About - McDonogh School

About McDonogh School

McDonogh is a school that finds joy in work and play. We prepare students to lead in a rapidly changing world.

Our mission is to provide life-altering educational experiences that inspire personal and intellectual growth. 

Our vision is of a dynamic, inclusive community built on lifelong relationships, the pursuit of excellence, and a shared commitment to do the greatest possible amount of good.

Our Values

Integrity. Strong character consists of being true to oneself and honest with others.

Respect. Empathy and civil discourse help make McDonogh a place where everyone belongs. 

Resilience. The ability to overcome life’s challenges with grace is essential for self-discovery.

Curiosity. We are lifelong learners in joyful pursuit of knowledge and wisdom.

Gratitude. “We give something more than we take” because service to others brings meaning and purpose.


percent of faculty hold advanced degrees 


buses transport students from four counties and Baltimore City


students in prekindergarten through twelfth grade 

Fast Facts:


  • McDonogh is a nondenominational, coeducational, college preparatory school educating students from prekindergarten through twelfth grade.
  • Lower School comprises prekindergarten through fourth grade, Middle School is fifth through eighth grade, and Upper School is ninth through twelfth grade.
  • Our curriculum is appropriately challenging at all grade levels, preparing students for higher education and to enter the world as resilient, lifelong learners of strong character.
  • Class size is determined by subject matter and grade level, with an average of 16 students per class. The Upper School's extensive curriculum results in smaller class sizes. 
  • Our college counselors work with students to determine which colleges are right for their individual interests, personalities, and goals. See where the Class of 2020 is headed.
  • McDonogh has been named a "Top Workplace" in the Baltimore Sun's Top Workplace Program for six consecutive years. 


  • McDonogh enrolls 1,458 students from prekindergarten through twelfth grade.
  • McDonogh's student body represents a wide range of racial, ethnic, religious, socioeconomic, and geographic backgrounds.
  • Approximately 85 Upper School students live on campus during the week as part of the school's five-day boarding program.

Faculty and Administration

  • David J. Farace '87 became McDonogh's 13th Head of School on July 1, 2018.
  • McDonogh employs the equivalent of 190 full-time faculty members, and more than 50 faculty and staff families live on campus and are involved in our vibrant residential life program.
  • More than 67% of faculty hold advanced degrees, and the average teaching tenure is 14.9 years.
  • The student-teacher ratio is 7:1.

Campus and Facilities

  • Founded in 1873 as a farm school for poor boys, McDonogh School is situated on 800 pastoral acres in suburban Owings Mills.
  • The campus is located 20 minutes from downtown Baltimore and 50 minutes from Washington, D.C.
  • The campus serves as a classroom in the “great outdoors,” inviting students to experience the woods, fields, ponds, and streams.
  • Roots, a six-acre campus farm, offers students hands-on experiences such as planting and harvesting produce for our dining hall and area food pantries.
  • Learning is enhanced with top-notch facilities, including an innovation center, two theatres, an art gallery, a riding hall, an Olympic-sized pool, and numerous playing fields and tennis courts.

Tuition and Financial Aid

  • 2021-2022 Tuition (including bus transportation and hot lunch) is:
    • Prekindergarten: $19,900
    • Kindergarten and Prefirst: $29,000
    • Lower School (grades 1-4): $31,300
    • Middle School (grades 5-8): $33,100 
    • Upper School (grades 9-12): $34,700
    • Upper School Five-Day Boarding: $46,600
  • $6.1 million in need-based scholarship was given to students for the 2019-2020 academic year. The average award was $19,400.


  • McDonogh operates a fleet of 27 buses with community stops in four counties (Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, and Howard) and Baltimore City.
  • Bus service is included in tuition, and all day-students are assigned a bus stop and pick-up time.
  • Students in prekindergarten and those who are new to kindergarten, prefirst, and first grade are paired with a "bus buddy", an older student who helps the younger student adjust to riding the bus.



  • Lunch is included in tuition, so families never have to pack a lunch, purchase a meal card, or send lunch money.
  • There are plenty of appealing and nutritious choices in the dining hall's selection of hot entrees, salad bar, and sandwich stations.
  • The dining hall offers breakfast and dinner for boarding students.


  • The five-day boarding program allows Upper School students to live on campus during the school week and return home to spend time with their families over the weekend. 
  • Approximately 85 students participate in the boarding program, which gives them more opportunities to be involved in campus life. 
  • Girls live in Jane Bay Hall and boys live in Lillian Rollins Hall. 


  • AfterCare is available to children in the Lower School at an additional cost.
  • AfterCare operates on regular school days, Monday through Thursday from 3:45 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. and on Friday from 3:15 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Dress Code

  • McDonogh's dress code reflects our belief that children should dress appropriately for the task of learning and in a way that eliminates competitiveness.
  • Lower and Middle School students wear polo shirts and khaki pants. Middle School girls may also wear skorts. Lower School girls may wear skorts or skirts. Upper School students wear oxford shirts, khaki pants, and skorts.
  • New dress code items may be ordered through the School Store located in the basement of Allan Building. Gently used dress code items are available through the McDonogh Parents Association.


  • McDonogh is accredited by the Association of Independent Maryland Schools.

Summer Camps

  • McDonogh Summer Camps offers over 80 traditional day camps, sports clinics, arts and educational programs, as well as overnight camps. Register now.

We Give Something More Than We Take

Character and Service are at the core of the McDonogh experience. 

McDonogh teachers and coaches were at the heart of my transformation, and they prepared me exceptionally well for the “good life,” which I define as taking care of yourself physically, mentally, and spiritually; investing in loving relationships with others; and serving a cause greater than yourself. 

Dave Farace ’87, Head of School

Equity and Inclusion

Steeped in History

800 Acres of Opportunity