About Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology
Mission: To provide students a challenging learning environment focused on math, science, and technology, inspire joy at the prospect of discovery, and foster a culture of innovation based on ethical behavior and the shared interests of humanity.
Established in 1985, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJHSST or TJ) is a Virginia Governor’s School administered by Fairfax County Public Schools. As a selective secondary school, Jefferson serves more than 1,850 students from the Northern Virginia jurisdictions of Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, Prince William Counties, and the Cities of Fairfax and Falls Church.
TJ provides a dynamic, specialized learning environment for selected students with high ability, aptitude, and interest in mathematics, science and technology who seek a comprehensive, challenging curriculum with emphasis in these disciplines. Each year, a competitive admissions process results in offers of enrollment to approximately 15% of applicants for a class of 480 freshmen.
- TJ is a Regional Governor’s School for Science and Technology, serving students from Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William counties, and the City of Falls Church. Admission is by application only.
- All seniors conduct research projects in one or more of the School’s fourteen Senior Research Labs or pursuant to its Mentorship Program, which places students in academic, government, or industry labs where they conduct research under the guidance of experts.
- Jefferson Underclassmen Multidiscipline Project (JUMP) Lab offers select underclass students an opportunity to conduct research on-site during school hours.
- Freshman IBET (Integrated Biology, English & Technology) program culminates in research paper.
- tjSTAR Research Symposium allows students to present research and hear professional speakers in the environment of a scientific conference.
- Selected outstanding papers and articles are published in a student-produced research journal, TEKNOS.
- TJ Diploma requires 26 credit hours. All academic courses are taught at an honors, AP, or post-AP level.
- Specialized STEM offerings include: AMT (advanced math techniques for physics, including infinite-dimensional linear algebra), Complex Variables, Concrete Math, two-semester sequences in both Artificial Intelligence and Parallel Computing, Organic Chemistry, a two-semester sequence in DNA Science, Neurobiology, and a full-year Quantum Mechanics & Electrodynamics course.
- The comprehensive college preparatory program includes 25 varsity sports and extensive programs in music, drama, and visual arts.
- 8th Period, which includes over 180 academic and enrichment clubs, integrates extra-curricular activities into the school day.
- Annual “One Question” leads to all-school readings, speakers, discussions, and opportunities for grant-funded projects.
- Summer Middle School Tech Institute and numerous outreach events expose youngsters to STEM and other subjects.
- Service and outreach, including STEMbassador Program, are priorities of School administration, faculty, and students.
- Corporate partners assist with curriculum and research development, lend financial and personnel support.