High School Program

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High School Program

The BASIS Independent High School Program, grades 9–12, is widely recognized as one of the most academically advanced private high school programs in the world. Our graduates are routinely accepted to top universities around the world, from Harvard and Stanford to the University of Oxford. Our graduates are distinguished individuals who will have gone through a world-class college preparatory course of study including a full year of economics in grade 8, a plethora of AP course options electives, and in-depth college counseling experience which prepares them to excel in college and beyond. Like the BASIS Independent Middle School Program, the High School Program challenges students to reach the highest international benchmarks and holds students accountable for mastering subject material. The acceleration of the curriculum allows BASIS Independent students the option of graduating after grade 11; however, most students choose to continue their studies in grade 12 so they can participate in two profoundly influential aspects of the BASIS Independent High School program: Capstone Courses & Senior Projects.

The curriculum asks students to work hard to reach their academic potential, offers the assurance of comprehensive benchmarking and expert teaching and holds students accountable for their own success. Students are challenged to think critically and develop intellectual agility.

NEW SCHOOLS NOTE: During its first several years, BASIS Independent McLean will implement modified course requirements and course offerings for students in grades 6 and higher. For students in grades 9–11, these modifications include, but are not limited to, the offering of certain AP courses and exams.

For a list of the courses required in High School, see our course list.

Grades 9–11 Curriculum Detail

BASIS Independent McLean offers an advanced, liberal arts and STEM-focused curriculum that is among the most interesting and rigorous in the country. The curriculum asks students to work hard to reach their academic potential, offers the assurance of comprehensive benchmarking and expert teaching and holds students accountable for their own success. Students are challenged to think critically and develop intellectual agility.

Math

Grade 9: Pre-Calculus

Grade 10: AP Calculus AB

Grade 11: AP Calculus BC 

Science

Grade 9: Honors Science (Biology, Chemistry, or Physics)

Grade 10: Honors Science, AP Science

Grade 11: Honors Science, AP Science, or post-AP Science

Social Sciences

Grade 9: AP U.S. Government 

Grade 10: AP European History

Grade 11: AP U.S. History 

English/Language Arts

Grade 9: Honors English Literature, Honors English Language 

Grade 10: AP Literature or AP Language

Grade 11: Second AP English course or post-AP English 

Foreign Language

Grades 9–11: French, Latin, Mandarin, or Spanish; AP optional

Fine Arts, PE, and Electives

Grades 9–11: General electives*, AP elective, or post-AP elective

*Minimum one fine art elective required.

Grade 12 Curriculum Detail

Typical high school curricula end at the AP level—after all, these courses are meant to substitute for introductory-level college courses. However, the advanced nature of the BASIS Curriculum allows us to offer a variety of even more rigorous and intellectually innovative courses to our students.

The final academic challenge of BASIS Curriculum Schools is not AP exams. Instead, seniors in grade 12 are able to enroll in Capstone Courses and participate in a Senior Project. Our Capstone classes are the most in-depth content of which a BASIS Independent student can partake. There is no private school in the nation that offers a Senior Project program quite like ours. Read more about Capstone Courses and Senior Projects, both of which make the senior year at BASIS Independent Schools a deeply intellectual finish to our robust, rigorous program of study, unmatched at any institution in the nation.

Math

Math Captsone (e.g., Multivariable Calculus, Linear Algebra, Differential Equations, Game Theory)

Science 

Science Capstone (e.g., Anatomy & Physiology, Organic Chemistry, Astrophysics) 

Social Sciences

Humanities Capstone (e.g., Military History, Women's History, History & Politics of Class Identity and Formation)

English/Language Arts

Humanities Capstone (e.g., Post-Modern Literature, World Literature, and Cinema)

Foreign Language 

Language Capstone (e.g., French History and Literature) 

Fine Arts, PE, and Electives

General electives*, AP elective, or post-AP elective

*Minimum one fine art elective required.