Designed for
Inquiring Minds

“ The CSI showcases sophisticated computing laboratories and classrooms—weaving modern technologies into educational programs such as biotechnology and analytics. When we conceptualized this space, we aimed to make innovation and science visible. As you can see, the vision has been realized. ”

Jennifer E. Turpin, PhD Academic Vice President and Provost

The University of San Francisco (USF) needed to replace its cramped 1966 Harney Hall, built when science enrollments were just half of today’s levels. The university determined that a next-generation science facility was needed to build on the strength of its existing undergraduate science program while supporting continued excellence in scientific exploration. The new Center for Science and Innovation (CSI) not only signals a new emphasis on interdisciplinary science education, it also welcomes new students and faculty into a longstanding and unique Jesuit academic tradition.

Advancing the Mission

The CSI embodies the university’s mission to train future leaders who will improve society through science. Offering state-of-the art laboratories and classrooms, integrated with informal learning areas for collaboration and reflection, the new facility fosters a campus-wide culture of scientific inquiry that builds upon the university’s commitment to academic excellence and service.

With graduate admission rates for medical and PhD level programs at twice the national average, USF had specific goals for learning spaces: revolutionize basic and translational sciences; germinate new boundary-crossing curricula; expand student research with faculty; prepare all students for an increasingly technological world; provide critical biology training to nursing majors; and grow new collaborations between business programs and the sciences.

To support collaboration and to accommodate future growth and curriculum shifts, the design of the CSI supports three types of learning processes and scales:

  1. Industry-standard laboratories and classrooms provide formal hands-on training and exchange.
  2. Informal areas surround these spaces to accommodate post-class discussions.
  3. More intimate, relaxed areas encourage reflection, study, and the processing of ideas.


San Francisco Chronicle, "USF's science center's new digs go sleekly underground," January 27, 2014
San Francisco Business Times, "USF opening $54 million science and innovation center," September 26, 2013
San Francisco Business Times, "University of San Francisco to break ground on $60M science center," June 29, 2008
Curbed, "USF's $60 Million Science Center Increases Their Self-Esteem," September 18, 2009