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The Academies at North Hills represent an exciting expansion of curricular options for students at North Hills High School. Building upon our current curriculum and resources, a cohort philosophy will provide additional academic choices for our students while extending their academic experiences beyond our classroom walls through partnerships with regional businesses, universities and publicly funded organizations. The academies will provide students with a blueprint of course choices that align with their educational goals and aspirations. Academies will determine a set of objectives for students through prescribed coursework, academic standing, community service and extended educational opportunities. The academies are designed to appeal to a wide range of student interests and offer a myriad of courses created on a continuum of academic rigor. Students who have a talent for and deep interest in the focused curriculum of a particular academy are those who should apply.

What are Academies?

The Academic Academies at North Hills High School guide students along a choice of coursework that closely aligns with their career goals and interests while exposing them to a cohort of peers with similar interests. Throughout their high school experience, academy students will continue to have the opportunity to take elective courses outside their academy focus. Exposure to academies begins during the freshman year and students are able to begin formal study during their sophomore or junior year. Students may enroll in Career and Personal Planning to explore careers that align with their interests. The Academy Admission Board comprised of administrators, guidance counselors, teachers and experts in the field will review applications for admission. To be considered for admission, a student must have a 3.0 QPA, demonstrate positive behavior, have a respectable attendance record, submit a letter of intent and secure a teacher recommendation.

Academies Opportunities

In addition to extensive elective course offerings, students may select from six academy programs. These programs afford students an opportunity to explore a career field and develop transferable academic and workplace skills, while earning both high school and possibly college credit. Academy students may participate in field trips, shadowing programs and may be eligible for academy specific scholarships. In addition, students will be encouraged to participate in extracurricular clubs and activities related to their Academy to extend their learning experience.


  • The Academy for Arts and Communication
  • The Academy for Business and Finance
  • The Academy for Engineering
  • The Academy for Law and Government
  • The Academy for Medicine
  • The Academy for World Affairs

Throughout the academy experience, students will be provided with a framework of support to maximize the benefits of the academy. To demonstrate the acquisition of acquired skills, all academy students will be required to maintain and submit an electronic portfolio. Students are encouraged to continue to enroll in coursework outside their filed of interest in order to have a diversified high school experience.

An advisory group for the academies includes representatives from the regional economic, educational and government community. These stakeholders may give advice on curriculum, appear as guest speakers in classes, supervise shadowing and apprenticeship opportunities and serve as mentors for individual students. In addition, all academies will be articulated to a post-secondary program at a community college, university, or technical school.

Representatives from the regional economic, educational or government community, wishing to participate in academies through scholarship, shadowing, or serving on an advisory board should contact High School Principal Beth Williams at 412-318-1402 or

Applying to an Academy
Students in grades 10 to 12 interested in applying to an academy should click here for more information. Students in their first year of high school are encouraged to complete a successful year of high school and explore the variety of coursework available at this level prior to applying to an academy.
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North Hills School District
135 Sixth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15229
Phone: 412-318-1000 Fax: 412-318-1084
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