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 Students in McIlroy CenterShady Side Academy Senior School serves a coed population of approximately 480 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 faculty mentors. We take a 21st-century approach to learning; 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.

Our two newest academic facilities take STEAM education to a whole new level!

McIlroy Center for Science & Innovation    Glimcher Tech & Design Hub

Keeping Balance

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

Cultivating Respect and Leadership

The mutual respect faculty and students have for each other is exemplified in our culture. As a prep school in Pennsylvania, we believe students have a voice and deserve the opportunity to lead alongside teachers, and they serve as voting members of our academic, admissions and discipline committees. Faculty advisors meet weekly with their 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. Whether playing studying together in the dorms or exploring Pittsburgh on weekends, boarders gain responsibility and independence, preparing them for college life.

College and Beyond

Our three full-time college counselors ensure students find a place where they will thrive. Our alumni achieve at top colleges and find success in a variety of professions around the world.

A Day in the Life of the Senior School

Senior School Photo Tour

Senior School Campus Video Tour

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.