Intensely Interactive

Courses

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. 

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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

Andover's Ornithology classes study imprinting with ducks and chickens with Biology Instructor Dr. Andrea Bailey.
A Quick Sampling From Our Course of Study
SCULPTURE: CLAY, PLASTER, WELDED WIRE, AND JAPANESE PAPERMAKING

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. 

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.

Department Chairs

Meet the leaders of our academic disciplines.

Stephanie Curci

English Department Chair. Interests include Post-Colonial literature, Haitian history and culture, Shakespeare, and the graphic novel.

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Chris Jones

History & Social Sciences Department Chair. A civil war historian; recently moderated a forum on Andover's history in the battle.

Christina Landolt ’02

Music Department Chair. "Before coming back to Andover as a teacher, I spent time working in a pit crew for a race car."

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Brian Faulk ’00

Chemistry Department Chair and Golf Coach

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Elizabeth Meyer, P’18

Head, Division of World Languages

Leon Modeste

Physical Education Department Chair. Coach Mo also prowls the sidelines for Big Blue Football.

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Therese Zemlin

Art Department Chair. "In addition to the time I spend teaching, I find that it is crucial for me to spend time making art."

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Karin Knudson

Department Chair for Mathematics, Statistics, and Computer Science

Caroline Odden

Natural Sciences and Physics Department Chair. Caroline Odden's Astronomy Research class discovered a rare binary asteroid in 2016.

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Lilia Cai-Hurteau

Lilia is the Chinese Department Chair and this year’s Brace Center Faculty Fellow.

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Joshua Mann ’96

Classics Department Chair

Leon Holley

Biology Department Chair