Samiksha Jaiswal (Editor)

University High School (Irvine, California)

Updated on
Share on FacebookTweet on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Reddit
Established  1970 (1970)
NCES District ID  0684500
Mascot  Trojan
Number of students  2,469 (2013)
Status  Open
CEEB code  051-984
Phone  +1 949-936-7600
School type  Comprehensive high school
Motto  Unity through Diversity
Address  4771 Campus Dr, Irvine, CA 92612, USA
District  Irvine Unified School District

University High School (UHS or "Uni") is one of five public high schools serving grades 9-12 located in the city of Irvine, California, United States. It was established in 1970. The campus is situated on 55 acres (22 ha) of land 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. 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. 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. It also ranked 117th in 2005, 156th in 2006, 76th in 2007, 156th in 2008 and 2009, 146th in 2010, and 8th in 2011. It also ranked 182nd on U.S. News and World Report's list of Best High Schools in 2013.

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. University was accredited by Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) for six years in 2004 and also in 2010.

In 2012, ten students at University High School received perfect scores on the ACT, a national record.


University High School consistently has the highest number of National Merit Scholars in its district. In 2012, the school had a record 57 semi-finalists.

Academic teams

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, and 2014, 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. Furthermore, University High has sent a team to the International Space Settlement Design Competition (ISSDC) for five consecutive years and has won the national competition in several divisions of the National History Day contest. 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. University High School also has numerous students named semi-finalists for the United States Physics, Math, Biology, and Chemistry Olympiads. The school's Science Bowl team also placed 4th nationally in 2013 and will be returning to nationals for the 2014 competition. University has also had Intel Science Talent Search finalists and semi-finalists, Siemens Competition semi-finalists, and categorical winners at ISEF.

Deaf program

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".

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

Performing Arts

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." 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.

In addition to the marching band, University High offers students other opportunities in instrumental and choral music, including three 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.

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

The school also has a theater program which puts on annual plays and musicals, and has a dance program that 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.

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. 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. 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.

Student body

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. University High School is attended by students from seventy-two countries who speak fifty-two different languages.

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.

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. In 1994, 54% of the students were white, 37% were Asian, 4.5% were Hispanic or Latino, and 3% were black.

Neighborhoods served

As of 1994 most students originate from the University of California, Irvine area.

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.

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


University High School (Irvine, California) Wikipedia