An Overview of Whitney M. Young Magnet High School

Chicago’s first public magnet school and one of eleven selective enrollment public high schools, Whitney M. Young opened September 3, 1975. The school is ranked as the fourth best high school in the state of Illinois and seventy-first best high school in the nation. In addition to its high ranking, it also has many notable alumni, including former First Lady Michelle Obama, Astronaut Joan Higginbotham, actor and comedian Craig Robinson, as well as several professional athletes and rappers.

Housing grades 7-12, Whitney Young boasts an enrollment of 1,856 students with a student to teacher ratio of 20:1 and a graduation rate well above the state median at 97%. Of the total enrollment, 71% of students are people of color, and 43% of students receive free or reduced-price lunches.

Among other fantastic departments at Whitney Young, Social Studies stands out. It’s program not only has an extensive list of classes considered more standard including American and world history as well as government, but it also offers classes in law. Additionally, Whitney Young partners with Northwestern and Loyola Law schools as well as Women Everywhere (exposing young women to careers in the legal profession) among other programs.

The science and math departments at Whitney Young are also quite expansive, offering everything from typical science and math classes to forensic science, earth/space science, accounting, several computer science classes as well as robotics. Additionally, they have fantastic teachers—of their 16 science teachers, 13 have master’s degrees and 2 have doctorate degrees.

Whitney Young also offers a wide selection of both performing and visual art classes including dance, orchestra, guitar, piano, sculpture, ceramics, video production, graphic design, and mixed media to name a few. Languages taught include Spanish, French, Mandarin Chinese, Japanese, Italian, Latin, and American Sign Language.

If students are interested in sports, Whitney Young has an immense range of athletic activities including 52 athletic teams of 12 different sports. Of these sports teams, boys and girls basketball are consistently excellent: the boys’ team won state championships in 1998, 2009, 2014, and 2017 while the girls’ team won state championships in 2008, 2012, and 2014. The girls’ tennis team also recently won a state championship in 2017.

For more information about classes offered as well as extracurriculars and sports, visit Whitney Young’s website:

Lauren Lynch, Tutoring Coordinator
(312) 848-1266