Upper School (9 – 12)

Upper School students at Bear Creek pursue an intellectual adventure within an intentional course progression that captures the liberal arts tradition. With the opportunity to explore the pillars of great western thought, sharpen the ability to think critically, and ask and shape answers to essential questions our students become part of a student body that pursues academic challenge.


Our curriculum is a rigorous college preparatory program in the classical, Christian tradition. The liberal arts course of study enables students to make critical connections between the academic disciplines and builds a breadth and depth of knowledge and application. An equally solid foundation in mathematics and the sciences provides a comprehensive set of competencies for future advanced study. Students and faculty place a high value on intellectual challenge, the integration of faith in thought and practice, and collaborative discovery.

Upper School Curriculum Overview

Upper School Course Catalog

Advanced Placement, Concurrent Credit, and Honors

Students have the opportunity to challenge themselves in areas of particular aptitude and passion by enrolling in numerous Advanced Placement® (AP) and Honors courses. Three defining elements of AP offerings at Bear Creek are the scope of our AP courses, the consistent high student score and AP Scholars achievement, and the fact that enrollment is essentially open to all students. Additionally, Bear Creek partners with Northwest University's Concurrent Credit Program, allowing students to earn college credit while at Bear Creek. 

Advanced Sequencing in Math and Science

Unlike traditional math placement, students are encouraged to advance beyond traditional grade-level math competency. Upper School students are placed at the level that matches their ability and motivation. Many take advanced level math courses that are above grade level, which often culminate at collegiate-level Calculus, or stretch beyond into Multivariable Calculus. The science curriculum begins with Conceptual Physics and offers upperclassmen advanced options in AP Chemistry, AP Biology, and AP Physics 1. Each science course takes full advantage of our well-equipped, lab-based classroom environments.

Senior Capstone Projects

The opportunity to pursue a passion is a powerful thing. Upon completion of classes in mid-May, seniors spend three weeks intensively working on a personally-selected senior project to demonstrate their ability to integrate a Christian worldview with an area of personal passion. The project culminates in a presentation to peers and a defense of the work before a faculty panel. Recent Senior Capstone Projects have included: Discovering da Vinci: Revolutions in Surgical Technology, Climbing and study of Mt. Kilimanjaro, Impact of Human Trafficking, The Ancient Egyptian Novel, and The Poetry of Service, among many others.

Travel Learning Opportunities

A variety of opportunities to experience the curriculum through guided travel are led by Bear Creek faculty. Travel adventures are offered on a rotating basis: exploring Western civilization in Europe and examining our British heritage in England. Additional opportunities also include language and cultural immersion trips to France, Italy, and Spain.