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Strong academics are the centerpiece of the St. John’s Northwestern experience. We provide challenging, personalized instruction tailored to each student’s needs and abilities. All of our courses are delivered in small class settings by dedicated faculty. Individual attention and classroom interaction optimize mastery of subject matter and the learning process itself. We aspire to create innovative, curious and resourceful students, provide a solid foundation of knowledge to allow them to succeed, and instill a passion for life-long learning.

The Academy’s curriculum includes:

  • An honors program 
  • Opportunity to earn college credit
  • Offerings in music, art, engineering, technology and aviation
  • Support services such as the Totzke Learning Center, structured tutorial services and peer tutoring
  • College counseling
  • Opportunities for learning beyond the classroom

Unique Opportunities

The Aviation Science Program offers juniors and seniors the opportunity to earn a Light Sport Pilot Certificate which trains cadets for recreational flying in Light-Sport Aircraft. Qualified cadets may then further their aviation training by working toward a private pilot's license. The curriculum is taught by Federal Aviation Administration certified instructors and consists of ground school and flight training.

Read more about SJNMA's Aviation Program.

The Scouting and Beyond Program features action, adventure and activities! Cadets have fun while building self-confidence, developing leadership skills and working as a team. Activities include whitewater rafting, backpacking, SCUBA lessons, caving, lifeguard instruction, canoeing, marksmanship, Boy Scout High Adventure, and more! 

The SJNMA Marching Band, Pep Band and Concert Band are configurations of cadets from grades 7-12. The Marching Band represents the Academy in several parades during the year including the annual Chicago St. Patrick’s Day parade. The Concert Band performs formal concerts and participates annually in the Military School Band Festival. The Pep Band participates at home athletic events.

The Pipes and Drums of St. John's Northwestern Military Academy leads all formal military parades and performs concerts on and off campus. The Pipes and Drums was founded in 1918 with the enrollment of the first piper. The Clan Davidson tartan was adopted to honor the founding family and The Pipes and Drums became an integral part of academy identity over the many years to follow.

Academic Support

The College Counseling Office provides college guidance and institutional support for all high school cadets from their arrival on campus until graduation. Cadets who are proactive and responsible about the application process will arrive at the next educational level with confidence and a clear sense of purpose. Our staff encourages cadets and parents to begin the college search process in the 11th grade, and asserts and affirms that cadets matriculate at the colleges and universities most appropriate to their preparation, talents and potential.

The Totzke Learning Center is available to help cadets achieve their educational goals and become intellectually mature. Cadets are served along a broad continuum ranging from homework support to individualized educational strategies. Cadets also receive training in time management, study-skills, testing strategies and self-motivation. The Academy believes that every cadet can learn and is dedicated to making that an everyday reality.

Academic Recognition

Cadets with a quarter GPA of 3.5 to 3.79 will be placed on the Dean’s List. Those earning a quarter GPA of 3.8 or higher earn the Dean’s List with Honors.

Cadets earning a semester GPA of 3.8 or higher are awarded a Gold Star and those earning a GPA of 3.5 to 3.79 are awarded a Silver Star. The Academy awards many ribbons each year, including an Academic Excellence Ribbon that is given each semester to the cadet in each grade level with the highest semester GPA and an Academic Achievement Ribbon that is given each semester to the cadet who receives a letter grade of A in all subjects for both quarters.

The National Honor Society (NHS) recognizes and encourages academic achievement, character, leadership and service in cadets, grades 10-12. The National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) develops the same qualities in cadets grades 7-9 with the addition of citizenship. Once inducted, honor society members are expected to maintain academic and service standards. Cadets may also qualify for the Spanish, German  or Chinesehonor societies as well as the National Art Honor Society.

Association Memberships

Click the links below to view more information on SJNMA's association memberships.