Electives & College Courses

In the 2019-2020 academic year, over 70 elective courses on a wide range of academic and arts subjects will be offered to high school students at Northern. These include academic electives such as Business Management, Computer Science, Creative Writing, Public Speaking, Chinese History, Science Olympiad, Neuroscience, and over 20 Advanced Placement (AP) courses and other college level courses, and many arts electives in dance, ballet, fine arts and music.
Download 2019-2020 Academic and Arts ElectivesFor college level courses, please see Fei Tian College Course Offering for details and prerequisites.

The following are the descriptions of some of the electives courses offered in the 2019-20 academic year.


Business Management (Fall Semester)

The objective of this course is to make the learning of basic business principles an investigative and personal process so students may more fully apply them to their professional, personal, social, and ethical decision-making.  Students are encouraged to develop interdisciplinary thinking skills (problem solving, critical thinking, communication, creativity).  Students will acquire an understanding of key business management concepts and ideas and develop an awareness of the relevance that business organization and planning, human resource management, and leadership have on institutional, professional, and personal levels.

Introduction to Marketing (Spring Semester)

Introduction to Marketing provides students with an introduction to the principles of Marketing.  This course focuses on basic marketing concepts, marketing functions, entrepreneurship concepts, national and global economies, international marketing, and human relations. Students will be expected to meet all of the course goals and be able to demonstrate their understanding of the underlying concepts. The instructional strategies will include small and large group discussion, lecture, role play, research reports, presentations, and problem-based learning activities used to integrate process skills such as decision making, problem solving, and critical thinking.

Computer Science

Web Programming 1 (Fall Semester) & 2 (Spring Semester)

Web Programming is a one-year (two semesters, with Web Programming 1 and 2) course covering required topics in most “Web Design” settings. The topics of Web Programming 1 cover introductory level HTML5/CSS/Javascript. Students merely need to have typical computer usage skills prior to starting this course. Web Programming 2 has Interactive HTML/Javascript topics and Server Side technology. Students are targeted to learn Web Programming by implementing projects with fun.

Introduction to Computer Programming (Spring Semester)

This course is an introduction to computer science and software engineering for all students interested in developing software applications and not just using them. Through a project oriented approach, students will explore a variety of programming systems and languages to create interactive applications and systems. By collaborating in a hands-on environment, students will learn problem-solving, software design, debugging strategies, and the foundations of computer science (data structures, procedures, and algorithms). Students will work on projects (both individual and team) in the areas of graphics and games, animation and art, electronics systems, and interactive fashion, all using open-source software tools such as Scratch, Arduino, Processing, and Python. The prerequisite for this course is basic familiarity with computers and software applications, plus a curious spirit and a willingness to experiment and learn.

AP Computer Science A (Full Year)

This is a one-year introductory course on computer science for students whose future work or study will significantly involve technology and computers. This course will teach students to design and implement computer-based solutions to practical problems; to select and use commonly used data structures and algorithms; to code fluently in an object-oriented paradigm using the programming language Java and its commonly used class libraries; to read and understand a large programs consisting of several classes and interacting objects; and to recognize the ethical and social implications of computer use.

Fei Tian College Courses

CIS101 Introduction to Computer Sciences (Summer & Fall Semester)

CIS102 Introduction to Computing (Fall Semester)

(For course details and prerequisites, see Fei Tian College course offering listing.)


Fiction Writing Workshop (Spring Semester)

In this course, students will explore the fundamentals of writing fiction. Focusing on the elements of character, narrative, dialogue, voice and plot, we will draft and revise short and longer pieces of fiction in workshop format. At the same time, we will read works by the masters of fiction, such as Ernest Hemingway, Jack London and Henry James, in order to inform our craft.

Poetry Writing Workshop (Spring Semester)

In this course, we will explore the fundamentals of writing poetry, focusing on the elements of craft, including image, voice, line and stanza breaks, sound and delivery. Students will read a variety of poetry in their study of the craft, from William Shakespeare to Robert Browning to modern and contemporary poets.

The American Renaissance (Spring Semester)

First termed “The American Renaissance” by F.O. Matthiessen in his key book, The American Renaissance: Art and Expression in the Age of Emerson and Whitman (1941), this period, which ranges from approximately 1830 to the Civil War, marks the production, for the first time, of a uniquely American literature. Students in this course will explore the work of key figures of the American Renaissance, including Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Herman Melville, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Harriet Beecher Stowe and Emily Dickinson in order to understand the broad range of literature produced during the American Renaissance as well as the commonalities amongst this diverse body of writers.

Creative Writing (Fall Semester)

This is a course designed to give students an opportunity to explore numerous genres/styles of writing, with the intention to push their own personal creative boundaries. During the semester, students will discuss, analyze, and engage in constructive criticism about famous authors as well as the works of their fellow classmates. By the end of the course, students will have a portfolio of writing to represent the path they have taken to find their own creative voice and style.

Poetry Appreciation (Fall Semester)

This course will introduce the various forms and conventions of poetry through discussion and critique. During the semester, students will read and analyze a number of styles from varying countries and time periods. By the end of the course, students will create a poetry portfolio of their own.

Public Speaking and Debate (Spring Semester)

Public Speaking and Debate is a one-semester beginning level course for students who are interested in learning more about public speaking or have never debated before. After completing this course, students will have a set of portable argumentation and advocacy skills that they can use in a variety of experiences throughout the curriculum at Northern. Students will initially learn about and practice structured extemporaneous speeches with emphasis on verbal and nonverbal delivery skills (organization, projection, inflection, eye-contact, hand gestures, and more). Students will then build a foundation for effective argumentation and advocacy (claim/warrant/evidence) by participating in “SPAR” debates and finally, students will develop and deliver one research-based persuasive speech. Because public speaking functions in a larger democratic context, the class will also consistently stress critical listening skills and an attitude of appreciative inquiry with diverse perspectives.

AP English Literature and Composition (Full Year)

The AP English Literature and Composition course will engage students in the careful reading and critical analysis of imaginative literature. Through the close reading of selected texts, students will deepen their understanding of the ways writers use language to create meaning. Students will learn to consider a work’s structure, style, and themes, as well as smaller-scale elements such as the use of figurative language, imagery, symbolism, and tone. This course is intended to provide the experience of a typical introductory college literature course. It includes intensive study of representative works from various genres, periods, and cultures, concentrating on works of recognized literary merit. Writing is also an integral part of the AP English Literature and Composition course and of the AP Exam. Writing assignments in the course will address the critical analysis of literature and will include expository, analytical, and argumentative essays.

AP English Language and Composition (Full Year)

This course is designed to help students become both skilled readers of prose written in a variety of rhetorical contexts and skilled writers who compose for a variety of purposes. Students will learn to read primary and secondary sources carefully, to synthesize materials from these texts in their own compositions, and to cite sources using conventions recommended by professional organizations. The first semester will be devoted to understanding rhetoric and the various techniques authors use based on pathos, ethos, and logos. Reading and writing assignments will be structured to analyze and demonstrate certain specific techniques.  The second semester will switch over to a more thematic approach. Students will read classical and modern pieces devoted to specific themes. Students can choose for themselves which techniques they would want to apply from the first semester in order to address each theme in their assignments. Writer’s workshops will be interspersed throughout the year to help students develop ideas, organization, word choice, sentence fluency, voice, and conventions in their essays. This course is for juniors and seniors.

Fei Tian College Courses

ENG103 Effective English (Summer & Fall Semester)

ENG104 Public Speaking (Summer & Spring Semester)

ENG203 Introduction to British Literature (Summer & Fall & Spring Semester)

ENG304 Writing for Media (Summer)

(For course details and prerequisites, see Fei Tian College course offering listing.)


AP Calculus AB (Full Year)

Calculus brings together methods and skills the students have learned throughout their high school years and is thus the culmination of their high school Mathematics. This course is a one-year introductory course on Calculus following the AP Calculus AB curriculum standards and preparing students for the AP Calculus AB exam. The course is primarily concerned with developing students’ thorough understanding of the concepts of Calculus and providing experience with its methods and applications. The course emphasizes a multi-representational approach to Calculus, with concepts, results, and applications being expressed verbally, numerically, graphically, and analytically. Historical perspectives that developed the field of Calculus are incorporated into the course. To be eligible, students must demonstrate exceptional ability and achievement in prior math courses.

AP Calculus BC (Full Year)

This one-year course is designed to meet the Advanced Placement curricular requirements for Calculus BC by the College Board. The major topics of this course are limits, derivatives, integrals, the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus, series, and parametrics. Calculus BC provides a more theoretical development of the calculus than Calculus AB and includes the additional topic of series.

Pre-Calculus (Full Year)

Pre-Calculus covers topics in Algebra ranging from polynomial, rational, logarithmic and exponential, trigonometric functions to conic sections. Trigonometry concepts such as Law of Sines and Cosines will be introduced. Students will then begin analytic geometry and calculus concepts such as limits, derivatives, and integrals. It is an important prerequisite for Calculus and other college level math classes.

AP-Statistics (Full Year)

Statistics is the science of data and the language of science. AP Statistics is to introduce students to the major concepts and tools for collecting, analyzing and drawing conclusions from data. Four primary units will be studied:
• Exploring Data: Describing patterns and departures from patterns.
• Sampling and Experimentation: Planning and conducting a study.
• Anticipating Patterns: Exploring random phenomena using probability and simulation.
• Statistical Inference: Estimating population parameters and testing hypotheses.

Fei Tian College Courses

(For course details and prerequisites, see Fei Tian College course offering listing.)

MAT101 Applied Math (Fall Semester)

MAT105 Calculus I (Summer & Fall Semester)

STA101 Principles of Probability and Statistics (Summer & Spring Semester)

MAT103 Linear Algebra (Spring Semester)

CIS211 Introduction to Discrete Mathematics (Spring Semester)


Science Olympiad (Projects and Competition) (Full Year)

Science Olympiad is an American team competition in which students compete in “events” pertaining to various scientific disciplines, including earth science, biology, chemistry, physics, and engineering. Over 7,300 middle school and high school teams from 50 U.S. states compete each year. Northern Academy will open Science Olympiad courses in the fall of 2018.  The first year program will cover biology, chemistry, physical science, astronomy and earth science.  Students who participate in the class may have opportunities to represent Northern Academy to compete with other schools’ teams at the regional, state, and national levels.

Science Olympiad courses in Northern Academy will be held four times per week with a year-long program.  Any high school students and middle school students at grade 8 or above and who have previously taken biology, chemistry, physics or integrated science classes can register for the course. (Placement tests will take place at the school during the first week of the Fall semester.)

Introduction to Neuroscience (Fall Semester)

Neuroscience is the study of the nervous system, particularly the workings of the brain. In this course, students will learn fascinating facts about the basic structures or functions of the brain and neuronal system and explore some questions, such as what we know and don’t yet know about the neuronal system, how we learn, how we sense pain/smell/feel/visualize images, why we sometimes make stupid mistakes, and how our mind, body and brain are interwoven. Prerequisite:  Biology, chemistry, physics (or integrated science).

Environmental Science (Spring Semester)

The objective of this course is to make the educational process investigative and personal.  Students are encouraged to develop interdisciplinary thinking (problem solving, critical thinking, communication, creativity).  Understanding the science behind major environmental issues of the world today on both local and global scales is an essential part of personal, societal, and ethical decision-making.  Students will strengthen their awareness of their role in our environment and the responsibilities that role carries.

AP Biology (Full Year)

This course is constructed around the AP Biology Curriculum Framework. Students will have opportunities to engage in hands-on laboratory investigations, which will make up at least 25% of instructional time. Students will complete all the 13 required labs in the AP Lab Manual for Students, and a variety of additional labs. Students will also conduct a minimum of 8 inquiry-based laboratory investigations. These labs will provide opportunities for students to develop and test hypotheses, collect and analyze data, as well as communicate the results of their investigations. Students will be required to report on all laboratory investigations according to the criteria specified in the lab report rubric of the AP Lab Manual. In addition to hands-on lab experience, students will improve their critical thinking skills and problem solving abilities through journal readings, group discussions, and scientific writings. These activities will also let students apply biological and scientific knowledge to major social concerns.

AP Chemistry (Full Year)

This AP Chemistry course is designed to be the equivalent of the general chemistry course usually taken during the first year of college. This course will focus on six “Big Ideas” in chemistry: structure of matter, bonding and intermolecular forces, chemical reactions, kinetics, thermodynamics, and chemical equilibrium. Special emphasis will be placed on the seven science practices, which capture important aspects of the work of scientists. This course adopts various lesson formats, including Socratic seminars, jigsaw type presentations, and small group discussions. “Hands-on” laboratory time and inquiry-based investigations will account for 25% of instructional time. By the end of the course, students will be able to develop their critical thinking and problem solving skills, teamwork abilities, laboratory techniques, and effective oral and written communication skills.

AP Physics 1 & 2 (Full Year)

AP Physics topics closely follow those outlined by the College Board and also mirror an introductory college course in algebra-based physics. AP Physics 1 is the equivalent to a first semester college course. The course covers Newtonian mechanics (including rotational dynamics and angular momentum); work, energy and power; mechanical waves and sound. It will also introduce electric circuits. AP Physics 2 is the equivalent to a second semester college course in algebra-based physics. The course covers fluid mechanics, thermodynamics, electricity and magnetism, optics, and atomic and nuclear physics. Each course is full-year.

Earth Science (Full Year)

The objective of this course is to make the educational process investigative and personal. Students are encouraged to develop interdisciplinary thinking skills (problem solving, communication, creativity). Understanding the scientific view of the natural world is an essential part of personal, social, and ethical decision-making. Students will acquire an understanding of key scientific concepts and ideas and develop an awareness of the relevance that science plays in our daily lives.

Biotechnology (Spring Semester)

This one-semester course is designed for the students with at least two years of prior science including Biology and Chemistry. It offers students an excellent opportunity to explore microbiology, human genetics, pathology, genetic technologies and bioethics. This Biotechnology course will focus on the applications of DNA/RNA technology and molecular biology, while covering wide range of concepts, theories, principles and techniques applied in various scientific fields. The course will also guide students to examine the ethical implications of biotechnology, their impacts on lives on earth and human society. This course is supplemented with lab activities and demonstrations that illustrate the routine techniques of gene engineering which are performed in research, government, and industries.

Human Physiology (Spring Semester)

This Human Physiology course will guide students to investigate the human body, its structure, function and, esp., how the human body reacts to external stimuli. Students will learn the mechanisms related to all kinds of functions performed by cells, tissues, organs and systems in human body. Students will engage in investigations to understand and explain the behavior of the human body in a variety of scenarios that incorporate scientific reasoning, analysis, communication skills and real world applications.

3D Modeling and 3D Printing (Fall)

3D modeling(a.k.a computer-aided design) is one of the most cutting-edge fields in engineering society, and is widely taught in STEM majors in College, such as Mechanical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, etc. The booming of 3D printing comes along with the wide usage of 3D modeling. As a branch of additive manufacturing technology, 3D Printing makes it possible to build real models by adding layered melted materials. In this half-year course, students will be able to design simple but useful 3D models and materialize their models using the 3D Printing technology.

Robotics Engineering (Spring)

Robotics is playing more and more significant role in nearly all industries. Many universities have opened Robotics classes or degree programs. In the course of Robotics Engineering, the students will be able to get a general sense of Robotic Structure by building a Clawbot that is used to grab and transport objects; And then computer programming will be in the second stage to run the Clawbot. Finally, the students will be able to design and program a new robotic structure to achieve advanced functions.

Students will be grouped into different teams (2-3 members in each team). Excellent teams will be selected to prepare one of the largest global robot competition: VEX Robotics Competition.

Fei Tian College Courses

BMS101 Introduction to Biomedical Science (Summer & Spring Semester)

(For course details and prerequisites, see Fei Tian College course offering listing.)

Social Studies

Food – Its History and Culture (Spring Semester)

This course explores the history of how humans have produced, cooked, and consumed food—from the earliest days of hunting-and-gathering societies to the present. This course examines how civilizations and their foodways have been shaped by economics, politics, geography, native flora and fauna, and technological innovations.

The most important facet of our lives is to find food not only to eat but to grow and trade. For example, the desire for spices, led to new world discoveries during the Middle Ages and transformed their economies and caused enormous migration of humans across continents. The scope of this course is global, covering civilizations of Asia, America, Africa, and Europe and how cultures in each of these continents domesticated unique staples that enabled these civilizations to expand and flourish.

A major theme of the course is the process of globalization, imperialism, and how industries exploited indigenous cultures and traditional farming. It will also examine how people will travel the extra miles seeking exotic food items and refuse eating cheap food and different social classes avoid certain food because food defines who the individual is and his standing in society and how his nationality and culture express themselves through food and cuisine.

AP World History (Full Year)

AP World History is a challenging course, equivalent to an introductory college survey course. It is designed to prepare students for higher-level college and university history courses. APWH focuses on the development of analysis and critical thinking skills. The investigation of selected themes (or topics) is woven into key concepts covering distinct chronological periods. Students are assessed on their mastery of the course goals when they take the College Board AP World History Exam in May.

AP U.S. History (Full Year)

The AP U.S. History course will be two-semesters long and culminate with the AP test in May. This course is primarily intended for 11th grade students. Students will read all required materials in advance so that class time can be devoted to various Socratic seminars, jigsaw type presentations, small group discussions, debates, projects, note taking and developing a word bank, viewing film clips and artistic works, reading and analyzing primary sources of evidence, and applying concepts from the readings toward analysis of current events. Students will be expected to be active participants in class and in their own learning. The course will be taught thematically with students focusing their attention on the characteristics of U.S. History divided into 9 distinct time periods (from 1491 to present day). Students will be assessed on how they accomplish historical thinking skills, academic skills, and AP test type questions, essays, and/or tasks. Students will have a major exam at the end of each of the 9 time periods plus several full-length practice exams before the AP test in May.

AP Art History (Full Year)

AP Art History at FTAA covers all aspects to achieve a high score in the AP Art History exam. Students explore works of art through observation, discussion, reading, and research. Students develop skills in visual, contextual, and comparative analysis. They learn through class discussions on specific works, historical contexts, art periods and styles, and themes. They learn to critically analyze works of art within diverse historical and cultural contexts, considering issues such as politics, religion, patronage, gender, and ethnicity. There is a focus on the major forms of artistic expression of architecture, sculpture, and painting from across a variety of cultures. The AP Art History course and exam are structured around ten content areas: Global Prehistory, Ancient Mediterranean, Early Europe and Colonial Americas, Later Europe and Americas, Indigenous Americas, Africa, West and Central Asia, South, East, and Southeast Asia, The Pacific, and Global Contemporary. The depth of learning students experience in AP Art History prepares them for advanced college coursework in art history and other disciplines.

Art History I & II (Full Year)

The study of art history directly links to the history of the world’s great civilizations. Art History I is a first semester course covering artwork from ancient Egypt and Classical Greece to the High Renaissance. Students will learn what is great art and be introduced to the work of the great masters–Phidias, Michelangelo, Raphael, Giotto–among many others. Art projects during the course will help students understand methods and techniques for each period. If there is interest, students may take Art History II in the second semester that covers the Baroque period to 1900 with special units on art of the ancient Chinese civilization, illustration, and the history of printmaking. Both courses are an excellent introduction to AP Art History. Each of Art History I and II is a one-semester course and can be taken independently.

Mythology (Spring Semester)

How hard is it to divide myth from reality? This course will aim to explore both common and uncommon myths alike around the globe. Using discussion, analysis, research, and creative writing, this course will expand on central themes in myths and how they affect our understanding of the world.

Introduction to Chinese History (Full Year)

This course is designed for students to acquire a general knowledge of Chinese history. The course comes in a two-part sequence offering a general history of China from the earliest records of Chinese civilization through the Ch’ing [Qing] Dynasty.  The course is designed for students who have no prior knowledge of China. The course will be taught in Chinese, therefore students are required to understand spoken Chinese. The organization of the course is basically chronological, but within that framework we will be approaching China from a wide range of viewpoints, taking up political, economic, social, religious, philosophical, and artistic developments.

Fei Tian College Courses

HUM101 Western Civilization (Fall Semester)

HUM105 World Civilization (Spring Semester)

HUM125 US Society and Government (Summer & Fall & Spring Semester)

CLC131 Topics in Chinese History (Fall & Spring Semester)

BMS135 Introduction to Psychology (Summer & Fall & Spring Semester)

ECO101 Principles of Economics (Summer & Fall & Spring Semester)

ECO105 International Economics (Summer)

DAN242G History of Dance: East and West (Fall Semester)

MUS240A History of Western Music A (Fall Semester)

MUS240B History of Western Music B (Spring Semester)

MUS243 History of Chinese Music (Spring Semester)

(For course details and prerequisites, see Fei Tian College course offering listing.)

Fine Arts

AP Studio Art: Drawing (Full Year)

The AP Studio Art-Drawing course is a two-semester course of study. Students will develop a portfolio of their work to be evaluated by AP evaluators. The final student portfolio will comprise three components: 1) a Quality series of five artworks most representative of the student’s best effort; 2) Concentration in an area where the student conceives, develops, and submits a series of 12 works related by content; and 3) Breadth that demonstrates the student’s mastery of all basic elements of design.

The process of developing a portfolio requires a great deal of time. Besides the four 50-minute classes each week, students will be required to draw outside of class to practice and discover where they excel. Students will use a sketchbook as a visual journal to work through ideas, practice drawing and design skills, and record their artistic journey throughout the course.

Graphic Design I

This course explores the basic foundations of design through a series of visual projects that explore the principles and elements of design, introduces the interaction of text and image and the fundamental components of graphic communication – Familiarization to form and message development. Emphasis on visual concepts and fundamental design theory.

Students will work both with analog and digital media as they explore two-dimensional design, hone skills in working with text and image as they create solutions to a series of design problems, through lectures, group discussions, presentations and creative work. Participation in discussion and critique is vital to the success of this class.

To foster a better understanding and appreciation of craft and materials, in the first half of the class students will work by hand and explore simple analog processes. In the second half of the year we will transition to working on the computer and use Adobe Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator (there will be a few tutorials to facilitate this transition however this class is not software-oriented).

Photography I

This is a beginning course which addresses photographic theory, technical issues, applications, composition, practice and history. This course provides the basis for advanced film photography, digital photography, video and film making. It is a yearlong course that focuses on understanding the basic operations and functions of a digital single lens reflex camera and the manipulation of its settings to achieve a specific result.

While Introduction to photography is technically a lecture course, the curriculum also employs demonstrations, exercises, videos, applications via photo assignments, class time outside the classroom and class critiques.

Students will learn about photographic elements of art and principles of design, composition, and lighting. They will explore the history of photography, learning about its scientific and technological developments, important innovators in the field, and relevance within diverse cultural contexts.

Students will write and speak about aesthetic, technical and expressive qualities in a photograph, learning to critique their own and others work. Students learn image techniques and digital manipulation using Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom, teaching them how to archive, organize and optimize their photographs for print or web purposes.

Photography II

If you have completed Introduction to Photography or are comfortable with the use of a digital SLR camera (in manual mode), this course will allow you to expand your photographic competency and aesthetic sensibility while learning techniques to improve your work and build a greater understanding of advanced functions of the digital camera.

Film Appreciation (Spring Semester)

This a course that will expect you to be more than just a passive audience member when watching movies. Do you think you have what it takes to be a movie critic? Not only will this class be devoted to all things film, we will also understand the basic techniques behind making them. During the semester, students will be able to analyze, discuss, and critique films from varying genres.

Chinese Calligraphy and Painting

This course helps students develop the basic knowledge and techniques in Chinese calligraphy and painting, two separate, yet closely related, major art forms in traditional Chinese culture. Chinese painting, also known in Chinese as “national painting” (國畫 guohua), has a long history and long-standing tradition in China. Students will learn the two main techniques in Chinese painting: “fine brush” (工筆 gongbi) and “freehand style” (xieyie 寫意). There will be painting sessions focusing on landscape painting, bird-and-flower painting, and figure painting. In calligraphy, students will be introduced to the theoretical bases of the art form as well as the practical skills. Throughout the course, students will imitate the works of famous painters and calligraphers in Chinese history with the purpose of developing an appreciation and aesthetic understanding of the beauty in them.

Fashion Construction Using the Golden Proportion (Fall Semester)

The Golden Proportion can be found in nature’s animate as well as inanimate elements. It underlines the order found in the structures of plants, animals and the human body – quite simply, it is all around us and within us as well.

The Golden Proportion has been used for centuries in fine arts, architecture, and is currently being used in graphic design, film making, photography and lately, even in the field of plastic surgery, in order to achieve balance, harmony, and beauty. Surprisingly, it has never been adopted in fashion design, despite the fact that that we use clothes to cover our human bodies.

In this course students will learn the advantages of using the Golden Proportion in fashion construction in a workshop environment. The emphasis will be on structure over style. Students will apply the GP to produce garments that reflect their understanding of the GP and their ability to manipulate this simple mathematical rule so as to achieve a harmonious garment. By the end of the course, students will have a small collection of garments and a portfolio of experiments which will serve as a stepping stone in their college applications, should they wish to pursue a carrier in fashion design.

Northern Academy of the Arts is arguably the first school in the world to offer such a course.

The Principles, Structure and Analysis of Design

The class will encompass the knowledge used by the greatest painters in western civilization. From basic elements of design, to the formal use of visual grammar, the understanding of the fundamentals behind dynamic symmetry and golden mean, the used of dynamic, the phi, and golden rectangles in creating two and tree dimensional compositions.

This course explores the principles, elements and foundations of design, and the formal aspects of visual composition, through analysis, and a series of visual projects.

Introduction to Video Production If you want to learn Adobe After Effects from the ground-up this is a multifaceted software. The program is used for Motion Design, Visual Effects, Character Animation, etc.

This is an intro level class, this course makes learning the basics of After Effects as easy and FUN as possible. You’ll learn the most commonly used tools in After Effects, and the best-practices to utilize them. You’ll master the interface, the concepts, and the methods used by Motion Designers in the industry.

Introduction to After Effects (Animation)

If you want to learn Adobe After Effects from the ground-up this is the class for you. After effects is a multifaceted software, the program is used for Motion Design, Visual Effects, Character Animation, etc.

This is an intro level class, this course makes learning the basics of After Effects as easy and FUN as possible. You’ll learn the most commonly used tools in After Effects, and the best-practices to utilize them. You’ll master the interface, the concepts, and the methods used by Motion Designers in the industry.

Graphic Design II

Graphic Design II is a continuation of Graphic Design I and more fully explores the interaction of text and image. You will become more independent in your use of fundamental components of graphic communication.

You will create independent and creative solutions to a series of design problems. You will be expected to expand your proficiency in all aspects of the design process, including creative brainstorming, conceptualizing, critical thinking, collaboration, and presentation. Your ability to take an idea to production is assumed. You will learn some Illustrator, and Photoshop to create original illustrations for use in your layouts. You will create multi-page projects using InDesign.

The main focus of this semester will be page layout and design. How are graphic designers using typography and images to design compelling magazine layouts.

We will go deeper into the elements of Graphic Design, Introducing the basics of typography, Illustration, interaction of text and image, lay out ( how to design for magazines, newspaper, or book content) and reinforcing the fundamental components of graphic communication.

Introduction to Portraiture in Clay

Students will work with white-sculpting clay to learn how to render accurate representation of the head and facial features. In addition, we will focus on head anatomy, planes of the head, learn processes of sculpting, and approaches to modeling including detailing of facial characteristics and the use of tools. The final project is to build the armature-base for the “head” and make the self-portrait.

Introduction to Architecture I & II

Have you ever lived in a house or visited a building that you really enjoyed? This course will explore the role of architecture in everyday life while touching on a higher role in relation to the divine. Students will learn a base knowledge of both Eastern & Western architecture styles by exploring their origins in Asia and Europe, and the pinnacles they both reached in their classical traditions. Students will study various buildings of the great masters while exploring their merits through basic design drawing and drafting. This study will continue into the field as we trace those traditions and observe how they have appeared in local towns and cities here in America. The second semester will advance with a similar format and content while introducing architectural model making.


Held within the craft of fine carpentry are the secrets to realize your ability to create. By developing an awareness of the nature of wood and how to use simple tools, you will learn how to cut, join and form a range of wood objects and furniture. Students will also learn basic design drawing & drafting skills.

This course will equip students with the ability to design, draft and make, hence establishing a line of creation. This process enriches the connection of mind and body and your ability to create your built environment.

World Languages

Spanish I (Full Year)

This is a beginning course in Spanish intended for students with no previous knowledge of the Spanish language. The objective of this class is to help master basic communication skills in Spanish. We will engage in speaking, reading, listening, and writing activities in order to gain proficiency in Spanish.

Spanish II (Full Year)

Spanish 2 is a continuation of Spanish 1. Students will complete tasks and projects that help them build skills to communicate in a variety of real-life contexts. In addition, the course will explore the cultural aspects of many of the Spanish speaking countries.

AP Chinese Language and Culture (Full Year)

Designed for students who were raised in a Chinese speaking country and came to an English speaking country in elementary school or junior high school, this course aims to consolidate and enhance the students’ Chinese as the mother tongue. It will improve general language proficiency, emphasize the students’ appreciation of classical literature, and develop students’ appreciation and awareness of Chinese culture. Prerequisite: Placement test and teacher consent.

Beginning Chinese A (Full Year)

Designed for non-heritage students, with no or minimal previous study of Chinese, this course helps students build a solid foundation in the four skills of Mandarin Chinese (Putonghua)—listening, speaking, reading, and writing—while introducing prominent aspects of Chinese culture. It covers basic sentence structures in daily conversations in addition to approximately 350 traditional characters.

Beginning Chinese B (Full Year)

This course helps beginning students of Mandarin Chinese to further develop the basic skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing both for everyday communication and for understanding Chinese culture. Students will learn approximately 400 traditional characters and more advanced sentence structures. Prerequisite: Beginning Chinese A and teacher consent.

Chinese for Advanced Beginners A (Full Year)

Designed for advanced beginners with basic conversational skills in Chinese, this course focuses on reading, writing, and grammar, along with continuing improvement of oral communication skills. Students will learn to read and write several hundred Chinese characters. Prerequisite: Beginning Chinese B and teacher consent.

Chinese for Advanced Beginners B (Full Year)

This course consolidates the foundation that students have built in Chinese for Advanced Beginners A. Focusing on reading, writing, and grammar, it expands students’ vocabularies and introduces them to more complex grammatical structures. Students will recognize 800 Chinese characters, be able to use 1500 related words, and write 600 characters without a dictionary. Prerequisite: Chinese for Advanced Beginners A and teacher consent.

Elementary Chinese (Full Year)

Designed for students who can understand and speak conversational Chinese related to daily-life situations but have very limited skills in reading and writing. This course improves students’ proficiency in the listening, speaking, reading, and writing of Chinese by focusing on consolidating basic conversational skills and improving reading confidence. Students will recognize 800 Chinese characters, be able to use 1500 related words, and write 600 characters without a dictionary. Based on students’ prior knowledge, students can complete this level within one or two years. Prerequisite: Placement test and teacher consent.

Intermediate Chinese (Full Year)

This course further develops students’ skills in the listening, speaking, reading, and writing of Mandarin Chinese. There is a progressive emphasis on writing and composition. Students will recognize 1600 Chinese characters and 4000 associated words, and be able to write 1000 characters without a dictionary. Based on students’ prior knowledge, students can complete this level within one or two years. Prerequisite: Elementary Chinese and teacher consent.

Advanced Chinese (Full Year)

Designed for students who were raised in a Chinese speaking country and came to an English speaking country in elementary school or junior high school. This course aims to consolidate and enhance the students’ language ability in the mother tongue through emphasis on developing students’ appreciation of classical literature, and traditional Chinese culture. Prerequisite: Placement test and teacher consent.

Chinese Literature (Full Year)

Designed for native speakers or advanced Chinese learners, this course helps students learn to appreciate major classical Chinese literary works and exposes students to the cultural traditions of China. A focused study of the dominant literary genres and representative works of classical Chinese literature, including Tang poetry, Song ci, Yuan qu, pre-Qin essays, and fiction from the Ming and Qing dynasties.