Bishop O’Dowd High School

Private Day Schools Bishop O’Dowd High School

Bishop O’Dowd High School

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location type grades students int’l s-f ratio class SAT avg SSAT TOEFL
Oakland, CA co-ed 9-12 1200 N/A 13:1 25 1230 Either Either

Uniquely located at a crossroads in the East Bay, O’Dowd offers transformative college-prep learning for a just, sustainable and economically prosperous world. With 1,200 students and a supportive community rich in its diversity, we are just the right size to provide both new friends and extraordinary programs that challenge and support intellectual, moral, and personal growth. Bishop O’Dowd High School graduates are not only eligible for the University of California and Ivy League schools, but universally report that they are “over prepared” for rigorous universities and the complex social and moral environments of college and beyond. At O’Dowd, students engage in some of the finest and most inclusive athletic, co-curricular, and visual and performing arts programs in California.


Academics at O’Dowd challenge the intellectual capacity of our students and prepare them for college success. Required coursework is complemented by a wide variety of electives. Freshmen take seven courses each semester. Sophomores and juniors follow a core curriculum enhanced by courses in visual and performing arts. In addition, juniors and seniors choose from a wider range of electives including Advanced Placement and honors course options as well as independent study.

Special Highlights

Galapagos Science Trip. 14 students along with two teachers visit the Galápagos Islands each year for 12 days. The students work on a variety of research projects with the local scientists and projects from the Charles Darwin Research Station in Puerta Ayora on the island of Santa Cruz. Students and teachers learn about the unique ecosystems of the Galápagos and the impact of invasive species as well as tourism.

Dragon Ambassadors. Ambassadors are leaders and role models on campus, who introduce prospective students and parents to life at O’Dowd. As an O’Dowd representative they share with our prospective students and families their positive, inclusive, and dynamic learning experiences at O’Dowd. Being a Dragon Ambassador is a tremendous privilege and responsibility.

Top colleges attended by students

Southern University, Smith, Loyola Marymount, Colgate University, Colorado State, Northwestern, Oberlin, Occidental, Syracuse University, Tulane University, Vassar College, Vanderbilt University, Rutgers University, University of Arizona, Cornell University, Emerson College, Emory University

What the school looks for in students…

“We believe the most important thing we can do for our students is to instill a strong set of values—faith, community and character. O’Dowd families appreciate this long-standing commitment and understand that it is through these values that our students grow into their full humanity and contribute to making the world a better place.”