Academics

Hughes STEM High School, a nationally accredited and STEM-certified high school, focuses on project-based learning and critical-thinking skills with the thoughtful integration of technology. Hughes' curriculum prepares students for postsecondary college and STEM career opportunities.

In the Preparatory Academy (grades 7-9), students receive academic, social and emotional support to ensure they are prepared for the high expectations of honors-level courses and dual enrollment in Advanced Placement (AP) courses.

In the Professional Academy (grades 10-12), students declare a STEM major and are challenged with rigorous coursework in one of four pathways: Health Sciences; Plant and Animal Sciences (Zoo Academy); Software Development; and Engineering Futures.

The Hughes STEM program includes:

  • STEM intersessions twice a year to allow students to focus in-depth on college readiness and access while engaging in challenging learning experiences
  • Blended online learning opportunities in Advanced Placement (AP) and honors-level courses
  • Dual enrollment opportunities through University of Cincinnati and Cincinnati State Technical and Community College
  • Strong partnerships with colleges, community and businesses
  • Student-led conferences and leadership development

Hughes is one of 150 schools in the nation to participate in the PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs program. In collaboration with PBS journalists, Hughes' students produce stories for their peers that are published on the PBS website, shared on social media, and aired on local PBS stations and the PBS NewsHour nightly broadcasts.

Choosing a STEM Major

As juniors and seniors, students develop individual academic and career plans. At the end of students’ sophomore year, they apply to a STEM major:

  • Health Sciences — Prepares students for college and career opportunities in the fields of medicine, patient care and research.
  • Engineering Futures — Teaches the design processes in civil, mechanical, biomedical, nanotechnology and sustainability engineering in urban and non-urban environments to provide solutions to various problems.
  • Programming & Software Development — Introduces the skills to create, test and evaluate software operating systems and applications used for everything from computer operations and workplace productivity, to gaming and entertainment.
  • Plant & Animal Sciences — Teaches animal care, plant conservation and environmental studies, located in classrooms on the grounds of the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden at the Zoo Academy, a nationally recognized program. 

All STEM majors include rigorous academic standards, extensive use of technology, and career-based experiences such as job shadowing, internships and summer opportunities. Students can leave high school with college credits and professional certifications, giving them seamless pathways into college and careers.

High School Course Guide

Our High School Course Guide includes more detail about the opportunities and resources available to Hughes students. Students and their families are encouraged to use the High School Course Guide to plan their educational pathway. The guide includes course descriptions, information about early college credit and alternative credit programs, and more. Graduation requirements, grade reporting, report cards and other policies and procedures are also included in the guide.