Academics Overview

Every student at Cushing follows their own academic journey. Teachers are guides along the way, encouraging Penguins to stretch their wings beyond where they might have thought possible. 


Meeting students exactly where they are

Cushing Academy offers students unique learning opportunities that fit them. Faculty members develop deep, intentional connections, encouraging students to challenge themselves. This builds a transformative academic atmosphere that bolsters confidence, fosters curiosity, and nurtures a love of learning. 




According to our students, Cushing faculty are...

Each semester, we ask our students to provide feedback on their experience with Cushing faculty. Below is a word cloud containing answers from our most recent survey!



Course Catalog

Want to dig deeper? Take a look at our full course catalog, which includes all Cushing offerings as well as details on everything from graduation requirements to how to add/drop/change a course level.

Each year, students work with advisors from our Academic Office to create a schedule that best suits their individual needs. 


If you have any questions about academics at Cushing, please contact our Academic Office at [email protected] or (978) 827-7011


Classical + Modern Languages

Twenty-four courses across five languages offer students an opportunity to engage with a culture even in beginning classes and to achieve fluency in higher levels. 

24 Classical and Modern Language Courses (3 AP + 8 Honors)
  • French I
  • French II
  • French III
  • Honors French IV
  • AP French Language
    + Culture
  • Latin I
  • Latin II
  • Latin III
  • Honors Latin IV
  • Honors Latin V
  • Ancient Greek
  • Mandarin Chinese I
  • Mandarin Chinese II
  • Mandarin Chinese III
  • Honors Mandarin Chinese IV
  • AP Chinese Language + Culture
  • Spanish I
  • Spanish II
  • Honors Spanish II
  • Spanish III
  • Honors Spanish III
  • Honors Spanish IV/V Reading and Comprehension
  • Honors Spanish IV/V Conversation
  • AP Spanish Language + Culture

View our Course Catalog for complete descriptions of our classical and modern language courses.




Students develop a strong background in the traditional canon, and also learn that literature is about studying other people, other cultures, other identities, other ways of existence that aren’t always a part of those texts. Our curriculum has a positive effect on students’ understanding of the world and their own place as a citizen of it. 

17 English Courses (2 AP, 3 Honors, 10 Seminars)
  • Literature + Composition I
  • Honors Literature + Composition I
  • Literature + Composition II
  • Honors Literature + Composition II
  • American Literature
  • Honors American Literature
  • College English
  • AP English Language + Composition
  • AP English Literature + Composition
  • Senior English Seminars:
    • African American Prose
    • Recognizing the Call
    • Creative Writing I
    • Creative Writing II
    • Critical Approaches + Literary Theory
    • Dramatic Literature I
    • Dramatic Literature II
    • Island Experience
    • Life Stories: Memoir, Essay, + Biography
    • The Southern Gothic

View our Course Catalog for complete descriptions of our English courses.



Patchwork Magazine

Patchwork is Cushing's literary magazine, which is run by a staff of students with support from the English department. The annual journal features contributions from members of our community, including both students and teachers.



English as a Second Language

Cushing’s program moves students who already engage socially in English to the next level, focusing on academic language capabilities — speech making, advanced vocabulary, and writing skills. 


5 ESL Courses (based on 2 levels of proficiency)

Advanced Intermediate Level

  • Reading II
  • Writing + Grammar
  • Listening + Speaking

Advanced Level

  • Literary Studies
  • Composition + Grammar

View our Course Catalog for complete descriptions of our ESL courses.



History & Social Sciences

Using a theme-based approach to history, students dive deep into specific events, learning to consider multiple sources, gaining comfort with making connections between different eras,  and incorporating voices from diverse perspectives. 


19 History and Social Science Courses (5 AP, 3 Honors, 8 Seminars)
  • World History I: Foundations in World History
  • Honors World History I: Foundations in World History
  • World History II: Modern World History
  • Honors World History II: Modern World History
  • United States History
  • Honors United States History
  • AP Economics (Macro + Micro)
  • AP European History
  • AP Psychology
  • AP United States History
  • AP United States Government + Politics
  • Upper Level History and Social Science Seminars:
    • Civil Society I: Principles of Democracy
    • Civil Society II: Freedom, Liberty + Civic Virtue
    • International Relations I
    • International Relations II
    • Philosophy: History of Thought
    • Philosophy: Existence + Purpose
    • Psychology I
    • Sociology I

View our Course Catalog for complete descriptions of our history and social science courses.




Cushing’s math faculty focuses on mastery of the basics — with regular assessments to ensure each student is on track. Students see real-life examples of how math matters, such as demos with a powerful online graphing calculator, that allow students to see how things shown in equations behave in the world. 


19 Mathematics Courses (5 AP + 3 Honors)
  • Algebra I
  • Topics in Geometry
  • Geometry
  • Honors Geometry
  • Algebra II Modified-A
  • Algebra II Modified-B
  • Algebra II
  • Honors Algebra II
  • Introduction to Precalculus
  • Precalculus
  • Honors Precalculus
  • Discrete Mathematics
  • Probability + Statistics
  • Calculus
  • AP Statistics
  • AP Calculus AB
  • AP Calculus BC
  • Multivariable Calculus
  • AP Computer Science A
  • AP Computer Science Foundations

View our Course Catalog for complete descriptions of our mathematics courses.



Performing Arts

Our faculty bring the experience of having worked professionally to bring layers of sophistication to our teaching and programming. We honor each individual student and organize our curriculum to serve both the students who live to perform and those who are exploring a new experience.


11 Performing Arts Courses
  • Acting I/II
  • Advanced Acting + Directing
  • Chamber Music
  • C-Tones (Chorus)
  • Jazz Ensemble
  • History of Jazz
  • Music Theory
  • Dance I/II
  • Dance II/III
  • Dance III/IV
  • Filmmaking

View our Course Catalog for complete descriptions of our performing arts courses.




Our faculty aim to develop scientific literacy in students, encouraging them to apply scientific knowledge and thinking in everyday life. Our curriculum is designed to engage students through a variety of laboratory experiments and field trips. 

15 Science Courses (4 AP + 2 Honors)
  • Integrated Science
  • Chemistry
  • Honors Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Honors Biology
  • Physics
  • Physical Science II: Engineering the Future
  • Advanced Engineering
  • Biology II: Anatomy + Physiology
  • Biology II: Ecological Studies
  • Biology II: Kinesiology
  • AP Biology
  • AP Chemistry
  • AP Physics I
  • AP Physics C: Mechanics + Electricity/Magnetism

View our Course Catalog for complete descriptions of our science courses.



Visual Arts

Students can experiment and grow using an extraordinary range of visual arts mediums, from painting and ceramics to metalsmithing and glass work. Cushing’s teachers are experts at guiding both beginners and gifted students who will eventually attend top art schools.

12 Visual Arts Courses
  • Architectural Design
  • Ceramics
  • Advanced Ceramics
  • Fused + Stained Glass
  • Metalsmithing
  • Advanced Metalsmithing
  • Painting + Drawing
  • Advanced Painting + Drawing
  • Photography
  • Advanced Photography
  • Art History
  • Advanced Art Portfolio

View our Course Catalog for complete descriptions of our visual arts courses.



Visual Arts Magazine

Each year, Cushing students produce an extraordinary number of creative pieces. Our Visual Arts Magazine highlights some of the artistic creations produced by our talented artists. We commend our students for their hard work, talent, progress, and willingness to share their work with others.