Our Curriculum

Our academic program uses a distinctive Core Sequence, an approach to teaching that is geared to each discipline, advanced coursework, high standards, and thoughtful feedback that in the hands of expert instructors to shape students into exceptional thinkers, accomplished scholars, and engaged citizens.

An Innovative Academic Program

The Core Sequence

Our four-year interdisciplinary Core Sequence equips our students with exceptional skills in careful reading, critical thinking, and oral and written argumentation. More than any brief course in logic or reasoning, our sequence gives students broadly applicable experience in evaluating data and scientific theory formation, and in thinking about claims and concepts in politics, ethics, and the study of identity.

Teaching Geared to the Discipline

Designed and taught by instructors who are experts in their fields, our courses cultivate the professional methods, skills, norms, and intellectual habits of each discipline.

Some examples:

  • Science—Students work with the central concepts of hypothesis formation, experimentation, and analysis.
  • Mathematics—Students focus on problem solving and logic.
  • English—Students analyze how texts create meaning at the level of the word, the phrase, the sentence, and the paragraph or verse so that they can apply these strategies in their own original arguments.
  • History—Students evaluate theses presented by a spectrum of scholars to ultimately formulate their own.

Advanced Coursework

Stanford OHS offers numerous post-AP courses, including university-level courses that mirror the content and expectations commonly part of an undergraduate program. In these post-AP courses, our students engage in college-style inquiry focusing in depth on a single genre, author, period, or problem while exploring the academic literature and conducting extended research.

High Standards, Thoughtful Feedback

Students and teachers at every course level hold one another to high expectations as they delve into material at a depth and with the rigor that’s in keeping with Stanford University’s standards and that is rare outside a university setting. Excellent students come to Stanford OHS seeking meaningful criticism and mentoring from teachers who challenge them to improve.

Fitting It Together

Our curriculum goes well beyond the norm of satisfying admissions standards at top colleges and universities around the world. It prepares students to excel at those institutions and to make a smooth transition into working in those demanding academic environments.

A review of our graduation requirements demonstrates how bringing together a Core Sequence program, discipline-appropriate training, advanced coursework beyond the AP-level, high expectations, and thoughtful feedback creates an innovative, integrated curriculum.

Review our Graduation Requirements