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All boarding, grades 9-12 in Alexandria, Virginia

Departments & Curriculum

Episcopal High School’s course of study reflects a commitment to the liberal arts and sciences, and a dedication to prepare students for college and for life.
EHS guides young people in pursuing excellence within a caring and supportive community. Small classes invite lively discussion and teach students to think independently, creatively, and critically. Offerings include a wide range of courses in English, mathematics, science, language, social studies, theology, and the arts. The seven-period academic day allows ample time for an elective and study period. Students must earn at least 23 credits in four years to graduate, including credits for afternoon programs. EHS also offers more than 40 Honors and Advanced courses in English, math, social studies, science, languages, and many electives, including interdisciplinary studies.

List of 4 items.

  • Interdisciplinary Studies

    Recognizing that understanding our complex world often requires synthesis of knowledge from more than one discipline, EHS offers a number of interdisciplinary courses.
    Through such courses as Advanced Global Energy, Advanced Engineering, African-American Studies, and Ethics and Aesthetics, juniors and seniors have the opportunity to sharpen their problem-solving skills and thoughtfully investigate how information is integrated into a fuller understanding of a problem, issue, or concept.
  • Graduation Requirements

    To earn a diploma from EHS, students must earn 23 credits and meet the following requirements:
    Foreign Languages2 or 3
    Mathematics3 or 3 ½
    Social Studies2
    Physical Education2 or 3


    Four credits are required in English. Students must be enrolled in English every year at Episcopal and must pass grammar competency tests in English 1, 2, and 3. Either an Honors or Advanced English course is offered for levels 2 through 4.


    A minimum of three credits is required in mathematics including successful completion of trigonometry, either as part of the full-year Algebra 2 with Trigonometry course or in a one-semester course (Algebra 3 with Trigonometry). A junior is required to take a full year of math, and EHS strongly encourages students to take mathematics every semester they are enrolled.

    Social Studies

    Students must complete two full years of social studies, which must include U.S. History and Global History 2.

    Modern and Classical Languages

    Students are required to study one language for three years and successfully complete at least the second level in that language. Students who have completed level two of a language in two years of study are required to pass the third level. The final credit in that language must be earned at Episcopal. Students who complete this requirement in their junior year are strongly urged to take the next level of that language.


    Students are required to earn two credits in laboratory science, the last of which must be earned at EHS. Episcopal encourages students to take more than two credits, as many colleges prefer students to have three or four science credits.

    The Arts

    The Arts Department has a one-credit requirement for all students entering in the 9th grade. Entering 10th and 11th graders must earn one-half credit. All 9th graders, except those taking choir, orchestra, acting, or survey of dance, must take Introduction to the Arts. Another one-half credit in the performing or applied visual arts is required for graduation. Artistically talented 9th graders may take an additional arts course in their first year.


    Entering 9th and 10th graders must take Biblical Theology (one-half credit) by the end of their 10th grade year. During the 12th grade year, seniors select a semester elective (one-half credit) offered by the Theology Department to complete the full credit required. Exceptions may be given for students taking six yearlong academic courses and orchestra or choir. Biblical Theology may then be “bumped” to the 11th grade or first semester of the 12th grade. As seniors, those students may also take one of the following courses for theology credit: Ethics and Aesthetics, Southern Literature and Ethics, or Greek.

    Computer Studies

    Technology 101 is a non-credit course that all new students must take during the first semester of their first year at EHS.

    Physical Education

    Students must earn two physical education credits. One-third credit is granted for a successful season of participation in a school-sponsored athletic offering. Each year there are three seasons (fall, winter, and spring). Ninth graders are encouraged to participate in athletics all three seasons.

    Health and Wellness

    Entering 9th and 10th graders must take Health and Wellness during the 10th grade. It is a half-year, noncredit, pass/fail course that meets twice a week.
  • Grading System

    Episcopal uses the following numerical grading system to assign grades for examinations, grading periods, semesters, and transcripts. In order to receive credit for a course, a student must receive a course-end grade of 65 or better and, in the case of a yearlong course, must earn a 65 or better for the second semester.

    87-89Above Average
    70-79Below Average
    60-64Conditional Failure
    Below 60

    Students receive a grade report four times a year. Parents can access these report cards through the parent portal of the EHS website. In addition to grades, the report includes teachers’ written comments about the student’s performance and attitude. Students are assigned to study hall each quarter based on their grade point average.

    As a matter of school policy, Episcopal does not rank students within the grade levels. A student’s yearly average of all courses is weighted by adding one point for each Advanced or Honors course taken. The parent portal of the website allows parents to view their child's academic schedule as well as current and past report cards.

    Recognizing Outstanding Academic Achievement

    Four times a year EHS recognizes students whose grade point average is 90 or higher by naming them to the School’s academic honor roll, the High List. Students who maintain a High List average throughout the year receive special recognition at Commencement. Episcopal also participates in the Cum Laude Society, a national honor society that recognizes students for their outstanding academic performance. In addition, EHS presents more than 90 awards during the school year to recognize students for their individual achievements in academics, arts, and athletics.
  • The EHS Diploma

    The Episcopal High School diploma is unique. Signed by every member of the faculty, it is awarded to the graduate for successfully completing the Episcopal experience.
    To receive a diploma, students must be in good standing academically and must have met the requirements of the EHS community. The Episcopal diploma is widely recognized among leading colleges and universities as a symbol of superior preparation and aptitude.

Typical Program of Study

List of 4 items.

  • Freshman Year

    English 1
    Algebra 1, Geometry, or Algebra 2/Trigonometry
    Modern or Classical Language Level 1 or 2
    Conceptual Physics
    Themes in Global History 1
    Introduction to the Arts (1 semester)
    (Choir, dance, theater, or orchestra, if taken the full year, may replace Introduction to the Arts.)
  • Sophomore Year

    English 2
    Geometry, Algebra 2/Trigonometry, or Precalculus
    Modern or Classical Language Level 2 or 3
    Themes in Global History 2 or Honors Global History 2: Documents Study Chemistry or Honors Chemistry
    Biblical Theology (1 semester)
    Health and Wellness Course* (1 semester)

    *All sophomores are required to take a one-semester, noncredit, pass/fail health course.
  • Junior Year

    English 3
    Algebra 2/Trigonometry, Precalculus, or Advanced Calculus
    Modern or Classical Language Level 3 or 4
    U.S. History or Advanced U.S. History
    Biology or Advanced Biology
  • Senior Year

    English 4
    Precalculus, Advanced Calculus, Advanced Statistics, Advanced Multivariable and Vector Calculus, or Advanced Linear Algebra
    Modern or Classical Language Level 4 or Elective
    Science or Elective
    Social Studies or Elective
    Theology (1 semester)
    Art (1 semester)
Episcopal High School Since 1839
1200 North Quaker Lane Alexandria, Virginia 22302 | 703-933-3000