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Course Offerings

Northwood's academic schedule is divided into trimesters. Most students will take 5 or 6 courses each trimester. Some courses will run for the entire academic year, while others are offered for individual trimesters. The trimester model allows Northwood students to explore the depths of our offerings and creates opportunities for choice within an academic program starting in the 9th grade.

During each trimester, students' schedules are comprised of a broad and challenging college-preparatory curriculum that includes a variety of Honors and AP courses. Building on the Northwood academic experience, students explore areas of interest with academic programs designed to strengthen intellectual abilities, promote character development, and advance interests in specific subject areas.

Honors and Advanced Placement Courses

In order to qualify to take AP or Honors-level courses, students must have earned a minimum grade of a B+ and have Good or Excellent effort grades in the prerequisite course. Teacher recommendations are also required for placement. Exceptions to these guidelines will only be made for special circumstances and after consultation by the current teacher, the Department Chair, and the Dean of Academics.

All students taking AP courses must take the National AP exam for that course. All AP Exam scores are printed on Northwood School’s final transcript. If a student fails to take an AP exam, he/she may not have the AP name placed on his/her transcript at the end of the year and will lose the course weighting.

Independent Study Projects

Students who have demonstrated the ability to work at an advanced level within an area of interest may arrange to pursue an independent study project. Independent study proposals must be completed and returned to the Director of College Counseling or the Dean of Academics no later than the second week of classes in the trimester in which the project occurs. The student must also find a faculty sponsor who is willing to oversee the project. Once the request for an independent study is received, the Dean of Academics will consult with the faculty sponsor to consider the proposal.

Academic schedules for newly enrolled students are created by the Dean of Academic Affairs in consultation with newly enrolled students and their respective class dean. The course selection process for our returning students is done by students and their advisors with guidance provided by the Dean of Academic Affairs and College Counseling Office

Graduation Requirements


  Credits Required Courses
Humanities Department    
Integrated Humanities (Each course is 6 credits/year; equivalent to 1 English and 1 Social Science course) 12 Integrated Humanities (9th and 10th graders)
  English 6 An English course is required every year 
  U.S. History  3 Required
  World Languages 6 Two years of the same language required, these preferred 
  Art 3 Visual and/or performing art
STEM Department    Life science and physical science 
  Science (lab) 9 Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II
  Math 9  
Electives 12  
TOTAL 60  
  LEAP 1 credit/year Students will complete a LEAP program each year of enrollment excluding senior year. 
  Health 1 credit NY State requires all students to have earned a high school level health credit. 

The above requirements must be met in order to earn a Northwood diploma. Five academic courses are the standard load for Northwood students. 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 options.

Northwood Academic Programs