Coaches & School Administration

Ready to start an Academic Decathlon or Academic Pentathlon team? Both programs are aligned with National Standards and Alaska’s Educational Challenge and provide small group learning opportunities. Plus the USAD curriculum is ready to go — all you need is a coach + students + the curriculum to start the fun!

Alaska Academic Decathlon Program Information

Academic Decathlon is a state and national team competition that challenges students to strive for academic excellence. The program can be offered as an elective or as an after-school, extracurricular activity. The Academic Decathlon is considered one of the premier scholastic competitions for high school students and requires extensive reading to prepare for the ten events. Students are expected to participate in all events and are not allowed to specialize in any given subject area. 

What is a team?

Academic Decathlon teams consist of three students from each category (Honors, Scholastic and Varsity) and up to two alternate team members. 

United States Academic Decathlon Categories and GPA Requirements:

Honor: 3.80-4.00 GPA

Scholastic: 3.20-3.799 GPA

Varsity: 0.00-3.199 GPA

How do I recruit students?

We will have fliers and other marketing material to help you recruit students. We suggest reaching out to guidance counselors and other teachers within your district to help identify students who would enjoy the program. Once you have a few students interested, let them help with the recruitment process!


Alaska Academic Decathlon Participation Fee (including participation at the State Competition): $575 per team.

Curriculum Costs: Each team must use the United States Academic Decathlon curriculum. New teams are eligible to receive the online version of the curriculum at no cost. Curriculum costs can vary from $700 to $1500. 

Regionals and State Competitions: Regional events are organized by individual schools/coaches and can be online or in person. All new teams will be invited to participate in regional events that typically occur in December and January. An online scrimmage takes place in January (please check the calendar on this website for dates).

The four-day State Competition will take place on the University of Alaska Anchorage campus February 21-24, 2024. Teams are responsible for their own travel and accommodation costs for the State Competition.

Nationals: Alaska’s Academic Decathlon State Champions are invited to participate in the United States National Competition, April 25-27 in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania.

This is the year to start a team!
  • Coaches are supported with shared resources and monthly webinars.
  • Free Decathlon (high school) and Pentathlon (middle school) online curriculum to new teams.
  • We’ll provide recruiting tools to entice students to join your team that let them know about scholarship opportunities, medals, trophies and the chance to represent Alaska at National Competitions.
  • We award a combined total of $49,000 in scholarships every year

Alaska Academic Pentathlon Program Information - Middle School

The rapidly-growing Academic Pentathlon program allows middle school students a chance to start experiencing the benefits of Academic Decathlon® before entering high school. Here in Alaska, the Academic Pentathlon fosters a greater respect for knowledge, promotes inter-school academic competition, and further develops student communication skills.

Each student experiences the decathlon challenges of rigorous team and individual competition in five events: 

  • Literature
  • Mathematics
  • Fine Arts
  • Science 
  • Social Science

Prior to regional and state competitions, students will write an essay. Forty percent of the overall Literature grade will be based on student essays - an excellent opportunity for students to not only demonstrate what they learned but how powerfully they can present an idea!

If students decide to pursue college credit for the class, their school must register their Academic Decathlon team by the set deadline (see calendar). Along with your expectations, they will also have to meet the criteria of the college class that will include guest speakers and other material related to the Academic Decathlon theme.

What constitutes a team?

Pentathlon teams consist of a maximum of nine team members and a minimum of six team members in grades 6–8. Each team must consist of at least two students from each GPA category: honor (3.8-4.00), scholastic (3.2-3.799) and varsity (0.0-3.199).

State and National Competition Information

All teams will be eligible to participate in Alaska Academic Pentathlon State Scrimmages and the State Competition, an online event. Medals are awarded for the State Scrimmage. Trophies, medals and $12,000 in scholarships are awarded at the State Competition. Alaska’s winning team will represent Alaska in the U.S. Academic Pentathlon National Competition. 

All Pentathlon competitions (except for the national competition) take place online in a virtual testing environment so there is no in-state travel required for teams! 


Alaska Academic Pentathlon Participation Fee: $300 per team (includes testing fees, medals, trophies and an opportunity for students to earn scholarships powered by Alaska 529).

State Competition: The Alaska Academic Pentathlon State Competition is an online event. Trophies and medals will be awarded via an online award ceremony and shipped to coaches within ten days of the event.

Nationals: Alaska’s Academic Pentathlon State Champions are invited to participate in the United States National Competition (location and date to be announced).

Register an Academic Pentathlon Team

Recruit your team