High School Social Studies Courses

For complete course descriptions, prerequisites and applicable grade levels, please see the course description handbook.

Link to Summer Reading Requirements

World History and Geography

World History is a yearlong survey of the record of the human experience from the development of early civilizations to the major crises and accomplishments of the Twentieth Century. World geography and current events are included in the curriculum of this class. All sophomores write a research paper on the World History topic of their choice. This is done in conjunction with their English class as part of the History Day competition.

Advanced Placement World History

AP World History is a college-level course for highly motivated students. In preparation for the AP exam, the course stresses the linkages between people and states formed through trade, migration of people and ideas, mobilizations of mass society, revolutions and the impact of technology on humankind. Course content includes history from 8000 BCE to the present and covers Western and Non-Western societies. Students must be proficient readers and writers.

U.S. History

U.S. History is a yearlong survey course beginning with the Revolutionary period and ending with the Vietnam War era. The student will explore the forces and individuals that played key roles in the development of the U.S. and examine the causes of the main events in American history. All juniors participate in the History Day competition using a U.S. History topic of their choice.

Advanced Placement U.S. History

This course is a college-level survey of U.S. History. Students will combine secondary texts and primary sources to analyze the cause and effect relationships between people, events, and circumstances from the era of colonization to the present. All juniors participate in the History Day competition using a U.S. History topic of their choice. 

American Studies: History

American Studies: History is designed to be a research and writing-centered course that will create public history projects on STA, local, state and U.S topics. The class will study the history, art, literature and popular culture of the United States during the 125+ years in which the Academy existed, and include these in the projects. While the course will focus on the period after 1885, important events from earlier eras will be covered through the summer reading or in connection with other topics. Students will use primary source documents at STA and local museums in their research. Like all juniors, students in the class will participate in the History Day competition.

Economics & Government

One semester of this course is devoted to the fundamentals of microeconomics and macroeconomics. The other semester introduces students to American government, law, politics, and civics.

Advanced Placement Microeconomics

This course is a college-level introduction to microeconomics. Topics include supply and demand, production and market structure, and factor markets.

Advanced Placement Macroeconomics

This course is a college-level introduction to macroeconomics. Topics include inflation, unemployment, taxation, and money supply.

Advanced Placement Government (American & Comparative) 

This course provides a college-level introduction to political theory and political science. Topics include branches of government, interest groups, elections, parties, and bureaucracy. Special projects focus on lawmaking, major court cases, and political action. Slightly over one semester is devoted to American government and the remainder of the year to comparative (international) government. Students completing the course will be prepared for both AP government exams. 


Crime and Justice

This course is designed for seniors who are considering majoring in sociology, behavioral science, social work, political science, or law enforcement. Students discuss crime and justice from a Catholic perspective. Topics include: Catholic Social Doctrine, drug and alcohol abuse, racial profiling, prison reform, prison ministry, the history of crime and punishment in the modern age, mercy and forgiveness, victim’s rights, crime scene investigation, interrogation techniques and crime trends and statistics. The class meets two class periods per week. The course utilizes community experts on various topics and includes several field trips.


This course is an in-depth study of the processes involved in the operation of the human mind and emotions. The areas of study include the development of cognitive processes, theories of personalities and human development, sensation and perception, emotions and motivation, and psychological disorders.