Curriculum

The Gilman Upper School employs a rigorous college preparatory curriculum that emphasizes the value of a strong work ethic, critical thinking skills, effective written and oral communication, and lifelong enjoyment of intellectual, artistic, and physical wellness pursuits.

Standard Course Loads

Grade 9: Six Credits

Freshmen take six courses that meet in the first three periods. Every freshman must take English, Mathematics, World Cultures, Physics, and Modern or Classical Language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Greek, Latin, Russian, or Spanish). For their sixth credit, students choose from Science (Robotics), History (American Government), Mathematics (Baseball & Statistics), Art (Drawing/Painting I, Photography, Pinhole to Digital, or Sculpture), or a second language. Freshmen also take mandatory (non-credit) Health & Guidance and Freshman Fifth courses that meet during the fourth and fifth periods.

Grade 10: Six Credits

In addition to continuing with Mathematics and Modern or Classical Language, most sophomores take the three-credit Humanities sequence, with parallel courses in English, European Civilization, Art History and Music History. Those students who elect to take a second language or continue their work in the visual arts are exempted from the Art/Music History requirement. Most of the art students and randomly selected members of the two foreign language students will be chosen to enroll in a double credit/two period course European Humanities in lieu of English and History, which covers literature, art history, music history, and the history of ideas. Sophomores generally complete their Science requirement by taking Chemistry or Honors Chemistry.

Grade 11: Five Credits

All juniors continue with English, Mathematics, and Modern or Classical Language, and they all take United States History. Most juniors can expect that they will take either English or History at BMS or RPCS. Most juniors choose to continue with Science (usually either Biology or Honors Biology). Juniors may also select from a wide array of on-campus elective courses or a course at Global Online Academy.

Grade 12: Five Credits

Seniors must take five courses that meet in the first three periods each semester; a few students take more. Seniors must take an English elective each semester. Seniors have many options available for arranging a rich program from a wide variety of tri-school electives. They may also take a course at Global Online Academy. Their advisor and the College Counselors will help guide them toward wise selections. Schedules that do not include courses from the five major academic disciplines (English, math, science, modern and classical language, and history) will receive special scrutiny. With special permission, a senior may do independent study with a Gilman teacher, or he might take an approved course at a college. Courses taken at educational institutions other than Gilman, Bryn Mawr and Roland Park must be paid for independently and thus represent costs beyond the Gilman tuition.

In each of his first two years at Gilman, a student must carry the equivalent of six full-credits from courses that meet in the first three periods of the day. For his junior and senior years, he must carry a minimum of five full-credits from these courses. One credit is awarded for the completion of four years of athletics. Thus Gilman students who follow the standard curriculum will have acquired a minimum of twenty-three credits by the end of their senior year.

Graduation Requirements

  • English: must be completed during each semester of high school
  • History: World Cultures in 9th grade; European Civilization in 10th grade; US History in 11th grade
  • Modern or Classical Language: must complete Level III; three consecutive high-school years of the same language
  • Athletics: must be enrolled for four years; seniors may take a season off
  • Art History/Music History: a required course for sophomores unless waived (see below)
  • Mathematics: must complete Precalculus
  • Science: Physics or Physics (Honors) and an additional lab science course (Chemistry or Biology)
  • In addition, students must complete a total of six credits in Math and Science

Students may choose from a wide variety of courses to complete their required courses of study.

Additionally, Gilman is a member of the Global Online Academy (GOA), a consortium of leading independent schools from around the world. GOA fosters new, modern ways for students to learn and teachers to teach. With Global Online Academy, teachers and students can share their voice on a global stage, improving learning and enabling the pursuit of individual passions. Juniors may register for a sixth course, and seniors may register for a fifth (or sixth) course.

In addition to Gilman’s requirements, the State of Maryland requires a student to take 21 academic credits for graduation.

Fifty hours of Community Service must be completed at one location within any twelve-month period prior to the start of senior year.

For more detailed information, take a look at the complete Upper School Course of Study.

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