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Curriculum & Departments

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Define Yourself at Emma!

Emma Willard School's curriculum is designed to set students on a path to becoming confident, prepared, appreciated, and reflective citizens.

The ability to think abstractly and critically occurs at the very time that peer relationships become more meaningful and one’s own sense of identity is nourished. High school has a critical impact on a student’s path toward achievement and wellbeing. We designed our curriculum with these key factors in mind.

Our curriculum helps you focus your future aspirations, and equips you with the interdisciplinary knowledge and critical reflection skills that competitive colleges are looking for. We offer over 130 courses any given semester, as well as opportunities for you to pursue an interest through our personalized, experiential learning through Practicum, Signature, and Jestermester. Our Advanced Studies curriculum focuses on what matters most in learning—relevance, enduring understanding, and multidisciplinary connection. 

Choose a department below to read more about what to expect from an Emma education.

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Whether you’re interested in studying multivariable calculus, Shakespearean tragedy, theatre, or global climate change, Emma has a course to fit your interest. Download our course catalog for more details and graduation requirements.

Course Catalog

Arts Department

The arts department offers a variety of courses in music, theatre, dance and visual arts. Students have the opportunity to learn vocabulary and problem-solving and performing techniques that are unique to each discipline. Our course offerings are designed for students of all levels of interest and proficiency so that students are able to explore new areas as well as study a particular art form in depth.

Read More about Arts Department
English Department

In their English classes, Emma students read works that fascinate, entreat, inform, enliven, frustrate, and delight them. They explore new forms of writing, mastering the analytical essay as well as creative pieces.

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History Department

Beyond a slate of history courses, at Emma our curriculum transcends the discipline by offering introductions to arts studies, social sciences, and cross-disciplinary scholarship. Our instructors stress observation and interpretation of primary sources and data; critical engagement with scholarship; research and writing; and seminar discussion of ideas. Students draw on our own extensive school archives, visit historic sites, and work with local historians, museum staff, archivists, and others as they explore the past. 

Read More about History Department
Mathematics Department

Emma students will spend their adult lives in a world influenced by technology and quantitative methods. For this reason, each student is asked to see mathematics as a tool for problem solving. 

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Physical Education

Athletics, Physical Education, and Dance provide our students with learning opportunities through the medium of movement and contribute to their overall development by helping them to lead full, active and healthy lives.

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READY Seminar

In order to be ready to serve and shape their world, our students must learn to practice care and understand purpose for themselves, then envision and enact those skills in their communities and the broader world. The READY Program is a four-year curriculum designed to support this learning by creating a thoughtful and experiential practice on what it means to be human.

Read More about READY Seminar
Science Department

Tap into your curiosity about the world around you, ask thought-provoking questions, and employ scientific processes to make predictions, collect and analyze data, and share conclusions about scientific phenomena.

Read More about Science Department
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Elements of the Emma Experience

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Interested in joining the faculty at Emma Willard School? We practice "continuous recruitment" and collect resumes year-round to quickly have on file when positions become available.

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