About App Academy

App Academy is a four-year computer science pathway program at Pasadena High School. Our students learn to code using the JavaScript programming language, which empowers them to design and create their own websites, games, and applications. In addition to learning how to code, students practice problem-solving and cooperation skills by working in teams to design solutions to all sorts of problems.
App Academy students have the chance to learn about the huge impact of computer science on today's world by directly interacting with professionals who use computer science every day. We are lucky to host a variety of guest speakers every year who talk with students about how they use programming to change the world in science, engineering, and many other fields. Our students also get to see CS in action through career exploration visits to local tech companies and colleges.

What is Computer Science?

Computer Science is the science of using computers to solve problems. Learning computer science empowers individuals to design solutions to problems that make a real difference in people's lives.

Computer science is about so much more than programming— it requires critical thinking, problem solving, creativity, and teamwork. In addition to being used in the technology sector at companies like Google, Facebook, and Microsoft, computer science plays a huge role in all sorts of other industries. From business, to medicine, to engineering, to politics, to art— computer science is everywhere!

If you're looking for more information on computer science and what you can do with it, Code.org has some great resources. You can start with this document and the video below.

Our Courses

App Academy has a four-year progression of computer science courses. Each year, students build upon their existing knowledge and create increasingly complex and exciting projects.


This course teaches the fundamentals of programming. Students create websites, 2D games, and simulations using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.



In their second year, students build upon their foundational CS knowledge and use it to tackle real-world problems using data from third-party APIs.



Juniors learn how to build larger, "full-stack" web applications that use a server and a database.



Our seniors design and create capstone projects that showcase what they've learned in App Academy.


Do I need previous programming experience to join App Academy?

Absolutely not! Most of our incoming 9th grade students are completely new to programming. You'll be surprised how fast you pick it up! We encourage any interested student who meets our entrance requirements to apply.

Can I be in band, JROTC, or take AP classes if I'm in App Academy?

Yes! Many of our current students are active in extracurricular activities and AP courses. The PHS counselors do their best to accommodate each individual student's needs when scheduling classes.

Do I need computer and internet access at home to be in App Academy?

Nope! You can use our computers and PHS wifi for any work we assign.

How can I learn a little bit about computer science to see if I like it?

The great thing about learning computer science is that it connects with almost every other field out there! To get an idea of how CS can be used, check out the resources at dotdiva.org. If you're looking to try out programming for yourself, you could try out an Hour of Code with code.org. If you're still having fun, check out Khan Academy's courses on making webpages with HTML/CSS and drawing and animation in JavaScript!

How does App Academy prepare students for success in college and future careers?

Our world is increasingly driven by technology, and the skill of computer programming is in high demand. In addition to learning programming, App Academy students will build on their critical thinking and problem-solving, creativity, collaboration, and communication skills. Students will hear from a diverse group of guest speakers who use programming in their careers, and also have the opportunity to visit colleges and workplaces.

How will my high school schedule look different if I'm in App Academy?

App Academy students all have a computer science class in their schedule during the normal school day. Students who take Integrated Math 1, Math 2, and Math 3 (at any level) will take the class with fellow App students from one of our App Academy math teachers.

Join App Academy!

If you live in the PHS attendance zone, just indicate your interest in App Academy when you register for classes at PHS. No separate application is required for the 2018-2019 school year!

If you are NOT zoned for PHS, you must apply to the App Academy through PUSD Open Enrollment.
This process usually starts towards the beginning of spring semester.

App Academy has no entrance requirements for the 2018-2019 school year. We welcome any student who is interested in learning computer science! We don't expect any previous programming experience.

Contact Us

Questions about App Academy? Please let us know!