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Course Offerings


Northwood School Program 2023-2024 (Updated 6.5.23).pdf


Northwood School’s Approach to Education  

A Northwood School education, while maintaining a challenging college-preparatory curriculum at its core, is undergoing a process of re-design in response to the changing world and college landscape. This year’s offerings are designed to meet New York State requirements and college expectations while allowing students flexibility and choice to pursue their interests. We include a variety of options for earning honors credit and advanced courses of study while emphasizing independent initiatives. Pathways of study are designed to strengthen intellectual abilities, promote character development, advance interests in specific subject areas and prepare students for life beyond Northwood’s campus. 

Above all, we aim to teach students how to learn. We encourage them to be in the driver’s seat of their own educational career. It is our goal that all students will build the skills necessary to succeed in one of our Peak Pathways which include opportunities for student-designed electives, Applied Robotics and Advanced Research Studies.   

With that in mind, our rigorous curriculum aims to recognize both the academic and experiential modes of learning that students engage in both during the traditional academic day and during their co-curricular pursuits. In the following course descriptions, many courses also are organized differently, outside of the traditional confines of how school “seat time” is measured. Courses may meet outside the traditional academic day, once a semester for an intensive 48-hour weekend such as our Outing Club electives, or asynchronously such as our arts Studio Hours option. 

This course program includes each of our offerings for the 2023-24 school year with descriptions of course content and how the course is executed. Please read carefully to understand the commitment of each course as well as any prerequisites or necessary teacher approvals. Placement in a course is also subject to space availability, the daily schedule and a student’s overall course load. Some changes may occur. All students will be contacted by the Academic Dean to confirm their registration.


Graduation Requirements 

The graduation requirements outlined here must be met to earn a Northwood diploma. Six courses per semester are the standard load for Northwood students. This includes a co-curricular engagement as detailed below.  Students are urged to challenge themselves academically which, for many, means taking courses well beyond those required for a diploma. Northwood strongly recommends that students take a rigorous academic program for personal growth as well as for the practical purpose of increasing college and other post-secondary options.  


In the 2022-2023 school year, Northwood shifted from a trimester system to a semester system. For the Class of 2026 onward, the minimum number of credits required for graduation is 24. This translates to six full-year courses. (A year-long course earns 1 credit; a semester course earns 0.5 credit.)  For returning Northwood students, previously taken full-year courses now equal one credit. Previously taken trimester courses (worth 1 or 2 credits) equal .5 credit. For students transferring into Northwood, equivalencies for graduation requirements will be accepted.  


For all graduating classes prior to 2026, adaptations will be made per the below: 

For students in the Class of 2025, the total number of credits will be 15 for 2021-22 plus 6 for the following years. Total = 33. 

For students in the Class of 2024, the total number of credits will be 15 each for 2022-23 and 2021-22 plus 6 per year for the following years. Total = 42.





Required Courses 





Humanities I, Humanities II, American Literature, A World Made of Text, AP Literature or AP Language  

Social Science 

Humanities I, Humanities II, US History or APUSH 

World Languages 

2 years of the same language minimum, 3 preferred 

Visual and/or performing art 

Can include fine art and music. Can be met through any combination of elective offerings or credited studio hours. 




Science (lab) 

Must include both life science and physical science 



 Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2 


Can be any course offered, labeled as elective or otherwise. Includes Peak Pathways. 



Students will complete a LEAP program each year of enrollment excluding senior year. 

Northwood Seminar 


Students will complete the seminar program each year of enrollment.



Required for graduation. Met through Northwood Seminar

Physical Education 


Required for graduation. Can be met through athletics or NOC options.

Co-curricular Education 


Met through co-curricular choice. May simultaneously provide credit for Arts or P.E.  





*Students are required to engage in LEAP, Northwood Seminar and co-curricular education while enrolled at Northwood. For transfer students, the final number of credits to meet requirements will therefore vary in direct proportion to the number of semesters spent at Northwood.

Northwood Academic Programs