Unique Experiences

For many students, activities outside a traditional classroom setting are among the highlights of their Upper School careers — those experiences that are mentioned time and time again by alumni reflecting on their years at Durham Academy.

Competitive Academic Teams

Durham Academy's competitive academic teams (not limited to those listed below) have had great success on the state, national and international levels.

DARC SIDE RoboticS Team

Speech & Debate Team

Science Olympiad Team


Senior Challenge

Since 1979, the senior class has begun the school year with a wilderness adventure in the North Carolina mountains. The experience challenges each student both physically and emotionally as a way to help them better understand and appreciate who they are, what they are capable of and what responsibility to self and others entails.

Senior Challenge Photos

Senior Challenge

Cavalier Capstones

In May, each student in grades 9 to 11 heads out for a year-ending adventure of their choice. About 20 experiences are offered each year, from Civil RightsTour of the American South to Humans of Durham. Experiences are typically four days. International trips are also held during the Cavalier Capstone period (see below for more information).

Cavalier Capstone Catalog

Civil Rights Tour

International Trips

DA works to instill a global perspective in each student, and there's no better way to understand the world than to experience it firsthand. Several trips are part of an exchange, and many include a service component.

DA Global Programs

Kenya trip

Global Online Academy

Global Online Academy — a  consortium of top independent schools around the world — offers students the opportunity to engage in challenging, online courses taught by faculty at member schools. A few of the offerings: Game Design & Development, Arabic Language Through Culture and Genocide & Human Rights.

Global Online Academy

Upper schoolers