Intensely Interactive

What To Expect

Intro to Andover

Each trimester a junior takes either five or six courses, some of which are required for all juniors and others of which they place into based on ability. English 100 and History 100 are standard courses for juniors.

Students are placed into math, science, foreign language, and music courses based on demonstrated ability. In other words, juniors who have a particular aptitude for math, foreign language, or music and who wish to move ahead in one (or more) of those areas may do so by means of a placement test.

Additionally, ninth graders typically take one or two additional courses in the arts as their sixth course.

English 100

An introduction to the study of language and literature. “Every good writer was a good reader first.” – Helen Vendler

Visual Studies | Art 225

Students use a range of media (drawing, collage, photography, video, clay) to expand their perceptual, conceptual, and technical skills.

Foundations | EBI09

Empathy, balance, and inclusion seminar covering topics of communication, healthy relationships, self-care, and decision making.

Choose Your Path

Each term a lower may take five or six courses. Entering Lowers must earn no fewer than three credits (combined) in art, music, and theatre and dance, with at least one credit each in art and music, during their Andover education to earn a diploma.

Incoming lowers come from a variety of different school settings and experiences and thus have very different levels of experience in math, science, and world languages. Each student has the chance to place into the appropriate level in these courses and work forward from there.

World History | History 201

The world from 1400–1800. Study economies of silver, the Atlantic slave trade, gunpowder empires, and religious reform and transformation.

Physical Education | PHD 200

Designed to teach lifetime wellness. An emphasis on self-improvement and personal challenges. Tackle an indoor ropes course.

Endeavors | EBI10

Empathy, balance and inclusion seminar covering topics of communication, healthy relationships, self-care, and decision making.

Push Yourself

During the Upper and Senior years, a student must accumulate a minimum of 27 credits. Each term an Upper must take five courses. Language and math placement depend on each student’s demonstrated ability, which we assess through departmental placement exams. Science placement is determined by previous coursework and math level.

New Uppers may consult with our college counseling office prior to arriving on campus for guidance in planning their program of study.

Third-Level German | GER300A/B, INT300

A year-long focus on conversation, building vocabulary, advanced grammar, and interdisciplinary study of Berlin culture and history.

The United States | HSS300

Learn the narrative of American history while honing skills in reading, note-taking, and in-depth study of organizing themes.

The Final Year

Seniors are expected to take five courses each term. A student must accumulate a minimum of 27 credits. A credit equals one course taken for one term. A Senior must earn a minimum of 12 graded term credits during the senior year. Seniors must have passing term grades for all courses taken during their spring term in order to graduate.

Molecular and Cellular Biology: Laboratory Research | BIO600

Learn techniques through work with model organisms and experimental systems such as bacteria, mammalian cell culture, and C. elegans.

Honors Computer Science Seminar | CSC630

Go beyond the College Board’s AP curriculum. Push yourself on such topics as data visualization, open source software, and algorithms.

Your Daily Schedule

See what a typical day at Andover is like from students in every grade.

Sydney, Junior

“I’ve been dancing for 10 years and Andover’s performing arts program is what really drew me to the school.”

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Harry, Lower

“Having a roommate has provided me with many new perspectives. It’s been great to make new friends in the dorm and build relationships.”

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Alex, Upper

“English is a really fun class that is entirely discussion-based with other new Uppers. I feel like I’m really thriving there.”

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Sal, Senior

“I definitely needed another year of school to focus on my academic skills, and become a bigger, stronger, faster athlete.”

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2019-2020 Course of Study


We offer more than 300 of them. They are small (average class size: 13) and intensely interactive. They fall into roughly these categories: the arts, English, world languages, history and social science, lab science, math (including statistics and computer science), and philosophy and religious studies. Most students take courses in all of these fields. Some are interdisciplinary. Some are college level. All of them are designed to inspire a lifelong love of learning.

Never complacent, we are always asking our students how Andover can enhance their academic experience. Along with creating opportunities to explore topics more deeply, we make sure students have the time to reflect on—and savor—their intellectual growth.


Important! We call 9th-graders "juniors," 10th-graders "lowers," 11th-graders "uppers," and 12th-graders "seniors." 

Learning happens inside and outside the classroom at Andover. Sometimes classes just happen outside, like in front of the Memorial Bell Tower or at the Jean St. Pierre Memorial classroom.

“We have so much freedom here. We’re not reading from a prescribed set of books; we’re doing this because we want to learn. And I think as a result, the level of discussion in incredible.”

Sara Senior, Philadelphia, PA

Dr. Stephanie Sparling Williams, visiting scholar in art history and assistant curator at the Addison Gallery of American Art, talks about her class What is America? What is American Art? where students have the opportunity to learn how aspects of history and culture are portrayed, expressed, and shaped by art and in art collections.
A Quick Sampling From Our Course of Study

Projects involve creative investigation of the expressive potential of materials, structure, imagery, and context through a process of careful observation, experimentation, making, and reflecting.

The Graphic Novel

Challenge assumptions and expectations of narrative while stretching to understand the aesthetic visual choices the artist makes.

Gender and Power in Tudor England

An old-fashioned story of kings and queens, but with a twist, focusing on the women involved in this drama.

HEart & Soul: A Songwriting workshop

Analyze pop songs from Taylor Swift, Bruno Mars and Beyonce, then write four original songs in the genre of your choice.

Neurobiology of LEarning, Memory, and sleep

Investigate the biological systems of the human brain, first through a cognitive neuropsychological lens and later with greater focus on the cellular neuroplasticity underlying memory consolidation.

Nonviolence and Social Change

Drawing upon resources from philosophy, religious studies, and history, the class considers several case studies, including Gandhi’s India, the Civil Rights Movement and Black Lives Matter.

"Our Americas": Crossing Borders

A multidisciplinary course on how Latin America as a region is negotiating the challenges of globalization and border crossing.

Empathy, Balance, and Inclusion (EBI)

As part of our co-curricular programming, all students meet with small groups of their peers to relax, reflect, and identify ways to be at their best as students and community members. EBI seminar sessions cover topics including understanding of self and others, communication, healthy relationships, self-care, and decision making.

The EBI seminar for juniors, Foundations: The End Depends Upon the Beginning, meets for one period every full week of school throughout the year and is facilitated by faculty members who are assisted by prefects or day-student mentors. Discussion topics include transition, living and learning in a diverse community, stress management, time management, boundaries, active listening, knowing when to get adult support, drugs and alcohol, and more.

The EBI seminar for lowers, Endeavors of the Head, Heart and Hands, meets for one period every full week of school throughout the year and is facilitated by faculty members and specially trained members of the senior class, known as EBI Seniors. Discussion topics include resources to help us live well at Andover, identifying and living our values, mental health awareness, mindful decision making, consent, implicit bias, systemic oppression, microaggressions, and reflections on identity.

The EBI seminar for uppers, Connections, meets for nine classroom sessions across the fall and winter terms and is facilitated by faculty members. In addition, the upper program includes one EBI speaker or event per term for the whole class and requires that students attend one EBI-related campus event per term during the fall and winter. These campus events may include speakers, forums, performances, and workshops. Students are provided with a list of offerings, so they may choose events that match their interests and availability. Class discussion topics are informed both by students and by current research and current events, which we connect to life at Andover.

The EBI seminar for seniors, Transitions, meets twice per term in small groups and is facilitated by faculty members. In addition, seniors participate in a day-long orientation event in September and have two speakers per term in the winter and spring. Senior EBI also provides optional programming on topics relevant to seniors. Discussion topics for seniors include transitions from Andover to college, mental health, drugs and alcohol, values-driven decision making, and building agency and self-advocacy.