What Are the Best Public High Schools in Queens, New York?

These Queens schools get good grades from 'U.S. News & World Reports'

An aerial view of Queens, NY.
••• Nisian Hughes / Getty Images

Are you and your children planning to move to Queens? If you have teenagers, you'll want to start scouting out the best high schools in Queens to ensure that they get a good education.

Queens has more than 80 district high schools, so it's difficult to compare them against each other because of the many variations. The schools range in size from approximately 400 students to more than 4,000, and their curriculums span everything from college prep to the classics and humanities to science and math. Because Queens consists of many niche neighborhoods and cultural communities, the schools' diverse student populations reflect that. 

But what are the best high schools in Queens? U.S. News & World Reports, the global authority in education rankings, considers the Queens schools listed below as tops based on the magazine's findings for 2017. Its rankings are determined by how well the schools serve all their students, including disadvantaged students, in addition...MORE to graduation rates, state proficiency tests, enrollment, diversity, and free and reduced-price lunch programs.

U.S. News & World Reports awarded these Queens schools with gold, silver, and bronze medals, with gold medals indicating the greatest level of college readiness. Let these rankings guide decision making, but remember that schools change and teachers differ, so parents are ultimately the best judges for what's right for their teenagers.

  • 01 of 07

    Not only considered the best high school in Queens, Townsend Harris High School is one of the tops in the country as well as in New York City. U.S. News & World Reports ranks it No. 44 out of 6,041 public high schools nationally and No. 7 out of 522 high schools in New York City.

    This highly selective school in Flushing focuses on the study of the classics and humanities. Students have to study Greek and Latin. They have the opportunity to take advanced placement coursework and exams. 

    • Grades: 9–12
    • Enrollment: 1,133
    • Graduation rate: 100 percent
    • College readiness score: 93.9/100
    • Student-teacher ratio: 22:1
    • Gender: 71 percent female, 29 percent male
    • Diversity: 78 percent total minority enrollment 
    • Address: 149-11 Melbourne Ave., Flushing, NY 11367, (718) 575-5580
  • 02 of 07

    Coming in right behind Townsend Harris High School at No. 45 in the country and No. 8 in New York City, Queens High School for the Sciences at York College is one of the smaller schools on this list with an enrollment of just under 450. Enrollment is kept low based on the philosophy that students learn best in small communities.

    The gold medal winner partners with York College to provide a rigorous curriculum focused on science and math. Nationally, it ranks 206 out of 500 for STEM high schools. Advanced placement courses and exams are available. 

    • Grades: 9–12
    • Enrollment: 426
    • Graduation rate: 98 percent
    • College readiness score: 93.8/100
    • Student-teacher ratio: 18:1
    • Gender: 46 percent female, 54 percent male
    • Diversity: 94 percent total minority enrollment
    • Address: 94-50 159th St., Jamaica, NY 11451; (718) 657-3181
  • 03 of 07

    The last of the gold medal winners, Scholars' Academy ranks third in Queens and 42nd in New York City. This academically accelerated high school focuses on English, math, science, social studies, Spanish language, and the arts.

    College level or advanced placement (AP) courses and exams are available starting in 10th grade, and all students take AP courses in 11th and 12th grades. Students finish most graduation requirements by the end of the sophomore year. Seniors can take online courses. College credit is available at St. Francis College.

    • Grades: 6–12
    • Enrollment: 1,302
    • Graduation rate: 99 percent
    • College readiness score: 61.9/100
    • Student-teacher ratio: 23:1
    • Gender: 59 percent female, 41 percent male  
    • Diversity: 59 percent total minority enrollment
    • Address: 320 Beach 104th St., Rockaway Park, New York 11694, (718) 474-6918
  • 04 of 07

    Silver medal-earning high school Academy of American Studies in Long Island City ranks fourth in Queens and 61st in New York City. This college prep high school emphasizes American history and is the flagship high school of the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. The curriculum focuses on art, theater, music (particularly opera), and journalism. Through partnerships with CUNY and St. John’s University, students can earn college credits by taking advanced placement coursework.

    To complement their studies, students visit historical sites, the opera, and theaters. They also participate in sports and volunteer activities in the community. 

    • Grades: 9–12
    • Enrollment: 877
    • Graduation rate: 89 percent 
    • College readiness score: 30.5/100
    • Student-teacher ratio: 24:1
    • Gender: 56 percent female, 44 percent male 
    • Diversity: 72 percent total minority enrollment  
    • Address: 28-01 41st Ave., Long Island City, New York 11101, (718) 361-8786
    Continue to 5 of 7 below.
  • 05 of 07

    Another silver medal winner, Bayside High School is ranked as the fifth best public high school in Queens by U.S. News & World Reports and as No. 88 in New York City. This college prep school offers students many college‑accredited courses in a variety of subjects. Internships and work-based studies also help students prepare for both college and careers. Once in the work world, Bayside graduates can advance their ​careers through the school's alumni network. 

    The school offers activities such as anime, art, astronomy, chess, drama, gardening, Habitat for Humanity, and Red Cross. Sports include bowling, track, basketball, golf, soccer, lacrosse, and swimming. Community service is required.

    • Grades: 9–12
    • Enrollment: 3,362
    • Graduation rate: 92 percent 
    • College readiness score: 45.6/100
    • Student-teacher ratio: 23:1
    • Gender: 49 percent female, 51 percent male
    • Diversity: 82 percent total minority enrollment  
    • Address: 32-24 Corp Kennedy St, Bayside, New York 11361, (718) 229-7600 
  • 06 of 07

    More Silver Medal Winners

    In addition to Academy of American Studies and Bayside High School, these schools were also awarded silver medals. They are listed in ranked order. 

  • 07 of 07

    Bronze Medal Winners

    The following are also some of the best high schools in Queens. These schools, in ranked order, were recognized with bronze medals.