Students are provided with a US-based curriculum and standards. Students in grades 9-12 must earn 23 credits in five core subject areas (English (literature and writing), Chinese, math, science, and social studies). Students can choose their own electives in high school, though all students must take at least one course in visual and performing arts and one technology based course. The high school standards are based on the Common Core for English and math, NGSS – Next Generation Science Standards for science, AERO for social studies, and SHAPE - Society of Health and Physical Educators for PE. Chinese language instruction (which is provided in separate classes for both native and non-native speakers) follows standards set up through the International Curriculum for Chinese Language Education and the Full Time Compulsory Education Chinese Curriculum Standards. All AP (Advanced Placement) courses are based upon AP standards, which are established by the College Board, who approves the syllabi for every official AP course. Standards used for electives vary according to the subject area: art (California and Common Core); music (California); technology (ISTE).
The core of our curriculum ensures our students achieve a fundamentally sound education comprising of liberal arts, natural sciences as well as elective courses, all of which combine to achieve our aim of educating our students to be motivated learners, persons of character, healthy individuals, and global citizens.
SMIC-I classes are typically held to a maximum size not exceeding 30 students. This ensures individual attention to students in each class and further ensures a close relationship between teacher and student. Please refer to our Course of Study for information on all courses.
*Starting with class of 2022, students are required to have 0.5 credits for Health making it to 23.5 credits in order to graduate.
Advanced Placement (AP) courses are offered to students who are qualified to study advanced material at an accelerated pace. AP exam results of a 3, 4, or 5, in some cases, may lead to a student earning college course credit at selected universities or being exempted from taking certain required university courses. All SMIC courses with the AP designation have been officially approved by the College Board Audit Review to establish official AP status.
All AP courses have prerequisites and most courses require an entrance exam. Placement is determined based on a student's proven ability to perform above the regular course average; demonstrated positive and eager learning attitudes, while upholding academic honor, demonstrating strong interest in the subject area, and problem-solving abilities, or having strong scores on the MAP test. Students who enroll in an AP course are required to take the AP exam in May.
In 2020, a total of 453 Advanced Placement examinations were taken by SMIC students, with 95.8% of results being scored 3 or higher with 3 being the minimum passing score.
AP Courses Offered at SMIC:
- AP Art and Design
- AP Biology
- AP Calculus AB
- AP Calculus BC
- AP Chemistry
- AP Chinese Language & Culture
- AP Computer Science A
- AP Computer Science Principles
- AP English Language & Composition
- AP English Literature & Composition
- AP Environmental Science
- AP French Language and Culture
- AP Human Geography
- AP Macroeconomics
- AP Physics I
- AP Physics II
- AP Psychology
- AP Seminar
- AP Spanish Language and Culture
- AP Statistics
- AP US History
- AP World History
- AP Research
Because SMIC is based on an American-style curriculum, credits for graduation are earned from Grade 9 through Grade 12. The school operates under a semester system and credits are earned by semester; usually 1/2 credit is earned for successfully completing each semester in a course.
SMIC requires each student to earn four credits in English (language arts and literature) and three credits in each of the following: foreign language, social studies, math, and science. Each student also needs one credit in the following: physical education, visual and performing arts, technology, co-curricular studies and life skills, for a total of 23 credits. Starting with class of 2022, students are required to have 0.5 credits for health as well making it to 23.5 credits in order to graduate. Furthermore, students must earn 100 hours of community service. Please see our Course of Study for full descriptions and further information.
English (4 credits)
Grade 9: Foundations of Western Literature or Foundations of Western Literature Accelerated
Grade 10: Major Works of World Literature or Major Works of World Literature Accelerated
Grade 11: Survey of American Literature or AP English Language and Composition
Grade 12: Survey of British Literature or AP English Literature and Composition
Additional Elective English Courses:
Digital Journalism I, II, III, IV ( Not offered in 2020-21)
Social Studies (3 credits)
Grade 9: The Early Modern World
Grade 10: The Modern World: 1900 – Present OR AP World History
Grade 11: United States History or AP United States History
Additional Elective History and Social Studies Courses:
AP Human Geography
Economics and Personal Finance
Introduction to Chinese Humanities
Math (3 credits)
Three credits of Math are required with all students completing Algebra II at a minimum.
Grade 9: Axiomatic Geometry or Accelerated Axiomatic Geometry or High School Mathematics I
Grade 10: Algebra II with Trigonometry or Accelerated Algebra II with Trigonometry or High School Mathematics II
Grade 11: Pre-Calculus or Honors Pre-Calculus, Algebra II
Additional Elective Math Courses-
AP Calculus AB
AP Calculus BC
Introduction to Statistics ( Not offered in 2020-21)
Science (3 credits)
Grade 9: Biology
Grade 10: Chemistry
Grade 11 or 12: Choose one additional science from the following-
AP Environmental Science
AP Physics I
AP Physics II
Exercise and Nutrition Science
Foreign Language (3 credits)
Three credits of foreign language are required based on the student's ability level. Students may choose from the following:
Elementary, Intermediate, or Upper Chinese (placed by ability level)
AP Chinese Language and Culture
Chinese Cultural Traditions and Values
Chinese Performing Arts
Studying Chinese Through Multimedia
Advanced Business Chinese
Spanish I, II or III
French I, II, or III
AP French (Not offered in 2020-21)
Physical Education (1 credit)
Students attend PE twice a week therefore earning 1/2 credit each year for grades 9 and 10.
Grade 9: Principles of Health and Fitness
Grade 10: Advanced Principles of Health and Fitness
Additional Elective Courses-
Exercise and Nutrition Science
Health (0.5 credit)
Starting with the class of 2022, students are required to have 0.5 credits of health in order to graduate. Students who successfully complete this course will be able to understand the functioning of their bodies and the importance of making wise decision to protect their health and well-being – all of which help make students healthy individuals.
Life Skills (1 credit)
Students at every grade level attend Life Skills once a week therefore earning 1/4 credit each year for grades 9-12.
These classes provide help to students in dealing with situations that they will encounter in their lives and includes topics such as personality, sexuality, personal relations, organizational skills, coping with bullies, and planning for standardized tests and university.
Visual and Performing Arts (1 credit)
Students may choose from the following:
Art & Creativity
3D Art (Not Offered in 2020-21)
AP Art and Design
Chamber Music Group
Theater Arts : Acting and Performance
Theater Arts : Advanced Acting and Performance
Theater Arts : Directing and Performance
Theater Arts : Directing and Stage Management
Technology (1 credit)
Students may choose from the following:
Yearbook Design I, II, III, IV
AP Computer Science A
AP Computer Science Principles
Co-Curricular Activity (1 credit)
Students must earn one activity credit by participating in extra-curricular activities such as club, sports and other school activities that take place outside the normal school day.
The Athletic Director, Academic Affairs Director, Student Affairs Director, and Counseling Office can all be consulted for specific requirements and awarding credits.
Electives (2 credits)
Students must earn two credits beyond the required credits and may choose from any of the available courses which have not been previously taken to meet departmental requirements.
Community Service (100 hours)
Students are expected to do some form of community hours (prior approval required) during their high school years (grades 9-12). The school offers an abundance of opportunities for students to serve. Our Student Affairs office can be consulted for community service opportunities and approvals. This requirement is pro-rated for students entering SMIC after grade 9.
We have a well-deserved reputation of being a very strong academic school. The results bear themselves out. Our students’ achievement on standardized testing speaks for itself. •AP results are among the very best in the world (in 19 subject areas tested in 2015-2016); 98% of AP tests taken at SMIC scored a 3 or higher, and 63% of tests scored a 5 (the highest result). Of publicly published AP results, SMIC's are the strongest in Shanghai.
- Our SAT results are exceedingly strong as well for all students at SMIC, whether those who excel or those who face . Our students in the lowest quartile outscore the average worldwide SAT score in the 75 .
- Students in grades 1 8 the MAP standardized test each year. By 7 8 , our average students’ scores are in the 11 plus level in each subject area of reading, language arts, science and math.
- Since 2006, 100% of our graduates have either been accepted into college or have chosen to fulfill armed requirements in their home countries.
- Through a well developed curriculum, based on American standards (Common Core, AERO, NGSS, UCLA, and Shanghai), our school has customized a unique selection of courses to help equip students for future academic success in colleges worldwide.
- By high school, students have over 50 clubs and 9 sports with which to be involved.