History

Since 1852

Washington’s Oldest Non-denominational College Preparatory School

Emerson Preparatory School has been serving college-bound students and their families for more than one hundred and sixty years.  Founded in 1852 and named in honor of George Barrell Emerson, noted New England educator, author, and Harvard graduate, the Emerson Institute originally prepared Washington area boys to enter Harvard College.

In 1865, following the Civil War, Emerson’s program was broadened to prepare young men–and later, in 1920, young women–for all American and international colleges and universities.

After World War II, in 1946 Emerson adopted its current academic term system, modeled after the British system of secondary education.  Today at Emerson, students take a maximum of four courses per term, with each class period running ninety minutes a day; in this system, a given course is completed at the end of one semester, (approximately four and a half months).