Academic Profile

Punahou School, an independent college preparatory day school, was founded in 1841 by Protestant missionaries on lands given to them by Hawaiian chiefs.

The beneficiary of these two traditions, and the home of a diverse community from around the world, Punahou is now the largest independent school on a single campus in the United States, serving approximately 3,770 students in kindergarten – grade 12.

Academic Profile 2023 – 2024

Standardized Testing, Class of 2023, size = 434

Number of students who opted not to take any standardized testing (SAT or ACT): 8

List of 2 items.

  • SAT

    SAT range of mid 50%

    Evidence-based Reading and Writing590 – 700
    Math570 – 710

    Number of students who took the SAT: 421
  • ACT

    ACT range of mid 50%

    English25 – 34
    Math25 – 30
    Reading25 – 35
    Science25 – 31

    Number of students who took the ACT: 67

Grade Point Average (GPA)

4.00 – 3.9 20.8%
3.89 – 3.8 22.6%
3.79 – 3.7 18.9%
3.69 – 3.6 11.3%
3.59 – 3.5 7.4%
3.49 and below 18.9%

Advanced Placement Test Results

(2023) Total students: 774

Score Number of Tests Percent of Total
5 384 28
4 441 33
3 312 23

List of 4 items.

  • 22 National Merit Semifinalists

    Class of 2024

    Over the past five years, Punahou students have represented 37% of all National Merit Semifinalists in the State of Hawai‘i, a total of 114 out of 304 recipients.
  • 3.76 Median GPA

    Class of 2024
    as of June 2023 (432 students)
  • 99% Attend 4-year College

    Class of 2023 enrolled in 157 different institutions.

    View a complete list of colleges attended by two or more Punahou School graduates over the last four years.
  • Presidential Scholars Program

    Over the past five years, Punahou students have represented 36% of all Presidential Scholars in the State of Hawai‘i, a total of 114 out of 316 recipients.

Punahou School is fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) and is a member of the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) and complies with the NACAC “Guide to Ethical Practice in College Admission.”

The school year consists of two semesters of approximately equal length. Scheduling uses a modular system, and classes vary in length according to their needs.

For a complete list of colleges attended by two or more Punahou School graduates over the last four years, download the Academic Profile.

List of 5 items.

  • Grade Point Average

    The GPA is computed annually and cumulatively. Only courses taken at Punahou that receive a letter grade are used to determine the GPA. Citizenship and Physical Education grades are included in the GPA. Advanced Placement and Honors courses are not given additional point values. Rarely does a student graduate with a 4.0 GPA. Punahou School does not rank its students. GPA is based on the traditional 4-point scale (A = 4.000, A– = 3.667, B+ = 3.333, B = 3.000, B– = 2.667, C+ = 2.333, C = 2.000, C– = 1.667, D+ = 1.333, D = 1.000, D– = 0.667).
  • Honors and Advanced Placement Courses

    Punahou students are advised not to take more than two Advanced Placement courses simultaneously. Students enrolled in AP courses must take AP exams. Because of COVID-19, this mandatory AP exam requirement was waived in Spring 2020 and Spring 2021.
    • Senior English Honors (one semester only)
    • Junior English Honors (one semester only)

    • Japanese: II Honors, III Honors, IV Honors, V Honors
    • French: II Honors, III Honors, IV Honors, AP French Language and Culture
    • Spanish: II Honors, III Honors, IV Honors, AP Spanish Language and Culture
    • Mandarin Chinese: II Honors, III Honors, IV Honors, V Honors

    • Geometry Honors
    • Algebra II/Trigonometry Honors
    • Advanced Pre-Calculus Honors
    • AP Calculus AB
    • AP Calculus BC
    • AP Statistics
    • Chemistry Honors
    • Physics Honors
    • Biology Honors
    • AP Biology
    • AP Chemistry
    • AP Environmental Science
    • AP Physics 1
    • AP Physics 2
    • AP Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism
    • AP Physics C: Mechanics

    Social Studies
    • AP United States History
    • AP European History
    • AP U.S. Government and Politics

    • AP Psychology
    • AP Studio Art
    • AP Computer Science Principles
    Selective Enrollment by Audition
    • Symphony Orchestra
    • Wind Ensemble
    • Chorale
  • Course Explanations

    AP Physics I and II
    This one-year course prepares students for both the AP Physics 1 and AP Physics 2 exams. To acknowledge the workload of this course, starting in 2022 – 2023, the course earns 1.5 total credits.

    Center Distinctions
    This program encompasses a 4-year process that recognizes outstanding achievements in knowledge, skills and dispositions in one of the Instructional Centers: Wo International Center, Luke Center for Public Service, Kuaihelani Center for ‘Ike Hawai‘i, CASE Accelerator for Student Entrepreneurship, and Design, Technology and Engineering. Distinctions can be earned by students who demonstrate focused study, passion and skill aligned to the Center competencies. A note on the transcript will indicate whether a Center Distinction is “expected” and eventually “received.”

    This program is an immersive, deep dive opportunity for students which allows them to explore unique, authentic and transdisciplinary topics in a non-graded learning environment. Each course is open to interested students whose schedules allow participation. Student growth is assessed but no grades are given and no graduation credit is assigned.

    Global Online Academy
    The GOA offers diverse and rigorous credit-bearing courses to students in member schools around the world. All GOA courses have both synchronous and asynchronous components.

    Interdisciplinary and Transdisciplinary
    These courses combine the key concepts and crucial skill sets from at least two disciplines into one course. Students practice exploring ideas or solving problems through the lenses of each discipline, while also striving to construct a lens that transcends the individual disciplines.
    Some students select these classes over the honors and AP counterparts because they appreciate the chance to make connections across disciplines or to integrate the various facets of a subject. 

    Various interdisciplinary (ID) courses are offered in grades 9 – 12. Global Sustainability by Design (GSD) courses are offered for 9th and 10th grade students interested in tackling sustainability issues of global and local significance. These courses provide credits from more than one discipline.

    Ke Kilohana/Senior Capstone
    This course in the Social Studies department allows students to apply their skills, knowledge, and gifts in service to a community of practice. In their senior year, students choose from a variety of Ke Kilohana courses that highlight applied learning across many disciplines and topics. As part of their coursework, students participate in collective service opportunities and identify a community need around which they build an individual opportunity for authentic service. Students culminate their Ke Kilohana course experience with a public product, presentation or performance. Semester course. One-half credit. Satisfies Social Studies graduation requirement.

    School Year Abroad
    To support rigorous academic study abroad, Punahou partners with certain schools to offer a diverse range of semester and yearlong study programs.
  • Graduation Requirements

    English4 credits
    Social Studies3 1/2 credits
    Science2 credits
    Math3 credits
    Language2 credits
    Physical Education2 credits
    Visual and Performing Arts2 credits
    Total minimum credits required for graduation22 credits
  • Presidential Scholars

    • 2022 - Sacha Pakravan
    • 2021 - Cosette Wu  
    • 2019 - Ryan Park
    • 2018 - Isabelle Rhee
    • 2017 - Carter Nakamoto
    • 2016 - Michael Chen and Eileen Liu
    • 2011 - Kimberly Schaefer
    • 2008 - Christopher Burniske 
    • 2006 - Scott Seki 
    • 2005 - Julia Ogilvie (Scholar in the Arts) 
    • 2004 - Will Jacobson and Avery Cavanah, Chris Schmicker (Scholar in the Arts) 
    • 2002 - Kara S. Tabor-Furmark 
    • 2001 - Magali A. M. Fassiotto 
    • 1998 - Elizabeth K. Nguyen 
    • 1996 - Jeffery Chung 
    • 1995 - Matthew Passion  
    • 1993 - Stacy Uyekubo
    • 1992 - Miki Anzai and Brian Koh 
    • 1991 - Scott Keller 
    • 1986 - Kristine Tanno 
    • 1985 - Allegra Goodman 
    • 1984 - Janyce Mitchell and David Blume 
    • 1982 - Chau Tseng 
    • 1979 - Jonathan Selinger 
    • 1978 - John Lie and Margaret Garties 
    • 1975 - Eric Howell 
    • 1971 - Mike Sayama 
    • 1970 - Allan Chinen 
    • 1966 - Randall Ming Au 
    • 1964 - Wilbur Chun
Punahou is committed to ensuring that every member of our school community has the opportunity to thrive, learn and truly belong. Through our need-blind admissions process and need-based financial aid program, we enroll students from a wide range of backgrounds, reflecting the broad diversity of Hawai‘i. To learn more, visit Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging at Punahou.

Punahou School does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national or ethnic origin, gender, sexual orientation, age or disability in administration of its educational or admission policies, financial aid programs, athletic and other School administered programs or in its employment practices.
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