Curriculum & College Prep
The Northwest School offers a unique interdisciplinary program of studies, consisting of an integrated humanities program, applied mathematics, science, language study, visual and performing arts experiences, and athletic competition.
High School (Grades 9 – 12) Curriculum
The humanities program combines the study of History, English, Philosophy, Art History, and Literature into one three-year integrated double-credit course. Classes meet nine times each week in lectures, small-group discussions, and regular writing tutorials with three to four students.
A broad spectrum of Mathematics classes includes courses in Algebra I and II, Geometry, Pre-Calculus, Math Analysis, Calculus, Statistics, and Advanced Calculus. Students may elect to take the AP Calculus exam to earn college credit. The most advanced students are invited to sit for the American Invitation Mathematics Examination.
The Science program consists of courses in Physical Science, Biology, Chemistry, Ethnobotany, Advanced Chemistry, and Physics. Opportunities for field research in Ethnobotany and Chemistry are provided.
The arts program offers 57 art courses taught by professional artists in Dance, Music, Theatre, and Visual Arts. Students take 2 year-long arts classes.
The school fields 30 teams in Basketball, Soccer, Volleyball, Cross Country, Track and Field, and Ultimate Frisbee. The school also supports highly competitive athletes in extramural city and regional teams in such sports as golf, crew, and kayaking.
High School Curriculum for International Students
International students who fully meet the English language proficiency requirement attend regular classes without ESL support.
International students who require ESL support are gradually integrated into more courses with U.S. students each year. In the 9th grade, students take four classes (Humanities, Beginning Grammar, and Theater as Communication) with ESL support, and share math, PE, and an art course with U.S. students. In the 10th and 11th grades, students take two classes with ESL support (Humanities and English), and share all other classes with U.S. students. In the 12th grade, all international students follow the full 12th grade curriculum. In addition, they take Advanced English Composition to further strengthen their English language skills.
College Counseling and Matriculation
The school’s College Counseling Department works with juniors and seniors on the college search and application process. College counseling starts during a student’s junior year with individual meetings to research colleges and the creation of a college list. During their senior year, students work with the Counseling Department to finalize their application plans and proceed with applying to colleges and universities.
Graduates of The Northwest School attend some of the top universities in the nation and abroad. Every year representatives from more than 100 colleges and universities from across the United States visit the school to recruit NWS students. All NWS students are admitted to universities and colleges. The class of 2015 middle 50% SAT score was 1760-2050. The complete list of schools attended by NWS graduates can be found here: