Our Curriculum

Incarnate Word Academy’s curriculum is designed to prepare an IWA graduate for her lifelong journey as a learner. We believe that the real value of an IWA education is found in the critical thinking, collaboration and problem-solving skills that our graduates will use to identify a problem and develop tomorrow’s extraordinary solutions.

IWA asks students to value curiosity, diverse ideas, and new experiences just as much as they value rigor when selecting a course load.  Academic counselors help students meet their goals by creating personally-challenging schedules that include foundational college preparatory courses, over 30 honors and AP classes, as well as enriching electives.

View the 2019-2020 Course Catalog

View the 2019-2020 Advanced Placement Guide

Graduation Requirements

The following 28 credits are required for graduation:

  • 4 Theology
  • 4 English
  • 4 Mathematics
  • 4 Science
  • 3 Social Studies
  • 3 World Languages
  • 1 Fine Arts
  • 1 Physical Education
  • 1 Academic Elective
  • .5 Government
  • .5 Economics
  • .5 Technology
  • .5 Health
  • .5 Computer Applications
  • .5 Leading with Character

What courses might I take each year?

Freshmen Year

  • Theology I
  • English I*
  • Algebra* or Geometry*
  • Biology*
  • World History and Geography to 1500 CE*
  • Spanish, French, Latin or Mandarin
  • Communications Applications
  • Leading with Character
  • Other (Arts, Technology, Physical Education, Leadership, Elective)

*Courses with honors equivalent

Sophomore Year

  • Theology II
  • English II*
  • Geometry* or Algebra II*
  • Chemistry*
  • World History and Geography from 1500 CE*
  • Spanish, French, or Latin II
  • Health
  • Other (Arts, Technology, Physical Education, Leadership, Elective)

*Courses with honors equivalent

Junior Year

  • Theology III
  • English III or AP English Language
  • Algebra II* or Pre-Calculus*
  • Anatomy, Forensic Science, Physics, AP Biology or AP Chemistry
  • U.S. History or AP U.S. History
  • Spanish III*, French III*, or Latin III*
  • Other (Arts, Technology, Physical Education, Leadership, Elective)

*Courses with honors equivalent

Senior Year

  • Theology IV 
  • English IV or AP English Literature
  • College Algebra, Pre-Calculus*, AP Calculus AB or BC, AP Statistics
  • Physics*, Engineering Design, AP Biology, or AP Chemistry
  • Government or AP U.S. Government & Politics
  • Economics*
  • Other (Arts, Technology, Physical Education, Leadership, Elective)

*Courses with honors equivalent

Theology

We form the minds and spirits of young women in the Catholic tradition.

We inspire students to learn, to be curious, and to ask questions about our faith such as, “What is Truth?” and “What is my purpose?” and “Why do we believe what we believe?”  We inspire students to love truth, beauty, and goodness through the lens of Catholic morality and theology.

English

We prepare students to read inquisitively, think critically and communicate effectively.

No matter our students’ career choices, they will all have to critically understand information and communicate effectively with clarity. Articulate communication requires practice, and we see a need for this regardless of one’s profession. We use literature as a tool for teaching critical thought; we use writing about literature as a mechanism for developing clear, effective communication. 

Mathematics

We cultivate analytical thinking and problem solving through a nurturing teaching environment.

Life requires problem solving and communication. Our courses offer a variety of applications of mathematical principles and applicable word problems as practice for college and beyond.  We want to develop a thinking-outside-the-box attitude aim to encourage young women to pursue careers and studies in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

Science

We prepare Women of the Word to lead successful lives by developing problem solving and critical thinking skills through understanding the science of God’s creation.   

We want every student to have an opportunity to have a voice in the conversation on scientific issues, including environmental and medical, that affect their lives and the community in which they live.  We hope to inspire students to pursue STEM careers in which they will improve the quality of life on planet Earth. 

Social Studies

We prepare students to understand and analyze human nature, culture, and society, both past and present.  

In order for students to become successful leaders, make moral decisions, and effect positive change, it is essential to understand human civilizations, cultures, and structures over time. We believe that students should mold their own opinions and insights, while maintaining an open-minded attitude of respect and dignity for those thoughts and beliefs with which they disagree. 

World Languages

We prepare our students to become more open to diverse cultures and communicate effectively in a second language to better equip them for leadership in a globalized economy.

Languages are a powerful tool in a globalized economy and multilingual individuals are in high demand. We know that learning a foreign language enhances cognitive skills. Our department is passionate about our own subject matter in addition to building our students’ academic and personal confidence.

Arts

We encourage students to seek truth, beauty, and goodness in the world around them in order to enrich the mind, body, and soul.  

A fine arts education lets students develop and polish their creative abilities, gain an appreciation for the arts, and expand their talents and skills into arenas outside the classroom. Highlights include main stage productions, choir concerts, competitions, and school performances.

Leadership

We empower young women to lead and serve.

Our curriculum and program seeks to reveal within each IWA graduate her potential to lead, empower her with methods and practices to do so, and inspire her to embrace a future life of personal and professional leadership. We develop bold, authentic, servant leaders who intentionally apply their strengths, talents, and leadership skills as a way of life as they serve the needs of others. 

Technology

We empower students not only to use technology, but also to understand it.

Our curriculum integrates universal technology concepts across technology classes and support other departments and student organizations with their technology needs. Technology at IWA is cross-curricular endeavor. Students use coding expertise to create websites for end-of-year projects, use Adobe Creative Cloud to create digital art for Falcon Theatre events, and even embark on prototype-making using a 3-D printer.

Elective, Honors, and Advanced Placement Courses

Honors Courses

  • Algebra I
  • Algebra II
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Economics
  • English I
  • English II
  • Engineering Design & Problem Solving
  • French III
  • Geometry
  • Latin III
  • Physics
  • Physics II
  • Pre-Calculus
  • Spanish III
  • World Geography
  • World History

Advanced Placement Courses

  • AP Biology
  • AP Calculus AB
  • AP Calculus BC
  • AP Chemistry
  • AP Computer Science
  • AP English Language & Composition
  • AP English Literature & Composition
  • AP French Language & Culture
  • AP Latin
  • AP United States History
  • AP Spanish Language & Culture
  • AP Statistics
  • AP United States Government & Politics

Arts Electives

  • Fundamentals of Art
  • Advanced Art
  • Textile Art
  • Fundamentals of Theatre
  • Advanced Theatre
  • Dance
  • Choir
  • Band (with St. Thomas High School)

Technology Elective Courses

  • Digital Design & Media Production
  • Web Design
  • AP Computer Science Principles
  • 3D Modeling & Game Design

Leadership Elective Courses

  • Leading with Character
  • Leading with Business
  • Leading with Service
  • Leading with Personal Finance

Academic Elective Courses

  • Contemporary U.S. Women's History
  • Current Events
  • Sociology
  • Psychology
  • World in Motion
  • Contemporary Literature
  • Creative Writing
  • Publications
  • Weight Training

Athletic Elective Courses

  • Dance
  • Physical Education
  • Weight Training