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A premier Jesuit university, the University of San Francisco is a representation of the inclusive, inspiring, creative city that surrounds it. They have an education that is deeply personal and intellectually rigorous for students from all backgrounds.


For them, it is complementary to reason, faith, science, and spirituality. With a sense of awe and wonder, their students see the universe, and with a search for answers to the most difficult questions in the world.



The University of San Francisco will be internationally recognized as a premier Jesuit Catholic, urban university with a global perspective that educates leaders who will fashion a more humane and just world.



The core mission of the university is to promote learning in the Jesuit Catholic tradition. The university offers undergraduate, graduate, and professional students the knowledge and skills needed to succeed as persons and professionals, and the values and sensitivity necessary to be men and women for others.


The university will distinguish itself as a diverse, socially responsible learning community of high quality scholarship and academic rigor sustained by a faith that does justice. The university will draw from the cultural, intellectual, and economic resources of the San Francisco Bay Area and its location on the Pacific Rim to enrich and strengthen its educational programs.



Established in 1855 as St. Ignatius Academy by the Jesuits, USF began in what later became downtown San Francisco as a one-room schoolhouse along Market Street. Anthony Maraschi's father, S.J. He was the founder and first president of the college (1820-1897), a scholar, the treasurer of the college, and the first pastor of the church of St. Ignatius. St. Ignatius Academy received its charter to grant college degrees from the State of California on April 30, 1859, under Maraschi, and signed by Governor John B. Weller. The school changed its name to St. Ignatius College that year.


Greek, Spanish, Latin, English, French, Italian, algebra, arithmetic, history, geography, eloculation, and bookkeeping were included in the original curriculum.


To replace the first frame structure, a new building was built in 1862. The first Bachelor of Arts degree was awarded by the university in June 1863. In 1880, on the corner of Hayes Street and Van Ness Road, the college relocated from Market Street to a new location (currently occupied by the Davies Symphony Hall).


During the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, the Third St. Ignatius College sustained minor damage, but was totally destroyed in the ensuing fire. The campus moved west, near Golden Gate Park, to the corner of Hayes and Shrader Avenues. Over the next 21 years, it occupied a hastily built structure known as the Shirt Factory (for its similarity to similar manufacturing buildings of the era). In 1927, on the site of a former Masonic Cemetery, the college moved to its present site on Fulton Street.


St. Ignatius College changed its name to the University of San Francisco in order to mark its diamond jubilee in 1930. Many alumni organizations and long-time San Francisco Mayor James Rolph Jr. wanted the move from college to university.


A male-only school for much of its existence, in 1964 USF became entirely coeducational, although as early as 1927 women began attending the evening programs in business and law. The high school branch, already completely independent from the university, moved to the western part of San Francisco in 1969 and became the Preparatory of St. Ignatius College. In 1978, Lone Mountain College was purchased by the university. October 15, 2005, marked the 150th anniversary of the founding of the university. In the fall of 2017, USF enrolled 11,080 undergraduate and graduate students in four schools (Law, Administration, Education, Nursing and Health Professions) and one college in all of its programs (Arts and Sciences).

San Francisco, California is blessed with some of the top colleges in the state.  Make sure to check these out:

  • California College of the Arts

  • City College of San Francisco

  • UC Hastings College of the Law

  • California College of Arts

  • San Francisco State University

  • San Francisco Conservatory of Music

  • San Francisco Art Institute

  • University of California San Francisco  


All of these wonderful colleges are located just a short distance from our location located at 100 Pine St #1250 in San Francisco! Stop by for a visit anytime!

College Friends
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