UPA Elementary School – Ellen Thompson Campus

Open Seats: 0
Est: 2005
Grades: k-5
Enrollment: 433

UPA Elementary School – Mark Murray Campus

Open Seats: 0
Est: 2008
Grades: k-5
Enrollment: 480

UPA Middle School

Open Seats: 0
Est: 2000
Grades: 6-8
Enrollment: 442

UPA High School

Open Seats: 0
Est: 2003
Grades: 9-12
Enrollment: 554


High School graduation and post-secondary education are the surest pathways to a stable and fulfilling life. At University Prep, we believe that it is the responsibility of a great school district to partner with families, to provide students with everything they need to graduate and succeed in postsecondary education. We strongly believe that all students can succeed, given personalized education and a relentless commitment to their success. We have studied successful schools around the country and around the world, and have drawn upon their lessons to shape the UPA model, a clear alternative to the mass production, factory-based model of most urban schools.


UPA’s campuses were built by the Thompson Foundation whose mission is to help low-income people rise out of poverty and become self-sufficient. Many of the foundation’s initiatives are focused on creating educational opportunities for Detroit youth.  This includes funding scholarships to colleges and universities such as Schoolcraft, Michigan Tech University and Michigan State University.
 Robert and Ellen Thompson formed the Thompson Foundation in 1999 with a portion of the proceeds from the sale of the Thompson-McCully Company, Michigan’s largest asphalt paving company. Visit thompsonfdn.org

Known as one of Detroit’s longest-standing tuition-free public charter school systems

University Prep Schools (UPrep Schools) encompasses three districts and nine campuses serving K-12 students from all corners of the city. Through a combination of individualized and Expeditionary Learning models, UPrep Schools’ students are afforded the unique opportunity to learn in an environment that extends education beyond the confines of the traditional classroom.


  • We care about people.
    In everything we do, we care about the needs of others while also taking care of ourselves.
  • Learning is exciting.
    We take joy in learning new things. we approach challenges by thinking about the new things we will discover.
  • We think big and DO.
    Our goals push us to excel, and we work hard to accomplish those goals.
  • We work well by ourselves and in teams.
    We work hard on our own and contribute our personal best to the team, and our work together lets us all shine brighter.
  • Our actions have a purpose.
    Before we do anything, we know why we are doing it and how we will go about it.


Our District’s

UPrep Schools boasts three high-performing school districts: University Prep Academy, University Prep Science & Math and University Prep Art & Design.

University Prep Academy District

University Prep Science & Math District

University Prep Art & Design District

MI School Data
Michigan school data
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UPA Funding Information
2017 Transparency Reporting Logo
UPSM Funding Information
2017 Transparency Reporting Logo
UPAD Funding Information