The heart of Baylor School is the academic program, which aims to provide every student with:
- Intellectual challenge and thorough preparation for further study.
- The ability to think critically and express oneself clearly in speaking and in writing.
- A firm grounding in knowledge of nature, history, and the human heart.
- An understanding of American institutions and the skills for participation in a free-market economy.
- Preparation for global citizenship, responsibility for the environment, an appreciation of cultural diversity, and the command of a second language.
OUR PRIMARY OBJECTIVE
Preparation for college is a primary objective of the Upper School program, and the intellectual rigor and variety of opportunities for all students provides a foundation for future academic success.
- Baylor’s mission is to foster in its students both the ability and the desire to make a positive difference in the world.
- Building on our fundamental principles of honor and continuing the Baylor tradition of adapting in a constantly changing world, we commit ourselves to best prepare students for the university and the true business of life. We recognize our differences, respect the dignity of all, and invite the distinct contributions of every member of the Baylor Community.
- Baylor is a college preparatory school that engages, challenges, and inspires each student, in every class, every day.
- Baylor cultivates confident leaders who build community and uphold the highest standards of character.
- The students of Baylor School believe that a great school must of necessity rest on the foundations of truth and honor and that truth is the greatest virtue one may possess. The Honor System is a solemn and voluntary obligation on the part of the Baylor student body to live by the highest standards of truth and honor and pledge themselves not to lie, cheat, or falsify information.
Computer Science continues to integrate itself into many disciplines and professions, as well as being a unique field of study unto itself. Students interested in studying engineering, design, business, physical sciences, or medicine in college will benefit greatly from these courses, but emerging technologies and techniques in fields as diverse as art and sports make understanding computers, programming, and logic generally applicable. The ability to analyze problems and formulate algorithms to solve those problems is fundamental to Baylor's computer science program. A hands-on approach grounded in sound theory and design is used throughout the curriculum. Students work individually or collaborate in pairs or teams as projects dictate. Finally, we always consider the ethical aspects of computing as we strive to impart skills that enable students to make a positive difference.
Computer Science Requirements: Computer Science courses are all electives and are not required for graduation
Computer Courses lasting a semester
Computer Science I: Introduction to Computer Science
This introductory course focuses on learning the fundamentals of programming and developing logically sound and efficient solutions to problems. Students learn the Swift programming language and use Xcode to explore computer graphics, text processing, and simple game programming along with relevant mathematical skills and computational reasoning.
AP Computer Science Principles
This semester-long course introduces concepts and computational thinking practices central to disciplines of computer science. Through modern programming languages such as Swift and Python, the students focus on creativity, abstraction, data analysis, algorithm development and expression, and networking. Alongside these foundational elements of computer science, students also explore innovations in related fields, as well as the ethical implications of new computing technologies. CS I is a recommended prerequisite, but students may enter pending demonstrated knowledge/experience and permission from an instructor.
English teachers at Baylor enjoy a good deal of freedom to shape each class to best serve the students in that class. The department works for coherence in the program through common texts at each grade level, a common list of correction symbols, a department style sheet, a sequence of literary terms emphasized at each level, a series of tests in grammar and composition, vocabulary study in all four years, and an annual grade-wide contest in each of the upper school grades. English I (the freshman course) and English II build essential skills while exposing students to a wide range of literature and composition. Teachers of these courses work to reinforce connections with the world history courses. English
English Requirements: Four credits are required. Students must take a full year of English at each grade level.
English I: Ninth Grade
English I is the first year of a two-year study of world literature. Students acquire essential skills in writing and critical reading. Through a wide variety of writing assignments, students begin to develop a clear expression of thought as they write narrative, persuasive and expository essays. They seek to build critical reading skills through a study of multiple genres, including fiction, nonfiction, drama, and poetry. In addition, students regularly study vocabulary. In preparation for assessments in grammar and writing in the spring, they also study grammar throughout the year. Finally, all students participate in a grade-wide writing and oration contest.
Students admitted to honors sections have demonstrated enthusiasm and dedication and proven themselves capable grammarians, avid readers, and skilled writers. As a result, they cover the material of English I at a rapid pace. Honors students write essays, poetry, and nonfiction. In addition to the common English I texts, they study at least one novel, complete a poetry unit, and read an assortment of short stories. Departmental approval is required for enrollment.
English II: Tenth Grade
In the second year of the exploration of world literature, students in English II continue to read a variety of genres. Students also hone their abilities to write clearly and with more complexity as they tackle a wide variety of assignments, including persuasive writing, literary analysis, narratives, and a short version of a TED Talk, the grade-wide contest. Vocabulary study extends throughout the year, and students are assessed on their grammar skills with an eye towards preparation for the variety of standardized tests they will be taking in the coming years. Students hone class discussion skills, emphasizing how to analyze elements such as author intent, voice and tone while developing greater depth as critical readers.
English II: AP English-Language
This course follows the outline of English II, but adds rigorous preparation for the Advanced Placement English Examination in Language and Composition, which focuses on the analysis of nonfiction, especially persuasion. Students read and analyze fiction and nonfiction with an eye for rhetoric. The reading and writing workload is intensive, and students maintain a demanding reading and writing schedule. Departmental approval is required for enrollment.
English III: American Literature
The American Literature course exposes students to the scope and variety of the literature of the United States. Students read and write about a wide range of texts from different genres: nonfiction, fiction, drama, and poetry. Typical readings range from important documents in U.S. history to slave narratives to the poetry of Dickinson, Whitman, Frost, and others to plays such as The Crucible and Doubt to such novels as The Great Gatsby, All the King's Men, The Things They Carried, and The Round House. In addition, students produce a variety of writing: analytical, personal, creative, as well as research-based. All students participate in the Poetry Out Loud contest, engage in individualized vocabulary study via the online Membean site, and review grammatical concepts in preparation for standardized testing.
English III: AP English-Literature
To the work of English III, this course adds rigorous preparation for the Advanced Placement English Examination in Literature and Composition, which focuses on the analysis of poetry and prose fiction. Students read closely, analyze carefully, and write gracefully about a wide range of literature--fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and drama. Students maintain a demanding and fast-paced reading and writing schedule and gain experience working on elements of the standard AP Literature Exam, including multiple choice practice tests. Departmental approval is required for enrollment.
English IV: General
The semester-long courses in the senior year all emphasize a broader awareness of the increasingly global nature of the literary world. Students must take at least one English course in each semester of the senior year. The reading lists for each semester include prose (nonfiction and fiction), poetry, and drama. Each course presents works composed both in English and in translation from a variety of literary traditions. In order to prepare students for the demands of college-level composition, writing assignments include expository, analytical, creative, personal, and editorial writing. Each course in the spring semester includes a research project modeled on the types of assignments typical in post-secondary classes.
English IV: African-American Literature
This course explores the work of African American novelists, poets, musicians and essayists in search of a deeper understanding of the experiences of people of African descent living in the United States. Students discuss the variety of representations of African American culture in books, movies, and mass media, and students work to develop an awareness of the ways in which history has shaped works by and about African Americans.
English IV: Contemporary Literature
As sales of genre fiction far outpace sales of literary fiction, one has to wonder what draws people to read books for fun. The course examines popular works from myriad perspectives, treating them as actual literature that has found an audience. Ultimately, investigators seek to understand the relationship between fiction, non-fiction and the cultures from which they emerge.
English IV: Identity and Society in Literature
Identity and Society in Literature examines the writings of minority groups as they struggle to use narratives, poems and essays to achieve self-definition. Centering on the theme of identity through ethnicity, socio-economic status, race, sex and sexual orientation, this course will study the boxes that the majority in a society creates and from which minority groups seek to escape.
English IV: Literary Classics
Literary Classics focuses on "great books" of the canon, examining why they are great and what has allowed them to stand the test of time. The course also examines the world views that these books espouse and evaluate the relevance of such views and philosophies in a modern, globalized world.
English IV: Literature of Medicine
The field of medicine provides fertile ground for stories that examine the intersection of literature, illness, wellness, and the human condition. Literature of Medicine includes, for instance, unique stories from medical professionals who balance triumph and tragedy daily and from authors, poets, and playwrights who seek to share the complex lives of characters who experience illnesses. The course also relies upon various written materials – essays, memoir, novels, plays, short stories, and poems – to explore further these doctors’ and patients’ experiences with illnesses and recoveries.
English IV: Modernism in American Literature
This class explores the ways in which the work of William Faulkner is representative of the Modernism movement within American literature. Readings include Absalom, Absalom!, Go Down, Moses, Sanctuary, and at least two of Faulkner’s short stories before, between and after each of the novels. The readings address themes such as alienation, fragmentation, and experimentation. Students are expected to read and discuss the texts and write essays that address issues raised by the texts within the context of their own personal experience.
English IV: Travel Literature
From fear to possibility to exhilaration, the art of travel rarely fails to lead to discovery. This course surveys a variety of books and essays written by travelers. Students study the works of some of the great travel writers while evaluating current articles hot off the press. Local and global authors lead students to find a sense of place and develop an eye for detail.
English IV: Wilderness Literature
The natural world is at the same time the greatest reflection of Man's truest self and of his absolute other. For some, Nature is the mother, and it is humanity's obligation "to cultivate and to keep" her. For others, Nature is the wild, and society's challenge is "to rule over and subdue" it. In reading the works of authors who depict humanity's various encounters with the wild, students examine the attempt to conquer Nature and the self.
English IV: Women's Literature
This course explores the relationship between gender and power, a connection that often intersects with issues of class, race, religion, geography, or other identity markers. Students follow the journeys of fictional female protagonists, read about the experiences of women from diverse backgrounds, and investigate what issues of gender look like in their local communities and their own lives.
All English electives are semester-long courses. Please note that these courses do not fulfill the English requirement.
Introduction to Digital Narratives
We are all storytellers, and while the instruments of storytelling may have changed, the fundamental art has not. The narrative remains one of the most compelling and persuasive tools we have for expressing ourselves. Students analyze the elements of a compelling story and, at the same time, explore new 21st-century modes of delivery. Incorporating interactive multimedia story maps, timelines, podcasts, and investigative journalism, students gain fluency in several cutting-edge software platforms and learn how to capture, sculpt, and combine sound through the creation of evocative and compelling true stories for radio and internet. From interview techniques to sound design and post-production, instruction covers all the necessary skills for independently producing content for podcasts and digital media outlets.
Introduction to Film Production
This course serves as an introduction to the basic techniques and stages involved in the creation of film. Students begin their study by rotating roles within teams of four, learning a new technical stage of the process with each new project. Each individual learns the basics of cinematography, sound design, directing, and editing, as well as how to write scripts according to industry standards. To complete the course, each student creates an independent project, combining the various skills that have been acquired in the team training.
The Fine Arts at Baylor are hands-on experiences that integrate history, problem solving, communication skills, and independent thinking. Drawing, printmaking, pottery, sculpture, computer graphics and painting are all offered as part of our fine arts curriculum. Voice and diction, piano, band, string orchestra, and concert choir are among our musical course offerings. Students interested in music also have the opportunity to perform in string ensemble, concert choir, concert band, and brass ensemble. Plays and dance recitals give students hands-on experience in the technical and artistic aspects of performing. Students can also select media studies courses that include video production, photography, computer graphics and video editing.
Fine Arts Requirements: One credit is required. Students may earn that credit by taking either one course that lasts for a year or two courses lasting one semester each. Note: All studio art courses are one semester.
Studio Art Courses lasting a semester
2D / 3D Art + Design
This 2D / 3D multimedia course teaches students to use software, hardware, and tools to create works of art and design. These skills provide a strong sculptural and design foundation for work in any other upper school studio art course. Projects range from product design, textiles, patterning to hand carving clay, and plaster. This course provides an excellent foundation for students that want to take “Sculpture” or "AP Studio Art."
Choreography and Dance Studies
In this course, students study major choreographers throughout dance history while exploring choreographic skills needed to compose a dance. The course is a combination of lecture/discussion and movement. Students learn about influential choreographers through lectures and watching films. The composition component of the course is presented in a lab environment with time provided to explore and discuss concepts, approaches, and methods of the dance-making process. Students create and perform choreographic assignments and participate in the critiquing of other students' work. This course helps students expand their knowledge and expressive range while increasing their potential as dancers and artists.
This course introduces a variety of drawing materials: graphite, charcoal, pen and ink, compressed charcoal pastels, and oil sticks. Working from live models, still life, the interior, and landscape, students use gesture, contour, and value studies to develop skills for accurately rendering form and space. As proficiency increases, the more personal aspects of students’ drawing are encouraged.
This course covers the basics of drawing, painting, printmaking and design. It is as an introduction to the following media: pencil, pastel, watercolor, paint pen, pen and ink and printmaking. It is an excellent foundation for further exploration in the Drawing, Painting, and Intermediate Studio classes.
Students explore a range of painting media. The focus of the course is on using the sight-size method of drawing an object exactly as it appears to the artist, on a one-to-one scale. Students complete several works in different media.
Intermediate Drawing and Painting
This class encourages students to pursue their interests as they investigate traditional and contemporary approaches to the human figure, still life, and abstraction. A variety of materials are used including oil paint, acrylic, printmaking, and photo transfer. The artwork created in this class can be used for the AP Drawing or Design portfolio.
Design: Form and Function
Students in this course are introduced to the techniques of the craft of woodworking. Emphasis is placed on the safe and practical use of tools and materials, a good working knowledge of architectural standards, and an understanding of the process from design to finished piece.
This course is an introduction to hand building and throwing on the wheel. Students develop skills in forming, firing, and glazing pottery of their own design. Class is held in the Ireland Fine Arts Center, where each student has an individual wheel. Highlights include the Japanese method of Raku and throwing on the wheel.
This course covers the design and production of wheel-thrown pottery in stoneware. Hand building, using contemporary techniques, is incorporated as well. Mixing glazes and firing technology round out the course. One semester of pottery is a prerequisite. Students keep a journal containing sketches and articles about the techniques of other artists.
Independent Tutorial in Visual Art
This is an opportunity for a student to work with a member of the department in which they share a common interest. Open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors by permission of the Department Head.
Theater Courses lasting a semester
Theater 100: Improvisation and Acting for the Stage
This acting class focuses on developing skills in concentration, voice and speech, movement, improvisation, and creation of characters for the stage. This training leads to the production of improvisational scenes and performance projects including a scene from a scripted play and individual monologues.
Theater 200: Scene Study and Performance
This course is designed for students who have an interest in theater and performance and would like to continue their training and technique. The class ensemble will choose and stage a series of one-act plays and monologues to be presented in found spaces around campus, with a culminating performance in the Roddy Performing Arts Center at the end of the semester. Prerequisite: Theater 100.
Theater 300: Advanced Acting and Theater Production
Theater 300 provides students with an opportunity to continue to develop their acting skills and to learn and implement basic directing skills. This course is a continuation of Theater 200 and meets concurrently with Theater 200. Students in Theater 300 will take a leadership role in selecting plays and planning the ensemble's performances and will direct their peers in one act plays to be presented in found spaces around campus, and in a culminating performance in the Roddy Performing Arts Center at the end of the semester. Prerequisite: Theater 100 and 200.
Media Courses lasting a semester
This course develops one's visual awareness and ability to analyze images from the media arts of our 21st century: photography, film, advertising, TV, and the Internet. The scope of the course is wide-ranging. It covers media as history, politics, public opinion, and behavioral modification, and it focuses on how non-verbal communication is a pervasive and effective means of reaching people.
This course teaches students to develop creative and meaningful imagery through the use of a digital camera and post-processing tools such as Adobe Photoshop. Students learn various photographic and post-processing techniques, as well as how to "read" and critique images while building a portfolio that serves as the final exam for the course. Students should have daily use of a digital camera.
Digital Design I
This course focuses on developing design skills primarily through Adobe Photoshop. Students learn how to use design applications for digital production for fine art images and web design, as well as a tool for making tactile art. Through this process, students hone their artistic voice, create original artworks, and express their artistic view of the world.
Music Courses lasting a year
This course includes the preparation and performance of vocal music in a choral ensemble setting. Students work individually and together in rehearsal to prepare music for performance in a variety of settings, including programs in the Baylor community and beyond campus. Performances include on-campus events, community appearances, adjudicated festivals, and an annual regional tour. Repertoire includes classical choral literature, modern songs, musical theater, new works, and pieces from standard men's and women's choir repertoire. Evaluation is determined by daily performance and participation, vocal development, music theory, and written evaluations. Enrollment is open to any student regardless of ability or experience.
This course introduces students to the performance of wind band music. Students work in class rehearsals to prepare a variety of repertoire for performances in the Baylor community and beyond such as pep band events, the fall Holiday Concert, the spring tour, the Spring Concert, and the Solo and Ensemble Recital. Evaluation is based on preparation for and participation in rehearsals and performances in addition to written evaluations. Students who enroll need at least one year of woodwind, brass, or percussion experience, though some beginning players can be accommodated with the permission of the instructor.
Orchestra is a year-long course. All students from beginner to advanced with an interest in playing string instruments (violin, viola, cello, bass) are encouraged to participate. Emphasis is placed on instrumental technique, tone and intonation, rhythmic accuracy, fundamentals of music theory and ear training, and the intricacies of ensemble playing. Daily rehearsals lead to performances within the Baylor community and beyond. Evaluation is based on demonstrated daily class preparation/participation, monthly playing assessments, and responsible participation in all orchestra activities and events. Generally, the orchestra performs a Holiday Concert in November or December and a Spring Concert in May. In the spring, if scheduling allows, the orchestra participates in a festival and travels with the band.
Music Courses lasting a semester
AP Studio Art
This is a course for mature and talented students experienced in drawing and design skills. Students work at a high rate of speed, producing work to be evaluated by the AP graders. Significant time and the commitment to produce twenty-four works of art are required. Departmental approval is required for enrollment.
AP Art 3-D
The 3-D portfolio is intended to address a broad interpretation of sculptural issues in depth and space. These may include mass, volume, form, plane, light, and texture. Such elements and concepts may be articulated through additive, subtractive, and/or fabrication processes. Examples of approaches include traditional sculpture, architectural models, ceramics, and three dimensional fiber arts. Departmental approval is required for enrollment.
The ability to reason and analyze with mathematical skills and techniques is central to Baylor’s philosophy. Baylor recognizes the importance of understanding mathematical concepts in multiple ways in order to develop methods to handle familiar and unfamiliar problems. The ability to convey mathematical understanding analytically, orally, in writing and through collaborative processes is also an important part of a mathematics education. Baylor further recognizes the importance of integrating available technology into its mathematics curriculum at every grade level and the importance of graphing calculators in mathematics instruction (the Texas Instruments TI-84+ and TI-84+C graphing calculators are used in all classes).
Mathematics Requirements: Four credits are required. Students must take a full year of Mathematics at each grade level.
This course in first-year algebra stresses the use of symbols to represent variable quantities, patterns in data, techniques for manipulating algebraic expressions with exponents, and methods for solving equations and inequalities. The emphasis is on linear relationships and linear functions. Graphical representations and applications to problem-solving are ulitized throughout the course. The graphing calculator is used to enhance the understanding of functions.
This is a course in plane geometry with additional topics in solid geometry, analytic geometry, coordinate geometry, and transformations. Deductive reasoning is used to build concepts of points, lines, planes, parallelism, congruence, and similarity. While being introduced to methods of proof and critical thinking within a logical system, students learn how to solve problems within two-dimensional and three-dimensional models.
Geometry Honors covers the outline of Geometry in greater detail and at a faster pace and includes additional topics not covered in regular sections. Increased emphasis is placed on solid geometry and on more elaborate proofs. The honors class is offered to highly motivated students who have excelled in Algebra I and who have demonstrated the ability to do advanced work in their previous math classes. Departmental approval is required for enrollment.
This course advances the understanding of functions and algebraic models for problem solving. Topics include linear and non-linear systems, the real number system and its properties, quadratic and higher order polynomial functions, rational functions, functions with rational exponents, and basic statistics, and probability theory. Students are presented with a wide variety of problem-solving techniques including symbolic manipulation and graphical analyses, which are complemented by use of the graphing calculator.
Algebra II with Trigonometry
Building upon a mastery of Algebra I, this course deepens the study of linear and non-linear systems. Topics include real and complex numbers, quadratic and higher order polynomial functions, power, radical, and rational functions, trigonometry with the unit circle using degree measure, matrix methods, and applications in statistics and discrete mathematics. Students are presented with a wide variety of problem-solving techniques including symbolic manipulation, matrices, graphical analyses, and modeling both by hand and using the graphing calculator as a tool to aid understanding.
Algebra II Honors with Trigonometry
Algebra II Honors covers the outline of Algebra II with Trigonometry in greater detail and at a faster pace and includes additional topics normally not covered until Precalculus. Students are expected to be able to solve challenging problems that integrate geometry and algebra. Particular emphasis is placed on problems that involve applications of critical thinking. The honors section is offered to highly motivated students who have excelled in Algebra I and Geometry and who have demonstrated the ability to do advanced work in their previous math classes. Departmental approval is required for enrollment.
This course builds on concepts presented in previous math courses and is a more rigorous treatment of advanced topics from algebra and geometry. Topics include function analysis in both real and complex number systems, advanced methods in problem-solving and graphical analysis, exponential and logarithmic functions, and trigonometric function analysis using radian measure. Additional topics include sequences and series, statistical reasoning, and limit definitions of asymptotes. The graphing calculator is used to enhance the understanding of the mathematical concepts.
Precalculus Honors covers the outline of Precalculus in greater detail and at a faster pace and includes additional topics normally not covered in regular sections of Precalculus. An introduction to differential and integral calculus is presented at the end of the course to prepare students for AP Calculus. The honors section is offered to highly motivated students who have excelled in Algebra II with Trigonometry and who have demonstrated the ability to do advanced work in their previous math classes. Departmental approval is required for enrollment.
Trigonometry and Analysis
This course is designed for those who have completed Algebra II or those who can profit from additional study of trigonometry and functions. Transformations of polynomial and rational functions provide a foundation for the study of advanced functions including logarithmic, exponential, and trigonometric functions. Problem-solving techniques using applications of function analysis include prediction based on algebraic, numerical, and graphical models. A review of right triangle trigonometry leads to defining trigonometry in terms of the unit circle. The course emphasizes understanding and problem solving using the graphing calculator as a tool for discovery and conceptual understanding.
Honors Abstract Mathematics
Topics covered in this capstone course include mathematical proof as a basis for the rigor and elegance of mathematics, linear algebra and vector spaces, non-Euclidean geometries, a brief introduction to both multivariate calculus and differential equations, group theory and transformations, and graph theory. The course is designed to challenge those students whose background has included honors mathematics courses throughout high school. Students must be strong, independent, mathematical thinkers who have displayed exceptional reasoning and who express specific interest in pursuing theoretical mathematics. Prerequisite: AP Calculus BC. Permission to register for the course concomitant with AP Calculus BC may be petitioned. Registration must be approved by the Math Department Chair.
AP Courses in Mathematics
This is an Advanced Placement course that follows the syllabus prepared by the College Board. The course introduces students to the major concepts and tools for collecting, analyzing, and drawing conclusions from data, including data exploration, probability and simulation, and statistical inference. Prerequisite: Strong performance in Precalculus and approval by the department. Highly motivated students who have completed Algebra II with a strong performance and who will be taking Precalculus concurrently may also enroll in AP Statistics with departmental approval. Departmental approval is required for enrollment.
AP Calculus AB
This is an Advanced Placement course in single variable calculus that follows the syllabus prepared by the College Board. The course builds on a rigorous treatment of topics covered in Precalculus and includes differential and integral calculus with applications. Prerequisite: Strong performance in Precalculus and permission of department chair. Departmental approval is required for enrollment.
AP Calculus BC
This course covers all of the topics of the AB course in somewhat greater depth and rigor. In addition, some infinite series and vector topics are included. The course follows the College Board syllabus for Calculus BC. Prerequisite: Precalculus Honors and permission of the department chair. The Precalculus Honors requirement may be waived in unusual circumstances after approval by the department chair.
Math Courses lasting a semester.
All of these are semester-long courses. They may be taken as electives or to fulfill the requirements for mathematics.
This course in single variable calculus is intended for students who have completed Precalculus and plan to take first semester calculus in college. The course provides a firm foundation in the concepts and topics in differential calculus and prepares students for the rigorous pace of a semester course in college. Specific topics include limits, derivatives of polynomial, trigonometric, and transcendental functions, and curve sketching.
Calculus II is a course that continues the study of calculus begun in Calculus I. Extending the understanding of derivatives to integral calculus, the course provides a foundation in calculus that prepares students for a complete first semester calculus course in college. The course focuses on integral calculus and applications of integration. Specific topics include area approximations, basic integration through integration by parts, connecting derivatives and antiderivatives, and applications of integration.
Discrete Math I
This course lays the mathematical foundation for future courses in math and computer science such as data structures, algorithms, and database theory and for mathematics courses such as linear algebra, logic and set theory, and number theory. Specific topics include logical form and logical equivalence, conditional statements, valid and invalid arguments, digital logic circuits, modular arithmetic, graphs and trees. It is designed for students who have an interest in computer science and are interested in looking at math in an entirely new way. This course is designed for students who have completed Trig and Analysis. It may be taken concurrently with Precalculus.
Discrete Math II
This course focuses on reasoning and symbolic logic. It is designed for students who may want to pursue the study of computer science and/or applied mathematics in college. Students who have completed either Precalculus or Discrete Math I may take the course. Topics include direct proof, proof by counterexample, set theory, binary relations, and group theory with graphing including isomorphisms, homomorphisms, abelian groups, and Cayley digraphs.
This course in foundational mathematics addresses topics not found in a traditional precalculus sequence. Topics include elementary probability including combinatorics and Markov chains, linear systems and matrix algebra, linear programming, and financial mathematics. This course is designed for students who have completed Trig and Analysis. It may be taken concurrently with Precalculus.
This course in hands-on statistics provides a basic understanding of descriptive and inferential statistics using the TI 84+ graphing calculator. Applications of statistical concepts include graphing and data presentation, exploring types of probability distributions, and using sampling methods to both describe and make inferences about a population. These topics are taught using discovery methods through simulations, activities, and projects. This course is designed for students who have completed Trig and Analysis. It may be taken concurrently with Precalculus.
Baylor’s science curriculum is designed to help students learn how to pose meaningful questions and answer them using logic and evidence; understand how science affects their everyday lives; appreciate the wonders of nature; become more responsible, informed citizens; feel comfortable working with modern technology; and gain the background and confidence to pursue a technical degree in college if they choose. Hands-on learning, both collaborative and individual, is at the heart of our teaching. Teachers also integrate technology into the curriculum in a variety of ways so that students will be better prepared for the technological challenges that await them beyond Baylor.
Science Requirements: Three credits are required. Students may fulfill that requirement by taking biology, chemistry, and physics. Students who have demonstrated proficiency in science and have taken the necessary prerequisite courses may, with the approval of the department, take an AP science course in place of the physics requirement.
Biology is the study of the basic characteristics of living things. The course begins at the molecular level and systematically progresses through increasing levels of biological organization, ending with a study of humans and their environment. Students develop laboratory skills and techniques through regularly scheduled, discovery-oriented experiments.
This course follows the general outline of the biology course, but it covers the material in greater depth, particularly in cell biology, genetics, and the diversity of living organisms. Students must be committed to a significantly higher level of rigor than the regular-level course. Students must have demonstrated superior ability and work ethic in their current science class to be admitted to this course.
Chemistry is the study of matter and how it can change. There are over one-hundred elements that humans have either found in nature or synthesized. The properties of these substances, however, are determined by characteristics of atoms, which are extremely small. Students in this course look at the relationship between atoms and the world around them. Students use symbolic descriptions that scientists use to describe this relationship. We use scientific concepts and practices to meet relevant challenges such as organizing elements and their properties in a table, solving a crime, developing alternative fuels, and providing clean water for life.
This course follows the outline of the chemistry course, but it covers the material in greater depth and with greater mathematical sophistication. To be admitted to the course, students must have demonstrated superior ability and work ethic in their current science class.
This course introduces students to scientific ways of viewing the world around them. Topics include Newtonian mechanics, gravity, wave theory, light, sound, and electricity. Emphasis is placed on conceptual understanding and analytical reasoning. Students develop laboratory skills and techniques through regularly scheduled, discovery-oriented experiments.
Science Elective Courses
Anatomy and Physiology
Anatomy and Physiology is a study of the structure and function of the human body. This course is ideal for students with interests in biology, athletics, and health care. Topics include: major body systems; how body systems work together to provide homeostasis; body functions in the healthy and diseased states; muscle action; cranial nerve functioning; and bioethics.
Engineering Design is a semester-long elective that introduces the various ways innovators can take an idea and produce an output. From prototypes to publications to patents to profits, students will engage in hands-on group collaborations to brainstorm, develop, and ultimately communicate their creations. Students completing Engineering Design are eligible to work on individual projects. Departmental approval is required for admission.
Forensic Science is a semester elective that covers basic biological and chemical techniques used to solve crimes. Problem solving is emphasized. Students work in teams to design experiments and reach conclusions by applying the scientific method to empirical evidence. Biology and chemistry are prerequisites.
During this semester-long course, students are trained to think like scientists in the context of ongoing biomedical and environmental research projects. Students will learn to execute techniques commonly used in cellular and molecular biology labs such as molecular cloning, PCR and quantitative PCR, protein expression systems, bioinformatics, and mammalian cell culture. Students learn to conduct a robust literature review, compose the basic elements of a scientific paper, present scientific data clearly in graphs and tables, and propose and develop a basic research plan. Upon completion, eligible students will have the opportunity to pursue Research: BioMedical or Environmental. To be admitted to the course, students must have completed chemistry and demonstrate a superior work ethic in all academic areas. Departmental approval is required for admission.
This semester-long course allows students to hone the hands-on skills that were introduced in Molecular Methods or Engineering Design. Students will further their proficiency in techniques associated with molecular and cell biology, engineering design, or advanced computing and begin to work independently. Upon approval of their research proposals, students are expected to begin work on their projects. This course is rigorous and requires a high level of dedication and self-motivation. Students must be ready to display their work at the Baylor Science and Engineering Symposium in May. To be admitted to the course, students must have demonstrated superior ability and work ethic in all academic areas. Molecular Methods or Engineering Design are prerequisite. Departmental approval is required.
Advanced Research: Engineering/BioMedical/Environmental
This year-long course allows students to continue projects initiated in Research. This rigorous course requires extended hours of work, collaboration with university professors and other researchers, and the production of a poster or scientific manuscript. Some students are ready to submit papers for presentations at professional conferences, publication and national science competitions by the end of the year. Students are required to display their work at the Baylor Science and Engineering Symposium in May. To be admitted to the course, students must have demonstrated superior ability and work ethic in all academic areas. Research is a prerequisite and departmental approval is required.
This year-long course allows students to continue ongoing research projects. Students will focus on preparing for presentations at professional conferences, publication and national science competitions. At least one external submission is required. Students must also display their work at the Baylor Science and Engineering Symposium in May. To be admitted to the course, students must have demonstrated superior ability and work ethic in all academic areas. Advanced Research is a prerequisite and departmental approval is required.
AP Courses in Science
This college-level course gives students the conceptual framework, factual knowledge, and analytical skills necessary to deal with the rapidly changing science of biology. Emphasis is placed on the biochemistry and organic chemistry of living systems. Major topics of discussion include molecules, cells, genetics, organisms, evolution, and populations. The volume of material requires a disciplined daily effort from the student for an entire year. Students' admission to the course is based on the recommendation of the science department. Chemistry is a prerequisite. Biology is encouraged as a prerequisite for all but the strongest students.
AP Chemistry is a year-long course designed to be the equivalent of college-level general chemistry. Students who take this course develop inquiry and reasoning skills, such as designing a plan for collecting data, analyzing data, applying mathematical skills, and connecting concepts within and across content areas. Students learn to collaborate with their peers while expressing their ideas verbally and in writing. Admission to the course is based on the recommendation of the science department. Chemistry is a prerequisite.
AP Physics I
AP Physics I is an algebra-based, introductory college-level physics course. Students cultivate their understanding of physics through inquiry-based investigations as they explore these topics: kinematics, dynamics, circular motion and gravitation, energy, momentum, simple harmonic motion, torque and rotational motion, electric charge and electric force, DC circuits, and mechanical waves and sound.
AP Physics C: Mechanics
This in-depth introduction to Newtonian mechanics is equivalent to a one-semester college course for science and engineering majors. Calculus is introduced and used throughout the course. Students learn the Python programming language and apply that knowledge to investigate experiments that cannot be executed in the classroom. The volume and difficulty of the material require a disciplined daily effort for the entire year. Admission to the course is based on the recommendation of the science department. A co-requisite for AP Physics C is either AP Calculus AB or AP Calculus BC.
AP Environmental Science
This college-level course studies the environmental impact of human activity. The course begins with an examination of the interdependence of the Earth's ecosystems. The course then looks at our natural resources and their usage, including the human influence on the environment on a global scale. Students gain an understanding of the consequences of decisions they make in their daily lives. Admission to the course is based on the recommendation of the science department. Biology and Chemistry are prerequisites.
At birth we are all thrust into an alien world—alien because we have no experience of the people, systems, and conventions we will encounter. The study of history is one way of coming to understand the world in which we live. Diverse though they may be, Baylor's history courses all seek to help students learn to negotiate the reality they face every day, whether through discovering how modern events and trends are rooted in the past or by developing the skills needed to succeed in today's complicated world.
History / Social Science Requirement : Three credits are required. Students fulfill this requirement by taking World History I, World History II or AP World History, and US History or AP US History.
World History I
World History I is a general introduction to the study of history and to some of the major developments, personalities and events that have shaped the modern world. Topics of study are drawn from across the world during the time frame from the Late Paleolithic to the Renaissance and serve as vehicles for the development and improvement of a wide range of student skills, including critical reading, formal essay writing, group collaboration, and primary document analysis. This year-long course is a requirement for freshmen.
World History II
World History II is a continuation of World History I, covering some of the major developments, personalities and events from across the world during the last 500 years. The focus remains on developing and improving students' basic academic skills and on illuminating the historical roots of our modern world. This year-long course is a requirement for sophomores.
AP World History
AP World History is a year-long course focused on global history from Neolithic times to the present. Employing primary and secondary materials to study how the modern world is a product of the past, students consider prominent individuals, developments, patterns, and connections across six historical periods and five broad themes. Priorities are the development of analytical thinking skills, including comparison, chronological reasoning, and argumentation, as well as other essential academic skills such as critical reading, expository writing, and self-discipline. Students must take the AP World History Exam at the end of the school year. Admission to this college-level course is open to sophomores as an alternative to World History II and requires departmental approval.
U.S. History is a year-long introduction to American history from colonial times to the present. Course content focuses on the major events and personalities that have created and shaped American political and cultural institutions. In addition, the course seeks to enhance students' responsibility for their studies while cultivating such essential skills as expository writing, note taking, primary document analysis, and class participation. Various student-driven projects and learning activities may be assigned at the discretion of each instructor. Course materials include reading assignments from a variety of online resources as well as digital documents provided by the instructor.
AP U.S. History
AP U.S. History is a year-long survey for self-motivated juniors seeking college credit or advanced standing. Students consider significant individuals, events, developments, and processes in American history, making connections between periods as they follow key themes throughout the year. This course prepares students for college by sharpening their critical reading, expository writing, and analytical thinking skills, with success heavily dependent on self-discipline and academic maturity. Course materials include a summer reading book, a standard college-level textbook, and supplementary readings, especially primary sources. Students must take the AP U.S. History exam in May. Enrollment is open to juniors and requires departmental approval.
History Semester Electives
Americans are still arguing over how their government should work, even though what started as an experiment over 200 years ago is now regarded as the world's leading democracy. American Government is a one-semester elective which explores the origin, development, and functions of American's governmental system. With the U.S. Constitution as a starting point, particular topics of study include the division of powers, individual rights and responsibilities, the development of a true democracy, political parties, money and politics, and the role of government in contemporary American social, economic, political, and foreign affairs. Course materials include primary and secondary sources selected from traditional and modern media of every sort.
Knowledge of classical mythology is an invaluable tool for understanding the art and thought of Western civilization, since it provides a vast set of stories and symbols for ancient and modern writers and artists. This one-semester course provides an introduction to the major myths of the Greeks and Romans not only as they appear in classical literature and art, but also as they echo through the centuries.
Economics is a one-semester introduction to basic economic literacy. The goal is for students to understand how the American economy works and to interpret the news of the day. Students relate fundamental economic principles to domestic and international events, consider the economic aspects of their own lives (including personal finance), and examine current business practices and problems. The preferred format for the class is the college seminar, and conversations can be wide ranging and challenging. Course materials include a standard economics text and supplementary readings.
Ethics examines fundamental questions of "right" and "wrong," which have challenged human beings throughout history. What makes something good or right? What is a good or right way to live? How can we know the answers to these and other questions that are basic to our lives? When we differ in our answers, how can we live together with mutual integrity and respect? Why, if at all, does morality matter? These questions and the answers to them form the foundation of this semester-long course. Through fiction, film, biography and texts from across the world and across time, students have an opportunity to examine both their own historical and cultural contexts and those of others who may be quite different. In addition, they have an opportunity to develop their own moral perspective. In the area of applied ethics, students select a topic relevant to the course and of personal interest, take steps to act in ways consistent with their moral convictions and reflect upon the learning that results from living out one's moral commitments. [ATHLETES TAKE NOTE: This course no longer fulfills NCAA requirements.]
History of Historical Dramas
In the last five years, 22 historical dramas have been nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards. Popular as they are, such films do much to shape their audiences’ understanding of history. Few people, however, are aware of the liberties Hollywood studios take with the truth, or how these films tend to reflect the zeitgeist of the age in which they are made. In this semester-long course, students assess the relationship between the actual historical narrative and events as seen through the Hollywood lens. Selections include 300; Birth of a Nation; Black Hawk Down; Silkwood; The Hurt Locker; Milk; Platoon, Green Book; Vice; Hidden Figures; The Big Short; Zero Dark Thirty; and Argo.
History of Hinduism and Buddhism
Modern History of Hinduism and Buddhism is a one-semester study of religious perspectives from Jawarlal Nehru to Mohandas Gandhi and Mao Tse Tung to the 14th Dalai Lama. Students develop a basic understanding of Hindu and Buddhist religious philosophy through study of primary sources, films, and interviews with practitioners. Once this foundation is established, students explore the impact of religious perspectives on the politics and history of India, China, and Tibet. Essential questions include how Nehru's hopes for industrialization conflicted with Gandhi's Hindu asceticism, how the spiritual leadership of the Dalai Lama conflicted with Mao's hope for liberating Tibet from religion, and how Hinduism and Buddhism help millions of people construct their identity and place themselves within the history of Asia.
History of the Modern United States
America enjoys the benefits of constant innovation, political and economic superpower status, and a democratic government. Nevertheless, many Americans believe their civilization is in decline, feel threatened by terrorists, and are alienated by modern politics. How did the country arrive at this juncture? History of the Modern United States is a semester elective which examines the origins of today's America in cultural and historical developments since 1945. Taking advantage of the abundant documentation available for modern times, including film, we explain the present by examining post-World War II developments in this country, from Silicon Valley to the Internet of Things, from the Cold War to 9/11 to the Islamic State.
Tennessee’s history and the state’s three Grand Divisions encompass a surprisingly diverse group of people, ideas, and events from Davy Crocket to Dolly Parton, the Trail of Tears to the Highlander Folk School, and over 1,000 Civil War battles and skirmishes. Students in this one-semester course use music, primary documents, artifacts, and oral histories to understand Tennessee’s cultural, social, political, and military history and to study the roles Tennesseans have played in the history of the United States. The goals of the course are to provide students with an overview of the history of local history and to develop critical thinking skills.
History of Western Religions is a semester course devoted to the origins and fundamental beliefs of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam--the three principal religions of the western world. Course topics include important religious leaders, texts, and creeds. Through reading, discussion, and analysis, students seek to identify key similarities and differences among these three religious faiths and to understand how they have contributed to the development of the modern world.
World War II
World War II resulted in at least 50 million deaths and changed the course of history. It laid the technological, political, and economic foundation of the modern era, and it raised serious philosophical questions about human nature and man's capacity for good and evil. This one-semester course is largely video-based, taking advantage of the enormous and growing archive of documentary films on the characters, events, and technological innovations of the war. Students also examine war era propaganda generated by both the Allies and the Axis powers. An important aim of the course is to provide students with a basic understanding of the conflict and of its importance to the world of today.
Year-long History Electives
AP Art History
AP Art History is a year-long, college level overview of painting, sculpture and architecture from prehistory to the present. Focusing on 250 works from diverse artistic traditions, students investigate art as human reflection, as a mirror of history, and as a driver of culture and society. The goal is to provide students with an in-depth, holistic understanding of the history of art from a global perspective. The course combines self-directed reading, research, and writing with class discussions, and course materials include a standard textbook as well as supplementary readings from a variety of sources. In addition to completing the requirements of the course, students must take the AP Art History Exam at the end of the school year. Admission to this course is open to seniors and requires departmental approval.
AP European History
AP European History is a year-long course focused on the politics, society, and culture of Europe from the Renaissance to the present. Primary and secondary sources are used to illustrate the changes experienced by European civilization over the course of 500 years. Students will learn about prominent individuals, movements in art and literature, as well as the main political events and ideologies of these centuries. This course emphasizes the development of critical thinking skills, reading comprehension and analysis, as well as expository writing. In preparing to take the required AP European History Exam in May, students write essays in various styles and complete assessments designed to facilitate success. Enrollment in this college-level course is open to seniors and requires departmental approval.
AP Human Geography
AP Human Geography is a year-long course focused on identifying, describing, and predicting the patterns of activities associated with human settlement and occupation of the earth. Students use models and case studies to understand patterns of population, migration, language, religion, ethnicity, development, agriculture, industry, services, and city planning. The course focuses on analytical thinking skills, especially deduction, extrapolation, and the recognition of patterns, as well as on practical skills like the ability to write clearly and specifically. In addition to completing the requirements of the course, students must sit for the AP Human Geography exam in May. Admission to this college-level course is open to seniors and requires departmental approval.
Baylor’s World Languages department offers the broadest language choices of any area school. The curriculum includes:
- Beginning through Advanced Placement language classes in five languages: Chinese, French, German, Latin, and Spanish
- Seminars in language, culture and history
- The curriculum in modern languages follows a proficiency-based model with emphasis on the four skill areas of speaking, writing, reading and listening.
- The study of Latin is based upon a reading program that includes authentic texts from Latin literature, both in prose and poetry.
- In addition to the cultural information presented in the classroom, the World Languages Department sponsors language clubs, weekly lunch meetings, immersion days, movie nights, and a yearly celebration of International Day.
- Seeking to make the study of language relevant to students’ lives, Baylor language faculty members have, in recent years, led trips abroad to destinations including France and French-speaking Canada, Spain, Perú, Costa Rica, Panamá, China and Germany.
World Languages Requirements: Two consecutive years/credits of study in the same language in the Upper School. Students can fulfill this requirement by continuing the language(s) studied prior to enrolling in the Upper School or by beginning a new language.
This course is designed for students who have gained the basic knowledge of Chinese language. This course further advances students’ language skills and cultural knowledge. Students continue to build on vocabulary and work with more complex sentence structures. Students focus on speaking, listening, reading and writing. Students are frequently exposed to some short and authentic materials, and they are expected to comprehend the materials and discuss the given simple daily life topics.
This course continues to build upon the grammatical structures and vocabulary which the students have acquired in Chinese 200. Classes are conducted primarily in Chinese. The course focuses on the four skill areas: listening, speaking, reading and writing. Students work on the techniques that enhance their interpersonal, interpretive and presentational communication skills. Students should understand a short authentic passage, dialogue, and the theme and supporting details of a story. Students are also expected to discuss a given topic about family, school, personal interest and feeling using correct grammar and proper vocabulary. Chinese culture study is integrated with language learning in this course.
This course is to advance students’ interpersonal, interpretive and presentational communication skills. Students continue to acquire vocabulary and refine grammar. They are exposed to more complex authentic materials. Students are expected to identify and understand the main theme of long dialogues, voicemails, TV episodes, etc. Students can engage in spontaneous and informal conversation or give a 2-minute presentation about a given topic. Students write a short essay or short story in 15 minutes. Chinese culture study is integrated with language learning in this course.
AP Chinese Language
This course is designed to prepare students for the A.P. Chinese Language exam. Via working with various authentic materials, this course emphasizes proficiency in the four skill areas: reading, writing, speaking and listening. The course involves a year of intensive study in six areas: families and communities, personal and public identities, beauty and aesthetics, science and technology, contemporary life and global challenges.
Post AP Chinese
The class is designed to strengthen communicative skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing and further advance the knowledge of culture, history and society. The class emphasizes on improving student language skills in practical context and authentic cultural settings. Students use newspaper, movies, television programs and other media sources for class discussions, presentations, and papers. This class is suitable for students who have developed strong interest in Chinese language and want to take that to a level where it could be useful for their future education and careers. Departmental approval is required for enrollment.
The goal of French 100 is to help students acquire beginning language and grammar as well as learn about French and francophone culture through class-created stories, story listening, movie talks, songs, and fiction as well as non-fiction readings. This comprehensible input approach helps students' listening and reading skills by sheltering vocabulary, rather than grammar. Students naturally transition to speaking and writing once they are ready.
French 200 is a total immersion course in which students speak spontaneously, ask and answer questions, and their listening comprehension each day in class. Additionally, students routinely write at the paragraph level. Students are exposed to a variety of francophone music and authentic resources (ex: sings, announcements, commercials, etc.)
In this course, students speak more frequently and completely in both interpersonal, spontaneous speech as well as more formal presentations. Our listening and reading sources are more complex, and students expand their interpretive skills by dealing with ambiguity, using context clues to guess unknown words, etc. Students build their cultural competence by exploring aspects of francophone behavior and values and comparing them to those of their own culture.
In the fourth year, students access more sophisticated reading passages, both formal (newspaper articles, blog posts, short stories) and informal (text messages, emails from friends, etc.). To further develop high-level listening comprehension skills, we use a variety of authentic, native-speed listening and video sources (ex: podcasts, news reports, songs, etc.). Students continue to refine their mastery of language skills across tenses and can express themselves on increasingly complex ideas, both orally and in writing. They deepen their cultural competency by deciphering information about the products, practices, and perspectives present in francophone communities.
AP French Language
This course prepares students for the AP French Exam and using their language in a real-world native French-speaking setting. Students expand their vocabulary through a variety of authentic reading and listening sources. In addition to this input, students refine their skills in speaking (both interpersonal and presentational) and writing (both interpersonal and presentational). Through the lens of the six course themes and accompanying authentic media, students hone their ability to understand and discuss complex global themes.
In this course, students become comfortable speaking, listening, reading, and writing in basic German. Students describe themselves and others, their hobbies and interests, and events and themes in their daily lives. Students study German-language speaking countries such as Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, and their people, culture, and history. They learn to use three verb tenses and acquire a working vocabulary of around 1,200 words.
In this course, students develop the vocabulary to talk about themselves and others, their interests, and many social and cultural themes. Students deepen their understanding of German-language speaking countries, peoples, and cultures, and interpret and discuss basic similarities and differences between them and their own culture(s). Students master verb tenses including subjunctive and passive and acquire a working vocabulary of around 1600 words.
German 400 is comparable or equivalent to second-year German at the college level. In this course, students develop comfort using German in a variety of real-life situations involving all four interpersonal communication skills of speaking, listening, reading, and writing. Students learn to use the language confidently and fluidly in many different contexts and registers and make cultural comparisons between their own culture and that of German-speaking countries, both orally and in writing. Students critically engage with a range of topics represented on the AP exam. Students acquire a working vocabulary of approximately 2400 words.
AP German Language
AP German is comparable or equivalent to fourth-semester German at the college level. In this course, students become confident using German in a variety of real-life situations that involve all four interpersonal communication skills of speaking, listening, reading, and writing. In addition to writing persuasive essays and formal email responses, students hold spontaneous conversations on an unknown topic and present a cultural comparison between their own culture and that of German-speaking countries. Students student the range of topics represented on the AP exam: 1) beauty and aesthetics; 2) contemporary life; 3) families and communities; 4) global challenges, 5) personal and public identities; and 6) science and technology. Students acquire a working vocabulary of approximately 3000 words.
Latin 100 and 200
During their first two years of Latin, students acquire basic Latin grammar, build a working vocabulary, and are exposed to such cultural topics as history, mythology, arts, literature, and everyday life in the Ancient Roman world. By the end of the second year, students will be able to read abridged Latin prose passages and apply their knowledge and skills to identify and work with the grammar and syntax in these passages.
This course continues to build upon the grammar of the first two years and introduces the students to more complex grammatical constructions. Students will be reading lengthier abridged prose with an eye towards progressing to genuine Latin readings.
This course continues to build upon the grammar, vocabulary, and rhetoric introduced in Latin 300, and it also introduces students to poetics and meters. Readings include selections from Ovid, Vergil, and Martial.
This course is designed to prepare the students to take the AP Exam based upon The Aeneid of Vergil and The De Bello Gallico of Julius Caesar. The course follows the AP Syllabus based on selections from the Aeneid and De Bello Gallico. Students must read the Aeneid in English during the summer to prepare for the course.
Post AP Latin: Putting the grammar to use
In this class, students read several different authors in the original Latin such as Livy, Ovid, and Horace, and analyze the style of each author. Then students try their hands at creating in the Latin language, composing their own original work in Latin in the style of the authors that they have studied. Additionally, students study in depth the daily life of ancient Romans and explore their worldview and lived experience via videos, virtual reality programs, and movies. The goal of the class is to help students understand how it would feel to spend a day in old Rome and how to both interpret written Latin and to compose meaningful writing in the language. AP Latin is a prerequisite for this course.
This introductory course is designed for students with little or no previous study of the Spanish language. In the course, students develop their skill in listening, speaking, reading, and writing. The focus of this course is to develop basic communication skills and strategies that allow students to ask and answer questions, interpret everyday spoken and written content, describe situations, and serve as a springboard to continued linguistic and cultural study.
The goal of the second-year course in Spanish Language and Culture is designed to help students advance their skills from basic to independent users of the idiom. In the course, students continue to grow in their use of four skill areas of listening, speaking, reading, and writing. The focus of this course is to give students opportunities to begin to use language creatively to express events, feelings, and wishes as well as interpret text and audio of familiar matters regularly encountered in their daily lives both in the present and in the past.
This course is conducted exclusively in Spanish, and students are expected to maintain the target language throughout the class. This program focuses on strengthening students; proficiency in the four areas of reading, writing, speaking, and listening through group work, weekly presentations, pair work, and exposure to authentic samples of language for reading and listening. The focus of this course is to give students opportunities to deepen their knowledge and skills in the language by conveying utterances of higher levels of abstraction and broader lexical and grammatical information.
This course is designed for motivated Spanish language students who have demonstrated extraordinary language proficiency in their second year of language study. This course is conducted exclusively in Spanish, and students are expected to maintain the target language throughout the class. The course is designed to allow students to learn at an accelerated rate. The Spanish 350 curriculum centers around reading authentic texts on various themes with the objective of exposing students to comprehensible input from native speakers and offering a pluralistic and modern view of the Spanish-speaking world. Space is limited, and departmental approval is required for enrollment.
The Spanish 400 class continues to build on proficiency-based skills: reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Students use literature, newspaper and magazine articles, and movies as points of departure for class discussions, presentations, and papers. The focus of this course is to give students opportunities to deepen their knowledge and skills in the language and culture by expressing higher-order skills such as explaining a viewpoint on a topical issue giving the advantages and disadvantages of various options.
AP Spanish Language
This class is designed to prepare students for the A.P. Spanish Language exam. The class emphasizes proficiency in the four skill areas: speaking, writing, reading and aural comprehension, which will be tested in May. The class involves a year of intensive grammar study and review with a workload corresponding to an equivalent university class. Departmental approval is required for enrollment.
AP Spanish Literature
This class is designed to prepare students to take the A.P. Spanish Literature exam in May. Students learn to read, analyze, and discuss critically literary texts pertaining to all genres of Spanish literature. The list of required authors and works is determined by the A.P. Examining Board. It includes works from the medieval period through the 20th Century and encompasses both Peninsular and South American literature. The class is designed for those students who have successfully completed the A.P. Spanish Language class or its equivalent. Departmental approval is required for enrollment.