There are three types of military academies: High school level institutions (up to age 19), university level institutions, and those only serving to prepare officer cadets for commissioning into the armed services of a state ( such as RMA Sandhurst ).
United States usage
- The term Military School primarily refers to (middle school and high school) pre-collegiate institutions.
- The term Military Academy commonly refers to all pre-collegiate, collegiate, and post-collegiate institutions.
Military academies can be either private or have government sponsorship from regional (state) or national government.
Note: The term college and the term university are interchangeable in the below discussion. They will both be used to denote an institution of higher learning which a person might attend after attending high school, typically at age 17, 18, or 19.
A Military school teaches various ages (middle school, high school, or both) in a manner that includes military traditions and training in military subjects. The vast majority are in the United States. Many military schools are also boarding schools, and others are simply magnet schools in a larger school system. Many are privately-run institutions, though some are public and are run by either a public school system (such as the Chicago Public Schools), or by a state.
A common misperception results because some states have chosen to house their child criminal populations in higher-security boarding schools that are run in a manner similar to military boarding schools. These are also called reform schools, and are functionally a combination of school and prison. They attempt to emulate the high standards of established military boarding schools in the hope that a strict structured environment can reform these children. This may or may not be true. However, this should not reflect on the long and distinguished history of military schools; their associations are traditionally those of high academic achievement, with solid college preparatory curriculums, schooling in the military arts, and considerably esteemed graduates.
Popular culture sometimes shows parents threatening to send unruly children off to military school.
Private college-prep military schools
- Admiral Farragut Academy (St. Petersburg, Florida; coeducational)
- Army and Navy Academy (Carlsbad, California)
- Camden Military Academy (Camden, South Carolina)
- Chamberlain-Hunt Academy (Port Gibson, Mississippi; coeducational)
- Culver Military Academy (Culver, Indiana)
- Fishburne Military School (Waynesboro, Virginia)
- Florida Air Academy (Melbourne, Florida; coeducational from 2005)
- Fork Union Military Academy (Fork Union, Virginia)
- Hargrave Military Academy (Chatham, Virginia)
- Howe Military School (Howe, Indiana; coeducational)
- Lyman Ward Military Academy (Camp Hill, Alabama)
- Marine Military Academy (Harlingen, Texas)
- Marion Military Institute (Marion, Alabama; coeducational)
- Massanutten Military Academy (Woodstock, Virginia; coeducational)
- Missouri Military Academy (Mexico, Missouri)
- New Mexico Military Institute (Roswell, New Mexico; coeducational)
- New York Military Academy (Cornwall on Hudson, New York; coeducational)
- Oak Ridge Military Academy (Oak Ridge, North Carolina; coeducational)
- Randolph-Macon Academy (Front Royal, Virginia; coeducational)
- Riverside Military Academy (Gainesville, Georgia)
- Robert Land Academy (Wellandport, Ontario)
- St. John's Military School (Salina, Kansas)
- St. John's Northwestern Military Academy (Delafield, Wisconsin)
- Staunton Military Academy (Staunton, Virginia)
- Valley Forge Military Academy and College (Wayne, Pennsylvania)
- Wentworth Military Academy (Lexington, Missouri; coeducational)
Public military schools
- Carver Military Academy (Chicago, Illinois)
- Chicago Military Academy (Chicago, Illinois)
- Forestville Military Academy (Forestville, Maryland)
- Franklin Military Academy (Richmond, Virginia)
- Toole Military Magnet Academy (Charleston Heights, South Carolina)
Fictional military schools
- Bunker Hill Military Academy, from the movie Taps (IMDB link here:  (http://imdb.com/title/tt0083169/combined)). Note: filmed at Valley Forge Military Academy, see above for link.
- Davidson Military Academy, from the movie Damien: Omen II. It was filmed at Northwestern Military Academy and St. John's Military Academy (now merged as St. John's Northwestern Military Academy). Northwestern was founded by Harlan Page Davidson.
- Kent Military School, from the movie Child's Play 3, 1991. Note: filmed at Kemper Military School and College, Boonville, Mo. This school closed in 2002.
- Rommelwood Military Academy in The Secret War of Lisa Simpson episode of The Simpsons.
A college level military academy is an institute of higher learning of things military. It is part of a larger system of military education and training institutions. The primary educational goal at military academies is to provide a high quality education that includes significant coursework and training in the fields of military tactics and military strategy. The amount of non-military coursework varies by both the institution and the country, and the amount of practical military experience gained varies as well.
Military academies may or may not grant university degrees. In the U.S., graduates have a major field of study, earning a Bachelor's degree in that subject just as at other universities. However, in British academies, the graduate does not achieve a university degree, since the whole of the one-year course is dedicated to military training.
There are two kinds of military academies: public (government-run) and private.
- Government academy graduates are typically commissioned as officers in the country's military. The new officers usually have an obligation to serve for a certain number of years. In some countries (e.g. Britain) all military officers train at the appropriate academy, whereas in others (e.g. the United States) only a percentage do and the academies are seen as prestigious institutions within the forces.
- Private academy graduates have no requirement to join the military after graduation, although some schools may have a high rate of graduate military service.
Private college-level military academies (United States)
- The Citadel (Charleston, South Carolina; state-supported)
- Marion Military Institute (Marion, Alabama; two-year junior college)
- New Mexico Military Institute (Roswell, New Mexico; two-year junior college)
- Norwich University (Northfield, Vermont; oldest private military college in the United States)
- Texas A&M University (College Station, Texas; state-supported)
- Valley Forge Military Academy and College (Wayne, Pennsylvania; two-year transfer college; male only)
- Virginia Military Institute (Lexington, Virginia; state-supported)
- Virginia Tech (Blacksburg, Virginia; state-supported)
- Wentworth Military Academy (Lexington, Missouri; two-year junior college)
Government-run higher-level military academies
- Finnish National Defence College
- École Spéciale Militaire de Saint-Cyr - Coëtquidan
- École Navale
- École de l'Air
- École Polytechnique (though still under military management and with most undergraduate students military cadets, is not a military academy any more)
- Norwegian Army War Academy - Oslo
- Royal Norwegian Air Force War Academy - Trondheim
- Royal Norwegian Naval War Academy - Bergen
Fictional military academies