At a Glance

Our Mission

The Athenian School prepares students for the rigorous expectations of college and for a life of purpose and personal fulfillment.

We offer a challenging academic program with a difference: intellectual inquiry is active, learning is interactive, the disciplines are interrelated, and analysis and creativity thrive simultaneously. The acquisition of knowledge becomes authentic and joyous.
We cultivate the personal qualities of each student to become an integrated human being with integrity, strong moral character, aesthetic sensitivity, and physical well being. The Athenian community requires students to face life directly through open communication, while developing their inner strength to exceed their perceived potential and emerge compassionate, responsible adults.
We instill an appreciation of the reciprocal relationship between the individual and cultures, society and the natural world. We value the power and beauty of multiculturalism within our diverse community. We embrace the principles of democratic governance, stewardship of the environment, respect for human dignity, and service as a way of life.
By providing an atmosphere of intellectual, artistic, and physical challenge within the warmth of a nurturing community, we develop in our students the confidence and skills required to meet the complexities of their future.
    • Dyke Brown, Athenian's Founder

What We Offer

Athenian offers a beautiful and well-equipped 75-acre campus of oak-covered hills at the base of Mt. Diablo in Danville, just 32 miles east of San Francisco. The Athenian School is fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and the California Association of Independent Schools. 

Athenian buses transport students to and from many East Bay communities
(from Berkeley/Oakland to Pleasanton/ Livermore), meeting the Bay Area Rapid Transit System (BART) at four stations. 

Athenian faculty are noted for expertise in their subjects, enthusiasm for teaching, dynamic classes, multiple roles on campus, and strong connection with students.
% hold MAs or Ph.D. degrees. Athenian faculty bring a wealth of real-life experience to the classroom. Athenian faculty are published authors, Peace Corps volunteers, lab scientist, marathon runners, conference presenters, wilderness first responders, business owners, and former college professors. 

The Admission Committee seeks students who bring a strong academic record, show readiness for Athenian’s rigorous curriculum, fit with our mission and programs, and contribute positively to our community of learners.
The Committee considers the whole student, including grades, writing, student statements, a parent questionnaire, teacher recommendations, admission testing, and a student visit.

Distinctive Features

  • Middle School Focus Days energize learning with challenging and engaging projects and activities. 
  • The Athenian experience is international, with students enrolled from around the world and opportunities to spend time outside the United States through exchanges, community service projects, and conferences. 
  • Athenian practices democracy as students share their ideas and are involved in the decisions which affect them. 
  • Every student has an opportunity to learn design and engineering in our Carter Innovation Studio (engineering and design classes, robotics, programming, airplane construction, and more). 
  • The Athenian Wilderness Experience, required in grade 11, builds teamwork and confidence for college and life. 

List of 4 items.

  • 20

    Countries represented
    Over the last five years, more than ten percent of our students have come from outside the United States. They represent 20 different countries: Australia, Canada, China, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Hong Kong (China SAR), India, Japan, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Netherlands, Nigeria, Russia, South Korea, Simaliland, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, and Vietnam. 
  • 26%

    Financial Aid
    Athenian’s financial aid budget of $3.5 million supports socioeconomic diversity. Twenty-six percent of students receive financial aid. 
  • 535

    Students attend Athenian
    Athenian's student body is comprised of 171 Middle School students and 364 Upper School students. 304 Upper Schoolers are day students and 60 are boarders.
  • 61%

    Sixty-one percent of the student body identify themselves as other than white: 
    African, African-American, Asian, Asian-American, South Asian, Hispanic/Latino, Indian/Native American, Middle Eastern, or multiracial. 

Student Body

List of 4 items.

  • Boarding Students

       • Sixty Boarding Students from around the country and the world attend Athenian
       • International and domestic students join in a cross-cultural boarding experience.
       • Recent international students have represented more than 13 countries.
       • Recent domestic boarding students have attended from throughout the Bay Area, California and the United States (typically from the West).
  • Day Students

    535 Day Students come from throughout the East Bay to attend Athenian.
       • 50% from the local area (Alamo, Danville, Diablo and San Ramon)
       • 15% from Oakland, Berkeley, and Castro Valley
       • 10% from Walnut Creek and Concord
       • 13% from Lafayette, Moraga and Orinda
       • 11% from Pleasanton, Dublin, and Livermore
       • 1% from other Bay Area communities
       Note: A greater number of students attend the Upper School from the Oakland/Berkeley area.
  • Diversity

    The Athenian student body exhibits a rich variety of ethnic, cultural, geographic and socioeconomic backgrounds.
       • 61% of the student body are students of color: African-American, Asian, Asian-American, Hispanic/Latino, Indian/Native American, Indian or Middle Eastern.
       • International students represent more than 20 different countries or special territories: China, Colombia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Panama, Philippines, Romania, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.
       • The financial aid budget, over $3.5 million, supports socioeconomic diversity (26% receive aid).
  • Athenian's Buses

    Our buses transport students daily throughout the East Bay (from Berkeley/Oakland to Pleasanton/Livermore), meeting them at four Bay Area Rapid Transit System (BART) stations.

College Admissions

Athenian’s college counselors identify colleges and universities that are well-matched to each student’s talents, interests, and aspirations. In the past four years, nearly 100% of Athenian graduates earned admission to over 220 outstanding four-year colleges and universities. Colleges in which Athenian graduates enrolled are in bold. The colleges which admitted Athenian graduates include: 

Academy of Art University
Adelphi University
Agnes Scott College
University of Alabama
Alfred University
Allegheny College
*American University
*The American University of Paris
The American University of Rome
*Amherst College
Arcadia University
Arizona State University
The University of Arizona
The Art Institute of California
Ateneo de Manila University (PH)
Auburn University
Azusa Pacific University
Babson College
*Bard College
*Barnard College
Barry University
*Bates College
Belmont University
Beloit College
Bennington College
Bentley University
*Berklee College of Music
Binghamton University
Biola University
Boise State University
*Boston College
*Boston Conservatory
*Boston University
*Brandeis University
*University of British Columbia (CAN)
*Brown University
*Bryn Mawr College
Bucknell University
California College of the Arts
*University of California
*California State University
*California Lutheran University
*Carleton College
Carnegie-Mellon University
Carroll College
*Case Western Reserve University
Centre College
*Chapman University
College of Charleston
*University of Chicago
Chulalongkorn University (TH)
*Claremont McKenna College
Clark University
Clemson University
Colby College
*Colgate University
*University of Colorado – Boulder
University of Colorado – Colorado Springs
*Colorado College
*Colorado School of Mines
*Colorado State University
Columbia College – Chicago
*Columbia University
Concordia University - Irvine
*Connecticut College
*Cornell University
Cornish College of the Arts
Coventry University (UK)
CUNY New York
*Dartmouth College
*Davidson College
*Deep Springs College
University of Delaware
Denison University
*University of Denver
*DePaul University
Dickinson College
Dominican University
Drew University
*Drexel University
Duke University
Earlham College
*Eckerd College
Ecole Hoteliere de Lausanne (SUI)
*Elon University
*Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
*Emerson College
*Emory University
*Erskine College
Evergreen State University
Fairfield University
Fashion Institute of Technology
University of Florida
Florida Institute of Technology
Florida Southern College
*Fordham University
Franklin & Marshall College
Franklin University (SUI)
George Fox University
George Mason University
*George Washington University
Georgetown University
Georgia Institute of Technology
Gettysburg College
University of Glasgow (UK)
Gonzaga University
Goucher College
Grand Canyon University
Grinnell College
Guilford College
Gustavus Adolphus College
*Hamilton College
Hamline University
*Hampshire College
*Harvard University
*Harvey Mudd College
*Haverford College
University of Hawaii
*High Point University
Hiram College
Hobart & William Smith Colleges
Hofstra University
College of the Holy Cross
Hope College
*Howard University
Hult International Business School
IE University – Madrid (Spain)
*University of Illinois
Indiana University
University of Iowa
*Iowa State University
*Ithaca College
James Madison University
*John Cabot University (Italy)
*Johns Hopkins University
Juniata College
*Kenyon College
The King’s College (UK)
Knox College
University of La Verne
*Laguna College of Art & Design
*Lafayette College
Lake Forest College
*Lawrence University
*Lehigh University
*Lesley University
*Lewis & Clark College
Linfield College
London Metropolitan University (UK)
London South Bank University (UK)
Loughborough University (UK)
*Louisiana State University
*Loyola Marymount University
Loyola University of Chicago
*Macalester College
Manhattan College
Manhattanville College
Marist College
*Marquette University
*University of Maryland
Marymount California University
Massachusetts College of Art & Design
Massachusetts College of Pharmacy
     & Health Sciences
*Massachusetts Institute of Technology
*University of Massachusetts - Amherst
University of Massachusetts – Boston
Merrimack College
Miami University
University of Miami
*University of Michigan
*Michigan State University
Middlesex University (UK)
*University of Minnesota
University of Mississippi
Montana State University, Bozeman
Morehouse College
Mount Holyoke College
Muhlenberg College
University of Nevada, Reno
University of New England
The College of New Jersey
University of New Mexico
New Mexico Institute of Mining & Technology
New York School of Interior Design
*New York University
University of North Carolina, Charlotte
University of North Carolina, Wilmington
University of N. Carolina School of the Arts
*Northeastern University
*Northern Arizona University
Northwestern University
University of Notre Dame
Notre Dame de Namur University
Nottingham Trent University (UK)
*Oberlin College
*Occidental College
Ohio University
Ohio Wesleyan University
*Olin College of Engineering
Oregon State University
*University of Oregon
Otis College of Art & Design
*Oxford Brookes University (UK)
*Oxford College of Emory
Pace University
Pacific Lutheran University
*Pacific Northwest College of Art
*Pacific University
*University of the Pacific
*Pennsylvania State University
*University of Pennsylvania
Pepperdine University
Philadelphia University
*University of Pittsburgh
*Pitzer College
Point Loma Nazarene University
*Pomona College
Portland State University
*University of Portland
*Pratt Art Institute
*Prescott College
*Princeton University
*University of Puget Sound
*Purdue University
Quinnipiac University
Randolph-Macon College
*University of Redlands
*Reed College
Regis University
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
*Rhode Island School of Design
Rhodes College
Rice University
University of Richmond
*Richmond, The American International
    University in London
*Ringling College of Art & Design
Robert Morris University
*University of Rochester
*Rochester Institute of Technology
*Rollins College
Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
Rosemont College
Rutgers, State University of New Jersey
Saint John’s College (NM)
*Saint Mary’s College of California
Salve Regina University
University of San Diego
*University of San Francisco
*Santa Clara University
*Sarah Lawrence College
Savannah College of Art & Design
School of the Art Institute Chicago
School of Visual Arts
*Scripps College
Seattle Pacific University
*Seattle University
Seton Hall University
Simmons College
Skidmore College
Smith College
*University of Southern California
*Southern Methodist University
Southern Oregon University
Spelman College
St. Olaf College
University of St. Thomas
*Stanford University
*Steven’s Institute of Technology
Stony Brook University
Suffolk University
SUNY Albany
SUNY College at Oneonta
Susquehanna University
*Syracuse University
Temple University
University of Tennessee
Texas A & M University
Texas Christian University
*University of Texas
*The American Musical & Dramatic Academy
*The New School
The Ohio State University
University of Toronto
Trinity College
Trinity University
Trinity Washington University
*Tufts University
*Tulane University
*Union College
United States Air Force Academy
United States Coast Guard Academy
*United States Military Academy
*United States Naval Academy
*Universidad Europea de Valencia (Spain)
University of Brighton (UK)
University of Bristol (UK)
*University of Greenwich (UK)
University of Hertfordshire (UK)
University of Leeds (UK)
University of Surrey (UK)
University of West London (UK)
University of Westminster (UK)
University at Buffalo, SUNY
Ursinus College
University of Utah
Vassar College
*University of Vermont
University of Victoria (CAN)
*Villanova University
Virginia Commonwealth University
Virginia Military Institute
*Wagner College
Wake Forest University
Warren Wilson College
Washington & Jefferson College
*Washington & Lee University
*Washington College
Washington State University
*Washington University, St. Louis
*University of Washington
University of Waterloo (CAN)
Wellesley College
*Wesleyan University
West Chester University of Pennsylvania
*Western Colorado University
Western New England University
*Western Washington University
Westmont College
Wheaton College (IL)
Wheaton College (MA)
*Whitman College
Whittier College
*Willamette University
*College of William & Mary
University of Wisconsin
Wofford College
College of Wooster
*Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Yale University