Whether interested in enrolling in a public or a private high school, students and their families will want to choose the high school that affords them the best possible educational opportunities.
Attending the right high school aligned with a student’s interests and goals is essential in ensuring that a student is well-suited to participate in college or be prepared to enter the workforce.
For students interested in continuing their education after graduating from high school, the chance to earn college credit concurrently with a student’s high school courses is a very attractive proposition offered by many of the best high schools.
Offering Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate programs and partnerships with local colleges and universities, many of the best schools provide students with multiple pathways for shortening the time it will take to earn their undergraduate degrees.
As college admissions departments generally place a great deal of weight on the rigor of the courses applicants take at their high schools, college-bound students will jump at the chance to attend the best high school available.
Enrolling in advanced courses also prepares students to perform well on standardized tests like the SAT or ACT, further increasing their chances of being accepted into the college or university of their choice.
The following is a list of ten of Texas’s best high schools available to students. The schools on this list were compiled as they are all ranked highly in major publications about higher education.
The Awty International School (Houston, TX)
The Awty International School is host to more than 1,700 students who hail from over 50 countries.
The school offers International Baccalaureate and French Baccalauréat diplomas and is accredited by the French Ministry of Education.
Students at the school are required to take courses to learn a second language and are afforded the opportunity to learn from over 200 teachers from 26 different countries.
The school’s main campus extends over 26 acres and includes laboratories, music studios, and indoor and outdoor athletic facilities.
The Awty International School provides a student-to-teacher ratio of 7 to 1, and the average test scores reported by Niche.com are 31 on the ACT and 1380 on the SAT.
St. Mark’s School of Texas (Dallas, TX)
For students interested in attending a private Christian high school with excellent academic opportunities, St. Mark’s School of Texas is a perfect choice.
Niche.com places it at the top of its list of the best private high schools in Texas. This all-boys preparatory school offers classes from kindergarten through the 12th grade and currently has 900+ students enrolled in all grades.
Students enrolled at the school have the advantage of an 8-to-1 student-to-teacher ratio and the opportunity to choose from the 22 AP courses offered by St. Mark’s.
The school’s Winn Science Center opened in 2019 and provides an excellent facility in which students have access to maker spaces, a planetarium, laboratories, and a greenhouse to facilitate their scientific and engineering education.
The School for the Talented and Gifted (TAG) (Dallas, TX)
U.S. News and World Report ranks The School for the Talented and Gifted number 8 among public high schools in the nation and number 1 among public high schools in Texas.
TAG currently has 464 students in grades 9 through 12 enrolled, and the school has 26 full-time equivalent teachers for a student-to-teacher ratio of 18 to 1.
The school has a number of interdisciplinary traditions observed by both the faculty and students, including TAG Forum, TAG-IT, and TREK.
TAG Forum is a day-long series of speakers, TAG-IT is a two-day course of extracurricular activities both in and out of the classroom, and TREK is a three-day long educational field trip.
Carnegie Vanguard High School (Houston, TX)
Carnegie Vanguard was established in 2002 and grew out of the Vanguard program at the Jesse H. Jones Senior High School.
The school’s core classes are all pre-AP or AP courses, and students must take at least 10 AP courses as a condition for graduation.
One of the unique traditions at the school is the new student orientation “Fish Camp,” which is an overnight stay hosted by the local YMCA and features a number of outdoor activities.
The school also maintains a student-run theater company known as the Carnegie Theatre Company that regularly places at the state level in competitions.
Irma Lerma Rangel Young Women’s Leadership School (Dallas, TX)
The Irma Lerma Rangel Young Women’s Leadership School is the first public school in Texas solely dedicated to educating young women and is also a member of the Young Women’s Preparatory Network.
As part of the Young Women’s Preparatory Network, the school features a STEM-focused curriculum coupled with many Advanced Placement courses. Through its membership in the network, alumnae of the school have the opportunity to form professional ties with other alumnae in the network.
Greenhill School (Addison, TX)
Greenhill School in Addison, Texas is a coeducational, independent college preparatory school that serves students in kindergarten through the 12th grade. The school currently has 1,300+ students enrolled across all grade levels.
Greenhill’s high school students demonstrate impressive academic accomplishments, with the middle 50% range of composite ACT scores being 30 to 34, and the middle 50% range of SAT total scores being 1295 to 1535.
The school’s facilities cover 75 acres and include classrooms, athletics facilities, libraries, and the school’s Marshall Family Performing Arts Center. The school’s performing arts center consists of two theaters, a green room, dressing rooms, and a film and video production classroom.
Notable alumni of the school include successful Texas politicians Beth Van Duyne, a member of the U.S House of Representatives, and Eric Johnson, the 60th Mayor of Dallas.
School of Science and Engineering Magnet (SEM) (Dallas, TX)
Dallas’ Science and Engineering Magnet School offers its 500+ freshmen through senior students excellent opportunities to study STEM subjects through multiple AP and dual-enrollment courses designed to prepare students for success in their college careers.
This public magnet school is another 2022 National Blue Ribbon School in the Dallas Independent School District.
U.S. News and World Report ranks the school at number 22 among national public high schools and at number 3 among public high schools in Texas.
The school offers a unique “SuperLab” class, a combination of AP Physics C and AP Chemistry, and allows students to learn the subjects through an educational approach centered around lab work. Another unique class the school provides is its Advanced Topics of the Theory of Applied Mathematics.
St. Stephen’s Episcopal School (Austin, TX)
Number 4 on niche.com’s list of the best private high schools is St. Stephen’s Episcopal School, a coeducational boarding school located in Austin, Texas. St. Stephen’s was the first coeducational Episcopal school in the United States and the first integrated boarding school in the southern region of the country.
The school offers boarding and day school options to students in grades 6 through 12. St. Stephen’s has a current student population of 699, with 34% of these students boarding at the school seven days a week.
Welcoming students of all faiths and backgrounds, 19% of the students boarding at the school are from countries other than the U.S.
Liberal Arts and Science Academy (LASA) (Austin, TX)
Austin’s public Liberal Arts and Science Academy was created from the merger of the LBJ Science Academy and The Liberal Arts Academy at Johnston High School in 2002.
The school offers its 1,254 students in grades 9 through 12 a student-to-teacher ratio of 17 to 1 as they study in its 30 AP courses and 121 honors courses.
Ranked number 4 among public high schools in Texas and number 34 among public high schools in the nation by U.S. News and World Report, the school’s 2022 to 2023 class saw 28 students recognized as National Merit Semi-Finalists and 81 students recognized as National Merit Commended Scholars.
Among LASA’s rigorous courses are an Amateur Radio class, through which students can earn their own HAM licenses, and the LBJ Fire Academy, which spans two years and certifies students as both firefighters and EMTs.
The Hockaday School (Dallas, TX)
The Hockaday School in Dallas, Texas is a private pre-K through twelfth-grade all-girls school providing both day school and boarding services to its 1,100+ students.
Hockaday’s class of 2022 produced 16 National Merit Finalists and 17 National Merit Semi-Finalists. Along with nationally recognized scholars, the 2022 class saw 91% of the class score a three or better on Advanced Placement tests.
In establishing an excellent academic profile, many students at Hockaday participate in courses that combine academics and real-world applications which are coordinated by the school’s Institute for Social Impact.
The institute was formed in 2018 to further the reach and impact of the school’s engagement with community partners and to utilize hands-on learning approaches to train the leaders of the future.