About O’Dowd

cmt_mass-of-holy-spiritSituated in the Oakland Hills, overlooking the San Francisco Bay, Bishop O’Dowd High School reflects the diversity and pursuit of excellence for which this region of California is known. With a reputation for academic excellence, expansive programming and college preparatory rigor, we attract applicants from the East Bay and beyond who strive to create positive change within themselves, their communities and in the world. Guided by our mission and charism which is rooted in our Catholic heritage, the broad and deep academic and co-curricular program ensures each student’s intellectual, moral and personal growth.

The academic curriculum at O’Dowd equips students to be engaged learners and citizens, highly prepared for college and beyond. The curricular offering includes: 25 AP and honors level courses, a rich humanities and arts program, a comprehensive and state of the art science and technology curriculum, and a focus on sustainability (for more detail on the curricular offering, review the current course catalogue). Opportunities for students to participate in leadership, environmental stewardship, peer ministry, service learning and social justice activities abound.  Comprehensive counseling and health and wellness services support students’ well-being as they prepare for their futures. Whether through academics, athletics, clubs or other co-curricular pursuits, students find joy in learning and developing in a supportive and caring environment.

We invite you to visit O’Dowd and to peruse these information-rich pages, where we strive to make the admissions process as simple and informative as possible. From learning about whether O’Dowd is right for your child, to the application process and through to acceptance, our dedicated Admissions team is eager to help.


Important Dates

Looking for event dates and times? View a complete list of our annual events here »

Final Transcripts and Letter of Recommendations by February 2, 2018.

These documents must come directly from your student’s current school.

Admissions Decisions along with Financial Aid Notifications will be emailed on March 16, 2018 at 4:00 p.m.

Online Enrollment opens for admitted students on Saturday, March 17th at 3 p.m.


Financial Aid Statement:

We anticipate continuing to experience a steep increase in financial need amongst our applicant pool that exceeds our financial aid resources. If you have questions about receiving financial aid, please read the rest of this important financial aid statement »


Throughout the year there are key steps, deadlines and events that are important to note for anyone considering O’Dowd. Please explore our Admissions calendar and print or note these dates on your calendar.

See our upcoming key Admissions steps, deadlines and events dates »

Experience O’Dowd



We know you have a choice about where to send your child to high school. That’s why Bishop O’Dowd High School has been intentionally evolved, since its founding in 1951, into a institution of faith and academics that is distinct in the way that it educates and supports its students, preparing them to thrive academically and socially and to become important contributors to their communities. We invite you to come learn why you should consider O’Dowd »

Experience O’Dowd
Student Profile
Student Profile



We encourage you to get to know O’Dowd from a variety of perspectives. Attend any of our admissions events, enjoy our award-winning drama and music performances, visit our art show, attend an athletic event, or come enjoy our Harvest Festival and other school events.

Student visits are currently full. 

See our Admissions Events »


The High School Placement Test (HSPT) is a standardized test administered to all students who wish to attend O’Dowd. The test is offered at specific times during the school year and is required. We also offer various prep workshops and practice exams.

For more information, click here »

Inquire & Visit Program

Student visits and events are currently full. 

There are many ways to explore and experience O’Dowd as a prospective family. We recommend that all students and parents attend at least two different events throughout the admissions season.

  • STUDENT VISITS: We also encourage all students to set up a Student Visit morning where they will have an opportunity to tour campus, visit classrooms and meet with O’Dowd students. Learn more about our student visit program »
  • OPEN HOUSE: If you are a 6th, 7th or 8th grade family we welcome you to attend our Open House. This is a great way to get a sense of the O’Dowd community, the vast array of athletic and co-curricular offering and meet our staff and students.
  • NUTS & BOLTS INFO SESSION: Confused about the admissions process? Come to A Nuts and Bolts session, where admissions staff will provide insight into the admissions process and answer any burning application questions.
  • DRAGON MORNING INFO SESSION & TOURS: Finally, we encourage all prospective 8th grade and high school transfer parents to attend a Dragon Morning tour and information session. The morning is jam-packed with information about O’Dowd academics and co-curricular programs. See classes in action, listen to a panel of O’Dowd students and meet key administrators and faculty.


If you think Bishop O’Dowd High School is for your child, we welcome and support your application process. There are several key steps and dates of which to be aware, so please review the information below before applying. Our Admissions staff is always available to help at any time. Just ask »

key steps

Transfer students


We understand that parents naturally have questions about the financial implications of attending Bishop O’Dowd High School. Maintaining accessibility is a goal we take seriously and we offer financial aid for worthy students with a demonstrated financial need.

Learn more about O’Dowd tuition »

International Students »intnl4_740x540

At O’Dowd students from around the world participate in all facets of school life while learning about American culture. International students further develop their English fluency, experience a well-rounded, rigorous and diverse curriculum, and challenge themselves to become contributing global citizens. Engaging in service learning, student-run clubs, sports, and the arts provide our international students with a full immersion experience. And we fully support all students from abroad with after-school ESL and tutoring programs specifically set up to address core academic needs. Learn more »

STAFF and Contact

Our Admissions staff is available to answer all your questions about our application process. Don’t hesitate to call us at (510)553-8631 or email us at