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Academics

Academic Breadth and Depth at The Hill School

Do you want to take as many courses as possible within your favorite academic area? At The Hill, our most motivated students take advantage of our seven-period schedule and enjoy both breadth and depth in their liberal arts-centered studies.

How? We offer a foundational, broad-based liberal arts curriculum, while also providing time and programs that allow scholars to pursue depth in a particular area of interest. For example, students have the opportunity to take two (or even three) languages, or two social sciences, or two physical sciences. Third form students may take seven classes (five are required), and upper form students may take six graded classes plus Engineering or a non-graded music ensemble as a seventh class.

Students also may take as many Advanced Placement classes as they’d like, contingent upon acceptance into each AP class by the appropriate department.

Independent Studies -- both regular and Honors-level Independent Studies -- offer another avenue through which Hill’s creative, entrepreneurial students can combine, deepen, and expand upon their academic passions in a focused, tangible way. Recent student-driven topics have ranged from “The Role of MicroRNAs in Human Malignant Glioma” and “The Effect of Robber Barons on American Politics in the Late 19th-Early 20th Century” to “Theatrical Sound Design” and “Culture and Fashion at Boarding Schools,” to name a few.

Read about how a few Hill students experience immersion in an academic passion while exploring other areas of interest: 
 
Larry “I have always been interested in both languages and music. At The Hill, I was able to study Arabic and French, as well as Latin and Greek (through Latin 2/Greek 1 Honors), and, of course, English. I also play the trombone and participate in Jazz Ensemble, and I play erhu, a traditional Chinese musical instrument. I hope to use my language skills to succeed in the field of international relations. My current course load includes Pre-Calculus Honors and Chemistry as well as my languages. There are times when my course load seems daunting, but I never get tired of it because I sincerely love the work.”
 
Ashley “During my time at Hill I’ve been able to thoroughly explore my interest in the sciences by doubling up on them for two years in a row! Last year, I took both AP Physics and Environmental Science Honors. As a sixth former, I’m taking both AP Biology and AP Chemistry, both of which I love. This intense experience with the sciences has solidified my decision to major in neuroscience in college and pursue medicine. Outside of the sciences, I’m taking AP English Literature, AP Calculus AB, and Worldviews and World Religions – a transformative class for me, as it has expanded how I see the world and its cultures. In fact, Worldviews has been so powerful that in college I may minor in African American Studies or Anthropology.”

Andy “Thanks to Hill’s scheduling options, I’ve been able to choose courses based on my interests. Last year I explored my passion by taking five STEM-type courses – including engineering, math, science, and computer science – as part of my seven-course schedule. I also was able to participate in two international-level competitions, MATE (in robotics) and DECA (business). Hill also remains true to its liberal arts roots, so my experience has been incredibly rounded, with enjoyable courses including Humanities and Latin. This year I’ll be taking Engineering 2; Physics/Electricity and Magnetism AP; Calculus BC/Multivariable AP; Data Structures and Algorithms Honors; Humanities 4 AP; United States History AP; and Philosophy Seminar. I feel I’ve attained both breadth and depth, helping me reach my full potential.”

Olivia “Hill has allowed me – and, in fact, encouraged me – to take classes that are incredibly specific and challenging across many disciplines. Every day I go from a course in AP Physics, to a combined Advanced Latin and Greek Honors Seminar – a class that teaches these languages simultaneously, something rarely offered at other high schools. My venture into the Classics at The Hill has been an endless learning journey that will continue when I major in Classics in college. I’m also taking AP Humanities, BC Multivariable Calculus, and AP Economics, as well as Chamber Choir, in addition to other activities in the arts and athletics and serving as president of the Student Government Association.”

Fernando “Here at The Hill I’ve acquired ‘breadth and depth’ in topics relating to the financial sector, thanks to my daily discussions with my economics teacher through Advanced Post-AP Economics Honors – not to mention the 100-page paper I wrote for that course! I’ve also attained valuable skills through BC/Multivariable Calculus, which developed my interest in the application of mathematics by using a data-driven strategy to create better business models. In addition, the language skills I’ve been able to gain at The Hill, in AP French and AP Chinese as well as English Honors, will give me leverage in college and my future career. I’m also taking U.S. History. I owe my international perspective and my amalgam of academic experiences to The Hill’s program and teachers.”
 

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