Not Your Grandmother's (Or Your) High School

This year’s fifth graders will enter the workforce in the 2030’s, and will be contributing productively to the society of the 2070’s. A sharp departure from the “factory model” school of the 19th and 20th centuries. Qualia’s high school produces self-motivated, inquisitive, flexible citizens capable of pivoting to meet the demands of an as-yet-indeterminate future.    

Engaging Programs

Explore What We Do Differently

At Qualia, we embrace students’ diverse interests and support them to excel at their own pace without limitations. For advanced learners, we offer inquiry-driven honors classes, an advanced level STEM program, a unique Symposium program, a senior honors thesis program, a 12th-year Quest Program, and the opportunity to attend college courses for credit. Excellence at Qualia means losing yourself in a topic or idea, entering into a focused state of intellectual “flow,” and sharing your uncontainable enthusiasm with others. Close mentoring by our faculty, themselves passionate life-long scholars, promotes deep understanding and personalizes learning. For a budding scholar, the Qualia experience provides an antidote and counterpoint to the lecture-and-test, smile-and-endure “Race to Nowhere” embodied by other elite programs.

Great Ideas

This cross-disciplinary philosophy program introduces students to the important issues in Western and non-Western thought, encouraging the use of historical and contemporary examples to support students’ own emergent philosophical positions.

Video Game Creators' Workshop

Delivered in the small Qualia seminar format, this pre-professional game design program guides students to mastery of core programming skills and introduces them to the culture and structure of the game making world.

Advanced STEM

The Eudaimonia Program at Qualia serves a population of gifted, highly motivated learners who crave extraordinary challenge and autonomy in science and mathematics. We seek to reinvent math and science instruction, combining the best parts of university learning with the academic support that allows gifted students to truly flourish.

Senior Master Thesis
and class

Designed to challenge and inspire our most advanced students, the Qualia Senior Master Thesis and Class serve as the culmination of Qualia's four-year philosophy and Symposium curriculum. Seniors consistently find this part of the year the most rewarding experience of their academic career.

Beyond A-G

Graduation Requirements

In addition to the five traditional high school subjects (English, social science/history, mathematics, laboratory science, and foreign language), our four-year Great Ideas and Symposium requirements produce graduates familiar with basic tenets of philosophy, anthropology, sociology, psychology, and political science.

Four Years

Required Subjects

Click to see past themes and classes

  • Defying Societal Gravity: Strong Women of 19th and 20th Century Literature
  • Southern Literature
  • Magic, Mayhem and Miracles
  • Advanced Literary Analysis: Word vs Image — Writing on Literature and Film
  • Advanced Literary Analysis: Ethics, Evil, Faith and Fiction
  • The Construction of the Male Gender in Literature
  • Adventures in Art
  • Clay Sculpture
  • Illustration
  • Academic Journal
  • Photography
  • Humor Magazine
  • Computer Programming
  • Rock Band
  • Inventors’ Workshop
  • Idea Lab
  • Fashion Design
  • Creative Writing
  • Film Analysis
  • Photography
  • Culinary Arts
  • Documentary Filmmaking
  • Drama
  • Poetry
  • Yearbook
  • Vocals
  • Spanish
  • Japanese
  • French
  • Mandarin

Three Years

Required Subjects

Click to see past themes and classes

  • Pre-Algebra
  • Algebra 1
  • Algebra 2
  • Trigonometry/Pre-Calculus
  • Geometry
  • First and Second Year Calculus
  • Advanced Mathematics (Linear Algebra, Number Theory, and Abstract Algebra)
  • World History
  • US History
  • 20th Century Political and Intellectual History

Two Years

Required Subjects

Click to see past themes and classes

  • Cross Country Team (CIF Member)
  • Rock Climbing
  • Strength and Cardiovacular
  • Training
  • Hiking
  • Fitness Games and More!

Symposium -

A Marketplace for Ideas

Both a celebration and a challenge, Symposium is the embodiment of the Qualia spirit and pedagogy – a meaningful, transformative alternative to final exams. Consistent with our commitment to “choice and voice,” students select their own topics based on a unifying, school-wide philosophical question or theme. They become researchers and teachers, learning to produce substantive, idea-focused academic papers. 

After an exhilarating and rewarding week of exploration and writing, students transform their papers into interactive, creative presentations that bring their ideas to life for an authentic audience of Areté students, teachers and the community at large.

A Diverse Set of

Electives

Our electives are created based on the interests of our students. Here are some of our popular courses: Creative Writing | Fashion Design | Culinary Arts | Idea Lab | Robotics | Video Game Design | Model United Nations | Visual Arts and Art Portfolio | Photography | Recycled Beats: Electronic Music Production