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The 10 Largest Schools In San Francisco Are Massive

Golden Gate Bridge seen from Marshall beach in San Francisco, California, USA

The 10 Largest Schools In San Francisco Are Massive

While San Francisco may not be the largest city in the nation, it's undoubtedly one of the most well-known. VisitCalifornia.com states that San Francisco is only 50 square miles. Even so, this hilly city is full of tourist attractions and a population that sits at just over 800,000 people.

Not only is San Francisco known for cable car transportation and gorgeous water-front views, but it's also home to several highly populated and large schools. San Francisco's largest school district is the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD), but the city has other school districts and private school options as well.

While San Francisco may seem significant by the numbers, the schools in the area have immense opportunities they can offer their students. Here's everything you need to know about the largest schools in San Francisco, California.

San Francisco State University

1600 Holloway Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94132

With a student population of over 26,000, San Francisco State University is the largest school in San Francisco. They offer both bachelor's and master's degree options and focus on four pillars: Campus life, academics, location, and student services. SF State also offers over 200 various student organizations on campus, student activities such as Greek life, and a state-of-the-art wellness center. Additionally, the school has a rich history. It was founded in 1899 and became a four-year school in 1930, but did not reach “university” status until 1972. With a location near the active bay area and connections with Silicon Valley companies, there's something for everyone at San Francisco State University.

San Francisco State University in the News!

Even though San Fran State is a massive university, some of their smaller events and programs are making headlines at the time of writing. Take a look below!

University of San Francisco

2130 Fulton Street, San Francisco, CA 94117-1080

The University of San Francisco may be smaller in student population than San Francisco State University, but what it lacks in numbers, it makes up for in other areas. USF has just shy of 6,000 students enrolled each year according to U.S. News and World Report. But it also has several rankings worth noting, including second-best in student diversity from U.S. News and World Report, along with being one of the best colleges in Princeton's Review of best colleges in 2023. USF has Jesuit roots and is known for its sustainability and environmental focus.

Lowell High School

Group Of Female High School Students Talking By Lockers
Lowell High School has numerous acknowledgments and rankings in the state of California.

1101 Eucalyptus Drive, San Francisco, CA 94132

As the largest school in the San Francisco Unified School District, Lowell High School's estimated enrollment is 2,668 for grades 9-12. The school is also ranked as the best high school in the San Francisco Bay area according to U.S. News and World Report. Lowell has received several other achievements and acknowledgments from the state of California as well, including its rank as one of the highest-performing high schools. Additionally, Lowell offers over 100 clubs and activities to its students. While this school is certainly well-known for its accomplishments, it's also unique in that it's the oldest public school west of the Mississippi, having been founded in 1856.

George Washington High School

600 32nd Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94121

Similar to Lowell, George Washington High School is part of the SFUSD school district. Estimated enrollment for grades 9-12 is about 2,100 and the school also offers numerous AP courses and clubs for its students. Programs offered by George Washington High School include After School Programs, Language Programs (with Japanese, Mandarin, and Spanish options), Special Education Programs, School Day Academic Enrichment, fine arts, and athletic programs, along with several others. George Washington High School serves the Outer Richmond neighborhood in San Francisco.

Galileo Academy of Science and Technology

1150 Francisco Street, San Francisco, CA 94109

Galileo Academy of Science and Technology is another school within the SFUSD. With three of the largest high schools in the city all located in this same district, it's clear that SFUSD is quite large. In fact, the district is the seventh-largest in the state of California and enrolls roughly 50,000 students each year. As one of eleven high schools in the district, Galileo enrolls about 2,000 students each year. The school also has a long history as it was first founded in 1921 and is located in the north end of San Francisco. While the name of the school focuses on Science and Technology, the school itself has a wide variety of programs and clubs for its students, including the college prep program called Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID).

Archbishop Riordan High School

175 Frida Kahlo Way, San Francisco, CA 94112

Archbishop Riordan High School is a Catholic day and boarding school serving grades 9-12. The school currently enrolls over 1,000 students and has small class sizes with a 10:1 student-to-teacher ratio. Additionally, Archbishop Riordan offers 30 AP and honors courses, plus more than 30 clubs and activities for students to enjoy. When it comes to athletics, the school has more than 40 teams in 12 different sports that have brought home 69 athletic championships over the years. Archbishop Riordan has a rich history spanning over 70 years. While it began as an all-boys school, it has since moved to a co-ed model.

A.P. Giannini Middle School

Portrait Of Smiling Male And Female Students In Grade School Classroom
A.P. Giannini Middle School focuses on capacity, collaboration, and community to enrich its student's lives.

3151 Ortega Street, San Francisco, CA 94122

As the largest middle school in the SFUSD, A.P. Giannini Middle School currently enrolls roughly 1,195 students in grades 6-8. APGMS was named after the founder of Bank of America, Amadeo Pietro Giannini, and has been in existence for over 50 years. The school is located in the Outer Sunset district and has three major focuses: Capacity, collaboration, and community. A.P. Giannini also offers numerous programs to its students including before and after-school programs, academic enrichment, fine arts, athletics, student support programs, and college counseling.

Bessie Carmichael School PreK-8 Filipino Education Center

375 7th St. (PK-5 campus), 824 Harrison St. (6-8 campus), San Francisco, CA 94103

With a rich history, the Bessie Carmichael School serves roughly 650 children in grades PreK-8. When it comes to enriching its students' lives, Bessie Carmichael FEC focuses on what they call, “the three L's”: Linked through love, literacy for liberation, and lifelong learning. The school is unique in that it offers a Filipino Foreign Language in Elementary School (FLES) Program. Even with two locations, elementary and middle school, Bessie Charmichael FEC can serve the South of Market neighborhood in San Francisco. Additionally, the school is part of the SFUSD.

Cornerstone Academy

801 Silver Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94134

With its founding in 1975, the Cornerstone Academy was created as an outreach of the Cornerstone Evangelical Baptist Church in the Sunset district of San Francisco. The school is now spread out over three different locations with the original location now serving as the Preschool for Cornerstone Academy. The other two locations, lower school (grades K-5) and middle school (grades 6-8) are in the Portola District. According to PrivateSchoolReview.com, Cornerstone enrolls just over 700 students each year in grades PreK-8 with an average class size of about 24 students.

French American International School

150 Oak Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

The focus of the French American International School and International High School is to give students in grades PreK-12 a global perspective. The school concentrates on bilingual, French, and International Baccalaureate education programs. Additionally, each student is fluent in both French and English by the 8th grade. With its founding in 1962, the French American International School is San Francisco's oldest and largest bilingual school. PrivateSchoolReivew.com estimates that the school enrolls over 1,000 students and the student-to-teacher ratio is 11:1.

Finding the Right School for Your Child

Are you looking to find a school in California's beautiful and hilly city of San Francisco? From cutting-edge academic programs to a vibrant extracurricular scene, the largest schools in this city focus on growth, learning, and personal development. The San Francisco United School District and other public and private school options surrounding the city serve a large number of students. The schools listed here merely scratch the surface of the various opportunities that San Francisco's educational institutions offer to their students. You're sure to find the best fit for you and your child in the San Francisco area!

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