Course Catalog & Sequences
- + Graduation Requirements
To qualify for a Wyoming Seminary diploma, students must accumulate a minimum of 18.333 credits in two categories: core requirements and concomitant requirements. 1.0 credit is usually equal to full-year attendance in a course. Trimester courses earn .333 credit.
Core requirements include 16.666 credits, distributed in the following manner:
• English 4.00 credits
• Mathematics 3.00 credits
• Global Language* 3.00 credits of the same language
• History-Social Science* 3.00 credits including World Civilizations and U.S. History
• Laboratory Science* 3.00 credits including Biology and another lab science
• Electives .666 credits
* Asterisks indicate that in one of these disciplines, students may reduce the stated requirement by one credit (but in no more than one of these disciplines).
Please note the following History-Social Science requirements for entering ninth graders: 3.00 credits including World Civilizations; Modern World History or AP World History; U.S. History, AP U.S. History, or Seminar in American Studies.
Concomitant requirements include 1.666 credits, distributed as follows:
• Health education .333 credit
• Bible .333 credit
• Music history .333 credit
• Art history .333 credit
• Public speaking .333 credit
Students are expected to spend the senior year on campus, following the school's course of study. Diplomas are distributed at the graduation exercises, scheduled on the official school calendar. All senior and postgraduate students are expected to attend.
Note: Six courses is the maximum a student may take per trimester.Read more
- + Advanced Placement
Advanced Placement Courses
Wyoming Seminary is very proud of the quantity and quality of our Advanced Placement offerings and of our students’ achievement on the AP exams. Students are encouraged to take AP classes provided they have successfully completed the necessary prerequisite courses (earning a B+ or better in most cases or receiving the recommendation from the chair of the appropriate subject area department). Sem students may select from these AP courses:
• AP Art/Music History
• AP Studio - Drawing
• AP Studio - Design
• AP Computer Science
• AP Seminar in American Literature
• AP French – Language and Culture
• AP Latin
• AP Spanish – Language and Culture
• AP Spanish – Literature and Culture
History and Social Sciences
• AP Seminar in American History
• AP European History
• AP Government and Politics
• AP Psychology
• AP U.S. History
• AP Economics
• AP Calculus AB
• AP Calculus BC
• AP Statistics
• AP Art History
• AP Music Theory II
• AP Biology
• AP Chemistry
• AP Environmental Science
• AP Physics
- + Community Service & EXCOLO
Community Service & EXCOLO
Community Service, Activities, and Physical Education
Sem’s community service, campus activities and physical education requirement are administered through the EXCOLO program. All freshmen and sophomores must earn two participation credits in campus activities, while new juniors, seniors and postgraduates must earn one credit. Each student must complete a community service project. All students, except postgraduates, must earn one trimester credit of physical education credit per year.Read more
- + English
The English program at Wyoming Seminary is a highly flexible, responsive program. It is a spiral, rather than linear, curriculum, and employs a wide variety of teaching strategies and grouping patterns. Emphasis is on higher cognitive functions -- analysis, synthesis and evaluation -- as well as on knowledge and understanding.
All English courses are designed to meet four major goals: reading comprehension, effective speaking and writing, logic and problem-solving skills, and appreciation of the value of literary art. Course offerings are diversified and instruction is as individual as possible. Although we are all heading in the same direction to meet the four major goals, each student is progressing according to his or her own interests, values and abilities.
There are three parts, or phases, of the English curriculum.
• Phase 1: Perception, values and interpersonal communication
• Phase 2: Basic skills and approaches to literature
• Phase 3: Electives: advanced study and independent study
The freshman course stresses problem solving, interpersonal communication and writing skills. Through discussions, oral presentations and group projects, students learn more about themselves and their world. They are encouraged to reach out to others in increasingly complex ways. Finally, they are able to relate their own interpersonal experience to literature and composition. Teachers work as a team with all freshmen, providing maximum opportunity to deal with widely varying backgrounds and skills.
The second phase emphasizes basic skills and approaches to literature. This phase is four trimesters long, extending through the sophomore year and the first trimester of the junior year. Students whose basic skills are still weak at the end of this phase are not required to remain at this level, but are advised rigorously to elect courses which stress basic skills more strongly (such as Expository Writing) in Phase 3.
The third phase (five trimesters) completes the junior and senior years. It is an elective program composed of widely varying kinds of courses to meet different student needs and interests. All electives are directed toward the goals of the department. Although students who are weak in basics will find courses designed to help them, most courses include complex, advanced work in literature or communications, and students will also find opportunity to develop new skills or study independently. Each teacher designs his or her own courses and offers them in the marketplace of ideas. Our students respond to the challenging and interesting teaching and choose courses according to their interests and needs.
REQUIRED ENGLISH COURSES
English 210: The Literature of Self Discovery
The Literature of Self Discovery, our freshman English course, is interactive, stressing interpersonal communications and problem-solving skills. Students are asked to enlarge their awareness of themselves and of the world, including other persons; to reach out to others in increasingly complex ways; and to generalize interpersonal experiences to literature and composition. Because freshmen come from a wide variety of backgrounds, attitudes, and maturity, this course is individualized through team teaching. A team of teachers works with all freshmen in continually shifting group arrangements, allowing for individual differences on an almost daily basis. On successive days, a particular student might be working in a "remedial" grammar section and leading a sophisticated discussion of values. Intensive instruction in critical reading and writing skills begins at this level. Topics in this course include: perception and frame of reference, personal values and public debate, prejudice, and maturity.
English 220: Literary Genres
Literary Genres, our sophomore English course, is a course in basic skills and approaches to literature. The course explores the special characteristics of the short story, the essay, the novel, the poem, and the drama. The course will focus on the process of literary analysis; by examining the particular concerns of each genre, the student will learn a basic vocabulary of literary concepts. The course also includes basic composition skills (organization, usage, argument, etc.) and refines the essay model introduced in the freshman year.
English 224: Style and Structure
This course, required of all juniors (except those in English 225) and postgraduates during the fall term, completes the second or basic skills phase of the English curriculum. Through the close analysis of major works of British and American literature, students will refine their critical reading and writing skills, develop a vocabulary of literary terms, and encounter different techniques of literary analysis. All students will have a chance to identify and correct individual writing weaknesses before they enter the elective phase of our English curriculum.
English 229: Early British Literature
This course will examine some of the earliest known works written in English, when English barely looked like English at all. Early Brits had a taste for gore, for riddles, for rich irony, and for dirty jokes, and in our examination of Old English texts (read in translation) and Middle English (read in both the original and translation) we will come to appreciate both the times and places that gave rise to these funny, original, allusive texts as well as how little has changed. While the intimidation factor looms large when dealing with such old texts, early British authors wrote to entertain, so even contemporary readers will be able to laugh along with Chaucer’s pilgrims and weep with The Wanderer. Our study will focus extensively on Chaucer, but we will also cover selections from the genres of chivalric romance, epic poem, and Old English poetic fragments.
English 232: Public Speaking
This course introduces the student to the principles of speaking, including the social, physical and ethical aspects of speech. Attention is paid to such facets as listening, body language and the impromptu speech. The student will prepare demonstrations, introductions and cause speeches. Because many contemporary situations, both business and social, involve interacting with others, the student will examine the phenomenon of “the group” and the dynamics involved.
English 225/History and Social Science 425: Seminar in American Studies
This seminar is designed to emphasize the interrelation of American literature and American history. Depth in comprehension will be expected in the composition of appropriate papers. Students are expected to contribute to discussion under combined guidance of history and English instructors. Evaluation will include tests, papers, projects and special activities. This course is open by invitation only to specially qualified juniors and meets for two bells each day.
ELECTIVE ENGLISH COURSES
Each year upperclassmen may elect from a representative list of courses such as these described below:
NOTE: Juniors must take one course per trimester. The fall course must be English 224: Style and Structure. At least one of the others must be designated as a “reading-intensive course.”
Not every course listed is offered every year.
Seniors must take one course each trimester. At least two courses must be designated as “reading-intensive courses.”
*Courses that do not fit the reading-intensive designation are marked by an asterisk. Only one of these courses can be included among the required English courses each year. Students are encouraged to schedule classes taught by a variety of teachers. No upper class student may take a full year of electives taught by the same teacher.
English 221: The Heroic Journey
This course will focus on whales and windmills. While everyone is familiar with the heroic journey, we will be looking at two works that celebrate and question that archetype. Are there goals that are unattainable? Should there be? This course deals with the archetypical hero tale/ quest and how Melville and Cervantes challenge those basic tenets in Moby Dick and Don Quixote.
English 222: American Dream
Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. America is seen as the land of opportunity for those seeking freedom, education, happiness and success, but do those in search of these ideals find what they are looking for? What promises does America make to its citizens and its newcomers, and which promises does it keep? Through authors such as Sinclair Lewis, John Steinbeck, Langston Hughes, Willa Cather and Jamaica Kincaid, this course will explore the obstacles, achievements, ideals, and paradoxes of what it means to be, or become, American.
English 223: Modern Fantasy Fiction
So you loved The Chronicles of Narnia or The Hobbit as a kid. And lately you’ve been wistfully eyeing your nephew’s "Harry Potter” books. Where is the self-respecting adult fantasy reader to turn? Fantasy has continued to thrive and improve in both quality and book sales. Many of the works continue to explore Tolkien’s quasi-medieval settings, but others will reveal fantasy worlds within our own reality. What each world has in common is a vividly written, incredibly intricate and detailed world, governed by unique natural laws and rules of order which generally serve as a thinly veiled political, philosophical and social commentary to our own society. Possible authors to examine include Robert Jordan, Terry Goodkind, Weis & Hickman and Neil Gaiman.
English 228: Environmental Literature
Does it matter that most of us have never seen the Milky Way in the night sky? What is the significance of home or community in a techno-capitalist society where few people put down roots? What does it mean about us when the leavings in our dumpsters can feed a determined forager? These are just a few of the questions we ask in this course that uses texts of American and world literature to examine our evolving relationship with the natural world in the 20th and 21st centuries. Novels by Czeslaw Milosz (Poland), Wendell Berry (U.S.A.), Leslie Marmon Silko (U.S.A.), and Tsitsi Dangarembga (Zimbabwe), and essays by Annie Dillard, Verlyn Klinkenborg, and Aldo Leopold serve as the foundation of our class, which aims to improve our ability to read intelligently, to analyze texts using a variety of critical methods, and to express ourselves effectively in discussions and writing.
English 233: Introduction to Poetry Writing and Contemporary American Poetry
This course is designed to give students an introduction to contemporary American poetry while providing an opportunity for students to write original pieces. The central theme for the class will be the attempt to answer the question, “What is poetry?” Topics will include structure, meter, rhyme scheme, types of poems, etc., with the focus on what differentiates contemporary poetry from other literary forms. Evaluation will be based on quizzes on assigned readings, analysis of poetry, peer evaluation/critique of work and final portfolio of written work.
English 234: Taboo
You’ve read Fahrenheit 451 and thought the premise was ridiculous, right? That could never happen. And yet we live in an age where books are still attacked and even banned. So what can’t be said these days? (Controversial playwright David Mamet would have us believe the only things you can’t say today are that Wayne Newton’s head is too small for his body and that, no matter what, Richard Simmons still looks a little pudgy.) As television and film continue to push visual and thematic limits, where does our literature draw the line? Are we more or less forgiving of the novel than the film? We will identify the unpopular, the unspeakable, the unforgivable, and then explore literature, both classical and modern, which has dared to tread the dark waters of questionable subject matter.
English 236: Sports Heroes in Literature
In modern society, athletes often exist as models of virtue and heroism, as examples of humanity at its best. But where does our obsession with sports and competition come from? This course will explore the origins of this particular brand of hero worship, tracing the role of the “athlete-hero” through both classic and contemporary works of literature. Some questions we will consider include: How do we define heroes? What makes an anti-hero? What can sports heroes teach us about the culture of their time? How do sports and politics collide? Possible works include Beowulf, The Natural, The Great White Hope, and Playing the Enemy/Invictus.
English 238: Literature of Justice
Nothing is more captivating than a good courtroom drama. Long before TV shows like Law and Order captivated audiences, authors were writing about trials, capturing heroic lawyers, witnesses, and even defendants. This course will explore a variety of works of fiction that use the courtroom as a backdrop for the drama that unfolds.
English 243: Censored Literature
The issue of censorship is one that affects publishers, teachers, parents, students, and school administrators. Why have certain books been censored from the shelves of high school libraries and barred from our classrooms, only to be celebrated in later years? How do criteria for censorship differ globally? What do “freedom of speech” and “freedom of the press” really mean? These are some of the essential questions students grapple with in this course. Censorship has an extensive history, and the list of works that are banned or challenged continues to grow. Texts may include What Johnny Shouldn't Read, Fahrenheit 451, and The Handmaid’s Tale. In addition, students may be exposed to other censored art forms, including works by poets, filmmakers, political authors, comic strip artists, painters, and musicians. Students will be thoroughly engaged in analytical writing, class discussion, debates, and group presentations, all displaying the effects of a controversial topic that continues to impact our lives and our art.
English 244: Literature of Coming of Age
In this course we will study a familiar topic: growing up. We’ll trace the origins of the bildungsroman, or novel of formation/education. We will consider the tests a person must go through in order to be considered a man or a woman. Perhaps more importantly, we will examine what a person needs to consider him or herself fully mature. We will examine this topic through various works by authors such as Voltaire and Brontë, and through several short stories. Assessment will include analytical essays, tests, quizzes, and a project.
English 247: Madness in Literature
We are always intrigued by stories of insanity, especially those moments when individuals are pushed beyond the limits of normal expectations to actions or beliefs that challenge our assumptions. Sometimes this produces frenzy, tragedy and violence, sometimes acts of inspiring beauty. This course will examine the nature of madness, the various methods authors have taken to represent the “fevered mind,” and the lines between madness and genius. Possible authors may include Shakespeare, Dostoyevsky, Poe, McEwan, Sexton, Crane, Faulkner, and Weiss.
English 248: 19th Century American Literature
What does it mean to be an American? In the nineteenth century, writers tried to awaken their countrymen to issues of spirituality, politics, and economics, and out of many voices came the patterns for much of the American literature, conflicts, and ideals that followed. This course will represent some of the most important voices of nineteenth century America - voices such as Dickinson and Whitman, Emerson and Thoreau, Hawthorne and Poe. We’ll examine race through Twain and Douglass, and gender through Fuller and Chopin. We’ll witness a country attempting to gain an identity, and perhaps discover more about ourselves in the process.
English 250 : Lit. of Men
In this course we will consider the ways in which boys and men are shaped by expectations of manhood and masculinity that differ according to place, time, and social class. Our guiding questions will include how do boys become men? what do real men do? do all men want/have power? are hegemonic masculinities oppressive or empowering? and to what extent can we resist/alter conceptions of masculinity in our place/time? In other words, are we free to make ourselves? We will read excerpts from seminal texts by critic Eve Kosofky Sedgwick and sociologist Michael Kimmel; our literature selections may include The Whereabouts of Aeneas McNulty by Sebastian Barry, Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko, Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, Portnoy’s Complaint by Philip Roth, Paradise by Toni Morrison, Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy, and American Rust by Phillip Meyer; and we’ll sample from the films of Wes Anderson, Quentin Tarantino, and Orson Welles.
English 253: African-American Literature
This course will examine black culture in America through the critical reading of black literary voices, tracking the experiences of African Americans from the earliest days of colonial experiences, both slave and free, to the era of Obama and Ferguson. Texts may include the poems of Phillis Wheatley, Langston Hughes, Gwendolyn Brooks, and James Weldon Johnson, The Escape by William Wells Brown, The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X and Alex Haley, Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison, and the film Bamboozled by Spike Lee.
English 257: Literature of War
This course examines the portrayal of both the process of war in literature and its traumatic effects on both those who participate in its operation. We will pay particular attention to the experience of the soldier and both the psychological and moral traumas he may experience through service. Texts may include the poetry of Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon, Achilles in Vietnam by Dr. Jonathan Shay, Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf, Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut, and Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain.
English 258: Literature of the Outsider
This course will examine the trials and tribulations of those pushed to the margins of society as a result of their gender, race, class, religion, and/or sexuality. It will focus heavily on the perspective of the individual who is unable to conform to societal norms. Texts may include selections from a wide range of authors such as Jack Kerouac, Frederick Exley and Brock Clarke.
English 259: Love Gone Wrong
This course will examine the theme of love in world literature, specifically how an emotion that has sparked so much of the most beautiful poetry and prose we know can also be presented as such a dangerous and destructive force. The texts we encounter will deal with such juicy questions as: when does love go wrong? What forms can frustrated or unrequited love take (including obsession, fixation, jealousy, lust, and vengeance)? Who suffers? What are the consequences of loving too much or not enough? We will be looking at short stories and poetry by various authors (including Eliot, Valenzuela, and Faulkner) as well as major works by Shakespeare, Euripides, Chaucer, and McEwan.
English 260: Comedy and Satire
Do you like your humor light or black, soothing or abrasive? Do you prefer plots that delight and reassure, or ones that threaten and attack? Are you an optimist or a cynic, an idealist or a realist? This course explores all of these sides of the human spirit and the lively literature that flows from these different temperaments. Our journey will take us across the spectrum of comical and satirical writing and may include texts from Evelyn Waugh, Jonathan Swift, Joseph Heller, and David Sedaris.
English 262: Novel to Film
This course looks at a diverse cross-section of adaptations, with the dual goals of figuring out how the films relate to the “source texts” and how the films are their own original entities. We will explore the strengths and constraints of each medium (including a brief overview of film techniques), as well as the different strategies for adapting a text. Possible works include True Grit, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
English 264: Literature of Success
What does it mean to succeed? Is it true, as Thoreau said, that most men “lead lives of quiet desperation?” Did Churchill get it right when he said, “success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm?” In this course we’ll examine various views of the “successful” life through non-fiction and fiction that ranges from Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius to Russian author Leo Tolstoy and American author Willa Cather to Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl. Explore the options, and construct (or deconstruct) your own meaning of “success.”
English 266: Page to Stage
While almost all art and literature can be open to interpretation, drama is one of the few art forms that requires interpretation as part of its presentation. While the text of a play may remain unchanged even over hundreds of years, every production, every adaptation, envisions the work anew - perhaps as an animated Disney musical based on Hamlet (The Lion King), a contemporary zombie romance based on Romeo & Juliet (Warm Bodies), or a binge-worthy Netflix series inspired by Richard III (House of Cards). How does a play’s text become a performance? How does a director make a classical text into a contemporary piece of theatre that can speak to an audience of today or re-imagine the story as a contemporary TV show or movie? This course will examine the various ways in which the written word is interpreted in performance and adapted to other media.
English 268: Women and Literature
The question of the representation of women's lives in literature has dominated literary criticism for decades.This course will deal with the biggest questions in the field, including: What are the cultural sources of women's power? Are there problems or issues exclusive to women? What makes something a "chick" book or film? What is the difference between stereotype and archetype? And is the question of "women's liberation" over in this day and age? Possible authors may include Shakespeare, Chaucer, Euripides, Chopin, Ibsen, Hemingway, Austen, and Brontë.
English 270: Literature of Survival
Few situations reveal more about human nature or individual character than survival predicaments. This values-centered course will explore the judgments and behaviors of individuals faced with danger. We will seek to trace the physical and spiritual dimensions of each character’s plight. Our survey will span the centuries and range from the responses of traditional rationalism to those of modern existentialism.
English 271: Literature of Nobel Prize Winners
This course will be examining the work of some of the winners of the Nobel Prize for Literature since the prize was first awarded in 1901. Some of these authors are very familiar to American readers (Hemingway, Steinbeck, Faulkner); some are not (Odysseus Elytis, and Wladyslaw Reymont). We will be trying to take a look at the work of a mixture of well-known and obscure authors, while taking into consideration the rule that Nobel set forth in his will – that the nationality of the author should not be a factor in the selection of his or her work. This will not, however, be a course purely in literature appreciation; we will be casting a critical eye both on the works and the selection of an author’s canon for the award. Just because the Nobel committee liked an author’s work doesn’t mean we have to. We will also be examining the political or cultural biases of the judging, and we will look at the changing values of literature over the course of the twentieth century.
English 273: Expository Writing*
Expository Writing is a trimester course dedicated to helping students become more knowledgeable about the elements of good essay writing and more proficient in their own ability to write essays that are clear, organized and intelligent. Special attention will be given to the step-by-step construction of essays following the 3.5 template. Students will practice writing compositions suitable for the college Common Application as well as prepare for the SAT essay writing questions.
English 274: Lost Generation
The term "the lost generation" was adopted by Gertrude Stein for a generation of authors in the 1920s spawned by the rootlessness, hedonism, despair, and disaffection of a post World War I West. Though the term came, reportedly, from Stein’s auto mechanic, who in despair at his apprentices’ abilities, referred to them as "une generation perdue,” Stein would apply it to some of the most famous and well regarded authors in the American tradition, including F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and John Dos Passos. The course will cover works from these authors, as well as Ezra Pound, T.S. Eliot and several others. Students will study the literature within the political and cultural framework of the time period.
English 278: Literature of Science and Society
From the Industrial Revolution to the Internet, scientific and technological progress has always shaped literature. This course will explore what role literature plays in examining (and in some cases, inspiring) those scientific discoveries that lead to paradigmatic shifts in human life. Texts may include Rossum’s Universal Robots by Karel Capek, Neuromancer by William S. Gibson, and “Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction” by Walter Benjamin.
English 280: Contemporary British Literature
From postwar England, when deep discontent with traditional British society engendered satirical views from the “Angry Young Men,” to the political ramifications of the Troubles in Northern Ireland, to 21st century Britain, this course delves into the human experience of postmodern British culture through a diverse array of contemporary works by authors such as Kingsley Amis, William Boyd, Doris Lessing, Ian McEwan, and A.S. Byatt. Drawing on the knowledge we possess of our own society, we will ask ourselves if there is any truth to George Bernard Shaw's assertion that "England and America are two countries separated by a common language," or come up with our own counter-assertions.
English 285: Literature of Autobiography
This course investigates and examines our interconnectedness as human beings through enlightening and profound autobiographies. These books reveal the experiences, life lessons, confessions, and personal myth of an individual, permitting us to enter another human being’s internal journey through life. By reading how extraordinary people discover the world and define their existence within it, we are able to find meaning in our own lives and expand our empathic ability. We will discover the differences between autobiography and memoir, and the writing styles of women versus men. Authors may include: Frank McCourt, Maya Angelou, Elie Wiesel, Ernest Hemingway, Beryl Markham, Jeannette Walls, and Pearl S. Buck. Each student will independently choose an autobiography or memoir to read as a final project.
English 290: Irish Literature
This course is a detailed look at the literary tradition of Ireland, with a particular focus on two of its most famous native sons. We start with William Butler Yeats, looking at a selection of the work that helped to establish him as one of the most influential voices of the 20th century. After an exploration of several other authors, we finish by reading A Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce.
English 291: Introduction to Journalism*
The Introduction to Journalism elective is a hands-on exploration of the basics of newspaper journalism as it is practiced in the United States today. The elective’s goal is to help students read newspapers thoughtfully and critically, whether on paper or online, and to give insight into the exciting and challenging journalism profession. Students will learn about newspaper reporting and the ethics of journalism. They also will begin to explore the changing world of online journalism. This elective requires both reading and writing; students will be expected to read newspapers daily, read a book about writing and write a variety of news stories. Guest speakers from various local news media will visit the class to discuss their news-gathering experiences and skills.
English 293: Creative Writing*
In this course, students strive to develop and nurture their creative sides, both by reading works with a writer’s lens and by tapping into their own forms of self expression. We will examine and analyze the writing styles of other authors, through art forms such as poetry, prose fiction, non-fiction, flash fiction, and playwriting. Students will use these published works as inspiration for their own original pieces, which will lead to a final portfolio. To help get us there, we will be actively involved in literature discussions, small-group workshops, individual writing exercises, and plenty of time to write.
English 294: Freedom and Identity
This course examines the ideals of mobility, escape, and the self as expressed by female and male authors from different cultures. We will explore literature and film that portray attempts to break free from the conventional boundaries of society and question how expansion, travel, and progress structure freedom and self-identity for individuals. To what extent does location create or limit an individual? From what does travel liberate people? Is progress always good? What does it mean to “find yourself?” The reading list may include Binyavanga Wainaina’s Kenyan memoir One Day I will Write About this Place; Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf; The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid; The Birthday Party by Harold Pinter; Kindred by Octavia Butler and the films Whale Rider and Citizen Kane.
English 295: The Tragic MuseRead more
Purge your soul and find your flaws while reading some of the most important works in world literature. This course examines the impulse of tragedy from its origins in worship in ancient Greece to its modern interpretation. We begin with Aristotle’s Poetics and examine elements of tragedy in various works from Sophocles, to Shakespeare, to Arthur Miller.
- + English as a Second Language
English as a Second Language (ESL)
As part of the English program at Wyoming Seminary, there is a multilevel ESL program for students who do not use English as their first language. The goal of the ESL program is to help international students develop their English skills so that they can merge with the regular academic program. Hence international students may enter the ESL program at different points or may not need to take ESL courses at all. Students also may move from one level to another or terminate their study in ESL once their skill level develops appropriately. Course placement is based on testing and previous study of English.
If an international student is enrolled in at least one term of ESL the Global Language graduation requirement is waived.
The basic ESL program consists of two levels for students whose skills are at the intermediate stage or the advanced stage.
English 202: English as a Second Language Intermediate Level
A course for intermediate level learners of English as a second language, this class places emphasis on grammar as students continue to develop all four areas of language: listening, speaking, reading and writing. Through a variety of activities, students are forced to practice their English language skills to develop fluency and to gradually develop their ability to self-correct. Emphasis is on meaningful use of language, not rote memory. Both oral and written English are stressed as students complete their units of study. Projects and group work are used when appropriate.
English 203: English as a Second Language Advanced Level
The highest level of ESL at Wyoming Seminary, this course stresses accuracy in language production. While the lower level courses place more emphasis on oral production, this class focuses on reading and writing. Grammar study is a major component of the class. Reading and writing assignments help students learn the critical skills they need to successfully merge with the mainstream academic courses. Students also complete units that help them understand the subtle uses of language, including study of idioms and paralinguistics. Journal assignments provide the opportunity for metacognitive development in English as students develop strategies for dealing with issues ranging from acculturation to academic survival.
In addition to these courses, the ESL program helps students make the transition to regular English courses in several ways. There is a Freshman English course (English 210 for ESL students) that parallels the regular Freshman English for native speakers, and once students reach the junior year they may take parallel courses in English 273 (Expository Writing) and English 224 (Style and Structure), slightly modified and taught in a sheltered format to meet the needs of second language learners.Read more
- + Fine and Performing Arts
Fine and Performing Arts
Students with a strong interest in art are encouraged to take an art course every year. Advanced trimester-length electives are offered on a rotating basis; the following suggests the selections usually available. Students can develop a substantial portfolio that can be presented as a college credential.
Art 101: Drawing and Design
Drawing and Design is a full-year course, which offers students the conceptual ability to creatively render still life subjects. The art room provides a space where the practical application of clear focus automatically turns off the inner critic, and develops instead a critical eye as we prepare to master the fundamental elements of art. Our visual problem-solving uses Algebra to explain the balance and the relationship of symmetry in design compositions. It is mastering these design principles that readies the student to proceed in the art curriculum.
Art 102: The Figure
The Figure is a term-length course focusing on rendering the human form from student models. The first half of the term will be dedicated to gesture drawings and working on issues related to foreshortening and point of view. During the second half of the term, the class will focus on longer drawings pulling together the lessons from the first half in more complete renderings.
Art 103: Printmaking
Printmaking is a term-length course in which the students learn a number of printing processes. They will explore monoprints, collographs, linoleum blocks, and (if time permits) the intaglio method.
Art 104: Advanced Two-Dimensional Design
In Advanced Two-Dimensional Design the students will learn about composition through a study of the elements and principles of design as a base for future study of the visual arts. Students will work in a variety of materials and explore a number of techniques. Emphasis on the layering techniques of water-color illustration and landscape painting is an integral component to this course.
Art 105: Introduction to Digital Photography
In digital photography the students will be introduced to the application of traditional photography concepts to the digital medium. Issues related to composition and the artistic selection of subject matter will be stressed along with the technical aspects of the camera.
Art 105A: Advanced Digital Photography
Advanced Digital Photography will be a continuation of the work begun in the term length class, with continued emphasis on the elements of art and principles of design as they apply to composition in photography. Assignments will be based on longer projects and a body of work based on a central theme or concept. Students who desire to take this course must have completed the Digital Photography course and must have their own digital camera to work with.
Prerequisite: Art 105: Digital Photography
Art 106: Advanced Drawing
Students will continue to work on drawing techniques learned in Drawing and Design. The students will work primarily from still lifes to explore issues of composition, perspective, foreshortening and shading. Materials may include pencil, charcoal, and conte crayon.
Art 107: Painting
Basic oil or acrylic techniques will be explored while painting from observation. Students will learn the use of color beginning from a monochromatic base.
Art 110: Digital Filmmaking: The Fiction Film
Film is well on its way to becoming a completely digital medium. The result is that it is easier than ever for the fledgling filmmaker to jump right into production. This course will help the novice filmmaker instill an amateur project with professional (technical and aesthetic) values. Course material will include instruction in the technical fundamentals of the digital movie-making world, but it will also address the more artistic elements of composition, continuity and style. Classroom theory will be put into practice as students apply their knowledge and understanding of the form to various digital projects (including at least one short narrative film). Course limited to 9 students.
Art 112: Three-Dimensional Design
This course explores the various material used to create three-dimensional master works in paper, wire, wood and clay. Students learn how to manipulate these materials and use sculpting tools safely. They analyze other works of sculpture through reading, discussion and critique. We examine geometric, abstract and organic forms. The second half of the term is dedicated to non-functional ceramics and ways to create clay sculptures. Students create freestanding, handmade pieces using the sculptural techniques of coil & slab rolling with textural enhancements. This class is generally taken after Drawing & Design.
Art 118: Ceramics
In Ceramics the student will learn the basic skills of working with clay in both hand-built and wheel-thrown techniques. The emphasis will be on learning strong foundations and working consistently in preparation for more advanced work. Each student will learn about the firing and glazing process as well.
Art 118A: Advanced Ceramics
In Advanced Ceramics the students will continue to develop their wheel throwing technique and will be required to produce a consistent body of work over the course of the term. Design of the pieces as well as decoration will be stressed in this course.
Prerequisite: Art 118: Ceramics
Art 130: AP Studio Art/Drawing
Art 131: AP Studio Art/Design
1.00 credit each year
AP Studio is a year-long course that will prepare the students to submit an AP Studio portfolio for grading in May in either the drawing or design concentration. Over the course of the year the students will be creating works in two major sections, breadth and concentration. The breadth section is intended to demonstrate their abilities over a wide variety of material and subjects. The concentration will be all original pieces centered on a common theme or idea; the works must show growth in both concept and skill. This is a large undertaking and the students need to be prepared to work outside of class frequently. This course is only for juniors and seniors who have shown a dedication to their art and a commitment to future growth.
Prerequisite: Invitation from the instructor based on past work or submission of a portfolio.
Art 141: The Dramatic Experience: Acting and Analysis
As an introductory course to stage acting, this class will cover basic actor preparation through textual analysis, an exploration of various acting methods and techniques, and improvisation. Memorization and performance of both monologues and scenes, as well as written analysis of scenic work, will comprise the major grades. No prior acting experience is necessary; the pace of the class can accommodate the needs of both experienced performers and novices alike, so both beginners and more experienced performers looking to learn more about acting would benefit from the class.
One trimester of Art History is required to graduate. Each student must choose either Art 120: Art History, Art/Music 623 Creative Spirit, or AP Art History 124.
Art 120: Art History Survey
Art History is a one term trimester survey of the major themes of Art through a global perspective. Students will be introduced to the basic elements of art and principles of design, as well as the materials and techniques used to make Art. Through an exploration of contextual and formal analysis the students will learn to develop the necessary skills to discuss the major trends in Art. The class will focus on artistic trends across time from the earliest works to new concepts, and will allow the students to see the significant role that Art plays in every aspect of their lives.
Art 123: AP Art History
The AP Art History course explores such topics as the nature of art, its uses, its meanings, art making, and responses to art. Through investigation of diverse artistic traditions of cultures from prehistory to the present, the course fosters in-depth and holistic understanding of the history of art from a global perspective. Students learn and apply skills of visual, contextual, and comparative analysis to engage with a variety of art forms, constructing understanding of individual works and interconnections of art-making processes and products throughout history.
This course will fulfill the Art History requirement.
Art/Music 623: Creative Spirit
This honors-level course, also known as Creative Spirit, introduces and studies structural and creative components of both art and music. Focusing on the interrelationship of these two art forms, the course will survey the major artistic periods of Western culture and correlate the elements found in each style. Several field trips to New York’s Lincoln Center and various museums are planned as part of the curriculum. There will be assigned research projects and class presentations as well as both objective and essay-format tests and quizzes. This honors course fulfills both the art and music requirement.
Dance 981/Health/Physical Education 981: Dance Technique
Excolo PE credit
Dance Technique is designed to provide instruction in contemporary dance, combining the various styles of ballet, modern and jazz. The course is offered on a trimester basis, and is open to any student, regardless of previous training. The course may be taken in specific periods during the day or twice weekly from 3:30 to 5 p.m.
Music, Theory and Performance:
Participation in musical activities is encouraged for all students. The music department aims to foster and nourish the singing and playing talents of the students by providing a variety of opportunities that will allow the development of those talents in depth. Performance opportunities include participation in ensembles for advanced singers and instrumentalists as well as in district and regional ensembles.
The department not only realizes the intrinsic merit of music, but also firmly believes that musical training and the discriminating appreciation of musical values are important factors in the growth and development of the whole person. Private instrumental and vocal lessons are available on campus and strongly encouraged for all students participating in the school music program, as well as for other interested students.
Music 600: Music Theory
A study of the harmonic, melodic, and rhythmic elements of music, this course will also include basic musicianship, analysis of form, and other compositional techniques. A historical survey of the treatment of these elements will be included in this syllabus.
Music 602: AP Music Theory
A year-long course with a strong emphasis on the development of listening skills relating to the theoretical aspects of music, AP Music Theory will include ear training in interval recognition, harmonic and melodic dictation, and formal analysis. In addition, there will be an in-depth exploration of part-writing, score-reading, and music literature of various historical periods. Students can prepare for the Advanced Placement exam. (This course will only be offered if there is sufficient interest among students qualified to take it.)
Music 604: Chorale
A year-long course, Chorale meets for rehearsal one period each day. The Chorale experience provides participants with an opportunity to develop vocal technique and master the skills needed in ensemble singing. Students are exposed to a number of choral works from the vast repertoire of choral literature and also develop skills in basic musicianship and performance practice. This ensemble is open to all students.
Music 605: Music Composition
In an independent study situation, students with some composition background may expand their abilities through the study of counterpoint, melodic development, transposition, chord progressions and orchestration. Creative development is of the utmost importance, as students compose works of varying styles for various instrumentations.
Prerequisite: Music 600: Music Theory I
Music 607: Wyoming Seminary Instrumental Music
Open to instrumentalists by audition only, the Wyoming Seminary large instrumental ensembles are vehicles for developing ensemble skills. The orchestra, wind ensemble and string ensembles rehearse weekly and present two concerts each school year. Opportunities also exist for students to participate in a variety of chamber music ensembles. Size and makeup of the chamber ensembles vary according to the ability levels and instrumentation available. All instrumental ensembles allow students to develop their listening skills and to become more independent musicians. Close personal attention from instructors ensures that all students are developing proper playing techniques and working at their full potential. In addition to the groups mentioned above, the civic orchestra offers additional challenges for advanced instrumentalists.
One trimester of music history is required to graduate. Each student may choose either Music 601: Masterpieces of Music (a trimester course) or take Music 623/Art 123: AP Art and Music History, or Music 600: Music Theory to satisfy this requirement.
Music 601: Masterpieces of Music
This course introduces students to the basic elements of music and musical terminology and to the history of music and musical styles. Beginning with a discussion of the view of music in ancient Greece and Rome, this course traces the development of Western classical music from the Middle Ages to the present day. Emphasis is given to the development of musical forms and styles, and a consideration of the sociological and cultural influences on musicians and composers. The relationship of music to the visual arts and prevailing cultural milieu of each historical period is also explored.
Art/Music 623: Creative SpiritRead more
This honors-level course, also known as Creative Spirit, introduces and studies structural and creative components of both art and music. Focusing on the interrelationship of these two art forms, the course will survey the major artistic periods of Western culture and correlate the elements found in each style. Several field trips to New York’s Lincoln Center and various museums are planned as part of the curriculum. There will be assigned research projects and class presentations as well as both objective and essay-format tests and quizzes. This honors course fulfills both the art and music requirement.
- + Global Languages
Global language study prepares students for more responsible and informed global citizenship, and global language study is expected at all competitive colleges. It is especially appropriate at Sem, with its sizable population of students from around the world. Instruction and participation in the target language are integral components of curriculum. Students may choose from offerings in classical language (Latin), critical language (Russian, Mandarin) and Romance language (French, Spanish). Three of the languages at Wyoming Seminary currently offer the possibility of receiving college credit through the Advanced Placement examinations. Sem offers several travel-abroad experiences: bi-annual exchanges in Madrid, Spain and Sainte Anne d'Auray, France, one annual study option in St. Petersburg, Russia and an exchange in Shanghai, China.
Non-ESL international students must fulfill Wyoming Seminary’s global language requirement to graduate.
French is a global language widely spoken as a native tongue on all the continents except Australia. French is the language of diplomacy. For example, although the documents of the United Nations are published in several languages, the French version is always the official one. In the ever-expanding career opportunities of the 21st-Century, French is the foundation of international business, finance and trade, and will enhance your appreciation of art, literature, history and food.
French literature and French civilization are among the richest in the world. Our political, social and philosophical ideals, as well as our knowledge of mathematics and science, have been immeasurably enriched by French thinkers.
Global Language 310: French I
This beginning level course aims to achieve basic competence in listening, reading, writing, and speaking the French language. Core grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation are stressed through a variety of instructional strategies designed to build students' skills and confidence. French and Francophone cultures are explored throughout the year through readings and authentic video. Integrated technology tools support skill building both in and out of class. Communication in the target language is modeled and encouraged.
Global Language 311: French II
French II reinforces the French I curriculum while expanding the themes and grammar topics covered. Students continue to increase their competence in the four skills and broaden their cultural knowledge of France and Francophone cultures. Cultural reading selections followed up with short discussions encourage comparisons between the target culture and one’s own. Student created conversations help increase students’ comprehension of content and structures and raise students’ comfort level with speaking the target language. Integrated technology tools support skill building both in and out of class. Communication in the target language is modeled and encouraged.
Prerequisite: Global Language 310: French I or the equivalent.
Global Language 312: French III
The third-year textbook-based course of thematic units continues to build fluency and accuracy in the four linguistic skills. Communication in the target language continues to be emphasized. Grammar concepts are reviewed and refined. French and Francophone cultures are examined and compared. Integrated technology tools support skill building both in and out of class. Writing skills move beyond conversations to paragraphs and compositions. Videos and interactive activities enrich content. A novel, The Little Prince, complements the primary text. Communication in the target language is required.
Prerequisite: Global Language 311: French II or the equivalent
Global Language 313: French Honors
This course emphasizes oral and written competency through units in grammar, literature and history. Topics vary from an overview of French history or current French culture to a review of sophisticated grammar concepts or excerpts of French literary masterpieces. Expanded literary units embrace the 20th Century novel: Oscar et la Dame Rose and L'Etranger. Communication in the target language is required and practiced through class discussion, compositions, skits and presentations. Technology remains an additional teaching tool.
Prerequisite: Global Language 311: French II with a grade of B+ or higher and the recommendation of the instructor or 312: French III and the recommendation of the instructor
Global Language 318: AP French Language and Culture
Conducted in the target language, AP French Language and Culture is an in-depth study of French, designed around six interdisciplinary themes that integrate language content and culture: public/personal identities, science and technology, families and communities, contemporary life, global challenges, and beauty and aesthetics. Vocabulary, grammar and idiomatic structures are embedded into the course. Texts, Internet resources and films are used to provide authentic language samples of Francophone culture. The communicative approach to the content stresses linguistic skills, analytical thinking, problem solving and critical writing while engaging students in interesting overarching questions within each unit. Students are prepared to take the AP French Language and Culture exam at the culmination of the course.
Prerequisite: Global Language 313: French Honors with a grade of B+ or higher and the recommendation of the instructor.
Latin was the language of the ancient Roman Empire. After Rome declined, Latin continued for another thousand years to be the international language of commerce, philosophy, and education. Slowly, Latin morphed into the modern "Romance" languages, such as Spanish, French, and Italian. So Latin is the root of our modern languages and modern world. The study of Latin helps us understand English better, and gives us a deeper understanding of Greek and Roman history, literature and mythology. To many colleges, Latin study is an indication of a serious and disciplined student.
Global Language 340: Latin I
This course introduces Latin grammar, vocabulary, culture, and mythology. Students learn to read and write and (to a lesser extent) speak Latin. Approximately 70 percent of major grammatical topics will be covered. A major focus is placed on mythology, and several presentations on mythology are expected. A great introduction to Latin, this course is suitable both for underclassmen as well as upperclassmen.
Global Language 341: Latin II
The first half of this course completes major Latin grammar topics while continuing to develop vocabulary, Roman history, culture, and mythology. A special focus is placed on Roman history and Greek/Roman art. During the second half of the course, students begin reading authentic Latin literature, especially the poets Catallus, Horace, Ovid and Vergil. Students who demonstrate mastery of this course may be recommended to proceed directly to AP Latin.
Prerequisite: Global Language 340: Latin I or the equivalent
Global Language 342: Latin III
Latin III continues to build vocabulary while deepening students' understanding of Greek/Roman culture, history, and mythology. A special focus is placed on the connections between Roman and Greek civilizations. After a major review of all Latin grammar, students continue to read authentic Latin literature by authors such as Cornelius, Nepos, Catullus, Ovid and others.
Prerequisite: Global Language 341: Latin II or the equivalent
Global Language 346: AP Latin
AP Latin concentrates on two critical Roman authors: Julius Caesar and Vergil. Although supplemented by other authors, this course will focus on Caesar's Gallic Wars and Vergil's Aeneid, and the historical context and importance of those works. Students will become proficient in literary analysis and essay writing while also deepening their ability to translate at sight. Students will be well-prepared to take the AP exam in the spring, and taking the exam is an expectation of the course.
Prerequisite: Global Language 342: Latin III or 341: Latin II with a grade of B+ or higher and the recommendation of the instructor
Mandarin is one of the official working languages of the UN and is currently spoken by over 1.3 billion people, making it the world’s most widely spoken first language. Most of the native Mandarin speakers are from China, a wonderland with more than 5,000 years of history and an ever expanding economic market. Knowing this language thus connects you to over one fifth of the world’s population, enriches your understanding of Asian culture and gives you a comparative edge over other people in the globalized job market.
Besides, Mandarin is not as difficult as most people thought. Though the tonal system makes the language harder to sound out, it has a relatively simple grammar system compared with English as it has no verb conjugation and noun declension.
Global Language 330: Mandarin I
This course serves as an introduction to Mandarin Chinese. It will primarily teach students Mandarin speaking and writing skills by introducing them Pinyin system, four tones, Chinese radicals, stroke orders and at the same time some simple Chinese characters, phrases and sentence patterns through a variety of course materials. Listening and reading skills will also be taught through interactive technological tools and pedagogical strategies. Chinese culture, customs, geography and history will be integrated into the course as well.
Global Language 331: Mandarin II
Mandarin II deepens students’ linguistic and cultural knowledge of China. They will continue to develop the four skills in more authentic situations. Speaking and listening skills will be further polished through in-class target language communication and out-of-class Chinese conversation corner. Reading and writing skills will be further developed through virtual communication with Chinese pen pals. They will also start to experience Chinese literature through poems and short stories.
Prerequisite: Global Language 330: Mandarin I or the equivalent
Global Language 332: Mandarin III
Mandarin III enhances students’ reading and writing skills and historical knowledge of China. Reading skills will be developed and strengthened through reading of authentic passages in Chinese books, newspapers, and magazines. Writing strategies and skills will be expanded through the writing of longer essays up to 250 words according to a specific topic such as my community, my summer break , or my understanding of Chinese culture. Students will increase proficiency of listening and speaking skills through in-class target language communication and out-of class realtime and virtual communication tasks. They will also continue to experience Chinese literature through poems and literal works.
Global Language 333: Mandarin IV
Mandarin IV builds on the previous study of the target language and expands the knowledge base of both spoken Mandarin and written Chinese. The course challenges students to apply course content to real life situations and prepares them for the AP Chinese exam and Chinese immersion beyond high school. Comprehensive listening and speaking communication skills to engage with people from Mandarin speaking countries are honed through relevant theme-based in-class discussions and real-life conversations with their native Mandarin-speaking partners. Chinese history and culture continue to be introduced in the form of documentaries, news and literature to improve students’ reading and writing skills as well as their cultural awareness.
Prerequisite: Mandarin III and recommendation of the teacher
Students planning to major in history, literature, philosophy, nuclear physics or aeronautics find a reading knowledge of Russian to be essential. Individuals planning to enter the world of business discover in Russia an immense market that is almost impossible to saturate. The field of global relations requires a knowledge of the Russian language and culture. Over 400 million people in the world speak Russian as their native or second language. A number of masterpieces of world literature of the 19th and 20th centuries were written in Russian (War and Peace, Crime and Punishment, etc.). As a critical language, Russian adds an unusual dimension to college applications.
Global Language 350: Russian I
This course serves as an introduction to the Russian language and Russian culture. It is designed to make students familiar with basic grammar, reading, writing and conversational topics. Materials from Russian newspapers, movies, cartoons and news broadcasts are used to introduce the people and culture of Russia.
Global Language 351: Russian II
Russian II enhances the Russian I course in grammar and conversation. It brings to the curriculum a broader scope, using the same cultural approach established in Russian I with wider linguistic studies. This course is aimed at developing competence in communicating about everyday topics of modern life in Russia.
Prerequisite: Global Language 350: Russian I or the equivalent.
Global Language 352: Russian III
The goal at this level is to achieve writing and reading fluency in Russian. Students write stories, reviews and reports in Russian, and read Russian newspapers and short stories to discuss in class. Aspects of Russian history and culture are discussed as well. Advanced applications of grammar, syntax and conversation are included in the curriculum.
Prerequisite: Global Language 351: Russian II or the equivalent
Global Language 353: Russian Honors
The objective of this level is to continue to master writing and reading fluency in Russian. Students spend more time speaking and improving their pronunciation to develop conversational skills in Russian. Students continue to write stories, reviews and reports in Russian and to read Russian newspapers and short stories to discuss in class. Aspects of Russian literature, history, and culture are explored as well. Advanced applications of grammar, syntax and conversation are included in the curriculum. There is a possibility of taking an AP exam at the end of the course with the recommendation of the teacher.
Prerequisite: Global Language 352: Russian III or the equivalent and the recommendation of the instructor.
With a steady growth in the number of Spanish speakers in the United States, a knowledge of Spanish becomes increasingly important to our understanding of the diverse elements of our culture. Given the nearness of Spanish-speaking countries to the United States, familiarity with Spanish promotes an awareness and appreciation of our neighbors’ language, cultures and place in the world today. Spanish influence in the United States reaches back before colonial times; it is a part of our past, present and future.
The contributions of Hispanic Americans to the arts, entertainment, media, athletics and government – virtually every aspect of our way of life – are threads in the tapestry of the United States. Of note is contemporary American literature with its burgeoning genre of works produced by Hispanic-American writers.
Fluency in Spanish can provide a valuable marketable skill in a variety of career areas, including government, law, communication and mass media, health and allied fields, social services, travel and tourism, international commerce and finance, and education.
Global Language 320: Spanish I
The aim of Spanish I is to develop an interest in and a firm foundation for the continuing study of Spanish. This objective is accomplished through the teaching of basic concepts of grammar and syntax, vocabulary building, correct pronunciation, usage, conversation and composition. Gaining proficiency through presentations of themes and function is an ongoing goal. Sensitivity to the customs and cultures of Spanish-speaking nations is cultivated through familiarity with the language, people, geography and civilization. A number of the readings, such as selected legends of Spain and the Americas, present culture in the target language. Technology is integrated as an instructional tool through projects and activities.
Global Language 321: Spanish II
Spanish II reinforces the Spanish I curriculum on a broader level, pursuing competence in reading, writing, listening and speaking Spanish. Complex grammar topics are explored in depth. Reading selections and conversation topics facilitate the linguistic-cultural approach to global language learning. Appropriate speech and writing patterns are presented with an eye toward communication in the target language. Technology is integrated as an instructional tool through projects and activities.
Prerequisite: Global Language 320: Spanish I or the equivalent
Global Language 322: Spanish III
A third-year sequence in the textbook series, Spanish III continues to build competence in reading, writing, listening and speaking. Culture remains an important ingredient of the course content as units of the text transport students to various Spanish-speaking locations of the world. Advanced grammar concepts are reviewed and refined. Readings and conversation topics provide opportunities for discussion in the target language. Technology is integrated as an instructional tool through projects and activities.
Prerequisite: Global Language 321: Spanish II or the equivalent.
Global Language 323: Spanish Honors
At this level, an important goal of the study of Spanish is to acquire knowledge of Spain and Spanish America through readings in culture, literature and civilization. A thematic approach introduces students to Spanish-language authors from Spain, Latin America and the United States as well as history and culture. Linguistically, more complex and advanced applications of grammar and syntax are dominant components of the curriculum. Competent speech and writing are primary objectives, and vocabulary building remains a focus.
Prerequisite: Global Language 321: Spanish II with a grade of B+ or higher and the recommendation of the instructor or 322: Spanish III and the recommendation of the instructor.
Global Language 324: AP Spanish Language and Culture
The AP Spanish Language and Culture course is taught entirely in the target language. Students hone listening, speaking, reading and writing skills through vigorous practice. Topics in everyday situations help students master the Spanish language by reinforcing vocabulary and grammar and improving conversational skills. Texts, films and the Internet are used to provide students with authentic sources of Spanish. Students also explore cultural differences in countries where Spanish is spoken, in both contemporary and historical contexts. This course prepares students for the examination in AP Spanish Language and Culture.
Prerequisite: Global Language 323: Spanish Honors and the recommendation of the instructor.
Global Language 325: AP Spanish Literature and CultureRead more
This course is a study of Spanish literature representative of both Spain and Spanish-speaking America. The novels, drama, poetry and short stories highlight acclaimed authors from the medieval period through the 20th century. AP Spanish Literature and Culture is an interdisciplinary course that incorporates art, music, film and other cultural products related to the works studied. Students research and analyze the background, style and historical era of each author whose work is presented. Students build a vocabulary of literary terms. Although the class is reading and writing intensive, students improve their listening and speaking skills through class discussions exclusively in Spanish and apply themes to everyday situations. Critical thinking skills and literary analysis are also developed. Students are prepared to take the AP Spanish Literature examination at the culmination of this course.
Prerequisite: Global Language 324: AP Spanish Language and the recommendation of the instructor
- + Health & Physical Education
Health and Physical EducationOne trimester Excolo credit per year.
Physical Education is required of all students and is offered on a trimester basis. Students may satisfy the requirements by earning credit in any of the following activities:
• any interscholastic sport at Sem
• dance class
• PE classes after school
• an approved off-site PE athletic or fitness programHealth and Physical Education 985: Health Education
The Health Education program at Wyoming Seminary develops the knowledge, attitudes and practices necessary to meet students’ present and future health needs. This course takes a contemporary approach to realistic needs in the areas of human sexuality, human development, drug, alcohol and tobacco education, nutrition, stress management and decision-making processes. The subject matter was chosen to educate students about contemporary problems that affect everyone and to provide them with useful information for the rest of their lives.
- + History and Social Science
History and Social Science
Coursework in the History and Social Sciences department enables students to explore the broad outlines of global history before undertaking a deeper examination of United States History. Advanced courses allow students to engage aspects of global and American history in greater depth or to explore political science, psychology, and economics. Studying history and the social sciences produces the habits of mind required of global citizens and prepares them to participate effectively in discussions concerning the common good of their communities.
We also believe that in order to make this participation more effective, global citizens must have the thinking and communication skills to extend their understanding into action. These include an ability to research and discover information, to critically analyze documentation, to evaluate and use it in support of a proposition or thesis, and to express the clear and convincing presentation of findings in both the written and spoken word.
For entering freshmen, 3 credits (3 years) of History/Social Sciences to include 1 credit of History/Social Science 400: World Civilizations, 1 credit of History/Social Science 403: Modern World History or History/Social Science 420: AP World History, and 1 credit of History/Social Science 404: US History, History/Social Science 424: AP US History, or History/Social Science 425: Seminar in American Studies. Entering sophomores enrolled in the Modern World History course may complete their 3 credits during senior year with either AP or elective course offerings, or choose History and Social Sciences to be the one discipline in which to reduce their graduation requirement to two credits.
Not every course listed is offered every year.
History/Social Science 400: World Civilizations
As the first year of a two-year program in the study of world history, World Civilizations is a required course for all entering freshmen and will take students from the early nomadic world of human societies through the formative period of civilizations and the traditions, values and philosophies of global cultures that continue to guide us today. Building upon these foundations of civilization, the course will follow the development and expansion of both Western and nonwestern civilizations as they grow, converge, and interact, culminating in the voyages of exploration and the opening of the New World.
An important component of this course is skills development. Teaching techniques emphasize the accessing of information from both digital and printed sources and the development of problem-solving and critical thinking skills. Students will learn to write effective historical essays and will read works from world literature and primary source documents.
The course will provide a solid foundation for future study in history, global language, literature and the arts. World Civilizations strives to prepare students for citizenship in an increasingly interactive global community.
History/Social Science 403: Modern World History
Modern World History is the required course for all sophomores not qualifying for AP World History, and completes the two-year program in world history. Beginning with the voyages of exploration and rise of Europe, students will study the complex chain of events and encounters between East and West that set the stage for the modern era, as well as the dramatic changes in society, politics, and the economy that came in its wake during the 19th and 20th centuries.
Skills development will continue, especially in critical thinking and writing with greater use and analysis of primary source documents and other outside materials. Emphasis will move toward the study of themes and patterns in history, addressed through the writing of essays and reaction papers, and by way of historiographic analysis of perspective and point of view. Research techniques will also be covered, including avoiding plagiarism, referencing sources, and Chicago style citation. A research paper will be written as a culminating exercise in using these skills.”
History/Social Science 420: AP World History
AP World History is a full-year course covering major developments in the human story. Beginning with a brief review from the Paleolithic to the modern era, the course will pay particular attention to the period from1400 onward. Thematically, the course addresses the global evolution of diverse political, social, economic, and cultural systems, emphasizing the role of interaction between peoples through trade and conflict in these processes. AP World History students will develop historical thinking skills, such as analyzing primary and secondary sources, making historical connections, engaging in chronological reasoning, and supporting historical arguments with appropriate evidence.
AP World History is open only to rising sophomores who earned a full year grade of A or A+ in World Civilizations at Wyoming Seminary.
History/Social Science 404: U.S. History
This course will trace the history of the United States from the pre-Colonial era to the present. Students will study the cultural, political and economic systems, traditions and cultures of the United States, using that study to understand major events in American history from the Revolution through the twentieth century. By studying current events along with history, students will be able to connect the past to the present to enable them to begin to understand America of today. All students will receive instruction in the use of library resources and will write at least one major research paper.
The following Advanced Placement year courses and all term electives are open to juniors, seniors, and postgraduates who have completed History/Social Science 400 and History/Social Science 404. Only the department chair and the Academic Dean can grant exceptions to this policy.
History/Social Science 424: AP U.S. History
Advanced Placement United States History is designed for the outstanding history student who is either not selected for the History/Social Science 425: Seminar in American Studies or opts out of Seminar, but who is interested in studying American history in more depth than the survey course allows. The course will cover pre-Columbian America and Europe to the United States of today, focusing on the political and economic basis of the United States. We will also dive into the social and cultural aspects of American history that have shaped today’s society. Students will learn to interpret, synthesize and write critically, using extensive historical works and primary sources. The course will fully prepare students for the spring AP examination in American history, which can earn them college credit.
Prerequisite: B+ or higher in U.S. History
History/Social Science 425/English 225: Seminar in American Studies
This seminar is designed to emphasize the interrelation of American literature and American history. Depth in comprehension, accuracy and conciseness will be expected in the composition of weekly papers. Breadth of experience will be offered through the regular exposure of ideas to open discussion under the combined guidance of history and English instructors.
This course is open by invitation only to specially qualified juniors and meets for two bells daily.
History/Social Science 433: AP European History
Following a brief overview of the Middle Ages, emphasizing the development of feudalism, church-state relations and the Crusades, the course focuses on the development of modern Western society from the Renaissance up to 1989. Classes include informal lectures, use of multimedia technology, short oral and longer formal seminar reports, debates and role plays. The course fosters an appreciation of both differences and commonalities among European societies and traces the impact of and cross-fertilization from Europe’s contact with the rest of the world. Several research papers and essay tests emphasize analytical writing skills; an historical fiction assignment reminds students of the imaginative and creative power of history. Classroom discussion is fostered by a seminar table arrangement.
Enrollment in this course is selective, at the discretion of the Academic Dean, the history department chairperson and the teacher. There are no ironclad prerequisites, but previous secondary-school coursework in European or world history is of great advantage.
History/Social Science 438: AP United States Government and Politics
This Advanced Placement course in American government and politics is a full-year examination of the structure and operation of the American political system. The course begins with a study of the foundations of our political system, concentrating on the emergence of a federal constitution. Students will focus on the issues and events that shaped the framing of the constitution, and will read and analyze primary sources, including The Federalist Papers. The course then proceeds to examine the institutions and policies of the government, with an emphasis on their origins, while continually relating them to the issues of contemporary American society. The course evaluations include a paper in the fall and spring terms. Students who complete the course are expected to take the AP Government exam in the spring term.
Prerequisite: B+ or higher in U.S. History
History/Social Science 439: AP Psychology
The purpose of the Advanced Placement course in Psychology is to introduce students to the systematic and scientific study of the behavioral and mental processes of human beings and other animals. Students will be exposed to the psychological facts, principles and phenomena associated with each of the major subfields within psychology. They will also learn about the methods psychologists use to explore the processes involved in normal and dysfunctional perceptions, thoughts, feelings and actions. At the end of the course, students will be prepared to take the AP exam in psychology; therefore, they can expect rigorous academic requirements. By the end of the course, students will be expected to have learned the major concepts and theories of psychology; to have studied the basic skills of psychological research; to be able to recognize psychological principles when they are encountered in everyday situations; to develop critical thinking skills, and to build on reading, writing and discussion skills.
History/Social Sciences 440: AP Economics
Students in this Advanced Placement course explore both major areas of modern economics: micro- and macroeconomics. During units on microeconomics, they discover concepts pertaining to individual actors in the economy. They answer questions such as: what are the most efficient levels of production for a business in various settings? how do individuals and companies gain or lose competitive advantage? can government intervention ever make a a business more profitable? While studying macroeconomics, students learn about factors which influence the national and global economies as a whole. In these units, students discuss questions like the following: what determines the level of unemployment and inflation? how do the monetary system and central banks like the Federal Reserve work? how do foreign currency exchange and international trade impact each other? By the end of the course, students possess a well-rounded understanding of the essential functions and shortcomings of economic forces on the local, national, and global levels.
Prerequisite: Algebra II
History/Social Science 441 Psychology I
This class provides a general overview into the varied topics of human psychology. With unifying themes of multicausation, subjectivity of experience, and cultural impacts we will examine the major theories involved in sensation and perception, consciousness, human development, and more. There will also be a historical introduction to the field of Psychology and the major players. Group work and activity-based learning are prioritized within this class, allowing students to learn from each other and their own unique life experiences.
History/Social Science 442 Psychology II
Continuing with the unifying themes and group activity approach from the first class, Psychology II examines areas that may be more personally relevant and applicable to the typical high school student. Topics to be discussed include learning, memory, personality, stress, and social psychology.
Psychology I is a prerequisite for this class
History/Social Science 431 Psychology in Film
The genre of psychological thrillers has taken horror movies in a totally new direction, playing tricks on our minds and playing to some of our deepest fears and insecurities. But these films are not alone. Throughout the history of filmmaking, writers and directors have used psychological concepts to frame their works. More interestingly, the behaviors exhibited by characters in film can be analyzed from a psychological perspective that, while never intended by the actor or those making the film, give a new level of understanding into that character and their state of mind. Throughout this course, students will watch and discuss movies based on their psychological concepts, and see how Hollywood uses those ideas to impact the audience.
Psychology I and II are prerequisites for this class.
History/Social Science 451: Constitutional Issues
In this class, students will study major federal court cases from the period of 1945-1995. We will study Supreme Court decisions covering such topics as civil rights law, reproductive rights, freedom of speech, labor issues and issues concerning sexuality and privacy. Cases will include, but will not be limited to Brown v. Board of Education; Miranda v. Arizona; Griswold v. Connecticut; Roe. v. Wade; The Pentagon Papers case; the cases surrounding Nixon's Watergate scandal and Clinton's Whitewater scandal, and numerous others.
History/Social Science 452: International Relations
We are a part of an exponentially changing world that is becoming an increasingly interconnected space. Relations between countries are an expectation and a norm, there are few countries, if any at all, that are able to function solely on their own. This interconnectedness is of growing importance in a world fraught with issues such as climate change, food security and a continuing call for social justice in a landscape of authoritarianism. This course will explore the fundamentals of international relations theory, examine how the UN came to exist and what its role is today, and utilize this information to analyze current issues within the world. The concepts of sovereignty, power, security, economic development and national interests in the formulation of foreign policy will be explored. The respective roles of the United Nations within the context of the growth of Intergovernmental Organizations and Non-governmental agencies will be compared and contrasted. We will conduct simulations, debates, write persuasive papers and engage in many conversations around current events.
History/Social Science 454: Religion, The Middle East, and the Roots of Terror
We live in a very different world since 9/11, but few understand the deep origins of conflict that burst into our lives that September morning. Part history of the Middle East, a study in comparative religion and a course in international relations and political science, this course traces the origins of Islam as a monotheistic faith in the context of Biblical tradition, updates the rise of Islam through the Ottoman period, and addresses the powerful dynamics of the twentieth century as two worlds collide. Through the term we will be relating history to present-day headlines and connecting deep rooted causes to contemporary effects.
History/Social Science 460: The American Election - the Road to the White House
Elections are often described as "democracy's feast," and the race for the presidency is particularly interesting, exciting and important. This course, taught each election year, will be an in-depth study of campaigns and voting, with an emphasis on the presidential race. Along with keeping abreast of campaign news and events, students will examine different aspects of the race, including the major issues being debated by the candidates, the role of political ads in campaigns, and the role the media plays in electoral politics.
History/Social Science 462: The Civil War
What many historians consider the defining conflict in American history – the Civil War – will be the topic of this up-close survey of the people and events that shaped this country’s costliest war. The antebellum economic, political and cultural climate of America will set the stage for a chronological examination of the battles that both divided and hallowed our national self-identity. Ken Burns’ literary and video chronicle of the war will serve as our road map in a course that will feature battle reenactments, debates and field trips to Gettysburg, Antietam and Harper’s Ferry.
History/Social Science 463: World War II
America’s emergence from an isolated sleeping giant to a world superpower can be traced to its involvement in the war that shook the world between 1936-1945. In this broad, chronological survey, we will attempt to understand the causes that created such a global disaster, the events and people who became engaged in this bloodiest of all military conflicts, and the outcomes that have shaped our world in the succeeding decades.
History/ Social Science 464: The Cold War
The world between 1945 and the late 1980s endured what has been aptly termed “The Cold War,” pitting the world’s super powers against each other in political, economic, cultural and military tension. This course will look at many of the reasons the world “coexisted” in such a state of tension during this important era, how that tension influenced world events and what contributed to the apparent process of “thawing out” that has marked the last two decades.
History/Social Science 467: The American Presidents I
This trimester history elective will begin with a review of the Presidential powers as established by the US Constitution. Each President from George Washington to Benjamin Harrison will then be reviewed in order, with significant time given to James Polk as the class will read a complete biography of the 11th President. Cabinet members and family members who made a mark on each presidency will be examined. The history of the United States will also be reviewed through the Presidential decisions of the time; decisions that impacted history as well as the history that impacted decisions.
History 469: The American Presidents II
This trimester history elective will begin by reviewing the powers granted to the President by the US Constitution. Each President from Grover Cleveland up through the Barack Obama will be reviewed in order. Cabinet members and family members who made a mark on each presidency will be examined. Significant time will be given to arguably one of the most significant presidencies of the 20th century as a full biography of Harry Truman will be read. The course will examine the question “is it the President who defines the history or is it the history that defines the President”?
History/Social Science 474/Religion 774: A History of Judaism
Students with a special interest in an in-depth exploration of the historical, cultural and ethical dimensions of the Jewish experience will find what they are looking for in this trimester elective course. Taught by a local cantor, Jewish and non-Jewish students have the opportunity to specialize in religious study by focusing on one of the oldest, and most significant, living religious faiths. NOTE: This course is an elective and does not replace Religion 710: The Bible and Western Culture.
History/Social Science 489: China and Confucian Civilization
China is home to nearly one out of every four human beings and is the oldest uninterrupted civilization on earth. Throughout its long continuity, a single philosophical view has informed and sustained China while radiating as a cultural hearth across East Asia to become the dominant tradition across the Pacific rim. Confucianism provided the stability that allowed China to survive through conquests, famines and revolutions. In China and Confucian Civilization, we will trace China's history from the first emperor, Shi Huang Di, to the upheavals of Mao Zedong, all playing out against the collective ethos of Confucius.
History 476/Religion 776: World ReligionsRead more
Students preparing to live in the 21st century must be prepared to face two important facts of the modern world: the persistence of religion as a world phenomenon and the transformation of America into a global community. Both of these realities beckon our careful study and thought. In this course, we will explore the basic life experiences and the expressions of faith that continue to inspire millions of people who find meaning in Hinduism, Buddhism, Chinese/Japanese religion, Judaism, Christianity and Islam. An elective for juniors, seniors and postgraduates, this course may be counted as a History/Social Science elective.
- + Independent Study
Independent StudyIndependent study options are available for advanced and highly motivated students. These may be discussed with any individual department head or the Vice President of Academic Affairs, but may not be entered upon lightly or without carefully prepared plans and proposals. All independent study proposals must be approved by the Vice President of Academic Affairs.
- + Mathematics
The mathematics curriculum is designed to provide:
• each student with a working knowledge of the fundamental concepts and techniques of algebra and Euclidean geometry
• a comprehensive review of algebra and geometry for the student who wants to strengthen his or her understanding of basic concepts
• a set of electives which make it possible for a student to be enrolled in a mathematics course appropriate to the student’s level of ability each year of his or her career at this school
• a substantial elective program, including advanced placement courses for the talented and interested student.
The first of these objectives is accomplished through the required courses; the others are dealt with through the electives.
A student who wants to accelerate in order to do advanced placement math should complete the required courses no later than the end of the sophomore year. Advice in this matter is available from the Department of Mathematics or the Vice President of Academic Affairs.
Mathematics 500: Algebra I
This course emphasizes the structure of algebra by building a basic vocabulary and developing the fundamental operations. It is intended to provide a solid background for future courses in mathematics.
Mathematics 501: Geometry
This course emphasizes the development of logical thinking and organized expression based on algebraic and geometric principles. The topics of parallelism, perpendicularity, congruence, similarity, formal proof, geometric construction, right triangle trigonometry and the study of the properties and measurements of two- and three-dimensional figures are included. Students who need a more deliberate approach to this subject may be assigned to a special section.
Mathematics 502: Algebra II
This course builds on the concepts presented in earlier courses, with emphasis on the structural development of the real number system. Topics include linear equations and inequalities, quadratic equations and inequalities, systems of equations, relations and functions, logarithms and exponents, and coordinate geometry.
To meet the needs of students of varying abilities and backgrounds, three versions are offered. The first is a regular version of Algebra II and is available to most students. The second is an honors course that includes a more in-depth look at all the topics presented in the regular Algebra II class and additional topics of matrices, sequences and series, and basic probability and statistics. Students are invited to participate in the honors section based on the strength of their performances in prior mathematics courses. Preference is given to ninth and tenth–grade students. The third version is designed for diligent eleventh-grade students who have experienced difficulties in mathematics and who need a more deliberate approach. This version is a four-term course that extends into the fall term of the senior year.
Admission to classes in any alternative sections listed above for required courses is possible only with the recommendation and approval of the Department of Mathematics and the Academic Dean.
Students will be expected to have a graphing calculator for use in Mathematics 502: Algebra II and all elective courses. Instruction will focus on the use of the Texas Instruments model TI-84, although students who already own model TI-83 may use that calculator. Other graphing calculators may also be used in the AP-level courses. A complete list of acceptable calculators for these exams can be found here. This list is updated periodically by the College Board.
Mathematics 510, 511, 512: Precalculus A, B and C
.333 credit each term
This course is an elective for students who wish to strengthen their mathematics background before enrolling in the honors level precalculus course. The fall term includes a review of basic algebraic and geometric topics, with an examination of linear and quadratic functions. The winter term involves a study of trigonometric topics and applications. The spring term includes a study of exponential and logarithmic functions and their applications as well as some introductory probability topics.
Prerequisite: Mathematics 502: Algebra II
Mathematics 520: Precalculus Honors
To develop students’ skills with analytical thinking and to provide background for calculus, this course presents the general properties of functions and then examines polynomial, rational, exponential, logarithmic and circular functions and their applications. The Mathematics Department recommends the course as a prerequisite of calculus for prospective mathematics, science and engineering majors. A student who experiences difficulty in 520 during the fall term but receives a passing grade for the term may, with the approval of the Academic Dean, transfer to courses 511 and 512 for the remainder of the year. A full year’s credit in 510/11/12 will be issued to those who complete the year successfully under these circumstances.
Prerequisite: A- or higher in Mathematics 502: Algebra II; B or higher in Mathematics 502H: Algebra II Honors
Mathematics 522, 523, 524: Discrete Mathematics A, B and C
This course explores topics not traditionally covered in a traditional, algebra-based high school math curriculum. The course focuses on real world problems and applications displaying the utility of mathematics in exploring the areas of management science, statistics, social choice, and economics. We will see how mathematics can influence anything from entrepreneurship to establishing fair voting practices. This course allows our college bound students to see another side of mathematics instead of the traditional track toward Calculus.
Prerequisite: Mathematics 502: Algebra II or higher
Mathematics 525: Calculus Honors
This course is designed to investigate the mathematical study of change and rates of change while being less intense than the AP level calculus courses. Algebraic, trigonometric, and other precalculus topics needed for success in a calculus course will be reviewed as needed. The focus is on fundamental calculus concepts and their applications in different disciplines, with a moderate attention to detail and manipulative skills.
Prerequisite: B- or higher in Mathematics 520: Precalculus Honors
Advanced Placement Calculus
The two calculus courses listed below are strongly recommended for students who intend to enroll in calculus in college. Two sections at different levels, both AP, are offered.
Mathematics 532: AP Calculus AB
This course in differential and integral calculus is taught at the first-year college level and emphasizes both theoretical and practical applications. Students who complete this course in good standing are strongly encouraged to take the Advanced Placement Test in Calculus AB.
Prerequisite: B or higher in Mathematics 520: Precalculus Honors and departmental approval
Mathematics 541: AP Calculus BC
Invitations for placement in this class will be extended on the basis of strong performance in prior mathematics courses. This course is designed to develop an intuitive understanding of the concepts of differential and integral calculus and provide experience with methods and applications. It is a course in the calculus of functions of a single variable. Calculus BC is an extension of Calculus AB rather than an enhancement. Additional topics include infinite series and sequences along with exposure to the theoretical tools of calculus. Students who complete this course in good standing are strongly encouraged to take the Advanced Placement Test in Calculus BC.
Prerequisite: B or higher in Mathematics 532: AB Calculus and departmental approval
Mathematics 551: AP Statistics
This full-year course is available to students who have completed at least the equivalent of one year of elective Mathematics courses at Wyoming Seminary and have the approval of the Department of Mathematics and the Academic Dean. Students are encouraged to take the AP Statistics exam when it is offered near the end of the academic year. The course includes four conceptual themes: (1) exploring data, observing patterns and departures from patterns; (2) planning a study, deciding what and how to measure; (3) anticipating patterns in advance by using probability and simulation to produce models; and (4) using statistical inference to confirm models. Students who complete this course in good standing are strongly encouraged to take the Advanced Placement Test in Statistics.
Prerequisite: B or higher in Mathematics 520: Precalculus Honors or a course above; A- or higher in Mathematics 502: Algebra II Honors
Mathematics 561: Differential Equations
In this course, students will discuss the theory and applications of differential equations. Topics include techniques to solve differential equations such as numerical and graphical approximations, series solutions, the Laplace Transform and the Dirac Delta function. There will be opportunities to use calculators, electronic spreadsheets, and the World Wide Web to enhance understanding.
Prerequisite: Mathematics 541: AP Calculus BC and departmental approval
Mathematics 560: Multivariable Calculus
The notions of partial derivative, directional derivative, gradient and differential are examined, with the concepts applied to optimization problems. Double and triple integrals and their applications are discussed. If time permits, vector fields and line integrals are explored.
Prerequisite: Mathematics 541: AP Calculus BC and departmental approval
Please note: Mathematics 562: Multivariable Calculus and Mathematics 563: Applications of Differential Equations are taught in alternating years.
Mathematics 563: Applications of Differential Equations
Differential Equations have practical application in a wide variety of disciplines from engineering to biology to the social sciences. We will be modeling problems from a variety of disciplines and using the Mathematica software to provide solutions and insights into the problems that could not be obtained in other ways. This is a problem-solving course that uses the latest mathematical assistant software to develop solutions. Students will work individually and in teams of two or more on several (7 to 10) engineering or science inspired problems to understand the problem, mathematically model the problem using differential equations, solve the mathematical formulation, and interpret the results in the original problem context. A report will be written and a presentation made to the class after each problem is solved. A major project will be completed during the spring term.
Prerequisite: Mathematics 541: AP Calculus BC and departmental approval
Computer Science 938: AP Computer ScienceRead more
This year-long course will be an introduction to modern computer science using the Java computer programming language. By designing and writing their own computer programs, students will explore key programming concepts such as selection and iteration as they are introduced to the central principles of object-oriented design and programming: classes and objects, encapsulation, inheritance and polymorphism. Students will also be introduced to advanced data structures and the algorithms used to sort and search them. This course will prepare students for the AP Computer Science exam.
- + Postgraduate Studies
Preparing the academic schedule for postgraduate students is a highly personalized process. The Vice President of Academic Affairs, the Director of Scheduling and the Director of College Guidance consult with the student before proposing possible schedule options. Generally, postgraduate students should keep the following in mind when preparing a schedule.
• You must take at least five academic courses in the fall, winter and spring.
• Students should follow a balanced program; rather than "doubling up," for example, in English or science, they should take courses in each of the various academic disciplines.
• Previous courses of study, standardized test scores, and SAT results are used by the Vice President of Academic Affairs, the Director of Scheduling and the Director of College Guidance to determine recommendations for postgraduate courses.
• Elective courses are readily available if you have sufficient time and interest; postgraduates have found Public Speaking to be particularly valuable.
• Postgraduate students are required to take an English course during each trimester of their year at Sem. In the fall term they will be scheduled for English 224: Style and Structure, worth .333 credits.
- + Religion
ReligionWyoming Seminary was founded by men and women who believed that young people are best educated when their intellectual pursuits were balanced by their spiritual yearnings. To that end, a required academic course, Religion 710: The Bible and Western Culture and mandatory weekly chapels are designed to help challenge today’s young people with the wisdom and values of our Judeo-Christian heritage. Students at Sem are encouraged to explore and deepen their religious experience through elective coursework and participation in local houses of worship.
Religion 710: The Bible and Western Culture
The Bible is the single most influential text in Western culture, containing a wealth of information, values and ideas that have served to delineate the horizons of meaning for Jews, Christians and Muslims in the West. By reading from selected passages from the Bible, studying the historical framework of the biblical saga, exploring the varying ways people have interpreted the Bible and examining biblical views of the basic questions of life, students will become familiar with a book that continues to shape the world in which we live. Bible is the required religion course at Sem, intended for juniors, seniors, postgraduates and sophomores of advanced reading proficiency.
NOTE: The following elective courses do not replace Religion 710: The Bible and Western Culture.
Religion 774/History/Social Science 474: A History of Judaism
Students with a special interest in an in-depth exploration of the historical, cultural and ethical dimensions of the Jewish experience will find what they are looking for in this trimester elective course. Taught by a local cantor, Jewish and non-Jewish students have the opportunity to specialize in religious study by focusing on one of the oldest, and most significant, living religious faiths.
Religion 776/History/Social Science 476: World Religions
Students preparing for life in the 21st century must be prepared to face two important facts of the modern world: the persistence of religion as a world phenomenon and the transformation of America into a global community. Both of these realities beckon our careful study and thought. In this course, we will explore the basic life experiences and the expressions of faith that continue to inspire millions of people who find meaning in Hinduism, Buddhism, Chinese/Japanese religion, Judaism, Christianity and Islam. An elective for juniors, seniors and postgraduates, this course may be counted as a History-Social Science elective.
- + Science
Preparing students for the increasingly complex technological demands of contemporary life is one of the goals of Sem’s science department. Well-equipped, state-of-the-art laboratories prepare students for college and university study and possible careers in science, industry and engineering.
Three credits in science are required for graduation. However, this is one of the three disciplines in which students may choose to reduce the requirements by one credit. A credit in Science 800: Biology, 800H Biology Honors, the basic laboratory science, must be earned by all students. A second credit in a lab physical science must be earned by successfully completing either STEM Science 850: STEM Foundations (all freshman beginning in 2013-14) Science 802: Chemistry Honors, Science 812: Introduction to Chemistry or Science 807: Introduction to Physics.
Not every course listed is offered every year.
Science 850: STEM Foundations
A required freshman level, three-term lab course designed to explore the application and intersection of engineering, math, technology and science. Students will be exposed to bioengineering, green (chemical) engineering and simple mechanics. Accessible curriculum, offered with varied depth and breadth of content throughout the year, will allow for participants to grow as students while simultaneously constructing a STEM framework for future academic pursuits. All terms will be taught as inquiry based classes with real-world problems/issues as the basis for study. Students will read and reflect on current trends, information and news on a weekly basis.
Science 800: Biology
This course presents a cellular approach to basic life-science concepts, using laboratory experiences to implant inquiry and discovery. The major areas introduced include evolution, genetic continuity, basic physiology and anatomy, taxonomy and botany. All levels of biology are depicted, from the molecule through cells and cellular organisms to populations. Laboratory procedures and techniques are stressed; the goal is individual learning through self-discovery.
Science 800H: Biology Honors
Biology Honors is a full year in-depth study of the major concepts of the living world. The core principles of science are used to promote deep understanding and appreciation of complexity, diversity, and interconnectedness of life on earth. The course focuses on: correlation between structure and function starting at molecular level and up to the level of organisms; principles of classical and molecular genetics and evolutionary theory; energy transformations within living systems; and interactions between organisms and their environment.
A strong emphasis will be placed on independent work, developing research and experimentation skills, quantitative reasoning, discussing important unanswered questions, and problem solving skills.Students will be able to apply knowledge gained in this course to their everyday lives, make informed choices as members of the community, as well as to further their careers in science.
Prerequisite: Teacher recommendation.
Science 801: AP Biology
This course is intended for those students who are interested in pursuing a career in biology. It is similar in scope and content to a first-year college course, with particular emphasis on molecular biology and biochemistry. This will be a rigorous course, requiring a strong background in biology and chemistry. Grades of B+ or better in Science 800: Biology and Science 802: Chemistry Honors are required to take this course.
Science 802: Chemistry Honors
This is an introductory course in chemistry that is designed to cover the basic models and theories of inorganic chemistry. Topics include atomic structure, stoichiometry, equilibrium, kinetics, chemical reactions, electrochemistry and nuclear chemistry. Lab work will be an important part of the course. The use of mathematical and conceptual models to solve problems is strongly emphasized.
Prerequisite: Simultaneously in Algebra II
Science 803: Physics Honors
This is an introductory course designed to fulfill the needs of students interested in a scientific, engineering, or medical career. Topics discussed will include classical mechanics, heat, sound, optics, electricity and magnetism, emphasizing the understanding of physical phenomena. Periodic laboratory work supplements lecture material in a closely coordinated program. Prospective students should have a successful background in chemistry and mathematics.
Prerequisites: Science 802: Chemistry Honors and Mathematics 510, 511 and 512, Precalculus A, B and C
Science 804: AP Chemistry
AP Chemistry is designed to be the equivalent of the general chemistry course usually taken during the first year of college. This course is available to junior and senior students who have successfully completed a first course in chemistry at the secondary school level. Topics included are atomic theory and structure, chemical bonding, nuclear chemistry, chemical equilibrium, kinetics and energy changes associated with chemical reactions.
Prerequisite: Grades of B+ or better in Science 802: Chemistry Honors
Science 805: AP Physics
This introductory course is more demanding in terms of commitment and preparation than Physics 803. It is designed to fulfill the needs of the students seriously interested in a scientific or engineering career. Topics discussed are similar to those in Physics 803, but are covered in greater depth with more emphasis on developing problem-solving and conceptualization skills. Use of calculators and computers is included.
Prerequisites: Science 802: Chemistry Honors and Mathematics 532: AP Calculus AB
Science 807: Physics
Introduction to Physics approaches this important subject as a discipline in itself rather than as an applied mathematics course. Topics that will be studied include: Newtonian mechanics, thermodynamics, properties of matter, elementary atomic physics, relativity, wave theory, sound, optics, light and electromagnetics.
Science 810: AP Environmental Science
This course is the equivalent of a one-semester, introductory college course in environmental science and is suitable for students interested in a career in this field or in fulfilling a basic college requirement for a laboratory science. The course goals are to provide students with the scientific principles required to analyze environmental problems, such as air and water pollution, population growth and food resource management. The focus of this course will be to evaluate the risks associated with these problems and examine solutions for resolving them.
Prerequisite: B or higher in Science 812: Chemistry or Science 802: Chemistry Honors
Science 812: Chemistry
Introduction to Chemistry is designed to explore the fundamental principles of chemistry. Topics covered will include chemical properties, atomic and molecular structure, states of matter, acids and bases, properties of water, bonding and Periodic trends and reactions. Emphasis is placed upon the understanding of concepts. The course will include a weekly laboratory session. Grades will be based upon homework, tests and quizzes and laboratory reports.
The following term electives in science are available only to juniors, seniors and postgraduates who have completed their two-year lab requirement.
Science 814: Science Research
In this elective, students gain hands-on experience with the scientific method, applying and extending concepts and skills from previous classes in an open-ended, laboratory-based context. Students will conduct literature searches to define a project area and hypothesis, then design an experiment to test the hypothesis. They will then proceed with work in the laboratory, collecting data and modifying their experimental design as necessary. Data analysis will include the use of spreadsheets and graphing programs. This collaborative setting includes many opportunities for reflection and informal discussions. A formal paper and presentation are required. The course is open to sophomores through post-graduates in the fall term.
Science 815: Forensic Science I
Forensics is the application of science to solve crimes using evidence that will be admissible in a court of law. A multidisciplinary approach that encourages analytical thinking and problem solving in biology, chemistry and physics will be used. Topics covered include processing a crime scene, fingerprinting, hair and fiber analysis, document analysis, DNA electrophoresis, shoe and tire impressions, forensic pathology and arson.
Science 816: Forensic Science II
Forensic Science II will be offered in the spring trimester as an elective for juniors and seniors who have completed two years of science and Forensic Science I. In the forensic science course, students learn how the principles of biology, chemistry and physics are used to collect and analyze information from a crime scene. The scientific method is used in lab work and students will learn problem solving skills. In addition to laboratory work students will study the legal aspects of forensic science. Topics covered include forensic anthropology, odontology, serology, bloodstain patterns, toxicology, ballistics, entomology, soil analysis and forensic psychology.
Prerequisite: Forensic Science I and approval of instructor
Science 817: Astronomy I
An introduction to basic ideas and observations in astronomy, starting with the observed sky, coordinates and astronomical calendars and cycles, the historical development of our understanding of astronomical objects. Particular emphasis is placed on the properties of stars, galaxies, and the universe as a whole, including the basic ideas of cosmology. Knowledge of basic algebra and geometry is required.
Science 818: Astronomy II
This course examines the major bodies of our solar system, emphasizing their surface features, internal structures, and atmospheres. Topics include the origin of the solar system, occurrence of liquid water, habitability of planets, and role of impacts in planetary evolution. Both terrestrial and giant planets will be studied as well as satellites, comets, and asteroids. Recent discoveries from planetary missions are emphasized.
Science 819: Astronomy III
This course provides an introduction to the physical principles describing galaxies and the composition and evolution of the Universe. Topics include interstellar medium; star clusters; the structure and dynamics of the Milky Way; other galaxies; cosmology; and the early universe. This course includes an observational component: students will use The Wyoming Seminary School’s Schmidt-Cassegrain Telescope to observe a variety of astronomical phenomena.
Science 833: Ornithology
Ornithology is the study of avian biology. The lecture component of this course offers a survey of the evolution, ecology, morphology, behavior and reproductive biology of birds. Students will gain skills in field identification, and will be expected to learn the taxonomy and natural history of the birds of Pennsylvania. By understanding the biology of birds and their ecological significance, students will gain a greater appreciation for avian conservation.
Science 841: Anatomy and Physiology I
Structure and function meet to create the amazing human body. Anatomy & Physiology I will introduce the student to the human body and appropriate terminology. The student will study three organ systems: integumentary, skeletal, and muscular. This course will prepare students to take Kinesiology in the spring term. Skill development includes researching and presenting a health disorder to the class.
Science 842: Anatomy and Physiology II
Presented independent of Anatomy and Physiology part I, students start this term learning about Blood. This sets the stage for a study of three more organ systems: cardiovascular, respiratory, and digestive. Skill development includes researching and presenting a health disorder to the class.
Science 844: Kinesiology
This course is a straightforward look at human anatomy and its relation to movement. Students learn about the static and dynamic structure of the body as it relates to movement. Movement analysis is a running theme throughout the term. Skill development includes a serial movement analysis project.
Prerequisite: Anatomy and Physiology Part I
Science 846: STEM Electrical Engineering I
The intention of this course is to introduce students to the most basic electronic components and theories that provide the foundation for electrical engineering. Through lectures and labs students will gain an understanding of the principles of analog and digital electronic circuits. Through the use of the Arduino microcontroller students will also explore the basic principles of computer programming.
Science 835: STEM Locomotion
Successful terrestrial robotic locomotion is often inspired by biological organisms, mastering movement through harsh and ever-changing conditions. Students will investigate the concept of biomimicry and robotics developments through a variety of methods including research, design and engineering, and construction using Lego Tetrix blocks and RobotC programming.
Science 836: STEM Submersibles
From the wide use of submarines in WW1 to the emerging robotic submersibles, innovations in underwater technology have opened exploration of the seas at a variety of levels. In this survey course, students will examine the historical and future impacts of changing technology and new frontiers. Using the SeaPerch curriculum from the Office of Naval Research, students will research, design and engineer, construct and program, and then test and redesign submersibles.
Science 837: STEM FlightRead more
From the first flight to space exploration, humans have endeavored to soar with the birds. Returning to the concept of biomimicry, students will investigate, design and build various gliders, planes and rockets. In the summary unit, rockets will be constructed and modified using a multistage process and documenting this in their engineering journal.
- + Study Abroad
Study AbroadIn order to ensure continuous and sequential study of Wyoming Seminary’s curriculum, we recommend that students plan foreign study within the following options:
• a summer programIf you wish to spend the sophomore or junior year abroad and plan to return as a diploma-seeking candidate, you and your parents should consult with the Vice President of Academic Affairs about your plans. Read more
• as a fifth-year option, after grade 10, 11, or 12