Each Upper School student earning a Country Day diploma will have successfully completed 21 academic credits in a series of required courses and electives, based on individual interests and needs. Full-year courses earn 1.0 academic credits and semester courses earn 0.5 academic credits.
The 21 total academic credits must include the following:
English Language & Literature (4.0 credits)
Every student must be enrolled in an English course during every semester in the Upper School. English as a Second Language (ESL) courses are considered to fulfill English credits for those students who need additional English language support.
Mathematics (3.0 credits, 4.0 recommended)
Students are strongly encouraged to enroll in a fourth year of mathematics, and many colleges may require a fourth credit in mathematics (students are encouraged to consult with college guidance if they have concerns about specific schools).
Sciences (3.0 credits)
All ninth graders must complete Biology I, and students new to Country Day after the ninth grade must fulfill the high school biology requirement, though credit may transfer from another institution. 2.0 additional credits in science are required in the Upper School.
History & Social Studies (3.0 credits)
Required courses in History/Social Studies include World History I (9th grade), World History II (10th grade), and American History (regular, IB, or AP level; typically in 11th grade).
Modern & Classical Languages (2.0 credits)
Students must complete at least two years of consecutive study in the same language in the Upper School. Most students complete three or more years of study.
Fine Arts (1.5 credits)
Ninth grade students must complete 0.5 credits in fine arts. Students in grades 10–12 must complete an additional 1.0 credits. Any combination of courses in the visual arts, theatre, or music may satisfy this requirement.
Athletics/Physical Education/Co-curricular Activities (2.0 credits)
Students must complete two co-curricular activities each year in Upper School. Each activity earns 0.25 credit.
Co-curricular activity credits may be earned in the following ways:
- Participating (as player or manager) on a Country Day sports team
- Completing a Country Day physical education or pre-season conditioning course
- Applying for alternate PE credit for physical training conducted outside of school
- Participating in a Country Day drama production onstage or backstage (for one activity credit/year)
- Completing CAS service hours (for IB students only—one activity credit per year)