Senior School Departments

Senior School Departments

Senior School Departments

At the Senior School level, the breadth of course offerings is considerable. For information on the different departments and the courses, make a selection from the list below. For a complete guide to course requirements and detailed descriptions, see the Course Selection Guide, also below.

The study of science develops strong reasoning and analytical skills. In the sciences, students connect theory to practical applications.

Science teaches students to:

  • think critically and analytically;
  • follow the scientific method;
  • manipulate data in a scientific manner; and
  • approach problems in a logical way.

Our Sciences program includes the standard subjects of Biology, Chemistry and Physics, as well as elective courses in:

  • Earth Science
  • Environmental Science
  • Geology
  • Marine Science

At the Grade 9 and 10 levels, the required science courses expose students to four different topics, including space science and earth science. Students interested in marine science can take an elective course focusing on the physical, chemical and biological aspects of the marine environment.

At the Grade 11 and 12 levels, students choose from several options. Motivated and capable students are offered the opportunity to enrol in advanced courses which prepare them for the Grade 12 Advanced Placement program.

Extra Opportunities

Galápagos and Ecuador

A trip for biology and ocean enthusiasts, the SMUS trip to Ecuador and the Galápagos Islands is led by teacher Michael Jackson, one the foremost experts on the Galápagos Islands. In Ecuador, students explore the Amazon Basin, study the rain forest in the Cuyabeno reserve, visit indigenous communities in the Andes and tour the Avenue of Volcanoes. For the final seven days, students experience the unique ecosystem of the Galápagos Islands by yacht, on foot and by snorkeling.


The SMUS Science Department also encourages students to participate in a variety of national contests including the University of Toronto Biology competition, the Avogadro Chemistry contest, Sir Isaac Newton Physics contest as well as International Olympiads.

Field Trips

One of the most talked-about field trips is the trip to the Marine Science Centre in Bamfield. There, students study marine life, temperate rainforests, physical properties of the ocean, and learn about professional research projects. Other trips include visits to the sewage treatment centre, local landfill and Goldstream Park for the annual salmon run.


Title Grade
Science 9 9
Science 10 10
Biology 12 12
AP Biology 12
Biology 11 11
Chemistry 12 12
AP Chemistry 12
Marine Studies and Training 10 9, 10
Biology 11 Pre-AP 11
Chemistry 11 11
Chemistry 11 Pre-AP 11
Physics 12 12
Physics 11 11
AP Physics 1 11, 12
AP Physics 2 12
AP Physics C: Mechanics 12
AP Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism 12
AP Environmental Science 11, 12
Geology 12 11, 12
AP Psychology 12

Course Selection Guide 2018-2019

Course Selection Guide 2018-2019

Course Selection Guide 2018-2019

Published: February, 2018

A guide to Senior School course requirements with descriptions to help our students plan an optimal school year.

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