St. Anselm’s Abbey School

A Catholic, Benedictine School for Boys Grades 6 - 12

Academic Excellence

75 years of rigorous, classical education

Course Sequence Upper School

Below you will find the required course of study for each grade. The numeral next to each course indicates the number of periods that the class meets per week (6 or 7 indicates an additional laboratory period).

Upper School

Form III (9th Grade)
  • English - 5
  • Latin II - 5
  • Modern Language (French I or II or Spanish I or II, Arabic I or II depending on previous experience) - 5
  • Algebra II - 5
  • Chemistry - 6
  • Introduction to Catholic Tradition & Scripture - 3
  • AP World History I - 5
  • Fundamentals of Art - 2
  • Introduction to Public Speaking - 2
  • Physical Education - 1 double period
  • Intramurals - 1 double period
Form IV (10th Grade)
  • English - 5
  • Latin III - 4
  • Modern Language (French or Spanish or Arabic*) - 5
  • Geometry and Trigonometry - 5
  • Physics - 6
  • Sacraments and Prayer - 3
  • AP World History II - 4
  • Humanities - 4
  • Physical Education - 1 double period
  • Intramurals - 1 double period

* In certain cases, and with departmental permission, Form IV students may begin a new modern language sequence. Form IV transfer students may also be placed into these classes, depending on their prior academic background.

Form V (11th Grade) & Form VI (12th Grade) (Upper Division)
English - 3-4 (four semesters)

All Upper Division students must take an English course each semester. All Form V students must take an AP Language and Composition course in either the fall or spring semester to prepare for the AP Language and Composition exam in the spring of their Form V year.

For the other three semesters, students may choose from a range of AP Literature and Composition classes offered on a rotating basis each semester. Recent AP Literature and Composition offerings include:

  • African-American Literature
  • The Bonds of American Culture
  • Great Literature of the American South
  • Heroes, Rebels, and Exiles
  • Voices From the Wasteland

All of these seminars teach canonical literature and help Upper Division students prepare for the AP Literature and Composition exam, which they take in the spring of their Form VI year.

Language - 4-5 (four semesters)
  • AP Latin - Epic Poetry: Virgil and Caesar
  • Advanced Latin Literature: Catullus, Cicero, Horace and Ovid
  • Ancient Greek I and II
  • French II or IV (Form V), AP French (Form VI)
  • Spanish II or IV (Form V), AP Spanish (Form VI)
Mathematics - 5 (four semesters)
  • Pre-AP BC Calculus (one semester); AP BC Calculus (three semesters)
  • Pre-AP AB Calculus (two semesters); AP AB Calculus (two semesters)
  • AP Statistics (two semesters)
Religion - 2 (two semesters)
  • Fundamentals of Christian Ethics (Req. in Form V)

For the other three semesters, students may choose from a variety of Religion courses.

  • Science and Religion
  • World Religions in Dialogue
  • The Monastic Movement in the Church
  • Unity and Division in Christianity
  • Christian Ethics
  • Bioethics
  • Christian Spirituality
  • Philosophy of Religion
Social Studies - 5 (three semesters recommended)
  • Two semesters American Studies required (Choose from: AP U.S. History, AP U.S. Government & Politics, AP Economics/Macro, U.S. Constitutional Law, Native American Studies)
  • AP European History
  • AP Comparative Politics
  • AP Economics (Macro/Micro, one semester each)
  • International Relations
  • Middle Eastern Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Native American Studies
  • DC History
  • AP Psychology
Science - 5-7 (four semesters)
  • AP Biology (required in Form V)
  • AP Chemistry
  • AP Physics
  • AP Environmental Science
  • Fundamentals of Engineering (Civil and Mechanical)
  • Robotics
Computer Education - 2 (electives)
  • Introduction to Programming: Visual Basic.NET
  • AP Computer Science
Fine Arts: 3-5 (two semesters minimum)
  • AP Art History
  • AP Music Theory
  • Production & Theatre (Independent Study)
  • Fundamentals of Acting
  • Origami
  • History of Film
  • Men's Chorus
  • Studio Art
Community Service (required each semester)

Students in Forms V and VI are given assignments at the beginning of each school year. Service is performed on Tuesday mornings. Service hours must be completed in order for graduation requirements to be satisfied.

Independent Study Project
Students with a high level of curiosity, demonstrated achievement, and a developed interests in one or more fields (excluding science) may identify, develop, and complete an Independent Study Project with the guidance of an adult mentor. Students should consult with the Head of the Upper School, the student's Form Advisor, the project mentor, and the Chair of the relevant department(s).

Note: Electives vary from year to year.