Academic Decathlon 


Academic and enrichment

The United States Academic Decathlon (USAD) is a national academic competition. The Chicago Public Schools has the largest number of student participants than any school district in the nation.


At CPS, approximately 70 high schools compete; each school has a nine-member team. Each team has three students with an A average, three with a B average and three with a C average. Every year, students are tested in 7 academic areas and the USAD offers three levels of competition (honors, scholastic, and varsity) as teams advance through the process of competitive elimination.



CPS students compete in two citywide competitions and the citywide winner then progresses to the state competition. The culminating event is the national competition where students compete against other state championship teams.


  • Develop and provide academic competition to promote learning and academic excellence
  • Foster teamwork among students of all achievement levels
  • Provide an opportunity for students to excel academically through team competition
  • Improve written and oral communication skills, time management, literacy and study habits.


Participation in the Academic Decathlon includes the following benefits:

  • Strengthens self-esteem
  • Develops school pride
  • Fosters a team spirit and spirit of cooperation
  • Improves academic achievement and skills.


  • For over 20 years, CPS has placed in the top five in the USAD.
  • In Chicago, 98% of decathletes graduate from high school and 70% matriculate into college.
  • Academic Decathlon now services approximately 50 schools.


The program is open to any student that attends a school with an Academic Decathlon program. Students should contact their school's Academic Decathlon coach for the enrollment requirements at their school.


We are currently in the process of recruiting volunteers for Academic Decathlon! Major events in Chicago will be held on Saturday, January 26, 2013, Wednesday, January 30, 2013, and Saturday, February 2, 2013. Volunteer forms are provided below. Prospective volunteers should contact Ariel Julian at (773) 553-5142 with any further questions.


  • Volunteer Packet
  • Volunteer Packet (CPS staff, teachers and students)

    Academic Decathlon Summer Enhancement Institute

    Academic and enrichment

    ADSI is a summer program that prepares students and coaches for the school year's Academic Decathlon season. The program brings together a set of diverse students from various high schools throughout the city to polish their decathlon skills and build community amongst each other. It also offers a college preparation component that takes students to tour college campuses and meet with school representatives at no cost. Summer preparation also extends to coaches in the form of peer teaching sessions, which provide opportunities for coaches to share their tips and best practices.





    For more information on the national competition, please visit the USAD's website.


    United States Academic Decathlon Opens in a new window icon

Contact information

Academic Decathlon
125 South Clark Street
12th Floor
Chicago, Illinois 60603
Phone: (773) 553-3593
Fax: (773) 553-4330