Top Military Schools in Pennsylvania 2024 | All You Need to Know


One of the US states that has a wide spread of colleges, academies and military schools is Pennsylvania (PA) for high school students both boys and girls and troubled youth. 

Pennsylvania military colleges are educational institutions that offer a military-style structure and discipline with traditional academic programs. Students who enroll into either of the schools engage in rigorous academic programs, physical training, and leadership development programs.


Because of the vast variety, we have this guide set to enlighten you about each of the military colleges in Pennsylvania, their reputation, academic structure, their admission requirements, and tuition cost.

Let’s dive in!!!


How Many Military Schools Are In Pennsylvania?

Pennsylvania is one of the states in the United States that have a large number of military schools just like Illinois. There are seven military schools in Pennsylvania (PA): 4 high schools and 3 colleges with Army Reserve Officer Training Corps programs.

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Top Military Schools to Apply to in Pennsylvania 

With the varying and many options for military schools in Pennsylvania, it can be quite a task going over the long list and making a decision. 


We have helped lessen the task by discussing schools and the military training programs in PA, their age requirement for application, and all you need to know to decide whether or not the school is a perfect fit for your child.

#1. Valley Forge Military Academy and College

  • Founded: 1928
  • Grades: 7-12 / PG
  • School Type: Private 
  • Number of Students: 305
  • Student / Teacher Ratio: 8:1
  • Location: 1001 Eagle Road, Wayne, PA 19087

One of Pennsylvania’s popular military schools with quite a reputation is the Valley Forge Military Academy and College (VFMAC). You can classify VFMAC as one of the military high schools in Pennsylvania and one of the colleges. Valley Forge Military Academy and College has 3 campuses for grades 7-8, 9-12, and junior college.

Like many military schools in the USA, Valley Forge Military Academy and College follows the US Army discipline traditions for all cadets. Valley Forge Military Academy also has an established tradition with the British Monarchy. As such all cadets at the college observe both the US Army military traditions and the British rank, drill, customs, and ceremonies.

The junior college subdivision serves as the only private military junior college in the country.

At Valley Forge Military Academy and College living on campus is no longer compulsory. Day students are also welcome. The small class sizes encourage one-on-one learning as the curriculum is extremely demanding and challenging. Also, in addition to classes, cadets begin with “First Call” and conclude with a 2-hour study hall.

Admission into VFMAC is competitive. Tuition is not extremely affordable although there is financial aid. The annual middle and high school boarding tuition is $37,975, enrolling mid-year will cost $23,975. This excludes textbooks.

Upon graduation,  students can proceed to Ivy League schools or enlist in the U.S. Armed Forces.


#2. Linden Hall School for Girls

  • Grades: 6-12
  • Founded: 1746
  • School Type: Private 
  • Number of Students: 195
  • Student / Teacher Ratio: 6:1
  • Location: 212 E Main St, Lititz, PA 17543

Linden Hall School for Girls as the name signifies is a military school for girls seeking a military model for their academics. The school is both a boarding and a day school.

Linden Hall School for Girls is a faith-based college prep school following Christian principles. As such all cadets get involved in readings and teachings from many different philosophies and religions.

Just like most military schools in Pennsylvania, the academic military curriculum at Linden Hall School for Girls is tough and challenging. Due to the rigor of the curriculum, cadets have various opportunities to stand out on a college application through extracurricular activities and community service. 

It’s a known fact that cadets at Linden Hall School for Girls succeed more in STEM programs. There is also an aviation program at the school, however it is only available in the upper school. Those who complete the aviation program, earn a pilot’s license.

Linden Hall School for Girls is not one of the free military schools in Pennsylvania. Day students’ tuition cost at Linden Hall School for Girls is $24,740 and boarding students pay $51,450 (5-day boarders) and  $59,670 (full-time boarders). There are also various financial aids for eligible students.


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#3. Mining and Mechanical Institute Preparatory School (MMI Preparatory School)

  • Grades: 6-12
  • Founded: 1879
  • School Type: Public
  • Number of Students: 215
  • Student / Teacher Ratio: 8:1
  • Location: 54 Centre St, Freeland, PA 18224

Another of the best military schools in Pennsylvania (PA) is MMI Preparatory School for high school students. This college prep school in Pennsylvania is a non-sectarian military school for both boys and girls. 

Enrolling into MMI Prep School will mean being ready for extensive studies. There are various Advanced Placement and elective courses available at MMI. In addition to the military learning structure, cadets at MMI engage in various competitive athletics programs.

When it comes to tuition cost, MMI Preparatory School is not one of the free tuition military schools in Pennsylvania. Sixth graders pay $13,900 annually for their education at MMI, while the remaining students (grades 7-12) pay $15,770. Although students can work while schooling at MMI, there are also financial aids and scholarships available for eligible students. 


#4. Philadelphia Military Academy

  • Grades: 9-12
  • Founded: 2005
  • School Type: 
  • Number of Students: 305
  • Student / Teacher Ratio: 20:1
  • Location: 2118 N 13th St, Philadelphia, PA 19122

Philadelphia Military Academy is another school on our list of best military academies in Pennsylvania (PA). Although a new academy, Philadelphia Military Academy has gained a stellar reputation in just a short time of existence. 

Philadelphia Military Academy believes in small class sizes due to its nature to bring students closer to teachers in one-on-one learning and interaction. As such the academy maintains a student enrollment of approximately 300 per year.

At PMA, all cadets must participate in JROTC. This requires wearing uniforms every day to class and observation of all military courtesy.

Even as strict as the curriculum is and how rough the military training and expectations are at Philadelphia Military Academy, there is no military service obligation required for cadets upon graduation. 

Keep in mind that PMA holds a 100% track record with college placement. The academy also has a bronze medal from the U.S. News National School Rankings (2016) along with the Pennsylvania Title One Distinguished School. PMA also has partnerships with Harrisburg University and Community College of Philadelphia for AP and Honors courses.

When it comes to tuition, Philadelphia Military Academy is one of the free tuition schools in Pennsylvania. No tuition is required at PMA and there is no compulsory military obligation at the end of the program. 


#5. Shippensburg University Army ROTC

  • Grades: College
  • Number of Faculty: 300 
  • Number of Students: 6,000
  • Military Program: Army ROTC 
  • Location: Shippensburg, Pennsylvania

In the list of best military schools in Pennsylvania is Shippensburg University: one of the top-ranked colleges in the state. Shippensburg University is for college students.

Shippensburg University housed the popular Raider Battalion, an Army Reserve Officer Training Corps program. This ROTC program prepares cadets for leadership success. Leadership development which is a core at Shippensburg University is obtained during laboratories and field training exercises.

All cadets are expected to excel in academics and physical standards than their traditional college peers. In addition to the military science courses cadets take at Shippensburg, there are also various majors at the college.

Also, keep in mind that all Raider Battalion cadets must engage in field training exercises. Through the field exercise, cadets acquire basic infantry, become physically fit, and build confidence.

Students can obtain scholarships to cover books, tuition and fees at Shippensburg University. Some scholarships even cover living expenses.


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#6. Slippery Rock University ROTC

  • Grades: College
  • Number of Faculty: 900 
  • Number of Students: 7,000
  • Military Program: Army ROTC 
  • Location: Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania

Slippery Rock University is one of Pennsylvania’s best military colleges. The University offers an Army ROTC program open to college students at the University.

As with most military schools in Pennsylvania, cadets who enrol on the Slippery Rock University ROTC program take classes in military skills and troop-leading procedures. Field training is compulsory for all cadets. Through it they learn basic infantry skills.

On the other hand, students who want to major largely in the core military sciences can minor in Leadership. The leadership course puts most cadets 10x ahead of peers in terms of leadership development. 

Regardless of which part you major in, all cadets at Slippery Rock University must participate in physical fitness activities throughout their weekly schedules. Also, all cadets must meet and exceed Army standards while gaining discipline and leadership skills.


#7. University of Scranton ROTC

  • Grades: College
  • Number of Faculty: 300 
  • Number of Students: 4,000
  • Military Program: Army ROTC 
  • Location: Scranton, Pennsylvania

The popular Royal Warrior Battalion is situated at the University of Scranton. The University of Scranton offers one of the best Army Reserve Officer Training Corps programs in Pennsylvania which enlists it as one of the best military schools and colleges in the state.

As with most military schools, all cadets enrolled on the University of Scranton ROTC program must excel in academics as well as military classes. The military science classes at the University of Scranton include military law, tactical operations and even personal development. 

Field and outside the classroom training is a compulsory and foundational aspect of the University of Scranton Army ROTC program. Depending on how excellent a cadet is, they can be chosen for additional training schools during the summer.

Upon graduation, cadets at the University of Scranton become capable and well-prepared leaders as in line with the University’s goal of producing well-rounded cadets. 


Are There Military High Schools In Pennsylvania?

Yes, there are four military high schools in Pennsylvania all serving different age ranges of students. Keep in mind that Linden Hall School for Girls is a military high school in Pennsylvania but it is just open for girls like the name suggests. Other military high schools in PA are co-educational. 

How Much Does It Cost To Attend Military Schools In Pennsylvania? 

The cost of tuition for military schools and colleges in Pennsylvania differ from school to school. Some military academies are free while some require payment. On the other hand, some have different tuition costs for different age ranges enrolled into the military program.

To be sure that the tuition status of each of the schools on our list is the same, visit the school’s website for clarity and updated information. Also, take advantage of the financial aid schemes, scholarships, and payment options for its eligible cadets.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Pennsylvania Military Colleges

Are There Free Military Schools In Pennsylvania?

Yes, there is only one free military school in Pennsylvania which is Philadelphia Military Academy in Philadelphia. Philadelphia Military Academy is not just free it also does not require any military service obligation after graduation. 

While some other military schools in PA are not free, many of them offer financial aid, scholarships, and easy payment options for all cadets. 

Military colleges like Mining and Mechanical Institute Preparatory School allow cadets to work while they school. 

What age range do Pennsylvania military colleges typically serve?

PA military schools are open to various age ranges. Military high schools in the state open their doors to cadets from 6-12 years of age. On the other hand, military colleges open their doors to college students.

What are the application requirements for military schools in Pennsylvania?

The application requirements for military academies in Pennsylvania include;

  • Transcripts
  • Test scores
  • Application
  • Personal statement.
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Being physically and mentally capable. 

Keep in mind that some schools may also require an interview or an admissions test. It is important to research individual schools to determine their specific application requirements and deadlines.


We believe at this point you know what military schools are available in Pennsylvania and the options available for your pick. Ensure to make a choice based on your expectations and the child’s needs.

To make a good choice, we advise you to carefully go through the different school’s websites and verify their school requirements and apply. 

We hope you find it a perfect pick for your child. If not, visit our website to explore other states in the USA and the available military schools. 


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