Whether a student intends to attend college, vocational school, or simply desires a breadth of exciting classes as they complete their K-12 careers, choosing the best high school available is an essential step in gaining the best education possible.
For those interested in attending college or university, the right high school can provide invaluable educational opportunities that will serve students well in their post-secondary educational journey.
Many of these high schools afford students the opportunity to earn college credit through Advanced Placement programs, International Baccalaureate programs, or partnerships with local colleges.
Many students will jump at the opportunity to earn college credit while still in high school in order to shorten the length of time it will take them to earn an undergraduate degree and to minimize the costs associated with their degrees.
The advanced academic opportunities offered at these schools also provide students excellent preparation for standardized tests such as the ACT or SAT, doing well on which can go a long way toward obtaining admission into elite universities and being awarded scholarships to help offset the cost of their degrees.
While some students and their families will be drawn to enroll in private schools for the often-smaller class sizes or associations with institutions aligned with their values, others will seek to enroll in public schools to avoid tuition costs and enjoy a diverse student body.
Below, we have compiled a list of ten of the best high schools in Georgia.
The schools in this list are selected from a mix of public and private high schools and are drawn from online publications ranking top high schools.
The Westminster Schools (Atlanta, GA)
Students at The Westminster Schools attend niche.com’s highest-ranked private school in Georgia, where they are taught to be conscientious leaders through a learning community grounded in Christian values.
Currently, 1,900 students are enrolled at the coeducational, independent day school.
The Westminster Schools provide an excellent academic environment, with a student-to-teacher ratio of 6 to 1, an average composite ACT score of 33, and an average composite SAT score of 1,420, according to data collected by niche.com.
Students have a range of AP and honors courses available to them, and 100% of the students graduate from the school.
The school’s JanTerm program is a three-week course wherein students use experiential and interdisciplinary learning to study a topic of interest in particular depth.
Opportunities provided by the program include international trips, local and regional field trips, and internships.
Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science and Technology (Lawrenceville, GA)
Formed in 2007 as a charter school focused on STEM education, the Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science and Technology is located in Lawrenceville, Georgia and is U.S. News and World Report’s highest-ranked public high school in Georgia.
The same source also places the school at number 9 among public high schools in the nation.
1,197 students currently attend the school and enjoy a 16 to 1 student-to-teacher ratio. Students have a range of honors and Advanced Placement courses available to them.
GSMST provides its students the chance to put their lessons into practice each year through its Work Integrated Learning programs. These programs are offered in partnership with leaders in academia and industry.
Starting with the ninth-grade Speaker Series and ending with the twelfth-grade Senior Capstone Experience, students at GSMST learn about various careers available to them and gain real-world experience through internship programs.
Fulton Science Academy Private School (Alpharetta, GA)
The Fulton Science Academy began offering instruction to high school students in 2016 and has risen over the intervening years to be ranked by Niche.com at number 2 in its 2023 Best Private Schools in Georgia list.
As a new and rapidly developing school, Fulton is currently constructing additional facilities on its 20-acre campus that will include greenhouses, an observatory, and an auditorium.
Fulton Science Academy’s students have an average ACT composite score of 32, and an average composite SAT score of 1380, according to data collected by niche.com.
Students at the high school level choose from either AP or honors courses as they complete the school’s graduation requirements.
The school dedicates 40 minutes out of every day to preparing students for college. This period sees students given presentations from businesses and colleges, support for AP classes, supplementary instruction, and SAT preparation instruction.
Columbus High School (Columbus, GA)
A Georgia Department of Education AP Honor School, Columbus High School was established in 1890 and currently holds U.S. News and World Report’s number 2 spot among public high schools in the state of Georgia. Students in grades 9 through 12 are currently enrolled at the school.
The school’s liberal arts curriculum offers 31 AP courses, and senior students are required to complete a senior resume project that helps them prepare for the college application process.
Seniors are also required to log at least 20 hours of community service as part of either an AP Research Project or a Senior Project.
This requires students to work in an area they have no experience in and log their hours beginning in the summer before their senior years.
Columbus High School offers students a wide range of extracurricular activities, including robotics, the Model United Nations program, Girls in Engineering, Math, & Science club, and an investment club.
Atlanta International School (Atlanta, GA)
The third-highest-ranked private high school in Georgia, according to Niche.com, is the Atlanta International School. The school offers an International Baccalaureate program to its current students, who hail from over 90 countries other than the United States.
As part of the international focus of its curriculum, students at AIS have traveled to The Hague through participation in the Model United Nations program and to Quebec as part of their French language instruction.
The school’s Space Program partners with NASA, Stanford, MIT, and others to allow students to apply their learning to projects and experiments in low-earth orbit and on the International Space Station.
Rising juniors and seniors at AIS are also allowed to participate in summer internships with foreign and domestic institutions over the course of two weeks.
Davidson Magnet School (Augusta, GA)
The U.S. News and World Report place the Davidson Magnet School in Augusta, Georgia in its 3rd spot among public high schools in the state. About 450 students in grades 6 through 12 attend the school and take advantage of the 18 to 1 student-to-teacher ratio.
The fine arts magnet school has been recognized as a National Grammy Signature School and is noted for the work of its choral classes, having been recognized by NPR, among others.
In addition to demonstrating academic excellence and residing within the school district, students who wish to attend the magnet school must audition in five artistic areas.
Students study all aspects of the fine arts but may specialize in areas of interest as they advance through the school.
Along with the focus on fine arts, students take multiple AP and honors courses as part of their preparations for college.
Pace Academy (Atlanta, GA)
Ranked by Niche.com at number 4 among Georgia’s private high schools, Pace Academy was chartered in 1958.
Offering a student-to-teacher ratio of 9 to 1, it incorporates Judeo-Christian values with an emphasis on diversity and inclusion to prepare globally-minded leaders of tomorrow.
From data collected by niche.com, students at Pace Academy have average composite ACT scores of 31 and average composite SAT scores of 1360.
The school offers students either college preparatory or honors tracks, with AP courses present throughout both tracks to facilitate students’ readiness for college.
The school’s Isdell Center for Global Leadership program seeks to prepare globally-minded leaders through hands-on learning enabled by its partnerships at the local and global levels.
The program explores an annual global theme through internships, community projects, lecture series, and domestic and foreign study trips.
Walton High School (Marietta, GA)
Marietta, Georgia’s Walton High School is a four-year comprehensive high school that seeks to provide an excellent education for all students while simultaneously operating a strong college preparatory program through AP courses and dual enrollment options for its students.
Students at the school contribute to its impressive academic record, with the class of 2021 producing 31 National Merit Finalists.
Among the school’s special programs are its International Spanish Academy, which is conducted in cooperation with Spain’s Ministry of Education; its STEM Program for students interested in mathematics, engineering, and science; and its Pathway Programs, which prepare students for a variety of careers.
The Paideia School (Atlanta, GA)
The Paideia School in Atlanta, Georgia was founded in 1971 as a result of the desire for reforms and alternatives to standard practices that were born out of the cultural changes found throughout the 1960s and 1970s. Niche.com ranks the school at number 5 in its list of top private high schools in Georgia.
With an average composite ACT score of 31 and an average composite SAT score of 1370, according to data collected by Niche.com, 100% of the school’s graduates go on to attend four-year colleges.
Setting the school apart from other private schools are the two short terms per year. Students can study subjects outside of normal academic offerings in great depth and intensity while gaining experience through hands-on learning. Among the topics studied are pollinators, astronomy, and primitive living.
Lambert High School (Suwanee, GA)
Lambert High School was established in 2009, and U.S News and World Report ranks it at number 5 out of all public high schools in Georgia.
Along with AP and dual enrollment courses, students at Lambert have the opportunity to participate in the International Baccalaureate program.
The school’s Career Academy provides students with valuable hands-on learning opportunities designed to prepare them for a range of careers and be competitive in the job marketplace.
Among the school’s numerous clubs and extracurricular activities are its Junior Classical League, Rocket Competition Club, Musical Passport Club, and Human Rights Campaign.
Many alumni from the school have seen success in professional or collegiate sports, with alumnus Seth Beer playing for the Arizona Diamondbacks and many others playing football in the NCAA.