Students normally take five or six courses each year. At least four of these courses must be from the liberal arts disciplines of English, mathematics, science, history, and foreign language. The Academy’s minimum graduation requirements are as follows (18.5 credits total):
• English: four years (one each year at LFA)
• Mathematics: three years (including at least algebra I, geometry, and algebra II)
• History, Science, Languages: three years in at least two of these disciplines and two in the third, including at least two full year lab sciences. All students must take either World History II or Advanced Placement World History and either U.S. History or Advanced Placement U.S. History.
• Fine Arts: three semesters for incoming freshmen and two semesters for any incoming sophomore, junior, or senior.
Students need at least two additional full-year credits to meet the minimum graduation requirements (one of these must be from the areas of math, science, English, history, or languages) and must also fulfill the requirements of the Athletic Department and Seminar Program. All students are assigned to a seminar group, with whom they are required to meet every cycle.
Students who join the Academy from other countries and who are already fluent in a non-English native language are encouraged, but not required, to study a language in addition to English while they are at LFA. If they choose not to do so, they must successfully complete at least three years in both science and history in addition to meeting the total credit requirements.
Advanced Level and Advanced Placement (AP) courses
LFA’s Advanced level and Advanced Placement (AP) courses have the distinction of being our most challenging academic programs. Students planning on applying for admission to an Advanced level or AP course need to position themselves by performing well in their current academic course. The decision to apply for entry into an Advanced level or AP course should be made in consultation with the LFA advisor, the parents, and the individual academic department. Admission to Advanced level and AP courses is decided by the appropriate department in conjunction with the Dean of Students. The respective department head should be approached for further information. LFA does not weight grades for Advanced level and AP courses in computing a student’s GPA. Students enrolled in AP courses are not required to take the AP exam. Although it is strongly encouraged, it is not mandatory. Students are responsible for paying any exam fees.
Lake Forest Academy believes in the concept of Independent Study for interested, qualified, and mature students. To assist our students in acquiring the techniques necessary to work independently outside the framework of standard courses, and to encourage and cultivate intellectual curiosity, LFA offers students the opportunity to construct and pursue an approved independent course of study. Refer to the student handbook for specific guidelines and criteria.