University High School (068450007067)". National Center for Education Statistics. Institute of Education Sciences. Retrieved Nov 12, 2012.
  2. ^ "University High". National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved January 27, 2019.
  3. ^ a b c "School Profile". University High School. University High School. 2013. Retrieved 10 March 2014.
  4. ^ "Campus Map". University High School. University High School. 21 May 2013. Archived from the original on 11 March 2014. Retrieved 10 March 2014. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  5. ^ a b "America's Best High Schools 2011". Newsweek. The Newsweek/Daily Beast Company LLC. Archived from the original on October 16, 2011. Retrieved 12 November 2012. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  6. ^ "2013 America's Best High Schools". Newsweek. Retrieved 11 March 2014.
  7. ^ Chavez, Erika (12 June 2009). "Newsweek: Irvine high schools among nation's best". The Orange County Register. Retrieved 12 November 2012.
  8. ^ Leal, Fermin (14 June 2010). "2 O.C. high schools make Newsweek's top 100". The Orange County Register. Retrieved 12 November 2012.
  9. ^ McMullen, Laura (8 May 2012). "U.S. News Ranks Nation's Best High Schools". U.S. News and World Report. Retrieved 12 November 2012.
  10. ^ "California High Schools". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved 11 March 2014.
  11. ^ "Distinguished School Awards". California Department of Education. Retrieved 12 November 2012.
  12. ^ "University High School". WASC Accrediting Commission for Schools. Western Association of Schools and Colleges. Retrieved 12 November 2012.
  13. ^ Ko, Claudine (18 Oct 1990). "Latin Praised Even by Those Who Try to Master It". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 14 December 2011.
  14. ^ "2012 Winners". Kenneth E. Behring National History Day Contest. National History Day. Retrieved 7 December 2013.
  15. ^ "2013 Winners". National History Day. Retrieved 8 December 2013.
  16. ^ "Previous Finalist Teams". International Space Settlement Design Competition. Retrieved 12 November 2012.
  17. ^ "Winners of First USA Biology Olympiad Announced by Center for Excellence in Education". PR Newswire. Retrieved 11 March 2014.
  18. ^ "Seven Avid Students Named 2013 USA Biology Olympiad Semifinalists". Avid Academy for Gifted Youth. Retrieved 11 March 2014.
  19. ^ "High School Double Elimination ~ Challengers' Bracket" (PDF). National Science Bowl. U.S. Department of Energy. Retrieved 11 March 2014.
  20. ^ "University High School Wins Regional Science Bowl At JPL". RedOrbit. 4 February 2014. Retrieved 11 March 2014.
  21. ^ "Intel STS 2014 semifinalists". Student Science. Society for Science & the Public. Retrieved 11 March 2014.
  22. ^ "Intel STS 2014 finalists". Student Science. Society for Science & the Public. Retrieved 11 March 2014.
  23. ^ "Ten RSI Alumni in Intel STS Finals". Center for Excellence in Education. 11 February 2009. Retrieved 11 March 2014.
  24. ^ "2013 Siemens Competition Math, Science, & Technology Semifinalists" (PDF). Siemens Foundation. Retrieved 11 March 2014.
  25. ^ "Intel ISEF 2013 Special Award Organizations Ceremony". Society for the Science and the Public. 16 May 2013. Retrieved 11 March 2014.
  26. ^ "Intel ISEF 2013 Grand Awards Ceremony". Society for Science & the Public. 17 May 2013. Retrieved 11 March 2014.
  27. ^ "Intel ISEF 2012 Special Awards Ceremony". Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. Society for Science & the Public. 17 May 2012. Retrieved 11 March 2014.
  28. ^ "Intel ISEF 2012 Grand Awards Ceremony". Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. Society for Science & the Public. 18 May 2012. Retrieved 11 March 2014.
  29. ^ "OCDE Regional Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program". Orange County Department of Education. Retrieved 12 November 2012.
  30. ^ "Academic Bowl Archives". Gallaudet University. Gallaudet University. Retrieved 12 November 2012.
  31. ^ "University High School Marching Trojan Regiment". Retrieved 12 November 2012.
  32. ^ "2001 WGASC Results" (PDF). Winter Guard Association of Southern California. Winter Guard Association of Southern California. Retrieved 12 November 2012.
  33. ^ "Results of the 2013 National Orchestra Festival". American String Teachers Association. Retrieved 11 March 2014.
  34. ^ "Athletics". University High School. University High School. Retrieved 10 March 2014.
  35. ^ a b "Uni Trojan Tennis History". University Trojan Tennis. Retrieved 11 March 2014.
  36. ^ "University Trojan Tennis". Retrieved 12 November 2012.
  37. ^ "University High Report". Enrollment by Ethnicity for 2012-13. California Department of Education Educational Demographics Unit. 30 May 2013. Retrieved 10 March 2014.
  38. ^ "University High: World Unto Itself." Los Angeles Times. February 16, 1992. Retrieved on March 26, 2014.
  39. ^ a b c Wilgoren, Jodi. "At University High, a Culture of Achievement." Los Angeles Times. August 25, 1994. Retrieved on March 27, 2014.
  40. ^ "2011-2012 High School Attendance Map" (PDF). Irvine Unified School District. Retrieved 12 November 2012.
  41. ^ "Contact Us." University of California Irvine. Retrieved on October 2, 2011. "Palo Verde Housing Office 7000 Palo Verde Road University of California Irvine, CA 92697-3930" and "Verano Place Housing Office 6529 Adobe Circle Rd, South University of California Irvine, CA 92697-6375"

External links[edit]