High School Program Guide

Singapore American School is committed to assisting students in developing a program of study that meets their academic and college goals, offers instruction that will lead to a healthy lifestyle, and affords ample opportunity for participation in meaningful activities. This guide provides information about the courses typically offered along with information on how to select and complete the online registration process. We believe that every student is unique. With access to over 180 college-preparatory, support, and college-level courses, SAS students have the opportunity to pursue pathways that meet their unique needs and interests.

This guide also contains information about the minimum SAS graduation requirements, the credits recommended by colleges, and the wide range of academic opportunities available at our school. As students begin choosing courses for next year and beyond, keep in mind that students will perform best when a program is selected that includes courses that are personally interesting and at an appropriate level of challenge.

Current SAS students are asked to choose courses each spring for both semesters of the following school year. Students new to SAS will meet with a counselor to select courses prior to enrollment. All students are responsible for taking the time to fully understand what a course will cover, the prerequisites, and whether or not there are any expectations beyond what might be considered “normal” for a course, such as additional labs, rehearsals, research, or readings. Not all courses are available to all grades.

All members of the SAS faculty are available to assist students and parents as courses are selected for the next academic year. Feel free to contact us.


General Information View Courses Contact Us Download the PDF

Noteworthy in 2018–19

The 2018–19 school year will bring several changes to Singapore American School. We are excited to offer new courses, new programs, and additional learning options to students. While details regarding many of these changes are included in other sections of this guide, the following are some of the highlights.

Advanced Studies

Advanced Topic (AT) courses and Advanced Placement (AP) courses together form our advanced studies offerings at SAS. These are college level courses that have been vetted and approved by the College Board or through a rigorous process at SAS to ensure rigor, quality, and relevance to our desired student learning outcomes (DSLOs). We now proudly offer over 40 of these courses.

The 2016–17 program planning guide introduced five new Advanced Topic courses for students, and in 2017–18, five more AT courses were introduced. For 2018–19, we are pleased to introduce two additional AT courses: AT Multivariable Calculus and Linear Algebra, and AT Economics: Globalization. As a complement to our Advanced Topic offerings, we continue to offer students access to a selection of over 20 Advanced Placement courses and 25 AP examinations.

Advanced Studies FAQ AT/AP Summer Reading

Maximum Number of AP Credits

Singapore American School’s vision is to be a world leader in education, cultivating exceptional thinkers who are prepared for the future. Our AT courses are directly aligned to this vision and foster the skills students need to develop into exceptional thinkers. These courses are designed to (1) prepare students for the demands of the 21st Century and (2) provide students with additional opportunities to differentiate themselves in the college application process.

To ensure students have a balanced selection of courses, the school has capped the total number of Advanced Placement credits that a student may earn at SAS. Starting with the graduating class of 2021, students may earn up to seven year–long–equivalent AP credits during their high school careers. This limit was first announced during the 2014–15 school year. Transferring students should note that AP credits earned at any high school count towards this limit.

For students and families who would like to learn more about the advanced studies program and the Advanced Placement credit limit, we offer the answers to frequently asked questions here. We also encourage you to bring your questions to your high school counselors. They will gladly help clarify and are eager to support families and students to plan a course of study.

Co-Crediting with Syracuse University

We are pleased to announce a newly established co-crediting partnership with Syracuse University through their Project Advance program that may be applied to select Advanced Topic courses. The Syracuse University Project Advance (SUPA) program is a concurrent enrollment program linking the university with secondary schools. Through this partnership, we are able to offer qualified students the opportunity to concurrently enroll in Syracuse University courses for university credit. During the 2018–19 school year, AT Computational Physics and AT Economics: Globalization are eligible for concurrent enrollment in SUPA courses. Please see the course descriptions for these two AT offerings for more detail.

For more information regarding the SUPA program, please see the Advanced Studies section of this guide. To determine whether participation in this program is a fit for your long–term goals, please speak with your counselor.

Additional Self-Paced Courses Offered

Sections of AP Economics have been operating in a self-paced format for three years at SAS. In these sections, students may move faster than the usual pace of the class. While this format will not be a fit for every student, one of its benefits is giving students additional flexibility to manage their own time. As we continue to personalize learning in meaningful ways at SAS, we are pleased to announce that we are expanding self-paced options. Beginning in 2018–19, some sections of Geometry and AP Chemistry will be designated as self-paced. Regular sections of Geometry and AP Chemistry will continue to be offered.

Recognition Opportunities at Graduation

As a school committed to standards-based grading, we believe that learning every student can reach high levels of learning. Our systems for recognizing students’ hard work and achievement must reflect that belief.

We have transitioned to a cum laude system based on the model utilized by many universities. The new system recognizes outstanding achievement in three categories based on students’ grade point averages. Only letter grades earned at SAS through the end of the fall semester of senior year will be taken into consideration.

This system will award three levels of distinction:
  • Summa Cum Laude (highest distinction, 4.4 GPA or higher)
  • Magna Cum Laude (higher distinction; 4.2 to 4.399 GPA)
  • Cum Laude (distinction; 4.0 to 4.199 GPA)

Quest Program Now Open to Eleventh Grade Students

We are thrilled that the Quest program will be graduating its second cohort of students as part of the Class of 2018!

Previously, Quest was only available to students during their senior years at SAS. Beginning in 2018–19, students may apply to participate in Quest during either their junior or senior years.

Students enrolled in the innovative year–long program can expect to:
  • embrace unique experiences and challenges not available in existing course offerings;
  • accelerate learning through interdisciplinary and real world applications;
  • deep dive into a particular area of interest or passion;
  • learn essential skills to prepare them for their future; and
  • distinguish themselves when applying to college.

Please see the Quest webpage for more information.

Seal of Biliteracy Will be Offered

We are proud to announce that students in the SAS graduating classes of 2019 and beyond will be eligible to earn the Seal of Biliteracy. The Seal of Biliteracy serves to formally certify attainment of biliteracy for students and is recognized on high school diplomas. It is a statement of accomplishment that helps to signal a student’s linguistic and cultural readiness not only for career and college, but also for engagement as a global citizen. The Seal of Biliteracy is already awarded by schools located in the 31 US states that had approved Seal of Biliteracy legislation as of February 1, 2018.

In order to earn a Seal of Biliteracy at SAS, students must demonstrate via school-designated external assessments that they have attained a minimum of Intermediate High proficiency in all four skills (i.e., reading, writing, listening, and speaking). For more information, please see the World Languages section in this guide.

New Courses for 2018–19

  • AT Multivariable Calculus and Linear Algebra
  • AT Economics: Globalization
  • Geometry Math Lab
  • Engineering and Space Technology
  • Theater: Sketch Comedy

Changed Courses for 2018–19

  • Several of our current courses will be offered under new titles. Molecular Biology will now be offered as Accelerated Biology. Functions, Statistics, and Trigonometry will now be offered as Introduction to Statistics and Pre-Calculus. Printmaking and Mixed Media will now be offered as Mixed Media and Digital Processes. Advanced Composition will now be offered as Creative Writing. AT Writing Seminar will now be offered as AT Writing Workshop and Publication. For more details regarding these courses, please refer to their full entries in this guide.
  • During the 2017–18 school year, we introduced Algebra 1 Math Lab to students who required intensive support with Algebra 1. Due to the success of Algebra 1 Math Lab in providing benefits to our students, we will offer Geometry Math Lab during the 2018–19 school year. These two Math Lab courses are designed to be taken concurrently with the associated college–preparatory math class and are available by teacher recommendation only. The purpose of these courses is to assist identified students with the development of mathematical skills, knowledge, and confidence.
  • Functions, Statistics, and Trigonometry (FST) has undergone a curriculum review this year and is the last course in our math sequence to be brought into full alignment with the Common Core State Standards. In 2018–19, FST has been renamed Introduction to Statistics and Pre-Calculus. The curriculum adjustments that have been made allow students who do well in the course to elect to take AP Calculus AB. Access to the course remains the same as it has in years past, and we are proud to provide more of our students with a pathway to calculus.
  • The current AP Calculus BC/Multivariable Calculus course will be offered for the last time in 2018–19. (The stand-alone AP Calculus BC course will continue to be offered.) We are developing semester-long AP Calculus BC, AT Multivariable Calculus and AT Linear Algebra courses that will be available for the first time in 2019–20.
  • As announced last year, several Advanced Placement (AP) courses will be offered for the final time in 2018–19. These courses include AP Literature, AP Human Geography, AP Psychology, and AP World History. Advanced Topic (AT) courses in these subject areas are currently being developed to provide learning options that are more relevant, better support students to acquire 21st Century skills, and provide students with additional opportunities to differentiate themselves in the college application process.

View High School Courses

Click the buttons below to view the courses offered in SAS.

Contact Information

All members of the SAS faculty are available to assist students and parents as courses are selected for the next academic year. Feel free to contact us.


Darin Fahrney, Principal

Stephen Ly, Deputy Principal

Amy Zuber Meehan, Deputy Principal

Departmental Contacts for 2018-19


Brenda Baisley

Social Studies

Cassandra Summerton


Lance Murgatroyd


Kevin Piers

World Languages

Jean Rueckert


Jason Adkison

Performing Arts

Stephen Bonnette

Visual Arts

Barbara Harvey

Physical/Health Education

Charles Shriner

Educational Technology

Patrick Green

Learning Support

Laura Mohl

College Counseling

Tina Forbush, Director of College Counseling

Personal Academic Counseling

Sue Nesbitt, Dean of Student Life