Semester Programs

Shady Side Academy is affiliated with a number of off-campus semester programs for sophomores, juniors and seniors that combine rigorous academic classroom and field experience with a theme that focuses on exploring people’s connections with their environment.

For the programs listed below, students are not charged SSA tuition while participating. Tuition for the off-campus program is paid directly to the program. Financial aid received from SSA cannot be used to attend a semester program. Grades earned in the below off-campus programs are treated as grades from Shady Side Academy and used to compute QPAs, honor status and prize eligibility. Students must request a leave of absence by January 15 of the school year prior to the year they would like to participate in one of the semester programs. 

Chewonki Maine Coast Semester (Maine)

The Chewonki Semester School on the Maine Coast takes place mostly on a 400-acre setting of pine forests and pastures surrounded by a tidal estuary. A typical day might include morning classes, afternoon work detail on the farm, in the fields or in the wood lot, followed by an evening of group work/study or community involvement. Several weekends each semester include hiking, skiing or water activities and research utilizing natural resources of the area. Students apply during the sophomore year to attend in the fall or spring of the junior year. Learn more.

High Mountain Institute Semester (Rocky Mountains)

The HMI Semester is a unique opportunity for juniors and seniors to spend a semester living, traveling and studying in the mountains of central Colorado and the canyons of southeastern Utah. Its rigorous academic program incorporates traditional classroom learning with the challenges of wilderness backcountry living. It is dedicated to nurturing personal and community growth through interaction with the natural world and to the idea of “simple in means, rich in ends.” Learning by experience, academic excellence and education that inspires intellectual growth are fundamental principles of the program. Learn more.

CITYterm (New York City)

With New York City as its classroom and laboratory, CITYterm at the Masters School brings together six residential faculty and 30 intellectually adventuresome juniors and seniors for a semester of intensive, experience-based learning. Together in a closely knit community of students and teachers, CITYterm explores, wonders, watches and learns on the streets of New York City. Students spend every other day linking their classroom work to the endless array of opportunities available in the city. Learn more.

Alzar School Semester (Idaho/Chile)

The Alzar School offers semester programs for motivated high school sophomores and juniors on its campus in Idaho, with an extended trip to Chile.These semesters immerse students in a rigorous, challenging educational setting that emphasizes leadership training. The school aims to equip students with the background knowledge and skills to be effective leaders who will change the world. The school challenges motivated, passionate future leaders through its “Six Foundations:” Rigorous Academics, Leadership Training, Outdoor Adventure, Cultural Exchange, Service Learning and Environmental Stewardship. Learn more.

Oxbow School Semester (California)

The Oxbow School is a unique, interdisciplinary semester program for high school students. Its mission is to strengthen students’ abilities in creative and critical inquiry by combining rigorous studio art practice with innovative academics. its vision is for Oxbow students to develop a stronger sense of identity, self-worth and the confidence to embrace the responsibility for their own learning and lives. High school juniors and seniors can choose to attend in either the fall or spring semester. The campus is located at the “oxbow” of the Napa River in California. Learn more.

Shady Side Academy also offers a number of international programs, including School Year Abroad and international exchange programs in China, France, Germany and Spain.