Now Accepting Out-of-State Applicants
For the 2024-2025 Academic school year, IMSA is accepting a small number of tuition-paying students from outside Illinois. Applications are Open through March 1, 2024.
Who is IMSA?
The Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy (IMSA), a public STEM academy internationally recognized for inspiring, challenging, and nurturing students who use their abilities to improve people’s lives. IMSA’s academically advanced residential program enables exceptional 10th-12th students in grade students to reach extraordinary levels of achievement. IMSA’s mission is to ignite and nurture creative, ethical, scientific minds that advance the human condition. We are a diverse community that promotes curiosity and exploration. We’re about a better world for everyone through immersive learning experiences.
- Ranked among the top high school programs in the nation for placing graduates in Ivy League and other highly selective universities by Newsweek, the Wall Street Journal, and Worth Magazine
- Ranked A+ by NICHE.com in Academics, Resources, Teachers, Facilities, and more.
Notable IMSA Alumni include:
- Clara Shih (2000) – bestselling author of The Facebook Era, co-founder of Hearsay Social, and member of Starbucks’ Board of Directors
- Steve Chen (1996) – co-founder/Chief Technology Officer of YouTube, and an early engineer at PayPal
- Andrew Baptist (1994), Greg Dhuse (1999), Dusty Hendrickson (2001), and Ethan Wozniak (1999) – Four IMSA alumni are responsible for 212 of 350 patents generated by data storage leader Cleversafe.
- Yu Pan (1995) – one of the six co-creators of PayPal
- Jessica Droste Yagan (1995) – Founder and CEO of Impact Engine in Chicago which raised $10 million to invest in early-stage, for-profit technology businesses that improve economic empowerment, education, health, and resource efficiency. Impact Engine’s business accelerator program has graduated 23 companies that have gone on to raise $32.4 million in venture capital funding.
- Sam Yagan (1995) – Co-founder of OkCupid, SparkNotes, 1871-based startup accelerator Techstars Chicago, and venture investment fund Corazon Capital. Sam was on the Time 100, Crain’s Tech 50, and several other notable lists.
- Russell Simmons (1995) – an early employee of PayPal and co-founder of Yelp
- Steve Crutchfield – Chicago Trading Company. CBOE Advisory Board, Head of Options, ETPs, Bonds at NYSE Euronext. 2012 Crain’s Forty Under 40
- Dominic Armato (1993) – voice actor
- Dr. Scott Gaudi – (1991) Astronomer, who discovered over a dozen new planets and a new solar system
- Nathan Gettings – (1995) Co-founder of Palantir. Founder of robotics company Robotex
- Robert McCool (1991) – software developer and architect who authored of the original NCSA HTTPd web server, later forked into the Apache HTTP Server
- Ramez Naam (1990) – software developer and author. He helped develop Microsoft’s Internet Explorer and Outlook
- Sabrina Gonzalez Pasterski (2010) – Generating buzz as the next Einstein by Inc. magazine and other publications, Sabrina Gonzalez Pasterki’s research on black holes and space-time has been cited by the likes of Stephen Hawking. Her work has been recognized by Marie Claire’s Young Women’s Honors and Forbes’ and Scientific American’s “30 under 30.”
Why Choose IMSA?
IMSA is a magical place where you’ll find other exceptional, STEM-loving students like yourself learning, living, and growing on our residential campus. As a 10th-12th grade high school, we have a wide array of courses to interest you, including over 50 math and science classes. Plus, we also offer many unique humanities courses that connect to STEM, such as History of Technology and Culture.
One of the most exciting aspects of IMSA is that our students come from all corners of the state and now the nation. That means you’ll discover who you are through the many friends and connections you’ll make with students from all backgrounds and places.
IMSA students stay on campus in our residence halls where living and learning meet. You’ll make new friends, encounter new ideas and have the opportunity to explore 75 clubs and organizations. With the help of our Resident Counselors, you’ll develop independence and responsibility in and out of the classroom. Plus, you’ll be in a safe, nurturing environment with a comprehensive safety and security program and a 24-hour security center.
In the classroom, IMSA’s academic program prepares students to become bold inquirers, problem solvers, and integrative thinkers. It challenges them to question, creatively probe, take risks, and test their ideas. Our faculty members, who are among the nation’s best, provide challenging opportunities for students to think critically and creatively, engage in exploration and discovery, and apply their knowledge to solve significant real-world problems. Other specialized learning options at IMSA give students additional opportunities to design a personalized learning plan based on their passions. Examples include Student Inquiry and Research (SIR), Total Applied Learning for Entrepreneurs (TALENT), Independent Study, international exchange programs, and leadership development programs.
The IMSA Experience
With innovative learning methods, close access to teachers, and collaboration with partners outside of IMSA, you will find your passion in and out of the classroom to help you reach your true potential. Advanced course offerings in STEM and beyond allow you to challenge yourself while also pursuing your fields of interest.
At IMSA, you can spend one day a week exploring and developing your interests through research or internships:
1. Student Inquiry and Research (SIR) Program: You will conduct original investigations with other students and professional researchers, and share your innovative work at IMSAloquium, an annual public showcase.
2. IMSA Entrepreneurship Program: You’ll collaborate as project teams to use design-thinking and Lean Startup approaches to create inventive solutions to real-world problems facing our world.
3. Intersession: Once a year, you will have the opportunity to explore topics outside of the offered curriculum for one week between first and second semester. These topics include international travel, math and science, cultural studies, hobbies, fine arts, and more.
At IMSA, you’ll be part of a community of 652 diverse students passionate about learning. Located in suburban Aurora, IL, IMSA’s campus consists of seven residence halls spread across 97 acres. While living and learning on campus, you’ll make new friends, encounter new ideas, and learn to live independently. You will also have the opportunity to explore over 85 clubs, organizations, and IHSA-sponsored co-curricular and athletic programs.
Live and Grow
At IMSA, you will be immersed in a safe, nurturing environment. Professional Resident Counselors (RCs) live in each hall and will help you navigate your home away from home through the Residential Life Curriculum. Through this curriculum, you’ll build leadership skills and jump-start your social life while developing independence and responsibility in and out of the classroom. The residence halls are where all of the elements of IMSA fuse into one dynamic living and learning experience.
Qualifications and Eligibility for Out-of-State Students
The following information must be submitted by each eligible applicant to be considered for admission. Highly qualified non-Illinois applicants will be held to the same academic standards and must submit the same requirements as Illinois resident applicants.
The Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy offers a uniquely challenging and advanced education for students talented in mathematics and science. Although the Admissions Process is highly competitive, there are no minimum scores required to apply. Those students who present the strongest combination of academic achievement, passion for STEM, and the ability to thrive in a residential school are invited to attend.
In order to determine this, IMSA utilizes a holistic selection process that incorporates classroom performance, participation in extracurricular activities, and leadership history with more traditional indicators of talent such as test scores (SAT Test) and grades. . Geographic and demographic variables are also considered to promote a diverse student population and enhance the learning of all students.
- Be a Resident of the United States and U.S. Territories, but not a resident of Illinois
- Have completed Algebra 1 and a high school equivalent science course: Applicants in eighth-grade must submit documentation of having completed an academic program comparable to ninth-grade-level work in mathematics and science. This must include a minimum of one year of algebra and one year of high school-level science. Online algebra and science courses can be used to meet the algebra and science requirements.
- Not be enrolled beyond the 9th grade: Current tenth through twelfth-grade students are not eligible for admission.
- Have a completed application file: Including an online application form, official grade reports, teacher evaluations, counselor form, and official SAT scores
- Out-of-State Students are subject to annual tuition, room and board fees of $50,000-$55,000.
You can find more information about our Out-of-State Admissions Process in the official Out-of-State Admissions Policy for more information.