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Junipero Serra High School - Where a student becomes a scholar

100% of our graduates go on many prestigious universities, including: Harvard, Yale, Cornell, Dartmouth, Princeton, Caltech, Northwestern, Stanford, New York University…

(UE) 100% of our graduates go on many prestigious universities, including: Harvard, Yale, Cornell, Dartmouth, Princeton, Caltech, Northwestern, Stanford, New York University…

A message from the President of Junípero Serra High School

I am delighted and honored that you are considering Junípero Serra High School for your son. I fully understand the importance of the decision you are making to send him to high school in the United States. That’s why I want you to know that Serra’s International Student Program ensures that the young men entrusted to our care will have a successful experience living and studying in a supportive environment.

Serra is an outstanding Catholic college preparatory school for young men. Our highest priority is the academic success of our students. Our boys learn and grow in a school community that lives out its mission every day: to develop capable young men who go on to live lives with purpose and a spirit of charity and justice—men of faith, wisdom, service, community, and leadership—who make a positive impact on the lives of others.

International Student Program

Serra international students are provided with the essential tools to facilitate a smooth transition into American education and culture—a comprehensive English as a Second Language (ESL) Program, socialization programs and a supportive homestay experience.

The ESL Program improves listening, speaking, reading, writing and grammar skills. International students receive group and individual instruction. Specialized classes include interesting references to U.S. culture to help students adapt to everyday life.

Serra offers exciting activities in an all-boys environment, plus coed events with our sister schools, Notre Dame and Mercy. There are numerous opportunities to socialize in a structured setting during the school day and after school. By interacting with their California peers, international students acclimate to life in the United States while dramatically improving their English skills.

The homestay experience provides a home away from home—the support and warmth of a stable family environment. Living with an American family in a safe, enriching environment creates lifelong friendships and unforgettable memories. Homestay families are selected from within the Serra community and undergo a rigorous selection process before they are approved. One of the many benefits of participating in a homestay program is that international students are exposed to the cultural diversity of the greater San Francisco area.

Come and find your place at Serra!

Student body

  • Current enrollment: 880 students
  • Ethnic diversity: Majority Caucasian; 13% Hispanic, 6% Asian, 4% Pacific Islander, 2% African American.


Serra is a place where athletes become champions. Step into our gym to view the championship banners and the Hall of Fame plaques — Serra’s proven record of athletic success is second to none! Fifteen sports are offered throughout the year at Serra, where student athletes compete in the West Catholic Athletic League (WCAL)—one of the most competitive high school leagues in California.

Administration and teaching staff

  • Lars Lund, President
  • Barry Thornton, Ed.D., Principal
  • 82% of faculty members hold master’s and doctoral degrees
  • 5 full-time guidance counselors

Clubs and tri-school

More than 40 clubs and organizations at Serra encourage students to discover their unique talents, while building relationships with other teenagers. Since many of the clubs are part of our Tri-School Program, Padres interact socially and academically with young women from Mercy and Notre Dame high schools.

Visual and performing arts

Artists, muscians, singers and actors flourish at Serra, where numerous visual and performing arts classes feed the creative soul.

Preparing for the 21st Century

  • More than $36 million invested in recent campus renovations
  • High-tech science labs
  • First-rate athletics facilities
  • Professional fine arts studios
  • Innovative performing arts resources
  • Cutting-edge aquatics center

The International Student Admissions Process

Applications for Serra’s International Student Program will be accepted until mid-January. Late applications might be considered if there are sufficient spaces available in the program, with a cutoff deadline of early April. Priority will be given to students who apply by mid-January.

Applications must be completed online at www.serrahs.com and by selecting Admissions>International Students. Only fully-completed applications will be considered. The International Program director will contact applicants directly to set up interviews through SKYPE. Serra will help accepted students to secure the I-20 through the San Francisco Archdiocese.

Admissions criteria

Students must be applying for 9th, 10th or 11th grade with the intention of graduating from Serra High School. They must have strong records of academic achievement, a high degree of English proficiency and a minimum TOEFL score of 75 (iBT) for 9th grade; and 80 (iBT) for 10th and 11th grades. International students must have a keen interest in immersing themselves in the Serra High School community and the American culture, and a genuine desire to live with an American host family


Junípero Serra High School