The Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science


The Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science is located in Bowling Green, Kentucky on the Western Kentucky University Campus. It is a co-educational institution that was founded in 2007; its director is Mr. Tim Gott. The program was created for gifted high school juniors and seniors with a focus on the STEM disciplines of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. Students generally take courses with the wider University population although some courses are restricted to Academy students only. The program is co-educational and residential. The Academy enrolls approximately 60 boys and 60 girls, admitting roughly 66 students a year for a general population of 120. Students do not receive any degrees, however they do receive 60 college credits, which generally transfer to the university where they continue their education. All of their students continue their secondary education upon completion of the Academy at prestigious universities across the country.


The Academy is a completely residential program; students are required to live on campus. All tuition and room and board are covered by the State of Kentucky. Students are only expected to pay for books, travel expenses and incidentals. All students who are interested in applying to the program must be in their sophomore year of high school at the time, and must have completed Geometry, Algebra I and Algebra II by the end of their sophomore year. Students must also submit either an SAT or an ACT score, and their grades must indicate that they are ready for work at the college level. The average ACT score of incoming students is 28.8. The Academy accepts 24% of its applicants.


Students take courses with the wider Western Kentucky University population, however some of the courses are for Academy students only. Roughly 75% of the Academy students engage in a one on one research project with a professor every year. These projects are diverse, examples are: the study of genome viruses, studying wildlife in the Mammoth Cave region and the study of solar cells for use in solar energy. Each student is required to take 12 STEM courses during their time at the Academy. Three to four in Math, five in science, including lab, at least one from every major discipline: biology, physics, chemistry and computer science; three to five STEM elective courses: agriculture, architecture, astronomy, biology, chemistry, computer science, engineering, geography, geology, health sciences, manufacturing, mathematics, meteorology, and/or physics. Students must then take two English courses as well as complete the pre-college requirements as mandated by the State of Kentucky: History 119 Western Civilization to 1649 (3 Hours), History 120 Western Civilization Since 1649 (3 Hours), History 241 United States History Since 1865 (3 Hours), Political Science 110-American National Government (3 Hours), Physical Education 100-Health and Wellness (3 Hours), Art 100-Art Appreciation (3 Hours), Music 120-Music Appreciation (3 Hours), and a foreign Language (Chinese, French, German, Ancient Greek, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, and Spanish).


Students are housed in a dorm that is separate from the general WKU population. The dorms are co-ed, but floors separate the genders and they are only allowed to mix in common areas. The students have a curfew and there are quiet hours to ensure that students have adequate time to study and sleep. The Academy has a yearbook committee as well as Prom and there are multitudes of student organizations, from the Anima Club to Habitat for Humanity. Academy students are also allowed to participate in WKU intramural sports. Students have access to the health and activities center on campus and all of the courses that are offered there including aerobics, yoga and dance.


The Academy utilizes Print, traditional media outreach and some television to advertise their program. There is web and social media outreach as well. 99% of the students explore the Kentucky Academy website at some point, therefore that is the first line of marketing for the program. They also utilize Facebook; current and prospective students use the Facebook page to ask questions about the Academy. The Academy works with a variety of publications throughout the state utilizing various periodicals, educational, general and business. Most of the media that the Academy releases focuses on the student experience to give prospective students an idea of the community that they will be joining. There are pre-view weekends and information sessions throughout the state.