Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory

Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory Photo #1 - The Pavilion is the home court for the Fightin' Irish basketball, volleyball and wrestling teams. On game days, up to 1,500 fans can be heard cheering for SHC student-athletes. The Pavilion also serves as a wonderful venue for school assemblies, rallies and prayer services.
Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory Photo #1 - The Pavilion is the home court for the Fightin' Irish basketball, volleyball and wrestling teams. On game days, up to 1,500 fans can be heard cheering for SHC student-athletes. The Pavilion also serves as a wonderful venue for school assemblies, rallies and prayer services.
Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory Photo #2 - State-of-the-art physics classrooms.
Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory Photo #3 - The school plaza is used for socialization and time in the sunshine.
Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory Photo #4 - The Theatre Program welcomes students on- and offstage to build their talents and foster interests. Our program is known for its quality productions, both the play in the fall and the musical in the spring. Through productions, enrichment workshops, private coaching and much more, our program allows students to explore their talents in a supportive and nurturing environment.
Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory Photo #5 - The Music Program provides a creative outlet for more than 175 students annually. Besides hosting two major concerts on campus, our chorus attends several outreach and service-related performances, holds enrichment workshops and private coaching and goes on field trips. Our choral students foster a musical and social family within the ensemble as well as the greater school community.
Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory Photo #6 - Our experienced EdTech team provides faculty and staff with a variety of professional development and growth opportunities throughout the year. Faculty regularly make use of technology to encourage students to evaluate media, build critical thinking skills, and develop digital citizenship and literacy skills.
Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory Photo #7 - We believe that participating in athletics contributes to physical, personal, social and spiritual growth. Each year, more than 650 student-athletes―a little over half the total student body―compete for the Irish on 53 teams in 23 sports.
Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory Photo #8 - Home to our rich Visual & Performing Arts (VPA) program, the Sister Caroline Collins, DC, Theater provides our students with first-hand experience in a state-of-the-art venue both onstage and behind the scenes.The theater hosts drama productions, instrumental music, dance and choral performances, poetry slams and much more.
Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory Photo #9 - The SHC Library is a hub of activity throughout the day with up to 200 students studying, reading, using the most up-to-date technology, collaborating and sharing conference rooms. The library’s top-floor location welcomes students with natural light, beautiful panoramic views of San Francisco and a quiet scholarly environment.
Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory Photo #10 - The Veranda offers gorgeous panoramic views of San Francisco from the sixth floor of our La Salle Campus. Students gather in this wonderful outdoor space to socialize, eat lunch and work collaboratively.
Students and their families choose SHC for the strength of our academics, our diverse array of cocurricular opportunities and for the warmth of our inclusive and nurturing community. The tenets that SHC was founded upon in 1852 remain today: a commitment to serving San Francisco’s diverse youth and providing an academically rigorous, Catholic education.
We are proud of our vibrant, close-knit community, and we all work together to educate today’s youth and create tomorrow’s leaders.

Quick Stats (2021)

  • Top Ranked CA School
  • Grades: 9-12
  • Students: 1,322 students
  • Yearly Tuition: $17,500
  • Average class size: 25 students
  • Application Deadline: None / Rolling

Top Rankings

Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory ranks among the top 20% of private schools in California for:

Sports offered
School History

School Overview

Religious Affiliation
Grades Offered
Grades 9-12
Learning Difference Programs
Year Founded
Summer School Offered

Student Body

Total Students
1,322 students
Student Body Type
% Students of Color
State avg.: 48%
Students by Grade
Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory Student By Grade

Academics and Faculty

Total Classroom Teachers
95 teachers
Student : Teacher Ratio
National avg.: 13:1
Average Class Size
25 students
Number of AP Courses
21 courses
List of Courses Offered
Advanced Courses
AP Art History, AP Biology, AP Calculus AB, AP Calculus BC, AP Chemistry, AP Chinese Language and Culture, AP Computer Science, AP English Language and Composition, AP English Literature and Composition, AP European History, AP French Language and Culture, AP Human Geography, AP Japanese Language and Culture, AP Music Theory, AP Physics C: Mechanics, AP Psychology, AP Spanish Language and Culture, AP Statistics, AP Studio Art, AP United States Government and Politics, AP United States History
Average ACT score
Classroom Dress Code
(Khaki pants and polo shirt)

Tuition and Acceptance Rate

Admission Deadline
None / Rolling
Yearly Tuition Cost
Tuition Notes
In order to keep tuition affordable and fund key aspects of SHC curriculum, we additionally count on a yearly parent pledge for each child who attends SHC. For more information, please read more about our Parent Pledge Program.
Admissions Director
Tim Burke '70
Admissions Associate
Erica Pfeiffer


School Notes

  • The Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory (SHC) community is dedicated to the intellectual and academic excellence of our students, and we strive to develop the unique talents and passions of each individual. Our devotion is illustrated in our enthusiastic and highly educated teachers, commitment to service and social justice, innovative curriculum and cutting-edge classroom technology. At SHC, academic excellence is not only measured in the range and quality of our courses, but in our students’ curiosity, drive and desire to learn. We challenge our students to stretch themselves, to experience and learn as much as they can, to honor their passions and develop their talents, to generously share of those talents and to become their best selves.
  • Approximately one hundred lay teachers, including five Christian Brothers and two Daughters of Charity comprise the professional staff. In addition to bachelor’s degrees and teaching credentials, five hold doctorates and more than seventy percent hold master’s degrees.
  • Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory, affiliated with the Christian Brothers Education Association and the Daughters of Charity Education Association, has received full accreditation by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) and the Western Catholic Education Association (WCEA).
  • Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory enrolls approximately 1,325 students from San Francisco and its environs. Reflecting the diversity of the Bay Area, students represent different religious, economic and ethnic backgrounds, which include Caucasian, Asian, Filipino, Hispanic, African-American and Native American.
  • Approximately 1,100 eighth-graders apply for the 300+ openings in the freshman class. Admission is competitive and is based upon GPA in the seventh and eighth grades, test results from STS High School Placement Test and teacher/principal recommendations.
  • The school year, divided into semesters, begins in late August and ends in early June with a Thanksgiving break, vacations at Christmas and Easter, and observance of national holidays. A typical school day begins at 7:55 am and ends at 2:30 pm. Parents receive grades twice per semester, or approximately every nine weeks, and may view informal progress reports through PowerSchool. The Honor Roll recognizes academic excellence based on grade point average. Conversely, students whose grades fall below a 2.0 (GPA), are placed on academic probation and may not participate in cocurricular activities. Students must take six courses each semester.
  • Inquiry & Innovation Program
  • Inquiry & Innovation is a dynamic four-year program that focuses on science, technology and math using project based learning and evolving 21st century learning tools. The program inspires students to ask critical questions and discover inventive solutions to complex challenges. It includes hands-on summer workshops, leadership opportunities in technology, access to Honors and Advanced Placement courses, a vibrant humanities curriculum, and collaborative service learning. Program members are among our top applicants, displaying high academic achievement (3.5 GPA or above) and exemplary standardized test scores (especially in math and science).
  • De Paul Scholar Program
  • The De Paul Scholar Program off ers a rigorous four-year curriculum which includes accelerated content, in-depth study, interdisciplinary approaches, opportunities for learning beyond the classroom, development of leadership skills, and a service component to the poor and marginalized. Admission to the De Paul Scholar Program is predicated upon a student’s academic achievement as demonstrated by standardized test scores, grade point average and teacher recommendations. The successful applicant must also demonstrate a commitment to service and a desire to develop leadership skills. Consequently, many academically gifted students do not automatically gain admission to the De Paul Scholar Program. 

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Quick Stats (2021)

  • Top Ranked CA School
  • Grades: 9-12
  • Students: 1,322 students
  • Yearly Tuition: $17,500
  • Average class size: 25 students
  • Application Deadline: None / Rolling

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Did You Know?

The average private school tuition in San Francisco, CA is $22,345 for elementary schools and $34,168 for high schools (read more about average private school tuition across the country).
The average acceptance rate in San Francisco, CA is 65% (read more about average acceptance rates across the country).

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