Discover An Extraordinary Independent, Private High School

Outstanding College Prep High School Near Middleton, Madison, Waunakee

With the best high school education in the Madison area, and a strong community, MCDS gives your student the tools to achieve their potential. As the only Madison-area high school offering the full International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme, and the only high school in Wisconsin offering Global Online Academy, MCDS prepares students to aim for the most competitive university programs in the U.S. and abroad. The outcome is not just a diploma, but a graduate who is intrinsically motivated, thoughtful, and responsible, actively leading and serving in the local and global community.

Because of my MCDS experience, I can speak up during seminars and raise my hand in busy lecture halls at Yale. My heart always races, but I have the confidence to engage with my classmates and professors because I did that all through high school.

—Fabi Fernandez ’11

Why MCDS High School?

A Community Where You're Known

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Experienced, Passionate Faculty

Our faculty and staff are recruited nationally and internationally, have an average of 16 years’ experience, and are passionate about teaching and building an exceptional school community.

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Strong Student-Faculty Connections with Smaller Class Sizes

In the words of one MCDS graduate, “with smaller class sizes you get real facetime with your teachers. I know some kids at other schools who have those really big classes where the teacher talks at you and doesn’t even know your name. At MCDS, everyone knows who you are and you get more time to ask questions.”

Supportive Community and a Culture of Effort and Curiosity

MCDS offers the benefits of both rigorous academics and a strong community to prepare for success in college and beyond. Experienced faculty and motivated peers guide students to dig deeper into their studies, while offering the support they need to grow as individuals in a community where they are truly known.

Rigorous Academics

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ONLY International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma High School in Madison Area

Madison Country Day School is the only high school in Dane County offering the students the opportunity to pursue the full IB Diploma Programme.

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Global Online Academy Connects MCDS Students to the World

Our partnership with GOA gives MCDS high school students exciting new opportunities that aren’t available anywhere else in Wisconsin:

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Engaging Courses with Depth and Breadth

MCDS High School fosters creative and critical thinking through engaging classes with great depth of content, analysis, and discussion.

Student Academic Success

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Awards & Recognition

7National Merit Commended or Semi-Finalist Scholars
2NAACP ACT-SO Gold Medal Winners
1Yale Book Award Winner
13National Merit Finalists

(1 additional National Merit Semi-Finalist from Class of 2021)

15National Merit Commended Students
3National Hispanic Recognition Awards
1National Achievement Award
2AIME Qualifiers

(American Invitational Mathematics Examinations,
Mathematical Association of America)

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Highest ACT scores in Wisconsin

MCDS class of 2020 had an average composite score of29.7

Including 2 students with a perfect score of

36(Wisconsin statewide average is 20.5).

Exceptional College Prep

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One-to-One Personalized College Counseling Begins in Grade 9

Every MCDS High School student receives four years of 1:1 individualized college advising with our dedicated, experienced college advisor. Students receive expert guidance every step of the way, covering IB course planning, college essays and applications, financial aid and scholarship procurement, college entrance examinations, and much more.

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MCDS Graduates Have Been Accepted at Top Colleges and Universities Nationally and Internationally

Our alumni have been accepted to over 275 different colleges and universities. All MCDS graduates have been accepted into best-match colleges, and 95% of our graduates have been offered merit aid awards that average $25,000 and are renewable for 4 years.

Work with the Wisconsin College Counselor of the Year

In May 2021, MCDS college advisor Matt Koehler was awarded the Wisconsin Association of College Admission Counselors (WACAC) 2021 High School Counseling Professional of the Year. This award is earned for exemplifying excellence and dedication to serving the needs of students in the transition from high school to college.

Athletics, Extracurriculars, and Leadership Opportunities

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14 High School Varsity Teams

MCDS High School offers 14 varsity teams and a variety of club sports. Student-athletes benefit from our collegiate-level track and gymnasium, as well as our dedicated coaches and supportive school spirit.

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Clubs, Activities and Organizations

If you have an interest, you will be able to pursue it at MCDS. Choose from a wide array of student-, teacher-, and volunteer-led electives—or create your own!

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Outstanding Leadership Opportunities

Leadership is deeply ingrained into everything that happens at MCDS, and opportunities abound for students to create their own initiatives.

For example, Abby ’22 started the literary magazine, The Prairie Magazine; Rafay ’22 started the Prairie Hawk Investment Club; Hunter ’22 started the Students of Color Affinity Group; and Sturgeon ’23 started the Social Awareness and Activism club.


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