10 Best Public High Schools in the USA

Do you want to study in one of the top public high schools in the USA? Whether you are a US citizen or an international student in the USA interested in enrolling in an outstanding public high school there, there’s always a good choice for you.

We have compiled a list of the top 10 public high schools in the USA that you can enroll in this article. These schools demonstrate a wide range of attributes that mirror the diversity of the American educational system.

In contrast to private schools, which charge tuition for admission, public high schools in the USA are free because taxpayers have already covered the cost of their tuition, making them free state-sponsored educational programs

Public schools in the USA employ more qualified teachers who do not only teach but offer mentorship to the students.

To guarantee public school teachers have all the necessary skills to instruct and support their students, the state frequently requires its teachers to finish the certification process to teach in that state.

While private schools are more accommodating and will hire teachers with only a higher degree in their subject, most states do not allow teachers to teach in public schools without a bachelor’s degree.

What is a Public High School in the USA?

In the USA, a public high school is a secondary educational institution that is funded and operated independently by the government both at state and local levels through a combination of local, state, and federal resources.

They are part of the public education system and are open to all students within a designated geographic area, regardless of their socioeconomic background or other factors.

These schools do not charge tuition and they are more flexible in their curriculum and admission processes.

10 Best Public High Schools in the USA

The following schools listed below are the top 10 best public high schools in the USA:

  • Stuyvesant High School
  • Northside College Preparatory High School
  • Walter Payton College Preparatory School
  • Townsend Harris High School
  • Bergen County Academics
  • Adlai E.Stevenson High School
  • Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy
  • High Technology High School
  • Liberal Arts and Science Academy
  • Bronx High School of Scool

#1. Stuyvesant High School

This is a public college-preparatory specialized high school located in New York, United States. Stuyvesant High School is operated by the New York Department of Education and offers tuition-free accelerated academics to New York residents.

It is one of the best and most selective public high schools in New York City, New York State, and the United States. It was established as an all-boys school in the East Village of Manhattan in 1904 but moved to its current location in 1992.

Stuyvesant has produced notable alumni who have achieved success and doing very great in the world today in different fields including the fields of science, technology, business, and the arts.

Admission into Stuyvesant is very competitive and interested students are requested to take the Specialised High Schools Admission Test known as SHSAT. The SHSAT is a standardized test that assesses the abilities of students in English and math.

Stuyvesant has a strong foundation in STEM fields and remains one of the best high schools in the USA for students seeking a challenging academic environment.

The mission of Stuyvesant is to continue to enhance that commitment by providing an environment that will nurture and enhance the special academic talents of the students admitted to Stuyvesant.

It is a tuition-free college, to become a part of Stuyvesant all that is required of you is to pass the Specialized High Schools Admission Test.

Visit website.

#2. Northside College Preparatory High School

This is a public 4-year selective enrollment high school that is located in the North Park neighborhood on the north side of Chicago, Illinois, United States. Northside College Preparatory High School was founded in 1999. It has earned a reputation as one of the best public high schools in the world with academic excellence and it consistently ranks number #1 in Illinois.

Northside is well known for the academic success of its students. Students who attend this school usually gain admission into the nation’s top universities.

The school is home to challenging and rigorous programs that yield good results, it is also a home to innovative and progressive educational programs where students construct knowledge through relevant and engaging experiences.

The courses offered at Northside are either Honors or Advanced Placement. The college attracts high-achieving students which helps contribute to a competitive academic environment.

Departments at Northside College Preparatory High School include the Department of Computer Science, department of diverse learners, department of English, Department of Fine Arts, departments of Mathematics, department of Physical Education, Department of Science, Department of Social Sciences, Department of Technology, and department of world languages.

Visit website.

#3. Walter Payton College Preparatory School

Walter Payton College Preparatory High School is the third school on our list of best public high schools in the USA. This school is a selective enrollment public high school and an international model for global teaching and learning.

Established in 2000, Walter Payton College Prep High School has become a safe and competitive place for student discovery, intellectual curiosity, and international exploration and has won numerous awards for its world-class maths, world language, humanities, fine arts, and adventure education programs.

This college prepares its students very well to face the real world with the courage to embrace any challenge and inculcates in them the moral character needed to thrive in a society full of compromises, instills in them the compassion to fight for social equality, and the curiosity to change the world.

Visit website.

#4. Townsend Harris High School

Townsend Harris High School made it to our list of the best public high schools in the USA. THHS is s public magnet high school for the humanities in the borough of Queens located in New York City.

Townsend was named in honor of Townsend Harris the 19th-century American merchant, politician, and diplomat who served as the first American Consul to Japan. It was established in 1904, refounded in 1984, and moved to the campus of Queens College in 1995.

Admission to THHS is very competitive and based on outstanding academic performance, standardized test scores, and an admissions exam. It is safe to say this school attracts high-achieving students from diverse backgrounds.

Townsend is highly committed to preparing students for higher education and it has consistently ranked among the top public high schools in New York City and the world at large.

Visit website.

#5. Bergen County Academies

Bergen County Academies is among the top public high schools in the USA. Bergen is a free public career technical high school of choice for residents of Bergen County and beyond. The school is located on the Dr. John Grieco Campus in Hackensack, New Jersey. 

Bergen County Academies offers seven specialized programs in the areas of mathematics and science, engineering and design, medical science, business and finance, culinary arts and hospitality administration, visual and performing arts, and technology and computer science.

Their mission is to continue serving as an educational model for innovation and reform in the 21st century. Their learning environment is comprised of individual career-focused academies that provide a dynamic, specialized, student-centered environment that embraces the whole person.

Bergen encourages independent learning and creative problem-solving at every level and their teachers serve as mentors in the learning process to its students.

Visit website.

Public High Schools in the USA

#6. Adlai E.Stevenson High School

Adlai E. Stevenson High School is among the best public high schools in the USA. It was established in 1965 and named after Adlai E. Stevenson II, a former Illinois governor, two-time presidential candidate, and United States ambassador to the United Nations.

Stevenson High School (SHS) as it is commonly called is a four-year high school located in Lincolnshire, Illinois, United States. SHS offers a comprehensive curriculum that includes a range of honors and Advanced Placement (AP) courses that help to challenge and prepare students for higher education.

In terms of college readiness, SHS places a strong emphasis on college and career readiness offering resources and total guidance to help students navigate the college application process.

Visit website.

#7. Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy

Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy (IMSA) is a public residential high school located in Aurora, Illinois. The school is renowned for its specialized curriculum in mathematics and science.

The school was established in 1985 and its common goal is to nurture and challenge the intellectual abilities of Illinoi’s most talented students in mathematics and science and advance the human condition through fostering the talents and leadership capabilities of their young students.

IMSA is highly committed to providing an advanced and challenging educational experience for academically talented students. Admission into this school is hard and based on a selective admissions process.

If you are interested in studying mathematics or science consider enrolling with Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy, it is one of the top high schools in the United States for students interested in pursuing careers in maths and science.

Visit website.

#8. High Technology High School

High Technology High School is a four-year magnet public high school founded in 1991. It is designed for students in ninth through twelfth grades. High Technology High School is located in the Lincroft section of Middletown Township, in Monmouth County, United States.

This high school is a pre-engineering academy that offers courses such as Introduction to Engineering and Design, Exploring Engineering, and Principles of Engineering. HTHS is a member of the National Consortium for Specialized Secondary Schools of Mathematics, Science, and Technology.

High Technology High School was accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Elementary and Secondary Schools in the year 1995.

High Technology High School’s mission is to prepare students to become proactive and creative problem solvers, effective communicators, and tomorrow’s leaders through a rigorous, specialized curriculum and collaborative partnerships.

Visit website.

#9. Liberal Arts and Science Academy

Liberal Arts and Science Academy (LASA) is one of the best public high schools in the USA. It is a selective public magnet high school in Austin, Texas, United States. LASA is open to all Austin residents and charges no tuition fee.

LASA was founded in 1985 as a part of the Austin Independent School District, the school was established to provide an advanced and challenging educational experience for students in the Austin area.

LASA is located on the campus of the Lyndon B. Johnson High School in Austin with facilities that are designed to support the school’s advanced academic programs and extracurricular activities.

From fine arts and philosophy to robotics and stem cell research, LASA offers students a demanding yet supportive environment in which they can explore the breadth of their artistic and intellectual abilities and deepen their understanding.

The academic department at LASA is a teaching and learning community composed of professional teams who create curriculum, work with school communities to develop and coordinate programs, and provide vital services to students in need of additional academic support.

Visit website.

#10. Bronx High School of Science

Bronx High School of Science is among the best public high schools in the United States of America. Bronx High School of Science was founded in 1938 and is located in the Bronx borough of New York City.

The Bronx High School of Science is often regarded as the most famous high school in America and it draws a bright mix of students from various cultural, racial, and socioeconomic backgrounds.

The school has also earned a worldwide reputation as one of the finest public secondary schools in the country. The academic departments at Bronx High School of Science include; the Department of Art, the Department of Biology, the Department of English, the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, the Department of Music, the Department of Physical Education, the Department of Physical Science and Engineering, the Department of Social Studies, the Department of Technology and the Department of Languages Department.

Visit website.

Frequently Asked Questions

In what ways are public high schools in the US funded?

State appropriations, federal funds, and local property taxes are used to finance public high schools.

How do school districts function in the context of public education?

Public school districts are governed by elected school boards, who also approve budgets, set policies, and shape the general course of education in their districts.

What kind of coursework is offered in public high schools?

Core subjects including math, science, social studies, and English are usually included in public high school curricula. Some offer honors or Advanced Placement (AP) classes, and some may offer elective courses as well.

How do diversity policies work in public high schools?

Diversity is frequently embraced by public high schools, which accept students from a range of socioeconomic, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds. There might be programs for cultural sensitivity and inclusion in place.

What kind of college readiness do public high schools offer?

AP classes, college fairs, counseling services, and assistance with the college application process are some of the ways that public high schools assist students in getting ready for college.

Which standardized exams are administered to students in public high schools?

For college admissions, public high school students frequently take standardized tests like the SAT or ACT. States may also give standardized examinations to students to gauge their proficiency.

How is student safety ensured in public high schools?

Public high schools place a high priority on student safety by working with law enforcement and implementing anti-bullying programs, emergency preparedness plans, and security measures.

How can parents participate in the public high school that their child attends?

Parent-teacher organizations (PTOs), volunteer work, school events, parent-teacher conferences, and school initiatives are all ways that parents can become involved.


The schools listed above are the best public high schools in the USA according to research. There are other good public high schools in the USA. Ensure to carry out more in-depth research before applying to the school of your choice. Apply through the school’s official website by clicking “visit website “.


20 Best Dental Courses in the USA for International Students

Top 5 best cheapest 2-year nursing programs in the USA for international students

Top 15 Best Christian Universities in the USA 2023

How to Become a Forensic Psychologist in the USA| 10 Best Ways

6 Best Postgraduate Dental Courses in the USA for International Students

8 Best Cheapest Dental Schools in the USA| International Students

How to prepare for MS in Machine Learning in the USA?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *