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"I didn't spend six years in evil medical school to be called "mister", thank you very much."
Dr. Evil, Austin Powers II

This is a school that teaches their students how to be better villains. There will be courses on mayhem, extortion, use of powers for evil, money laundering and many other topics. Usually the school will be a strictly evil institution that is staffed entirely with Sadist Teachers and directed by the Principal / Big Bad. Despite this rigid order much of the rules have two big caveats: Might Makes Right, and the teachers won't punish cheating—rather, they'll punish getting caught because it's a sign of sloppy work.

Presumably, such a school is funded by graduates tithing back money to the principal, though he or she may get funding from parents who enroll their children because they want their kids to follow their evil jackboot-steps.

To be fair, Dark Is Not Evil, and the Academy Of Evil may just be suffering from a bad reputation. In this case it will at worst be teaching the Dark Off-Grey Arts and fomenting Ambition Is Evil and Guile Hero in the student body. Speaking of which, expect it to have a near Darwinian social scene that makes most prisons seem like a Sugar Bowl. Alpha Bitch won't just badmouth you, she'll have her Girl Posse cut you up and sell you for parts to the Mad Scientist-in-training.

If there is a good aligned Wizarding School, Ninja School, or Super-Hero School, expect them both to be rivals. May overlap with All-Ghouls School. This will most likely be were villains get their Morally Ambiguous Doctorates.

Examples of Academy of Evil include:

Anime And Manga

  • The eponymous institution in Hollow Fields is a school for mad scientists, with courses in graverobbing, building machines of destruction, and so forth.

Comic Books

  • Alan Moore did a 2000 AD gag strip based on one of these for Ming-style Space Opera bad guys.
  • The Praetorian Academy in PS238.
  • Xavier's School for Exceptionally Wayward Youth in X-Men Noir is a reform school... but Professor Xavier taught his students how to be better criminals rather than actually reforming them. He insists this was a ploy to gain their trust so they would gradually open up to him and therapy could begin in earnest. In reality, he was developing and studying them to prove his theory that sociopathy is the next stage of human behavioral evolution.
  • In mainstream X-Men continuity, Emma Frost used to be headmistress of the Massachusetts Academy—a front for the Hellfire Club that produced the Hellions, rivals to the then-Xavier Institute student body, the New Mutants. When Emma had her Heel Face Turn, the Massachusetts Academy became a Super-Hero School, the front for Generation X.
    • In the more recent New Mutants title, the Hellions were another "house" within the Xavier Institute, but still kind of villain-y and rivals to the New Mutants team.
  • Oft mentioned in Justice League International was the Manga Khan School of Melodrama, which taught students how to talk like a villain.
  • In the Marvel Universe, any institution run by Taskmaster is this - he first came to prominence running schools for henchmen of other supervillains. Later, during Dark Reign, he was in charge of The Initiative for a while. He's so good at what he does that the government sometimes hires him to train their operatives, including a replacement Captain America.
  • St. Hadrian's Finishing School for Girls in Batman Incorporated: Leviathan Strikes.
  • Villain Academy in Sentai School.




  • Catherine Jinks's Evil Genius Trilogy sends its protagonist, the Sociopathic Hero Cadel, to the Axis Institute, which includes courses like "Poisoning" and "Forgery."
  • The Higher Institute of Villainous Education, or H.I.V.E.
  • From Harry Potter: Durmstrang, where people are said to be taught the Dark Arts instead of fighting against them is likely this. Grindelwald, Dumbledore's arch-nemesis comes from here.
    • Not quite played straight, since we do meet Durmstrang alumni who are definitely not evil and take a hard stand against evil (Viktor Krum comes to mind right away) and this isn't shown as being very odd. And even Durmstrang had to draw the line and expel Gellert Grindelwald, where a school that really played this trope straight would probably have nurtured him.
      • Given that Durmstrang is the only school we ever see in canon for children from the Nordic countries or eastern Europe, not having at least a few of them be good guys could have had some seriously unfortunate implications.
    • The entirety of Hogwarts in Book 7 when it's being run by the Death Eaters- they change the curriculum to be all-evil, all the time.
  • There is a "Shadow Academy" in the Star Wars Expanded Universe, as a Dark Side counterpart to the Jedi Academy.
  • The Nightmoore Academy of Frank Peretti's Veritas Project series.
  • The Wheel of Time has Mesana opening a lot of those during The age of legends, and its pupils were not dedicated to idle cackling.
  • Played with in Discworld with the Assassins' Guild School, which while it does still teach the art of assassination, is also considered a prestigious academy for gentlemen and, as of recently, ladies. Another Academy of Evil is discussed in Sourcery, though it may not actually exist:

 Of course, all Grand Viziers talk like that all the time. There's probably a school somewhere.

  • Dracula is mentioned to have studied at the 'Scholomance' - presumably the same one from the folklore section above. Freda Warrington's unofficial sequel has the now-abandoned Scholomance play a big role in the plot.
  • Bekinsop's Academy for the Daughters of Gentlefolk in Blonde Genius by J. T. Edson.

Video Games

  • The Academy of Evil, from Crash Twinsanity, a private school that literally teaches students to be evil, for the sake of being evil. The series' antagonist, Dr. Neo Cortex studied here, while his niece was thrown out and had to continue her studies at the Evil Public School.
  • The Institute of Evil, Nether Academy - the setting of Disgaea 3 Absence of Justice. It's literally a school in hell, where demons go to learn how to be properly evil (By their generally awkward standards). Also doubles as a Bizarro World, since honor students are the ones who never attend class or do their homework, while delinquents maintain 100% attendance (even though the teachers rarely bother showing up), and give THEMSELVES homework (which they always complete) since the teachers won't. They also pick up litter. Oddly, the so-called "delinquents" are the only ones who ever get to graduate from the academy, since they run off the same standards as any other school in that regard... In fact, the previously mentioned delinquents are the first ones to ever graduate, which amounts to be Kicked Upstairs. You see, the Academy's objective is to make the students remain paying the tuition for all the eternity.
  • Scholomance in World of Warcraft.
  • The Sith Academies on Korriban and Malachor V in Knights of the Old Republic I and II, respectively. The former encourages backstabbing and killing your fellow students and even teachers to gnaw your way to the top.

Web Comics

Web Original

  • The Round Robin story Dark Heart High uses one as a setting.
  • Deville Academy, in the Whateley Universe, is a school that takes in poor, young delinquents... and turns them into the best thieves, spies, and killers on the planet. Except for those mutant supervillains.
  • The SCP Foundation frequently has to deal with SCPs created by Alexylva University, a mind control-obsessed organization from an Alternate Universe.
  • The play by post roleplay Destine Enormity has SIN Academy, where the city's overlords indoctrinate the city's children.

Western Animation