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Our girls like to push themselves.

They discuss Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, debate stem cell research, form Calculus study groups. They research life in third world countries, discover the importance of art movements in history, and hold entire conversations in Spanish.

The Academy’s Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate programs encourage our girls to challenge themselves in college-level classes, prepare for lifelong success, and discover global perspectives. Holy Cross allows students to take these courses early in their high school careers, and the majority of our girls complete at least one AP or IB course before they graduate.

Advanced Placement

Holy Cross offers 12 AP courses across multiple academic disciplines. Our girls earn college credit every year, but they attain much more than that. In our AP classes, teachers provide individual attention, cultivate a thorough understanding of the subject material, and ensure each girl is prepared to excel in college-level courses. Our partnership with the One Schoolhouse/Online School for Girls provides the potential for expanded AP course offerings taught online.

Advanced Placement Courses

Art History


Calculus AB

Calculus BC

Comparative Government & Politics

English Language & Composition

Literature & Composition

Physics C: Mechanics



US Government

US History

International Baccalaureate

Holy Cross is the only all-girls, Catholic IB World School in D.C., Maryland, or Virginia.

The IB Diploma Programme, an academically challenging and balanced education program, prepares high school students for success at the college level and beyond. The world’s leading universities recognize and respect the IB Diploma and the curriculum behind it, which includes a service component outside of the classroom. And, Holy Cross allows students to take IB courses even if they are not participating in the full IB Diploma Programme. The IB Programme’s emphasis on cultivating inquiring, knowledgeable, and caring individuals reinforces Holy Cross’ mission to develop women of courage, compassion, and scholarship. Holy Cross and the IB Programme coincide to empower women who desire to better the world.

“The IB Diploma Programme made the academic transition to college much smoother than I ever expected. Academically, my IB courses were on par with what I experienced in college-level classes. Additionally, the time-management, planning and writing skills I gained through IB proved invaluable.” – Harriet O’Sullivan ’12, recent graduate of the University of Notre Dame

Learn More about the International Baccalaureate Programme

International Baccalaureate Courses

Biology HL

Chemistry SL

Dance SL

Design Technology SL

Economics SL

English Literature HL

Environmental Systems and Societies SL

Spanish SL/HL

Film SL/HL

French HL

History SL/HL

Math SL

Math Studies SL

Music SL/HL

Physics HL

Theatre HL

Visual Arts SL

World Religions SL

IB Diploma Programme students are 21 percent more likely to be admitted into 10 of the most prestigious universities including Harvard, Princeton, Yale, and Stanford.