Upper School

College-prep curriculum, person to person

If students are to achieve their full potential, they need and deserve an educational setting in which a person is not just a number, coursework is as interesting as it is challenging, there is unrestricted access to extracurricular activities, and there is opportunity to establish positive relationships with peers and adults. Character development is celebrated as a way to ensure accountability, self-awareness, and independence in the effort to prepare a student for success in college and beyond. Within the context of Roycemore School’s overall mission, the Upper School program is rooted in academic, personal, and social growth objectives. 


Personal College Counseling

January Short Term (JST)

With access to Northwestern University, Adobe software partnerships and premier college counseling; Roycemore students are prepared to become their best. 

Our Upper School provides a rigorous and comprehensive college-prep curriculum on a personal scale. The curriculum fosters the acquisition of the verbal, quantitative, and aesthetic skills necessary for a meaningful intellectual life through the reading and writing of English and world languages; the study of mathematics, the physical sciences, and fine arts; and the development of physical skills vital for health and recreation. The curriculum encourages the creative exploration of cultural ideas with an understanding of their genesis and development. The goal of the curriculum is the education of the individual student in preparation for success in college. To this end the school promotes an active advisory program to encourage, aid, and guide the student in recognizing and fulfilling his or her unique potential. Courses offered may include those below; not all are offered every year. 

CLICK HERE to view the complete current Upper School Curriculum Guide (including course descriptions and requirements).

CLICK HERE to view the 2020-2021 Upper School Profile.


AP English Language & Composition
AP English Literature & Composition
African American Literature
American Literature
Foundations of English
The Hero’s Journey
Mythology & Epics
Romantic Impulse
Story & Structure
World Literature

World Languages

  • French I-IV
  • AP French Language & Culture
  • Mandarin I & II
  • Spanish I-IV
  • AP Spanish Language & Culture

Click Here To Learn More About World Languages at Roycemore

Social Studies

AP European History
AP US History
Contemporary Politics
Cultural Anthropology
Government & Politics
Human Development
International Relations
Modern European History
US History
World History
World Religions


Algebra I
Algebra II with Coordinate Geometry & Trig
AP Calculus AB
AP Statistics
Applied Geometry
Euclidean Geometry
Intro to Algebra II


AP Biology
AP Chemistry
AP Physics I
AP Physics II
Anatomy & Physiology
Earth & Space Science
Introduction to Chemistry
Introduction to Physics

Fine Arts

AP Music Theory
AP Studio Art
AP Studio Art: 2-D Design
AP Studio Art: 3-D Design
AP Studio Art: Drawing
Drawing & Painting
Drawing & Painting II
Music Theory & Composition
Improvisation & Acting Techniques
Music History
Pottery II
Sculpture II
Vocal Technique & Chorus

Electives & other coursework may include:

Independent Study
January Short Term
Physical Education/Health
SAT Prep
Service Learning
Computer Programming

Academic Growth
Personal Growth
Social Growth

Academic Growth

  • Helping students develop an awareness of how they best learn, what their abilities, strengths and challenges are, and encouraging students to use this awareness and knowledge for academic success 
  • Nourishing in our students an enthusiasm for learning, and encouraging students to use higher level thinking to solve a problem, even though doing so may mean refusing to settle for the easy answer
  • Developing in students the following abilities: to read, write, and think critically; to analyze diverse sources and types of information and to judge the validity of those sources 
  • Encouraging and instructing students to use creativity and flexibility to learn from mistakes and failures
  • Giving students the opportunity to collaborate with others
  • Instilling the belief that fine arts and cultural study is an integral part of a complete life
  • Encouraging students to integrate all their knowledge, whether gained in or out of a classroom

Personal Growth

  • Teaching and developing skills we believe are essential for personal success and happiness, such as: integrity, appreciation, problem solving, resilience, pride, follow-through, and responsibility
  • Developing strong, self-reliant individuals who express their beliefs with respect for themselves and others 
  • Encouraging each student to become a well-rounded, educated, productive citizen empowered to make meaningful contributions to society

Social Growth

  • Building a sense of community and school spirit
  • Encouraging every student’s involvement in extracurricular activities
  • Providing opportunities for students to become positive leaders who can learn to adapt their leadership style to the given circumstance 
  • Instilling in students the knowledge that we all have valuable contributions to make to the greater good; therefore, finding ways to collaborate with those who have differing perspectives is essential
  • Understanding that respect for oneself, as well as respect and empathy for others, is necessary to become positive members of society
  • Developing an awareness of their roles within a community and a sense of responsibility to both that community and the greater society

By The Numbers

  • Over 90% of Roycemore Upper School students participated in athletics and other extra-curricular activities last year.
  • 38 Roycemore Upper School students (44% of the Upper School) completed a total of 87 AP courses in 2017-18. 78% of those exam scores were in the honors range.
  • Each year 10–15% of our Upper Schoolers participate in the Northwestern Option, with dual enrollment at Northwestern University.
  • Historically, 100% of our students are accepted to a college or university of their choice.
  • Students in the Class of 2019 earned over $2.45 million in merit-based scholarship.

The average merit scholarship amount is $202,273 per student.

Learn more about our personal college counseling.

“I attended Roycemore, then went to Stanford University, followed by the University of Chicago Medical School. I finished my surgery residency at Northwestern University. Roycemore gave me the intellectual tools and personal resilience to succeed by providing individual attention and outstanding teachers.
It remains a remarkable school.”

– Roycemore Graduate

Frequently Asked Questions

What is this JST thing I keep hearing about?

January Short Term (JST), a Roycemore tradition since 1972, provides a wonderful opportunity for independent student exploration. With guidance from staff and project directors, students spend 3 weeks in January between the first and second semesters exploring areas of personal interest beyond our curriculum. Individual projects are limited only by a student’s ingenuity, and requisites for group projects are set by a faculty sponsor. We encourage students to think ahead: What are your goals? How will you structure your time? How will you articulate your dream? How will you make the most of this great opportunity? There is more about JST here: January Short Term at Roycemore

What role does a student's adviser play?

The student’s adviser is an advocate for the student. They provide support not only for academics, but also for social/emotional growth. Advisers can be seen as mentors and they often develop strong relationships with their advisees.

What are Roycemore's requirements to graduate?

We are a college preparatory school. Our Upper School has a rigorous and comprehensive curriculum that meets the needs of a diverse population and is designed to prepare students for admission to the colleges of their choice. We expect our students to have the intellectual ability, the motivation, and the behavior necessary to complete successfully a college prep course of study, to develop their abilities and knowledge of subject matter, and to enroll in the most sophisticated courses for which they are prepared. You can view our specific graduation requirements here:

  • Upper School Curriculum Guide
  • Do you have an honor code?

    We do have a published honor code for our Upper School: “On my honor, I will not engage in academic dishonesty, whether it be plagiarizing, cheating, fabrication or falsification of materials/data and giving or receiving inappropriate assistance. I will not engage in the unethical use of technology.”

    The code is discussed in advisory by presenting hypothetical situations and asking students whether they violate the honor code, to help foster an understanding of the code and why it’s important to have one. Students and parents sign the code, and students are expected to adhere to the code at all times. There is an honor committee that reviews any infractions and assigns consequences accordingly.

    Roycemore believes that a well-rounded high school experience, in which adolescents engage in a number of activities of interest to them, leads to increased independence and personal responsibility. Pursuing a relevant, challenging course of study not only prepares students for college, but enhances their current and future quality of life.