The Senior School's balanced, rigorous curriculum prepares students to achieve success at top colleges in a wide array of academic fields.

Senior School

SS StudentsShady Side Academy Senior School serves a coed population of approximately 440 high school students in grades 9-12, both day and boarding. Our 130-acre campus is located in the Fox Chapel suburb of Pittsburgh.

Challenging Academics

Following a proven college preparatory curriculum, our students immerse themselves in hands-on learning opportunities, take college-level courses, and establish meaningful relationships with expert faculty mentors. We take a 21st-century approach to learning at the Senior School. Rather than rote memorization and standardized test preparation, our students learn by conducting research, writing persuasive arguments, thinking critically, honing their study habits and managing their free time – all skills they will need to succeed in college.

Keeping Balance

Our commitment to a balanced education means we offer a breadth of arts and athletics opportunities for our students, supported by top-notch campus facilities. Beyond arts and athletics, students can explore their passions in more than 50 different student clubs, such as speech and debate, Science Olympiad or service learning. Many students travel the world through our global and off-campus programs whether through one of four international exchange programs or as a Parkin Fellow.

Cultivating Respect and Leadership

The mutual respect teachers and students have for each other is exemplified in our culture. We believe students have a voice and deserve the opportunity to lead alongside their teachers. Here, students serve as voting members of our academic, admissions and discipline committees, and as team captains and student council officers. Faculty advisors meet weekly with their small group of advisees, and teachers and students converse while walking around the quad or enjoying lunch together. We are a close-knit community, grounded in our five Guiding Principles of honesty, kindness, responsibility, respect and safety.


Approximately 15 percent of students participate in our boarding program five or seven days a week, giving them increased access to school resources. Whether playing Tuesday night football, studying together in the dorms or exploring Pittsburgh on weekends, boarders gain responsibility and independence, preparing them for college life.

After Shady Side

Our graduates achieve at top colleges and find success in a variety of professions around the world. More than 7,000 alumni form the backbone of SSA’s global network.

A Day in the Life of the Senior School

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College Counseling


Our three full-time college counselors maintain relationships with college admissions offices around the world and share their expertise with families during regular one-on-one meetings, ensuring students find a place where they will thrive.

Learn More

Fill out our online inquiry form or contact the Senior School Admissions Office today to schedule a personal tour!