Our School

Wilson Classical High School first opened its doors in 1926 and will graduate its 87th senior class this coming June. A strong tradition of both academic and athletic excellence has inspired multiple generations to want their children, grandchildren and even great-grandchildren to wear the cardinal and gold of a Wilson Bruin. The second oldest high school in a city of nearly half a million, Wilson has an alumni base of over 50,000 graduates who are proud to say "I graduated from Wilson High!" Wilson grads pursue higher education at a variety of institutions, from our local community college to the most prestigious private universities in the nation, and they are engaged in successful careers in every walk of life.


Wilson Classical High School serves a highly diverse student population from the neighborhood named by USAToday in 2001 as the most ethnically diverse neighborhood in the most diverse city in the entire United States of America! With a student population of 4,200, WCHS serves students in grades 9-12 on an attractive urban campus. Our Expected Schoolwide Learning Results are that all Wilson students will become effective communicators, creative and critical thinkers, possess career and college readiness, and strive to be good citizens. Three rigorous academic pathways are offered to our students: Classical, Distinguished Scholars, and WAVE.


Classical Program

Wilson provides all students the opportunity to earn the Wilson Classical Diploma by earning thirty specifically designated college prep academic credits beyond the district minimum (see Counseling home page), maintaining a 2.0 overall grade point average all four years, and consistently complying with Wilson’s Uniform Dress Code, and Codes of Excellence and Honor.


Distinguished Scholars Program

Now in its eighteenth year, the Distinguished Scholars Program is a rigorous pathway within the Classical High School. Distinguished Scholars go beyond Classical Diploma requirements and take accelerated, honors, and Advanced Placement courses to prepare them for success at America’s top universities. Distinguished Scholars also have the opportunity to take seven classes each year instead of the traditional six. Selection is based on academic GPA and California Standards Test scores. Priority is given to incoming freshmen with a minimum 3.3 academic GPA who demonstrate proficiency or advanced proficiency scores on math and language arts exams in 6thand 7thgrade. Approximately 15% of each entering group of Distinguished Scholars is admitted from outside Wilson’s attendance boundaries. Currently 995 students are enrolled as Distinguished Scholars. To maintain Distinguished Scholar status, students must take:

  • 240 -280 credits with an academic GPA of 3.3 (un-weighted by student’s 7thsemester)
  • Three years of accelerated/honors/AP English
  • Three years of accelerated /honors/AP History/Social Science
  • Four years of Math including Algebra 1-2, Geometry, Intermediate Algebra and one advanced Math elective
  • Accelerated /Honors/AP Science
  • Two years of Visual and/or Performing Arts
  • A minimum of three Advanced Placement courses
  • 40 hours of Service to Community by 7thsemester
  • Maintain proficient or Advanced on California Standards Tests for 3 years

Distinguished Scholars must also demonstrate excellent conduct and uphold the school Honor Code.  Grades of “D” or “F” are not allowed during any semester grading period.


WAVE - Wilson’s Academic Vision of Excellence

An enhancement to the Distinguished Scholars program is the addition of an even more rigorous component called WAVE, Wilson’s Academic Vision of Excellence. The WAVE, which increases the chance of acceptance to America’s top universities and offers special graduation recognition for Wilson’s top scholars, appeals to those students who push to excel at the highest levels. Requirements for participation in WAVE are added to the requirements for Distinguished Scholars and include the following:

  • 4 years of Math
  • 4 years of Accelerated/ Honors/AP English
  • 4 years of Accelerated/Honors/AP Science
  • 4 years of World Language through 7/8 or AP
  • 40 additional hours of Service to Community for a total of 80 hours over four years
  • Minimum of 5 AP courses over 4 years
  • Completion of AP Human Geography in the Freshman year
  • 280 credits with an academic GPA of 3.5 (unweighted by student’s 7thsemester)

Students considered for acceptance into the WAVE should possess an academic GPA of 3.8 or higher and demonstrate Advanced Proficiency on the math and Language Arts exams in 6thand 7thgrade.


Wilson High boasts an exciting and varied co-curricular program and enjoys great parent and community support. Ranked by Newsweek among the top 4% of U.S. high schools every year since 2003, Wilson Classical High School has twice been named a California Distinguished School and was selected as the representative high school in earning our district the prestigious Broad Prize for Urban Education for 2003-2004. Wilsonhas been named in each of the past two years in the WashingtonPost’spublished list of the nation’s most challenging high schools, based on the school’s ability to offer rigorous college prep courses. The Post ranks Wilson in the top 5% of high schools nationwide and highest among the four similarly ranked large comprehensive high schools in the LBUSD.


Wilson currently offers Advanced Placement courses in 21 subjects: Art History, Biology, Calculus AB, Chemistry, English Language and Composition, English Literature and Composition, Environmental Science, French Language, German Language, Human Geography, Macroeconomics, Music Theory, Physics: B, Psychology, Spanish Language, Spanish Literature, Statistics, Studio Art: 3D Design, Studio Art: Drawing, US History and World History.


Wilson students gain admission to all of our country’s top institutions of higher learning including Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Brown, Stanford, Johns Hopkins, Georgetown, Northwestern, Fordham, Purdue, USC George Washington, NYU, Williams, Bard, Duke, Vanderbilt, Emory, Carnegie Mellon, Harvey Mudd, Boston College, and Boston University, and each year dozens achieve admission to each of the University of California and California State University campuses. Wilson High was also proudly represented at the 2012 London Olympics by six Wilson alumni Olympians, three of whom won medals.


Our dedicated staff, along with our Student/Parent Agreement, Code of Excellence, Code of Honor, uniform dress code, Classical Curriculum, Distinguished Scholars and WAVE programs, wide AP and Honors course offerings, AVID and GEAR Up Programs, interventions and resources for special needs populations, and minimum GPA requirements, all strongly support the Wilson Classical High School vision that every student can and will reach his or her fullest academic and personal potential.


All in all, every single day is a GREAT DAY TO BE A BRUIN!!!

1925 Architectural Rendering

1925 Architectural Rendering