Signature Programs - Mercy High School

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Signature Programs

Signature Programs

At Mercy, you’ll receive the rigorous liberal arts education you need to become a thoughtful, confident, and knowledgeable leader. You’ll explore art, science, technology, religion, history, mathematics, and, what’s more, how they all come together.

But maybe you already have a passionate interest in a certain subject—something that you’re ready to investigate more deeply as you enter high school. If you have a special interest in law, science, medicine, technology, performing arts (dance, vocal, instrumental, theater), visual arts, or athletics, or if you just want to really stretch yourself academically, Mercy has unique opportunities for you. 

The Law and Social Action, Women in Medicine, Sister Agnese Neumann Scholars, Women in Technology, Project Lead the Way Biomedical Science, Visual Art, and Dance programs require supplemental applications for admission, which can be found online.

Law and Social Action Program

The Law and Social Action Program provides students with opportunities to evaluate how interdependence, as well as political, legal, social and economic change, affect all communities, with a focus on both globalization and sustainable development. A study of social change through governance, social and legal policy, and justice provides students with an understanding of both individual and systemic power; each participant is encouraged to engage in innovative, responsible action for social change.

STEM Programs 

WOMEN IN MEDICINE in Partnership with Mercy Medical Center

The Women in Medicine Program is a unique partnership between Mercy High School Baltimore and Mercy Medical Center. It is an opportunity for young women with an interest in medicine and the health professions to observe and meet with medical professionals in a specialized healthcare environment. The goal of this four-year program is to bring together students and outstanding women leaders in health-related careers, to broaden their knowledge of medical fields, and to expand their understanding of the qualities and skills necessary for a successful healthcare professional. The program is open to qualifying 9th graders and is highly prestigious, the only one of its kind in Baltimore. For students considering a career in healthcare— as a physician, nurse, pharmacist, physical therapist, research scientist, hospital administrator, or other healthcare field, this program offers an unparalleled experience.

THE SISTER AGNESE NEUMANN SCHOLARS PROGRAM in Partnership with MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital

The Sister Agnese Neumann Scholars Program in partnership with MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital, allows students hands-on experience in health care. The Neumann Scholars Program exposes students to key specialties at MedStar Good Samaritan: aging science, occupational and physical therapy, nursing, and community/public health. Students receive hands-on training in fundamental skills which include CPR, patient safety training, infection prevention, and first-responder training. They also attend special professional development sessions at the hospital which focus on cutting-edge topics in health care. The program spans three academic years and culminates in a summer internship.

This three-year program is open to incoming 9th graders and rising 10th graders. Space is limited each year and application is required. The program’s name honors the first chair of Mercy’s science department, Sister Agnese Neumann, RSM, who went on to a career as a nurse practitioner. Sister Agnese continues to be actively involved as a volunteer at Mercy High School.


This four-year, nationally recognized program allows students to explore the biomedical science area of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics or medicine) fields. Over the course of their high school career, students take a four-year sequence of classes focused on biomedical science in addition to their regular science courses.

The rigorous and relevant four-course [Project Lead the Way (PLTW) Biomedical Science] sequence allows students to investigate the roles of biomedical professionals as they study the concepts of human medicine, physiology, genetics, microbiology, and public health. Students engage in activities like investigating the death of a fictional person to learn content in the context of real-world cases. They examine the structures and interactions of human body systems and explore the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of disease, all while working collaboratively to understand and design solutions to the most pressing health challenges of today and the future. 

Each course in the Biomedical Science sequence builds on the skills and knowledge students gain in the preceding courses. For more information, visit


This four-year program is designed to introduce students to a more intense and broader technology experience. The Women in Technology Program includes:

  • Programming
  • Software design 
  • Hardware design 
  • Networking
  • Operating systems
  • Web site design and management
  • Computer graphics
  • Audio and video editing
  • Databases and information retrieval
  • Computer and network security
  • Computational thinking
  • Applications in information technology and information systems
  • Emerging technologies
  • Social issues involving Internet security, privacy, copyright, and the global impact of technology

The program will also provide an opportunity for Mercy students to explore career paths in technology and to gain both experience and in-depth knowledge in various information technology areas. Students graduating from this program will be better prepared to enter technology-oriented college disciplines that can lead to high-tech careers in Baltimore and beyond.

Arts Program


Mercy’s four-year Visual Arts Program is for students with serious interest in developing their artistic skills, and in potentially pursuing the visual arts (such as painting, drawing, sculpture, and many more) in college or in their future career.

The sequence of classes is designed to prepare students to create a varied portfolio to be submitted for Advanced Placement Studio Art credit in the senior year. Art students at Mercy explore the elements, principles, and history of art, develop their observational, creative and critical skills, and learn to work in a variety of media—pencils, charcoal, clay, acrylics, tempera, watercolor, and more. Mercy’s visual artists have gone on to exceptional careers as professional painters, art instructors, graphic designers, and fashion designers. 


Mercy's Dance Troupe is for serious students of dance who are continuing to develop their performance skills and perfect their technique.

The Mercy Dance Troupe is selected by audition in the second semester of the 8th grade or in the fall of every year while at Mercy. Dance Troupe earns academic credit, while exploring the genres of ballet, modern dance, and jazz dance, and performing several times during the year both within and outside the school community. Mercy's Dance Troupe has appeared at the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall in the Archdiocesan Celebration of the Arts, in the CCBC holiday performance of Our Favorite Things with the Baltimore Symphonic Band, and at the National Association of Independent Schools conference. This dual emphasis on both the technical and artistic training provides not only a solid, comprehensive foundation, but also an exciting and enjoyable experience. In Dance Troupe, the dancer not only works with our Director of Dance, Michele May, but also with professional guest artists, choreographers, and teachers. Members of Dance Troupe have earned awards in the Maryland Distinguished Scholar Program, and have studied dance at the baccalaureate level and beyond after graduation. Some are teaching or performing as dance professionals.

In addition to the Dance Troupe program, the Apprentice Dance Company group offers a basic dance program in ballet, modern, and jazz with the purpose of building beginning dance skills. Invitations to the Apprentice Dance Company will be sent after Dance Troupe auditions.

Catherine McAuley Honors Program

The acceptance of an invitation into the Catherine McAuley Honors Program demonstrates a student’s desire for rigorous academic challenge and the confidence to achieve as a thinker and a scholar. McAuley Scholars achieve mastery beyond essentials in a learning environment that will excite them.

In freshman year McAuley Scholars take the honors sections of the regular curriculum with their math courses determined by placement testing. At the end of freshman year they are given the opportunity to choose honors study in at least two disciplines to be continued over the next three years.

There is no application for the McAuley Honors Program. Invitations to qualified candidates to join the program will be in their acceptance packages, sent in February.

Selected Criteria

  • MHS Application on file for admission to the 9th grade
  • Above average grades in middle school academic courses
  • Above average standardized test scores
  • Above average scores on the High School Placement Test (HSPT)


  • 9th Grade: take required honors sections of World Cultures, Biology, and English (mathematics and world language based on placement testing and/or prior coursework); participate in one co-curricular or extracurricular activity, in addition to becoming an Ambassador
  • 10th Grade: continue honors coursework in at least two academic disciplines; participate in one co-curricular or extracurricular activity, in addition to becoming an Ambassador
  • 11th Grade: enroll in seven courses and continue honors coursework in at least two disciplines; leadership role in one co-curricular or extracurricular activity, and continue as an Ambassador
  • 12th Grade: complete and present a Capstone project; leadership role in one co-curricular or extracurricular activity, and continue as an Ambassador

Mentor Program

In the second semester of sophomore year, students can apply to participate in a significant internship experience for their junior year through the Mentor Program. Mentor students are paired with a professional who shares his or her knowledge and expertise on a one-to-one basis for a semester or an entire year. Students have explored careers under the guidance of Baltimore Sun journalists, Johns Hopkins researchers, criminal attorneys, physicians, writers, political leaders, and many other professions.