Science Curriculum

Our Science Division provides all students with the knowledge and critical-thinking skills necessary to engage with science outside the classroom and beyond high school. Our courses allow students to explore the scientific disciplines deeply through laboratory exercises and research.

Division Head


Dr. Gary Oas - Bio

Our Approach

The Stanford OHS laboratory sciences curriculum is designed to provide all students with the scientific knowledge and critical-thinking skills necessary to engage with science outside of the classroom and beyond high school, but also to afford flexibility and allow interested students to explore a particular scientific discipline more deeply.

Middle-school courses lay the groundwork for scientific reasoning through an inquiry-based approach and introduce students to the fundamentals of physical and life sciences. Our Honors-level high school courses delve into the core concepts of their respective disciplines while strengthening students’ ability to apply these concepts through experimentation.  Honors Chemistry and Honors Physics also prepare students for AP-level studies which offer in-depth exploration of each of the three fundamental disciplines of science (physics, chemistry, and biology). Students interested in astronomy may elect to enroll in our introductory astronomy course and our astronomy research seminar, and those students wishing to progress beyond AP-level science may take advantage of our advanced offerings in biology and university-level physics.

All middle-school and high-school level courses contain an at-home lab component during the year. In addition, students in Honors- and AP-level courses have the option of attending the corresponding summer lab course to further experience the techniques used to investigate questions within the discipline. 

Students can follow a variety of paths through the science curriculum, although it is recommended that students take at least one course in each of the three fundamental disciplines (physics, chemistry, and biology). Students are placed in courses based on interest and fulfillment of pre- and co-requisites. Students wishing to accelerate in the sciences have the option of satisfying Honors-level prerequisites on the basis of placement exam results.

Science Course Progression Flowchart