San Francisco High School of the Arts

High School Academics

San Francisco High School of the Arts offers students in grades 9-12 a rigorous, college-preparatory program that is enhanced and supported by individualized college advising, counseling, and standardized test prep. Our team of highly-certified instructors with diversified backgrounds is dedicated to inspiring and supporting students’ love of learning.
HSArts’ curriculum emphasizes five areas of study: English, History, Math, Sciences, and Chinese. Small class sizes of no more than 10 encourages seminar-style engagement in the humanities. Independent study is also available in all core subjects. Our academic program strengthens students’ ability to apply solid theoretical knowledge and understanding gained in middle school to high school and pre-collegiate level work.

A Supportive Environment

Our close-knit community encourages students to love learning, motivating them to take the lead in their academic growth. Our small class sizes allow our dedicated instructors to give students the individualized attention they deserve.

Arts and Academics Synergized

Research proves that young adults who train in the traditional arts build character as well as improve their academic learning capabilities. Through the mastery of the arts, our students learn focus and self-discipline, naturally developing strong study habits that enhance academic efficiency.

“The school was the perfect fit for my two children as I strongly believe in the values of building good character.” 

— Parent

High School Academics

San Francisco High School of the Arts’ curriculum is approved by the University of California’s A-G program. In addition,12 recognized Advanced Placement (AP) courses give students access to intellectually challenging coursework.

All courses offered in the major disciplines meet or exceed California’s state standards and prepare students for studies at highly selective colleges. AP and Honors courses are offered in English, History, Math, the Sciences and Chinese.

College Acceptance

100% of High School of the Arts graduates are consistently accepted by their first-choice colleges and universities. We have a 100% acceptance rate at fine arts colleges, in the US and abroad.

Colleges and universities that have accepted our HSArts graduates:

Parsons School of Design • Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) • Pratt Institute • School of Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) • ArtCenter College of Design • Maryland Institute College of Arts (MICA) • UC Berkeley • UCLA • University of Michigan in Ann Arbor • UC Santa Barbara • UC Irvine • UC Davis • New York University • UC San Diego • University of British Columbia • Purdue University • Rutgers University • American University • George Washington University

AP Exam Scores

HSArts students consistently score above the state and international mean in AP exams:

SAT Exam Scores

HSArts students consistently score above the state and international mean in SAT exams:

ACT Exam Scores

HSArts students consistently score above the state and international mean in ACT exams:

High School Graduation Requirements

As a high caliber arts institution, HSArts offers rigorous pre-professional arts training alongside college preparatory academic classes. Our graduation requirements meet and exceed admission guidelines for the University of California and California State University systems, and align to California Department of Education’s state standards. Expanding on the University of California’s A-G requirements prepares HSArts graduates for college-level study at prestigious universities worldwide.

Standardized Tests

  ► Students participate in annual standardized testing in grades 6 through 10.

  ► 11th and 12th graders are encouraged to take the ACT and the SAT for college admission.

  ► High schoolers have the option of taking Advanced Placement (AP) and/or honors-level courses, depending on their postsecondary aspirations.


Community Engagement

Every year, students are required to complete a minimum of 20 community service volunteer hours. As part of HSArts graduation requirements, students are required to submit documentation which includes approval forms and a log of completed volunteer hours.

Credit Requirements

To earn an HSArts high-school diploma, students must complete a minimum of 26.5 credits, distributed across the curriculum. They must also verify completion of HSArts-specific requirements, including documentation of completion of annual 20 volunteer hours. Additional Advanced Placement (AP) and/or honors-level courses are optional.

Below is an outline of the minimum recommended credit requirements, where each credit denotes a year-long course:

Subject Minimum Credits Recommended Credits
4 (1 ESL credit acceptable)
4 (1 ESL credit acceptable)
3* (Algebra I credit from 7th/8th grade acceptable)
4* (Algebra I credit from 7th/8th grade acceptable)
Lab Sciences
Foreign Language




Physical Education

Total Credits


* Must include one year of Geometry.

Must include one year of World History and
    – either one year of U.S. History,
    – or one semester of U.S. History and one semester of U.S. Government.

Advanced Pre-Professional Arts Certificate with 6 or more years of full-time arts coursework or
    Pre-Professional Arts Certificate with at least 4 years of full-time arts training 

§ Electives may include additional core courses taken beyond the minimum requirements.

“SF High School of the Arts is AMAZING. The teacher and staff dedication is beyond par. They really do care about the children as a whole and take action when needed. Most schools our children have been to “talk about” their values a lot. SF High School of the Arts does. And it makes a world of difference. Highly recommend.” 

–8th grade parent

If you are looking for a warm, positive and supportive school where you can explore both the arts and academics fields, the San Francisco High School of the Arts is the place for you. You will receive a well-rounded education that builds your confidence, self-esteem and your scholastic skills to prepare you for any challenges that lie ahead.

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