At Durham Academy Upper School, students engage with complex ideas and diverse perspectives across a robust curriculum designed to reveal and deepen their intellectual passions.
Core courses provide students with the foundational knowledge and analytical skills they need to be confident, critical, independent thinkers. In their four years at the Upper School, each student charts a unique academic journey in which they both follow their interests and discover new ones. Because our most challenging coursework is not limited by the AP program, students ask genuine, relevant questions and then pursue those questions with depth, rigor, scholarship and creativity. With students at the center of their learning, that learning becomes meaningful and enduring — and serves as a launch pad for success in college and beyond.
Our college counseling team helps students make smart choices for course selections and activities — with an eye toward eventually finding their "perfect fit" college or university.
Durham Academy is committed to supporting students with learning differences. Our Upper School faculty includes a dedicated learning specialist and learning support coach who guide students toward confidence and self-advocacy, while helping them gain a better understanding of their learning strengths and weaknesses.
20 credits are required for graduation.
One credit is awarded for a year-long course; one half-credit is awarded for a one-semester course. The minimum course load is five courses each semester. Physical education courses are not counted toward the minimum load or toward the 20-credit requirement; nor is a course that is being repeated. Students must pass the equivalent of eight semester courses (four year-long courses) in the senior year.
Global Online Academy
Durham Academy is a member of Global Online Academy (GOA), a consortium of leading independent schools from around the world. As a student at a GOA member school, you will have the option of taking high-level online courses with classmates from around the globe as part of your Durham Academy Upper School coursework.
GOA courses are our courses, taught by experienced faculty from DA and renowned peer schools all over the world. This is a new kind of online class in which relationships and connections drive students to share their perspectives and learn from those of others.