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Upper School Curriculum

The Upper School offers students a wide range of choices through the core curriculum, electives and activities to maintain our mission of educating the whole child. Our courses prepare students with the discipline and skills to succeed in college and beyond. Learn more about the curriculum in each academic department below, click here for a PDF of all Upper School course descriptions, or view just the course list by department here.

List of 4 items.

  • Graduation Requirements

    Humanities
    • English 4.0 credits: English I, II, III and IV required
    • History and Social Science 3.0 credits: World history, U.S. history and Humanities seminar required

    Math 3.0 credits: Algebra II or Math III required

    World Language 2.0 credits: Two years and through level 3 required

    Science 3.0 credits: Physics, Chemistry and Biology required

    Fine Arts 1.0 credit: One year-long course required

    A minimum of 20 academic credits are required for graduation. Students must carry at least five courses per semester per year. The only exception is for seniors, who can carry four courses if all graduation requirements have been met and all four of those courses are AP courses. 

    Unless otherwise noted, all courses listed are approved by the University of California to meet their minimum requirements for admission. The La Jolla Country Day School graduation requirements are aligned to meet or exceed UC/Cal State University requirements.
  • Additional Requirements

    • Freshman Orientation: participation
    • Experiential Education: 3 years of participation
    • Health and Wellness: one semester
    • Dignity: one semester
    • Service Learning: visit this link for a program description and graduation requirement
    • Physical Education/Athletics: all freshmen must participate in a team sport for one season

    Load
    : Each semester, a student must carry a minimum of five courses.
    Students can carry a maximum of six courses per semester.

    Exception
    : Seniors may take four courses if all are AP classes and they have permission from the head of Upper School.

  • Service-Learning

    Social responsibility is an integral part of the philosophy of LJCDS. The school mentors students to become lifelong service leaders who act with honor and integrity. Upper School students demonstrate community engagement and service-learning by participating in a variety of service opportunities both on campus and in local and global communities. Our model provides a foundation for giving back beginning with school-sponsored opportunities in partnership with local nonprofits and culminating in independent service projects and reflection in the senior year.
  • Honors and AP Courses

    Honors Courses by Subject 
    Computer Science: Computer Science, Developing 3D Virtual Environments, Adv. Application Development 
    Design & Innovation: Innovation Technology Studio (+Adv.), Design to Entrepreneurship (+Adv.), Adv. Robotics, Applied Engineering 
    Mathematics: Integrated Math I, Integrated Math II, Algebra II w/ Trigonometry, Geometry, Linear Algebra, Multivariable Calculus, Precalculus BC 
    Science: Biology, Chemistry, Neuroscience, Environmental Systems, Organic Chemistry
    Social Science: Philosophy: The History of Questions, The American Civil War
    Visual & Performing Arts: Band, Environmental Systems, Independent Filmmaking, Madrigals (Choral), Orchestra, Percussion & World Drumming, Adv. Photography, Adv. Play Production, Production Design & Management
    World Language: French Heritage, French Intensive, French Literature and Culture, Mandarin III & IV, Spanish Intensive, Spanish Literature and Culture

    AP Courses by Subject
    English: English Literature & Composition, English Language & Composition 
    Social Science: European History, Psychology, U.S. History, U.S. Government, World History 
    Mathematics: Calculus AB, Calculus BC, Statistics 
    Science: Biology, Chemistry, Physics 2 
    Visual & Performing Arts: Art History, Music Theory, Studio Art: 2D Design, 3D Design, or Drawing 
    World Language: Chinese Language & Culture, French Language & Culture, Spanish Language & Culture, Spanish Literature & Culture 

    We have also partnered with One Schoolhouse to offer additional opportunities for students to take rigorous classes online. This virtual opportunity is given to students to resolve any schedule conflict or if they have exhausted our academic offering on campus.  

Explore Our Curriculum

I think, rather, that putting together a balanced schedule of classes is an important ingredient in every student’s recipe for happiness and ultimate success. I want to help students create balance and put themselves in a position to be happy, successful and the best version of themselves."

Dave Jenkins,
 Assistant Head of Upper School for Student Life

La Jolla Country Day School

9490 Genesee Avenue
La Jolla, CA 92037
858-453-3440

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