Main Menu

Explore More

APG: Academic Planning Guide

Boulder High School's Academic Planning Guide (APG) is a helpful resource to use when selecting courses.

** View Entire APG Document: 2022-23 Academic Planning Guide **

Boulder High's Academic Planning Guide

Boulder High School ~ A Place for Everyone

MAIN OFFICE: 720-561-2200 

ATTENDANCE: 720-561-5300

COUNSELING OFFICE: 720-561-5351 


  • Alana Morales: 720-561-5324, 


  • Scott Cawlfield:     720-561-5319, (AP & Support Admin Nk-Z)
  • Stephanie Sirio: (AP & Support Admin A-Go)
  • Melissa Warfield:  720-561-5301, (AP & Support Admin Gp-Nj)
  • Ryan Bishop:     720-561-5315, (AP & Athletic Director)
  • Jane Moody:      720-561-2285, (Dean of Students)


  • Joanna Berman:          720-561-2234, 
  • Andrew Bloom:            720-561-2231, 
  • Samantha Green:        720-561-2235,
  • Julie Malkinson:           720-561-2236, 
  • Matt Mowen:                720-561-2130, 
  • Jen Valenzuela-Sliger: 720-561-2232,

Boulder High School is an equal opportunity educational institution and will not discriminate on the basis of color, disability, national origin, race, religion, sex, and/or sexual orientation in its activities, programs, or employment practices as required by Title VI, Title IX, and Section 504. For information regarding civil rights or grievance procedures, contact an Assistant Principal at Boulder High School, 1604 Arapahoe Avenue, Boulder, Colorado 80302, (720) 561-2200, or the Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education, Region VIII, Federal Office Building, 1244 North Speer Blvd., Suite 310, Denver, Colorado 80204, (303) 844-2991.

BVSD Graduation Requirements 

Credits Required for Graduation: 220 (100 credits in grades 11–12)

These credit hours must be earned in areas listed below. Ten credits are equivalent to one full year of credit in a specific subject.

Minimum Required Courses 

Language Arts: 40 credits in grades 9–12 

  • 10 in 9th Grade English Language Arts, grade 9 
  • 10 in 10th Grade English Language Arts, grade 10 
  • 10 in 11th Grade English Language Arts, grade 11 
  • 5 in Communication courses, grades 9–12
  • 5 in Language Arts Elective courses, grades 9–12 

Social Studies: 30 credits in grades 9–12 

  • 5 in U.S. Government, grade 9 
  • 5 in World Geography, grade 9 
  • 10 in World History, grade 10 
  • 10 in U.S. History, grade 11 

Mathematics: 20 credits in grades 9-12

  • 10 in Algebra 1 or higher, grades 9–12 
  • 10 additional Math credits, grades 10–12 

Science: 20 credits in grades 9–12 

  • 10 in Life Sciences, grades 9–12 
  • 10 in Physical Sciences, grades 9–12 

Health: 5 credits in grades 10–12 

  • 5 credits, grade 10 recommended 

Physical Education: 15 credits in grades 9–12 

  • 5 in Wellness in Action, grade 9 
  • 10 in additional P.E. courses,
    balanced between individual fitness and team sports, grades 9–12

Fine Arts: 5 credits in grades 9–12 

  • 5 in Music or Art

Second Language Acquisition: 10 credits in grades 912

  • 10 in World Languages, Level 2 or higher 
  • (10 in approved English Language Acquisition for Emerging Bilingual students)

Practical Experiences: 5 credits in grades 9–12 

  • Business, Computer Science, Design Technology, Family and Consumer Education, TEC 


  • Completion of an approved one-semester computer class in middle school or completion of a one-semester course that meets the computer requirement (Computer Science, Design Technology, or CTEC computer class). 

Money Management/Personal Finance

  • Completion of one from the following:
    • B104 Personal Finance
    • H50 Interpersonal Relationships (1 year)
    • T75 AP Macroeconomics
    • B60 Principles of Management
    • T77 AP Microeconomics
    • B80/81 Principles of Marketing A/B
    • B82 Strategic Marketing
    • B86 Principles of Advertising


  • Completion of the BVSD online program by the end of the fall semester of the senior year.
    (Enrollment information for the Financial Wellness online class is available on the BHS Website.)

*Note: *If Money Management/Personal Finance is completed online, then one semester of Practical Experiences must be taken at Boulder High. 

Elective Courses: 70 credits beyond required courses in grades 9-12

2021 & Beyond Graduation Requirements

Boulder Valley School District is committed to ensuring that every student succeeds after high school – no matter which college or career pathway they choose. 

Beginning with the Class of 2021, in order for BVSD students to graduate high school and receive a high school diploma, they must meet both BVSD’s credit requirements and demonstrate their competence in English and Mathematics, as required by Colorado’s new graduation guidelines.

1. Earn 220 units of credit, including completion of specific subject area requirements*: 

  • Language Arts: 40 Credits
  • Social Studies: 30 Credits 
  • Mathematics: 20 Credits 
  • Science: 20 Credits 
  • Physical Education: 15 Credits 
  • Health Education: 5 Credits 
  • Fine Arts: 5 Credits 
  • Second Language Acquisition: 10 Credits 
  • Practical Experiences: 5 Credits 
  • Additional Credits: 70 Credits 

*See Board Policy IKF for specific requirements in each subject, as well as requirements for early graduation. 

2. Demonstrate competence in English & Math

Students must complete at least one of the following measures in English and at least one in Math as well as meet or exceed the measure’s corresponding cut score or criteria to demonstrate college and career readiness in English and Math. 

Testing Based Assessments:

Measure Cut Score


ACCUPLACER is a computerized test that assesses reading, writing, math and computer skills. The results of the assessment, in conjunction with a student’s academic background, goals and interests, are used by academic advisors and counselors to place students in college courses that match their skill levels. Appointments can be made to take the Accuplacer through Front Range Community College Testing Center, both the Boulder County and Westminster campuses.

Course Code: Accuplacer Eng X74 Accuplacer Math X75


  • 62 on Reading Comprehension


  • 70 on Sentence Skills


  • 61 on Elementary Algebra


ACT is a national college admissions exam. It measures four subjects – English, reading, math and science. The highest possible score for each subject is 36. The ACT is administered throughout the year. Consult your school for dates and locations.

Course Code: ACT English X76 ACT Math X77

(*ACT Compass Completely Phased Out as of December 31, 2016)


  • 18


  • 19

ACT WorkKeys

ACT Work Keys is an assessment that tests students’ job skills in applied reading, writing, mathematics and 21st century skills. Scores are based on job profiles that help employers select, hire, train, develop and retain a high-performance workforce. Students who score at the bronze level (at least 3) in applied mathematics, mapping and reading earn the ACT’s National Career Readiness Certificate. Consult with your school to determine test availability.

Course Code: ACT Work Keys Eng X80 ACT Work Keys Math: X81


  • 3 (Bronze level)


  • 3 (Bronze level)

Advanced Placement (AP)

AP exams test students’ ability to perform at a college level. Schools choose which AP exams will fulfill this menu option. Scores range from 1 to 5 (highest).

Course Code: AP Eng X82 AP Math X83


  • 2


  • 2

Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB)

The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) is a comprehensive test that helps determine students’ eligibility and suitability for careers in the military. Students who score at least 31 on the AFQT are eligible for service (along with other standards that include physical condition and personal conduct). Students who take the ASVAB are not required to enlist in the military. Consult your school to determine test availability.

Course Code: ASVAB English X84 ASVAB Math X85


  • 31


  • 31

International Baccalaureate (IB)

IB exams assess students enrolled in the official IB Diploma Programme. Courses are offered only at authorized IB World Schools. Scores range from 1 to 7 (highest).

Course Code: English X86 Math X87


  • 4


  • 4


The SAT is a college entrance exam that is accepted or required at nearly all four-year colleges and universities in the U.S. The current SAT includes sections on reading, writing and math. The highest possible score for each section is 800. The SAT is the state mandated exam for all juniors given in April. Consult with your school for additional test administration dates and locations.

Course Code: English X88 Math X89


  • 470


  • 500


Performance-Based Assessments:

Measure Criteria

Capstone is a culminating exhibition of a student’s project or experience. It can be portfolio of work along with a public demonstration of academic learning in English and/or Math. Capstone will be evaluated using the district rubric.

Course Code: Capstone English X90 Capstone Math X91

Capstone will be approved by a designated reviewer and evaluated based on the district rubric.

Concurrent Enrollment

Concurrent enrollment provides students the opportunity to enroll in postsecondary courses, simultaneously earning high school and college credit. Consult with your school for concurrent enrollment options based on a student's individualized career and academic plan (ICAP). Institutions of higher education determine passing grades for credit.

Course Code: Concurrent Eng X94 Concurrent Math X95

Institutions of higher education determine passing grades for credit.

Industry Certificate

Industry certificate is a credential recognized by business and industry. Consult with Boulder Tech for Industry Certificate Options.

Course Code: Industry Certificate Eng X96 Industry Certificate Math X97

Receipt of the industry certificate and approval by the district-designated reviewer.


Graduation Bound

Boulder Valley School District is committed to ensuring our students are prepared to meet these requirements so they can graduate on-time. 

BVSD high schools are here to help support our students and families throughout this process. We will be tracking our student’s progress in achieving the requirements and working closely with our counseling staff and administrators to ensure that students who need additional support receive it. 


Grade Point Average (GPA) 

The GPA is derived by multiplying the numerical equivalent of each grade (A=4, B=3, C=2, D=1, F=0) by the corresponding units of credit, adding the totals for all courses taken in a semester, and dividing by the total number of credits attempted.

Grading Scale

  • A: Exceptional accomplishment
  • B: High accomplishment
  • C: Average accomplishment
  • D: Low accomplishment
  • F: NC (no credit)—Accomplishment less than needed for credit
  • I:  Incomplete
  • S/N: Course being taken on a Pass/Fail basis
  • WP: Withdraw Pass; on transcript, not included in GPA
  • WF: Withdraw Fail: on transcript, not included in GPA
  • CW: Credit Waived

The Weighted GPA 

Certain BVSD courses, determined by school board policy, are identified as relatively difficult and are designated as weighted courses.

How does the weighted process work? 

The weighted GPA is calculated using one additional quality point per letter grade in a weighted class. Only the GPA is affected; the grade itself is not changed on the report card or on the transcript. For example, a “B” in a weighted class is listed as a B, but it counts for 4 points per credit instead of the 3 points per credit it would count for in an unweighted class. (The complete weighted grade scale is: A=5, B=4, C=3, D=2, F=0).

GPA Computation Examples

A student is taking 5 classes and receives an A, B, C, D, and F in the classes. If all the classes are unweighted courses, the student will receive a 2.00 GPA for that semester. However, if all the classes are weighted courses, the student will receive a 2.80 GPA as shown in the calculations below.

Boulder High School Weighted Courses

College Preparation 

Role of the Counselor

Counselors meet with freshmen, sophomores, and juniors during classroom presentations, and with seniors individually to assist in planning high school curriculum and post-secondary options. Course selection is done with college entrance requirements in mind, although students intending to apply to specific selective colleges should be careful to check websites for current information on requirements. The junior credit check will be completed in the spring of junior year. Senior meetings should be completed by November of the senior year. Students are responsible for scheduling their senior meeting.

During the senior meetings, the student’s progress toward graduation is reviewed, and future plans and goals are discussed. Additional post-secondary planning is available and various resources—such as Naviance, visits by college admissions representatives, and college fairs—are offered to students. Whether a student decides to join the workforce or to seek additional educational training after high school graduation, it is to the student’s advantage to make use of the counseling services offered at Boulder High School. Visit the Boulder High Counseling Website at for current resources, calendars, and contact information. 

College Admission Criteria

Approximately 85 percent of BHS students continue their formal education immediately after graduation. Should your plans include a college education, keep in mind that college admission decisions are based on the following criteria: 

  1. The high school academic record as reflected in grade point average and the kinds of courses selected. The high school record of achievement still serves as the best predictor of academic success in college. As such, colleges view it with considerable interest. Your GPA is computed at the end of each semester and only semester grades are used in the computation. Grades earned in 9, 10, 11, and 12 are used to determine your grade point average. 
  2. The quality of your record as seen in your course of study. Colleges closely examine the quality of a student’s record (level of rigor) in competition with thousands of applications for admission. Students are advised to consider the quality of course selection, in both depth and breadth. 
  3. The results of scholastic aptitude and achievement tests. Colleges also rely on admission tests such as the Scholastic Aptitude Tests (SAT) and the American College Test (ACT). Please verify the test requirements at each college/university to which you plan to apply, as they vary. Some colleges are test optional. 
  4. Personal essay. Many applications require an essay or personal statement. This is your opportunity to distinguish yourself from hundreds of applicants with similar grades, activities, and test scores. To achieve this, your entrance essay must not only demonstrate your grasp of grammar and your writing ability, but also capture the essence of your personality and character. Even if the essay is optional, do not miss this chance to highlight your best qualities and achievements. 
  5. Personal recommendations by counselors and teachers. Some schools place considerable weight on recommendations. Other schools do not require personal recommendations. 
  6. Activities, both in and out of school. Participation in activities such as clubs, student council, athletics, drama, and community service is important in determining how well you will be able to compete for admission to the colleges you may select. The crucial point is not how many activities, but the quality of participation, including offices held and how fully one carries out one’s responsibilities.
  7. For athletes planning to compete at the Division 1/2 level, please see the BHS counseling website for more information. Register with the clearinghouse at in your sophomore year. Additional information and helpful links can be found on the BHS Athletics NCAA Website.

Entrance Requirements for Colorado Public 4-Year Colleges and Universities

Academic Units for Admission to Colorado Colleges & Universities

One academic unit (AU) for admission to college equals one year or 10 credits at the high school level, grades 9–12. The academic unit breakdown for admission is as follows:

College entrance requirements for private colleges and universities set their own standards. Students need to contact those schools directly for specific entrance requirements.

Preliminary College Entrance Tests

PSAT 9/10 

Administered in the spring, these tests are used as the statewide assessments in English language arts and math. They also serve as practice for the PSAT/NMSQT taking in the fall of junior year.


The Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test is designed to give juniors experience with tests similar to those required for college admission. In addition, results of this test are used as a competitive examination in the National Merit program. It is recommended that any junior who is college bound should take this test, which is given each year only in October.

College Entrance Tests

College Board Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT)

The SAT consists of two sections: critical reading and math. The test is a measure of the critical thinking skills you will need for academic success in college. The SAT assesses how well you analyze and problem solve—skills you learned in school that you will need in college. Students should investigate college/university websites and catalogs to determine institution entrance requirements.

American College Test (ACT)

The American College Test measures the knowledge, understanding, and skills that you have acquired throughout your education. The major portion of the ACT battery consists of four tests: English, Math, Reading, and Science, in addition to an optional writing portion.

Course Selection

Important information to keep in mind when completing your course selection.

Guidelines for Choosing Courses at Boulder High

It is expected that all freshmen and sophomores be enrolled in six (6) classes. Junior and senior students are required to take a minimum of five (5) classes each semester. Students must have a minimum of five classes in order to participate in Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA) sanctioned activities (high school sports).

New Students

Coursework completed outside the BVSD District will be evaluated and approved for credit and for meeting graduation requirements. In addition, at least two semesters of attendance (a minimum of 50 credits) in a Boulder Valley high school are required to meet district graduation requirements for a diploma.

Course Recommendations & Override

The current classroom teacher is the best person to advise students on the proper course level for the following year. A course advising day is built into the BHS schedule, and students will receive placement recommendations from each core academic teacher. If a student disagrees with a level placement recommendation, they may override the teacher’s recommendation by using the Recommendation Override Form. This form can be found on the Counseling Forms website at Be advised that there may not be room in the original class, should they override and then find that they are in fact not prepared for the class.

Athletic Eligibility

To maintain athletic eligibility, students must take a minimum of 25 credits each semester. If a student fails 10 credits, they are not athletically eligible. There are additional conditions for athletic eligibility. Please contact the Athletic Director or consult the BHS Athletic Department’s website:

NCAA Approved Courses

NCAA approved courses are designated in the course description and is found in the Course Catalog. Specific NCAA Information can also be found on the BHS Athletics NCAA Website

Schedule Changes

Rules for Changing Your Schedule in the Fall

We build our master schedule according to student course selection in the spring; counselors cannot change class periods, off periods, or make teacher changes, as we strive to balance class sizes before school begins in the fall. Classes will not be overloaded to make a schedule change. 

Your thoughtful choice of classes for next year will deliver a schedule that's a good fit for you. Please see your counselor with questions.

Schedule Change Timeline

For all schedule changes, students must continue to attend all classes until the request has been processed and the student has been notified of any schedule changes. Their remaining schedule must include at least six classes each semester for 9th and 10th graders and five classes for 11th and 12th graders.

First 1–3 days of the semester: Students can add a new class (although this doesn't happen very often). Elective class changes are typically not possible, owing to full courses. If a student is missing a core class (science, math, world language, social studies, language arts), they should email their counselor directly as soon as possible. No student will ever be denied one of the core five classes! Level change requests in core classes are often not possible due to full classes.

First 15 days: Students may drop a class without penalty. They must, however, maintain the minimum number of classes. Freshman and sophomores: minimum of six classes. Juniors and seniors: minimum of five classes.

Days 16–30: A WP (withdraw pass) or WF (withdraw fail) grade will appear on the student's transcript. This does not count against the student's GPA; it is a placeholder on the transcript that says to colleges, “I dropped a class late in the semester.”

After 30 days: After day 30, an F will be posted if a student drops a class. Students must have a valid reason to drop a class, and they must complete the necessary form, which is available in the counseling office.

Changes will be made for:

  • Seniors needing a course to fulfill graduation requirements.
  • Students needing to drop a course that has already been taken for credit.
  • Students who wish to drop a course. (Note: 9th/10th graders must have at least 6 courses per semester, 11th and 12th graders must have 5 courses each semester.)
  • If students are placed in the incorrect level, they can request a change.

Changes will not be made for:

  • Requests for specific off periods (we cannot honor these requests)
  • Lunch switches
  • Teacher changes
  • Requests for a current class to be moved to a different period

Class Level Change

The first parent-teacher conferences are the usual level change deadline—normally before the end of the ninth week, first semester. Level changes in core courses are possible as long as there is room in the new class and it does not overload other classes by making the change. This level change should be teacher-initiated. If a student desires to change levels in a yearlong course for the second semester of the course, the student must do this before the second semester begins. Level changes for advanced single-semester courses that start in January (i.e., AP U.S. Government and AP Human Geography) can be made through the second semester parent-teacher conferences. 

If a student thinks that they are in the wrong level of a class, they need to have a discussion with their teacher and a decision must be made before or during parent-teacher conferences. A student cannot change levels after this. Once a change is made, the student will start the new level class with a “clean slate,” meaning their previous grade does not carry over. However, students will be held accountable for all class information on the final exam or culminating experience.  

Supplies & Fees

According to Colorado statute, students may be required to bring specific, necessary supplies for their own use in the classroom and to procure supplies and equipment required to carry on the musical, dramatic, athletic, and equivalent programs of the district.

Each year, the Boulder Valley School Board authorizes a list of fees for materials used in certain classrooms. This list of fees can be found on the BHS Website at Some of the fees are optional while others are deemed necessary for participation in particular classes. Notice of these fees is given in course descriptions or by the teacher within the first few days of class.

Miscellaneous fees may also be collected to cover the cost of entrance, meals, and lodging for field trips. The cost of particular requested services (such as additional copies of transcripts, AP exams, postage, directories, handbooks, newsletters, etc.) may be passed on to the student.

Fees may be waived for students qualifying for the free and reduced lunch scholarship. Information is available in the main office.


The College Before Graduation Program allows students to earn college and high school credits simultaneously. At Boulder High, this often means the opportunity to take courses at the CU Campus just up the road or Front Range Community College. Students may significantly reduce their college expenses, increase the likelihood that they will complete college, and earn marketable workforce skills by taking college credit courses while in high school. BVSD offers a variety of ways for students to earn these free college credits.

Please view the BVSD College Before Graduation Website and BVSD Board Policies IGCD/IGCD-R for more details on the program, deadlines, and enrollment procedures as well as the tuition costs. Another resource is the Colorado Dept. of Education (CDE) Website. All courses must be approved by the student's high school principal and counselor.

Career & Technical Educational Center (CTEC)

Boulder TEC
6600 Arapahoe Road
Boulder, CO 80303
Phone 720.561.5220; Fax 720.561.5258

Career and Technical Education (CTE) Program offered at the Boulder Technical Education Center (BoulderTEC) provide students with the opportunity to earn college credits and/or career enhancing certifications while being enrolled at Boulder High School.  The classes at BoulderTEC are available to student in grades 11 and 12 as elective credits in Career and Technical Educational (CTE) areas. In small classes, students follow a sequence of courses that provide hands-on technical skills and academic knowledge needed to prepare for an immediate career and/or further education. Transportation to/from BoulderTEC is provided.

Students also use the Career Pathways Center to learn career search techniques to explore career pathways and post-secondary options. Interested students should discuss BoulderTEC programs with parents and a home school counselor, and should complete a BoulderTEC enrollment form. Prerequisites for all programs include English, and Algebra 1, and the student must be on track to graduate. Students can enroll in either a morning or afternoon session while concurrently enrolled in a home high school.

Newcomer Pathways

Located at the BHS campus, this introductory instructional program is designed especially for those students who have very limited knowledge of the English language. It is important that all emerging bilingual students feel supported and get the assistance they need.  For more information on this, please see the BVSD Language Support Website

Online Learning

Options exist for online learning opportunities through your counselor or go to

Summer School

Students can enroll in the Boulder Valley Summer School Program to make up course deficiencies or to enrich their learning experience. Enrollment materials are available in May on the Boulder Valley School website:

The Boulder Arts Focus Pathway

Boulder High School is proud to offer the Boulder Arts Focus Pathway (BAFP). This is an exciting program for students who have a passion for the visual and performing arts to earn an endorsement on their diploma for completing courses in the arts, mentoring with local artists, and making art an integral part of their lives. Colleges, universities, and employers will recognize the creative problem solving, innovative ideas, and collaboration of this select group of emerging student visual and performing artists. Being a member of the BAFP does not guarantee placement in art classes. As with all elective courses, we cannot guarantee space availability in art courses. Additional information and application may be found on the Boulder High School website at

What Is Advanced Placement?

The Advanced Placement (AP) Program is a cooperative educational endeavor between the secondary schools and the colleges and universities. It allows high school students to take college-level academic learning in the AP courses, and it gives them the opportunity to show that they have mastered the advanced material by taking AP exams. Students can receive credit, advanced placement, or both from thousands of colleges and universities that participate in the Advanced Placement Program.

The AP Program is administered by the College Board. As in other College Board programs, AP procedures are determined by representatives of member institutions (public and independent schools, colleges, and universities). AP’s operational services are provided by the Educational Testing Service (ETS).

For more information about the Advanced Placement Program and the College Board, go to

Is an AP Cord Available?

Yes. The Boulder High AP Achievement Recognition Cord is offered to students who meet the criteria. These students will be awarded the cord at their graduation ceremony. This program is intended to encourage students traditionally underrepresented in AP courses to commit to a rigorous course of study for their high school years. More information can be found on the Boulder High AP Achievement Recognition Cord Website

Do AP Teachers Receive Special Training?

Yes. All Boulder High School AP teachers have participated extensively in AP teacher training. AP teacher professional development workshops of one day and up to three weeks are offered year-round at sites in the United States and abroad. They are organized and run by College Board offices and/or independent educational institutions, and they are funded by a combination of participant fees and grants or donations. Each workshop focuses on an AP subject, specialized training in a particular discipline, or management of an AP course.

How Do Students Get College Credit for AP Classes?

Boulder High School students enrolled in AP courses learn as much, or more, than students taking the same courses in college, so students who do well in AP may receive college credit. When the evidence of that achievement is a satisfactory grade on a rigorous national examination, the case for credit is even stronger. Many colleges and universities give credit to students transferring from other colleges, usually crediting courses in which students have a grade of C or better. An AP exam score of 3 or higher is better validated and probably represents a higher standard than these transfer grades. Individual colleges award credit for AP classes in accordance to their own guidelines. Contact universities directly for more information.

The Advanced Placement Focus Program meets strict credit/placement criteria of selective colleges and universities on the basis of rigorous national examinations. The evidence of AP students’ achievement is not only a teacher’s grade, but also the results on a carefully designed national examination. AP exams are prepared by committees of college faculty and AP teachers, and are graded by other college and AP teachers, who ensure that the content and skills that are required reflect college-level achievement.

AP Grade Reports are sent in July to each student’s home, high school, and any college(s) designated by the student. At the time of the exam, students can indicate on their answer sheet if they would like a college to receive their grade. After the exam, they can write to the AP Program and request that the grade be sent to other colleges as well. Students may also cancel or withhold a grade by contacting the AP Program by June 15 of the testing year.

How are Boulder High Students Prepared for AP Classes?

AP classes at Boulder High School are open to any student. Some AP classes have no prerequisites, such as AP Language and Composition, AP Art History, and AP U.S. History. Any student interested in pursuing a challenging, rigorous, college-level course while in high school can simply register for these classes. Previous coursework or experience is essential for some AP classes. For example, students who wish to take AP Calculus must first successfully complete Pre-Calculus. Students who wish to take AP Spanish 5 must first complete Spanish 4.

Most AP classes currently taught at Boulder High School are taken by juniors and seniors who, with adequate planning, can take any AP class offered that they desire. Numerous advanced (honors) classes are available for freshmen and sophomores planning to take AP classes as juniors and seniors. These classes have weighted grades, as do all AP classes.

9th Grade Course List

The classes listed below are open to freshmen. Other classes listed in the online course catalog may be open to freshmen with instructor approval. Check with your counselor for more information. Note that all freshmen are assigned to Freshman Seminar. View the BHS Online Course Catalog for course descriptions. View 2022-23 9th Grade Course List


To meet BVSD graduation requirements, students need 5 credits in either visual arts or music. We encourage students to take many visual arts courses to become a well-rounded, creative thinker. All visual arts classes qualify for the Boulder High Arts Focus Pathway (BAFP) Program. To find out more about this program, visit the BAFP Website on the Boulder High website or find the information in this guide.

The extensive fine art program is designed to develop an understanding and appreciation of art history and artistic judgment. We seek to give students a feeling of confidence and satisfaction through the creative process to help them develop individual skills and an individual voice in the various areas of art.

California Public Colleges

California public colleges require two fine art semester classes for admittance. Please view their website for more information.

Visual Arts Course Sequence

Business and Marketing

Real Skills for Real Life

The following courses fulfill the Practical Arts graduation requirements. The finance and business management courses also satisfy the BVSD financial literacy (PFL) graduation requirement. Every job and career deals with providing a good or service to satisfy people’s needs and wants; therefore, every job that every student pursues is a business.

Taking business courses while in high school offers Boulder High students the chance to prepare for their careers in a very practical manner by applying all their knowledge gleaned throughout every course in a meaningful way. Boulder High School’s business classes complement any and every career path or interest. Additionally, it is important to keep in mind that the number one college major for both men and women is Business.

Boulder High School offers comprehensive college-oriented business classes, which allow students the opportunity to begin evaluating a potential career in business or the selection of Business as a major or minor in college.

Practical Experiences

To meet BVSD graduation requirements in 2021 and beyond, students need 5 credits in Computer Science or Applied Technology; if this requirement is fulfilled in grades 6–8, 5 credits in various Business, Consumer and Family Education, Computer Science, Applied Technology, or Technical Education will meet this requirement.

Class Fees

See the BHS Class Fees Website and/or fee information in this guide for any fees associated with classes, as not all fees listed in the course catalog are assessed.

Money Management and Personal Finance

To meet BVSD graduation requirements, students must have evidence of a  course in Money Management and Personal Finance unless fulfilled through another district approved course.

Business Pathway Certificates

BVSD Business Completion Certificate

For those students who satisfactorily complete at least two business courses during their high school career or complete the yearlong Marketing 1 course, the Boulder Valley School District offers a Business Completion Certificate.

Boulder High School Business Pathway Certificate

In addition to the BVSD Business Completion Certificate, students who satisfactorily complete a three-business-course sequence will receive a Boulder High School Business Pathway Completion Certificate. For this certificate, Boulder High students must choose any three of the following courses:

Business Courses (semester long, can be taken in isolation and in any order)

·  Legal Environment of Business, B44

·  Personal Finance, B104

·  Principles of Management, B60

·  Entrepreneurial Operations, B92

Marketing Courses (semester long courses, coupled into year-long courses of study)

Marketing I (Year 1 of Marketing Pathway)

·  Sem 1: Principles of Marketing A WT, B80

·  Sem 2: Principles of Marketing B WT, B81

Marketing II (Year 2 of the Marketing Pathway -  Prerequisite = Marketing I)

·  Sem 1: Principles of Advertising WT, B86

·  Sem 2: Strategic Marketing WT, B82

Marketing III (Year 3 of the Marketing Pathway - Prerequisite = Marketing II)

·  Sem 1: Project Management in Action WT, B103

·  Sem 2: Event Marketing/Communications WT, B05



Computer Science and Applied Technology

Practical Experiences

To meet BVSD graduation requirements in 2010 and beyond, students need 5 credits in Computer Science or Applied Technology; if this requirement is fulfilled in grades 6–8 through an approved BVSD course, 5 credits in various Business, Consumer and Family Education, Computer Science, Applied Technology, or Technical Education will meet this requirement.

Starting in 2018-19, there is a new credit calculation for graduation requirements. The following courses (all weighted) are permitted to meet the requirement for Algebra 1 or Higher, or count as an Elective, as well as up to 10 CTE credits:

  • Coding II A
  • AP Computer Science A
  • AP Computer Science Principles

Computer Science Pathway

Computing plays a role in virtually every arena of life, including the arts and humanities, as well as in the social and physical sciences and engineering. Good preparation in high school can give you a head start toward college study in any of these fields.

At BHS you can take the new AP Computer Science Principles.  This is an entry-level computer science course for all students where you create web, desktop, or mobile programming apps, using state-of-the-art programming languages, to design relevant solutions to real-world problems.  After completing that class, you can take AP Computer Science A or C++ Programming (all weighted classes).

English Language Arts

To meet BVSD graduation requirements, students need 40 credits in the following:

  • 9th Grade English Language Arts (10 credits)
  • 10th Grade English Language Arts (10 credits)
  • 11th Grade English Language Arts (10 credits)
  • Communications (5 credits)
  • LA Elective (5 credits) 

Students in ELD

ELD 1 or 2 meets the 9th Grade English Language Arts, Communications, and LA elective requirements for graduation; ELD students must complete 10th Grade English Language Arts and 11th Grade English Language Arts for graduation.

Higher Education Admission Requirements (HEAR) for Language Arts

To meet the Higher Education Admission Requirements (HEAR) to a Colorado four-year institution, students must successfully complete 4 years (40 credits) in English Language Arts. Courses must include at least two years that emphasize writing or composition skills as well as literature, speech, and debate. Journalism, drama, yearbook, film literature, and mythology are categorized as academic electives.

Class Fees

See the BHS Class Fees Website and/or fee information in this guide for any fees associated with classes, as not all fees listed in the course catalog are assessed.

Course Sequence

The following is the recommended sequence for Language Arts courses. Students must successfully complete one of the classes in each grade level.



Family and Consumer Education

Real Skills for Real Life

Family and Consumer Science is committed to the standard of excellence and to the teaching of life skills that allow young adults to successfully negotiate independent living and interpersonal relationships and to acquire practical workplace skill sets.

Practical Experiences

To meet BVSD graduation requirements, students need 5 credits in Computer Science or Applied Technology; if this requirement is fulfilled in grades 6–8, 5 credits in Business, Consumer and Family Education, Computer Science, Applied Technology, or Technical Education will meet this requirement.

Class Fees

See the BHS Class Fees Website and/or fee information in this guide for any fees associated with classes, as not all fees listed in the course catalog are assessed.

Money Management and Personal Finance

To meet BVSD graduation requirements, students must have evidence of a 12-hour course in Money Management and Personal Finance unless fulfilled through another district approved course.


To meet BVSD graduation requirements, students need 5 credits in Health in grades 10–12. Interpersonal Relations/Life Management—a full-year course sequence—will also take care of this requirement.

Industrial Arts

Practical Experiences 

To meet BVSD graduation requirements, students need 5 credits in Computer Science or Applied Technology; if this requirement is fulfilled in grades 6–8, 5 credits in Business, Consumer and Family Education, Computer Science, Applied Technology, or Technical Education will meet this requirement.

Class Fees

See the BHS Class Fees Website and/or fee information in this guide for any fees associated with classes, as not all fees listed in the course catalog are assessed.


To meet BVSD graduation requirements, students need 20 credits with 10 credits in Algebra 1 or higher.

Higher Education Admissions Requirements (HEAR) for Math

To meet Higher Education Admissions Requirements, students need to complete math courses through Algebra 2. Some colleges may have higher math admission requirements. Please check with individual colleges for proper math levels for your graduation plan.

The integration of appropriate technology is stressed in all classes. Scientific calculators are needed in most classes from M22 through M43. Graphing calculators are required in courses M51 through M88. We recommend TI-84 models. View the BHS Class Fees & Supplies Website for information about renting a calculator.

Level changes may be made during the first nine weeks of 1st semester or at the beginning of second semester with proper teacher and parent approval. Changes are made if space is available.

Mathematics Planning Schedule

The chart below is to be read from the bottom up. Mathematics level upon entering Boulder High will determine initial path. Students may follow a combination of paths depending on teacher recommendation.


To meet BVSD graduation requirements, students need 5 credits in either visual arts or music. Some courses in this section require an audition; auditions are held in late March/early April. 

Class Fees

See the BHS Class Fees Website and/or fee information in this guide for any fees associated with classes, as not all fees listed in the course catalog are assessed.

Physical Education

To meet BVSD graduation requirements, students need 5 credits in Wellness in Action in grade 9, and 10 credits in physical education electives in grades 9–12.

Class Fees

See the BHS Class Fees Website and/or fee information in this guide for any fees associated with classes, as not all fees listed in the course catalog are assessed.


To meet BVSD graduation requirements, students need 20 credits in the following: Life Science (10) and Physical Science (10).

Higher Education Admissions Requirements (HEAR) for Science

To meet Higher Education Admissions Requirements, students need to successfully complete three years in science.

Class Fees

See the BHS Class Fees Website and/or fee information in this guide for any fees associated with classes, as not all fees listed in the course catalog are assessed.

Social Studies

To meet BVSD graduation requirements, students need 30 credits in the following:

  • United States Government
  • World Geography
  • World History
  • United States History

Higher Education Admissions Requirements (HEAR) for Social Studies

To meet Higher Education Admissions Requirements, students need 3 years in social studies, including one course in U.S. History and/or world civilization.

World Languages

French, German, Japanese, Latin, Spanish

To meet BVSD graduation requirements, students need 10 credits, Level 2 or higher, in grades 9–12.

Higher Education Admission Requirements (HEAR) for World Languages

To meet the Higher Education Admission Requirements (HEAR) to a Colorado four-year institution, students must successfully complete 1 year (10 credits) of a world language. Some higher learning institutions require a minimum of 3 levels of a world language.

Class Fees

See the BHS Class Fees Website and/or fee information in this guide for any fees associated with classes, as not all fees listed in the course catalog are assessed.

Recommended World Language Course Sequence

The chart below is to be read from the bottom up.


AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) is a college preparatory program that focuses on students who are academically proficient, yet need support in reaching and succeeding in advanced academic courses. AVID bridges student gaps in the skills, language, habits, and resources of the college-bound student. Additionally, students in AVID receive academic and motivational support. Other aspects of the program include field trips to places of educational and cultural interest and tutoring by college students.

For additional information about this program, please visit the BHS AVID Website.

Adelante! Program

This course promotes achievement for first-generation Latinx students who can benefit from academic support. It is held the last period of the day, as well as after school. Tutors are present daily in all subject areas, and mentors are available to students. Our team collaborates closely with content teachers, parents, community leaders, and institutions of higher education. Adelante! supports career and college readiness with an SAT preparation course, help with college applications and scholarships, as well as career exploration. Allí los esperamos!


Pathways2Teaching is a concurrent enrollment course for 11th and 12th grade students who want to explore issues in education, social justice and equity, and teaching as a potential career choice. The course includes a weekly field experience at University Hill Elementary School. CU Denver college credit is earned.

Diversity, Leadership, Service

Options here include: Office Assistant, Student Council, and Special Education Peer Mentor.

Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Education

Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Education (CLDE) Standards are aligned with Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies standards to follow a continuum of language acquisition from Beginning to Advanced levels. All language domains—listening, speaking, reading, and writing—are developed through learning strategies specific for Emerging Bilingual (EB) students. Course placement recommendations are made considering a portfolio of indicators that focus on language acquisition performance in all four domains in order to support improved performance in all classes.

Special Education

Students who have Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) will register for courses with the assistance of their special education case manager so that their educational program is consistent with the goals and objectives of their IEP. The program may consist of regular education courses with instructional accommodations and courses provided outside the regular education class with a modified curriculum. Please work with your special education case manager to complete your course selection.