Top High Schools in Pennsylvania

Written By Sally Forsyth

The historic state of Pennsylvania has some amazing schools that you may want to consider if you are planning to study in the US as an international student. Situated fewer than three hours away from Washington D.C and about two hours from New York City, the state capital of Philadelphia is renowned for all the historical sites linked with American history. Places to visit include the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, as well as many other attractions.  Pennsylvania offers a considerable number of quality schools you may want to check out, so let's have a look at the top schools in Pennsylvania.

Dock Mennonite Academy

Campus and Location

  • The Dock  Mennonite Academy is located in Landsdale, about  33 miles north of Philadelphia. There are two campuses, and the high school is located on the second campus which also hosts a state of the art fitness center.
  • The campus is a  very spacious 75-acre campus.

Academic Curriculum

  • The curriculum focuses on a global perspective and developing international awareness.
  • Offers an impressive 17 AP courses
  • Students are encouraged to focus on finding ways to offer service in the wider community.

Extra Curricular Activities

  • Strong arts program with a big focus on music, theater, and the visual arts
  • Strong athletics program with a variety of sports offered

Support for International students

  • 15 % of the student body is made up of international students.

Grier School

Campus and Location

  • All girls school
  • Mostly a boarding school with 85% of students boarding
  • Small class sizes facilitating personalized learning
  • Located in Tyrone, Pennsylvania, about  220 miles west of Philadelphia, and 110 miles east of Pittsburg

Academic Curriculum

  • Strong focus on developing global awareness
  • More than 21 A.P courses offered
  • Students encouraged to get involved in community service
  • Learning support and tutoring programs offered

Extra- Curricular Activities

  • A wide range of extracurricular activities and clubs are available.
  • Strong dance and music programs
  • Grier has its own stables and horses, so riding is a popular activity with students participating competitively.

Support for International Students

  • About half the student body is international students from more than fifteen countries.
  • English language support is offered to international students.
  • Special transport coordinator for international students
  • TOEFL testing on site
  • Some faculty members are fluent in languages such as Korean, Mandarin, and Spanish.
  • International students can board on campus.

Bishop Carroll High School

Campus and Location

  • Located in Ebensburg, Pennsylvania, about  73 miles east of Pittsburg.
  • Beautiful 34-acre campus
  • The campus includes seven different buildings, as well as playing fields.

Academic Curriculum

  • Variety of AP and Honors courses offered
  • Opportunity to earn credit for college courses with an affiliate program with local universities
  • Small student to teacher ratio, giving opportunities for more personalized learning

Extra- Curricular Activities

  • More than 30 different clubs and extracurricular activities are available.
  • Award winning  Drama club
  • Strong athletics program

Support for International Students

  • BIshop Carroll School has a very strong established international program welcoming international students from across the globe.
  • Very supportive and friendly  community, creating  a family atmosphere
  • The international program is situated in an historic house called Aquinas Hall.
  • Offers English as Second Language support

Abington Friends School

Campus and Location

  • Abington Friends School is located in Jenkintown, Pennsylvania, about 13 miles north of Philadelphia.
  • World class research library
  • Center for experiential learning
  • Learning resource center
  • Small school, resulting in personalized attention for every student

Academic Curriculum

  • AP classes offered in every discipline
  • Strong college guidance program

Extra Curricular activities

  • Strong arts and athletics programs

Support for International Students

  • Complete immersion in mainstream classes
  • A supportive community is overseen by an assigned Dean of International Students.
  • Current Dean is fluent in Mandarin.
  • Special new student orientation for international students
  • An inclusive culture is promoted.

Plumstead Christian School

Campus and Location

  • Located in Plumsteadville,  about  45 miles north of Philadelphia

 Academic Curriculum

  • Good range of AP and Honor classes offered

Extra - Curricular Activities

  • The wide variety of extracurricular activities includes athletics, performing arts and many different clubs.

Support for International Students

  • A warm welcoming community for international students

Springside Chestnut Hill Academy

Campus and Location

  • 63-acre campus
  • Award-winning engineering and robotics lab
  • Excellent athletics facilities, including tennis courts, fitness center, and dance studio
  • Impressive squash facilities
  • Close to public transport
  • Located in Chestnut Hill, 11 miles north of downtown Philadelphia

Academic Curriculum

  • Artist in residence program supports visits from local artists
  • Strong emphasis on the use of technology for learning
  • Fosters global citizenship and international awareness
  • Frequent school trips overseas and within the US
  • 73% of faculty hold advanced degrees & an average of 18 years teaching experience

Extra- Curricular Activities

  • Very impressive athletics program, with a variety of sports available

    • Eg. Springside alumna Taylor Ellis-Watson brings home the gold from Olympic Rio 2016
  • Partnership with local sports medicine physicians, offering medical advice and support for all athletes
  • Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership (CEL) as an addendum to the rigorous core curriculum to prepare students for the ever-changing world ahead of them
    • Eg. current international student Simon got funded for his start-up website project from local investor
  • Top 10 robotic team in World
    • Eg. competed in 15 of the last 16 first robotics world championships,finishing 4 times in the top & winning the coveted first chairman’s award 8 times.Robotics students have been accepted into nation’s top engineering programs, including Princeton, MIT, Caltech, Penn, Brown, Columbia, Cornell, etc.

Support for International Students

  • TOEFL or similar exam results are required for admission.

Lancaster Mennonite School

Campus and Location

  • Lancaster Mennonite actually has two campuses. The first one is located in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, about 80 miles west of Philadelphia. The second campus is located in Hershey, about 30 miles east of Lancaster.
  • Each campus has different options. 
  • The Lancaster campus is situated on 85 acres, with facilities and offers room and board, with two on-campus dormitories. It is one of the largest boarding schools in the region.
  • The Hershey campus offers students the chance to study in a smaller community and allows international students to stay with local homestay families. The Hershey site is a smaller school which gives students more opportunity to practice their English.

Academic Curriculum

  • Excellent college preparation program
  • Offers more than 150 courses including 24  AP, Honor and college level courses
  • Small classes facilitate individual learning

Extra- Curricular Activities

  • A wide variety of clubs and activities are available.
  • Strong athletics and arts programs

Support for International Students

  • Is considered one of the top schools for international students
  • Choice of dorm or homestay living
  • English proficiency test required on the application
  • Supportive community overall for international students


Hi! These schools sound wonderful! Where can I get more information and contact the schools?

If you sign up with an EduHup account you can gain access to these schools and much more with our Smart Search tool! You can view their profile which has amazing details about each school!

Please note that Lancaster Mennonite has just closed one of their two campuses. We have several of their students considering our school, so if you were considering any of these great schools, please consider ours, as well! I'm the international student advisor and admissions counselor for our international program.

Yes! We will be doing some more school profiles for different schools including yours soon! Stay tuned!

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About the author

Sally Forsyth is a High school English teacher and an educational coach. She has worked in national and internatonal schools in different countries and different school systems, She is also the founder of CoachMyFuture, a coaching organization focusing on coaching teachers and educators in the educational sector.

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