Academic Programs

  • 95% of the Class of 2022 were UC eligible​
  • 83% of the Class of 2022 Matriculated to College/University​
    • 80% to a 4-year​
    • 20% to a 2-year​
  • 17% of the Class of 2022 Indicated Other Plans (Gap Year, Military, Vocational School, Workforce)​
  • 3 National Merit Semi-Finalists​
  • 19 National Merit Commended Scholars​
  • 231 AP Scholars

Advanced Placement (AP) Program

PVHS offers AP courses and excellent pass-rates in each.  580 students took almost 1200 AP tests in the spring of 2021.  The AP program not only enhances students’ chances of College admission and earns students credits prior to their freshman year, but coupled with the block schedule; the AP program better prepares students for the high rigor of university level studies.

PVHS offers the following AP courses:

Capstone Seminar Chinese Language Human Geography
Calculus AB French Language Biology
Calculus BC Spanish Literature Chemistry
English Language Spanish Language Physics B
English Literature European History Physics C
Music Theory United States History Physics E&M
Statistics World History Environmental Science
Studio Art 2D Comparative Government Psychology
Studio Art 3D United States Government Principles of Computer Science
Studio Art: Draw & Paint Macroeconomics Computer Science
Art History    

Palos Verdes High School follows the PVPUSD open course waiver policy in which any student can enroll in an AP course provided that he or she has met the course prerequisites.  All students are encouraged to not only challenge themselves, but also take the AP exam at the end of the school year.

AP Capstone Diploma

According to the College Board “AP Capstone™ is a diploma program from the College Board. It’s based on two yearlong AP courses: AP Seminar and AP Research. Rather than teaching subject-specific content, these courses develop students’ skills in research, analysis, evidence-based arguments, collaboration, writing, and presenting.”

At PVHS, AP Capstone Seminar accepts students in 10th, 11th, and 12th grade, and now is run during the school day. AP Capstone Research is offered as a second year 7th Period course to students who have successfully completed the Seminar course. The skills learned in the Seminar Course allow students to pursue independent research design and implementation in the second course. Students who pass both courses earn the Capstone certificate. Students who complete both courses AND pass an additional four AP courses earn the Capstone Diploma. PVHS had a 97% pass rate for AP Seminar and a 75% pass rate for Research in 2021.


California Scholarship Federation

California Scholarship Federation (CSF), a statewide honor society, has been recognizing the scholastic achievement of high school students since 1921. Membership for this statewide organization is based on report card grades, and enrollment takes place during the beginning of each semester. PVHS has a very active chapter, and the adviser is on the state Board of Directors as Vice President of the South Central region. Its school chapter membership is among the largest in California. PVHS CSF is proud to have had Seymour Memorial Award state finalists each consecutive year since 2005, when it began submitting student nominations for this prestigious scholarship program that currently awards a minimum of $2,000 to state finalists. Also, PVHS CSF members have the opportunity to attend CSF state conferences each spring, some of which are on College campuses, and members are involved in community service opportunities during the school year in support of the state CSF motto, “Scholars for Service.”

CSF members at awards ceremony

National Honor Society

National Honors Society is a nation-wide high school organization that recognizes exceptional students who have shown excellence in academics, leadership, service and character throughout their high school careers. One of the most widely respected and distinguished clubs in the nation, National Honors Society not only celebrates a student’s accomplishments, it also encourages members to continue to pursue goals that benefit the community. The Palos Verdes High School chapter does this by hosting the annual Painted Turtle Walk-A-Thon to raise money for a children’s special-needs camp. National Honors Society members exemplify the well-rounded student leaders at Palos Verdes High School.



The PVHS library has the only certificated school librarian in the district, and she is assisted by a full-time library clerk.  As a former English teacher and Reading Specialist, the PVHS teacher-librarian:  (1) collaborates with classroom teachers to provide students with resource assistance as they do research; (2) provides students with guidance and lessons in information literacy skills; (3) works with faculty to promote reading for pleasure; and (4) builds a collection of print and nonprint resources to assist students in pursuit of being a life-long learner.  The PVHS library prides itself as having the largest collection of subscription electronic databases in our district as well as among neighboring school districts.  These databases are the stepping stone to College-level research and enable students to access reliable, accurate and authenticated sources of information instead of relying on the Free Web.  The PVHS library is a busy hub on campus and plays an active role in supporting students and teachers with their curricular needs.