With guidance from their advisors, students are encouraged to take a comprehensive program of courses. In most cases, students are required to be enrolled in at least four major courses at all times; most students enroll in five.
Any junior or senior who wants to take a sixth major course, for credit or as an audited class, in one or more of the semesters must petition and receive approval from the relevant department, then the grade team, and finally from the full upper school faculty before the beginning of the year or semester.
Students in 9th and 10th grade may not take a sixth major for credit as they are focusing on all the graduation requirements and participating in clubs, sports and other extracurricular activities.
Advanced work is available either through specifically designed courses or through individually prescribed work in a regular class. Modified course work is available on a limited basis. Independent study is available for those students who have exhausted the limits of course work in a particular discipline or when special need (e.g. scheduling) or interest dictates.
Students with five majors may apply for an additional MSON semester course. The Wilmington Friends transcript is the official record of a student’s academic coursework while in upper school.
General Planning Advice
Since a good education provides a broad foundation and opportunities for exploration, we require students to include in their four-year plan courses from all departments as well as participation in sports. We advise students to join committees, activities, and clubs, and to take advantage of volunteer and other school and community opportunities. For most students, a balanced program will leave some school time for work in study halls.
For International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB) Candidates
Beyond the Wilmington Friends School diploma, students interested in obtaining an IB diploma have additional requirements. One additional course that all IB Diploma candidates must take is Theory of Knowledge, both in the junior and senior year. They also complete a Creativity, Activity, and Service (CAS) requirement of engaging ongoing co-curricular experiences. IB diploma candidates must complete an extended essay that contains about 4,000 words. Students must sit for their final IB exams for course completion and IB credit; not taking an IB exam will be noted on the WFS transcript.
Students decide in their sophomore year if they wish to pursue an IB diploma and work closely with their families and advisors as well as the IB Coordinator to determine whether or not the program is a good match.