Upper School

Welcome to the St. Anne's-Belfield Upper School.

The Upper School experience is designed to give students the freedom of choice to cultivate curiosity, passion, and excitement while feeling safe, challenged, and known.

Our Upper School builds upon more than a century of success to provide innovative academic programs, meaningful co-curricular experiences, and a diverse and supportive community.

The curriculum, paired with a recently revised daily schedule, allows students to dive deeper into their learning in longer class periods and more community time for Advisory, faculty office hours, faculty collaboration, and club meetings. Many students also take advantage of this unscheduled time to complete assignments and leave their afternoons free for extra-curricular and community service options. Visit the Upper School Curriculum Guide for a detailed look at the program and the Academic Highlights page to learn more about the division's signature programs, including Capstone Thesis, Humanities, Independent Study, Intensives, Life Skills, Senior Internships, and more.

In addition to multi-grade Advisory program, the entire Upper School meets thrice weekly at Community Meeting, Community Forum, and Chapel, reinforcing the strong ties among students and faculty.

A Boarding Program is also available for Grades 9 - 12 students, playing an integral roles in to the School’s ability to provide a world-class education to all students, rich with a diversity of culture, thought, interests, experiences, and goals.


Graduation Requirements

All students carry five academic courses each trimester unless specific permission to carry fewer is granted by the Head of the Upper School. A significant number of students elect to carry six courses, and some students choose to carry seven. The following are the minimum requirements for graduation, listed by academic department:

Humanities: English (4 years): Humanities 9: English, Humanities 10: English, English 11*, American Studies: English, and Humanities 12.

Humanities: History (3 years): Humanities 9: History, Humanities 10: History and American Studies: History.

Mathematics: Integrated Mathematics 1, 2, and 3
New students to the Upper School will have their academic record evaluated to determine appropriate placement in mathematics.

World Language: Level 3 of a St. Anne’s-Belfield world language offering (French, Latin or Spanish). 
Students entering after the freshman year must complete the equivalent of St. Anne’s-Belfield School’s Level 2 coursework. Non-native speakers of English are not required to study French, Latin or Spanish. See the Student and Family Handbook for more information about world language accommodations.

Science: Physics, Chemistry, and Biology
New students to the Upper School will have their academic record evaluated to determine the appropriateness of prior science credits earned in fulfillment of the Physics, Chemistry, Biology requirement.

Performing & Visual Arts (1 year): Four-year students are required to pass one year of a St. Anne’s-Belfield visual or performing arts class.
N.B. Students should be advised that some universities require an arts credit even if St. Anne’s-Belfield does not require participation in an arts course for those who enroll at the School after the ninth grade year.

Senior Seminar (1 year): Seniors are required to enroll in and pass one senior seminar.

Intensives (4 years): Every student must complete successfully one Intensive per each year that he or she is enrolled as a full-time student. Intensives are valued at 0.3 credit.

Freshman Life Skills or Sophomore Life Skills: Four-year students are required to participate in Freshman Life Skills during their freshman year. All sophomores new to the School will participate in Sophomore Life Skills during their sophomore year.

English Language Learning: ELL support is offered, as needed, for those students who have not yet achieved fluency in English. Incoming ninth and tenth graders who are non-native speakers of English may be enrolled in an additional class or required to attend extra-help sessions for customized support with reading, writing, and speaking at the discretion of the Humanities department.

Community Service: Four-year students must complete sixty hours of gratuitous service before final transcripts and certification of graduation will be sent to colleges.  Students who enter after the ninth grade year must complete fifteen hours of community service for each year they attend the Upper School.

Physical Activity Requirement: Four-year students must participate in six seasons of physical activity, four of which must be completed by the end of their sophomore year. Students who enter school as a sophomore must complete four seasons of physical activity. Those who enter school as a junior must complete two seasons of physical activity, and those who enter as seniors must complete one season.

The Senior Internship Requirement: Created to give seniors a unique learning experience and a chance to be engaged in self-invested and relevant work, seniors are required to arrange an internship that embraces the academic values of St. Anne’s-Belfield School. The School will determine the Senior Internship term.  All seniors will be required to present evidence of their experiences during a Senior Internship exposition event.

Graduation Requirements for ELL Students

English Language Learner (ELL) courses are offered for those international students who have not yet achieved fluency in English.

English (4 years): must include mainstream American Studies and Humanities 12 (may include ELL Humanities: English)

History (3 years): must include American Studies (may include ELL Humanities: History) .

Mathematics (3 years): Subject to their performances on a departmental math placement test, ELL students are exempt from the Integrated Mathematics 1 requirement. All ELL students must complete other graduation requirements as indicated in the Curriculum Guide.

World Language (0 years): English counts as a world language.

Science (3 years): Four-year ELL students must complete three years of science, including courses in physics, chemistry, and biology. An ELL student entering after the freshman year should complete successfully three science courses, and his or her academic record will be evaluated as to the appropriateness of prior science credits earned.

Fine Arts (1 year): May be taken at any time.

Advanced Placement Courses

St. Anne's-Belfield Upper School offers Advanced Placement (AP) courses in:

  • Biology
  • Calculus AB
  • Calculus BC
  • Chemistry
  • French Language & Culture
  • Latin
  • Music Theory
  • Physics
  • Spanish Language & Culture
  • Statistics

Students also routinely take exams in U.S. History, English Language, and English Literature after completing complementary courses in our curriculum.