Course Descriptions

  • Advanced Placement Biology

    Subject areas that are covered include: chemistry of life, cellular anatomy and physiology, evolution, classification and diversity of life, genetics, plant anatomy and physiology, animal anatomy and physiology, ecology. Some of the labs are investigations of: enzyme reaction rates, fruit fly genetics, population genetics and transpiration. Upon completion of the AP biology course students are well prepared to take the AP Biology Exam.  Twelve required AP labs are completed as well as additional labs.

    Advanced Placement Chemistry

    This full year elective is a systematic review of previous chemistry courses with the addition of some new material. It should be of interest to students who want to improve their preparation for college chemistry as well as to those who plan to sit for the College Board Advanced Placement examination. Topics covered include gas laws and stoichiometry, equilibrium, acid base chemistry, atomic theory, structure and bonding, thermodynamics, chemical reactions states of matter, colligative properties, kinetics, and electrochemistry. A small amount of organic chemistry is also covered. The class meets three times per week. Labs are an important part of the course. AP Chemistry focuses on developing analytical and problem solving skills. Therefore, students are expected to complete one hour of homework and/or studying on their own per hour of class time.

    Advanced Placement Psychology

    The primary emphasis of AP Psychology is to investigate how humans, and other animals, act; how they know; how they interact; how they develop; and how they differ from one another. Because of its advanced nature and depth of coverage, the AP level of this course assumes prior knowledge in all of the sciences and is thus offered only to seniors. 

    Biology (Grade 9)

    General Biology is a comprehensive course that covers the fundamental and current topics in the biological sciences. It begins with a discussion of the nature of science and the scientific method of solving problems thus allowing for the student to appreciate all aspects of biology, the study of life. The course goes beyond the textbook, dealing with the newest discoveries in the biotechnology realm. Field trips may be planned throughout the year to supplement content.

    Biology (Grade 10)

    The Honors Biology course at the Bergen County Academies is comprised of a comprehensive and challenging curriculum that supplies a solid scientific foundation for the student to build on in future science classes. This course is required of the AAST and AEDT students and is taken during the 10th grade. Core concepts are explored, as the student develops critical thinking and problem solving skills, while investigating how Biology relates to the student’s life and community. During this year long course students will have many opportunities for hands-on exploration through weekly laboratory assignments, modeling activities, media and technology and assigned readings.


    This course is algebra-based and provides the basic principles of physics and applies these concepts to global phenomena. Emphasis is placed on developing a complete understanding of the nature of various effects and the ability to solve problems. Learning is achieved through hand-on experiments, projects, computer labs, multimedia technology, and class demonstrations. The curriculum covers the topics of mechanics, kinematics, dynamics, and conservation laws of energy and momentum.


    This is the first course in the basic three year chemistry sequence which is part of the AAST/AEDT curriculum. Students gain a fundamental understanding of atoms, molecular structure and bonding, chemical reactions, the periodic table, stoichiometry, solutions, and pH. The course ends with a brief introduction to organic chemistry. Laboratory work is an important part of this course and laboratory reports are required.

    Topics in Science and Research

    This core class for AAST freshmen introduces students to the scientific method as they progress through a trimester - by- trimester rotation of topics. Students will be introduced to basic concepts in nanotechnology, microscopy and optics through hands- on activities and gain an understanding of the various research options available to students at Bergen County Academies.

    Biology Chemistry Physics Lab

    The core science coursework includes an extended period during which students complete lab work for biology, chemistry and physics on a weekly basis. Content introduced in the core classes is reinforced through hands-on laboratory experiments during which students develop laboratory protocols, collect and analyze data and report their findings following accepted practices in scientific communication.

    Intermediate Chemistry

    Intermediate Chemistry is a course required of all 10th grade AAST and AEDT students. There are two basic themes in the course – physical chemistry and equilibrium.Physical chemistry includes several topics in which there are chemical applications of a physical principle. These include the behavior of gases, thermochemistry (i.e. heats of chemical reactions), quantum mechanics, atomic structure, molecular structure, and bonding theory.Equilibrium is applied to several types of systems, but particular importance is given to equilibria involving strong and weak acids and bases. This encompasses topics such as pH, indicators, titrations and buffers.To accomplish the class goals, the students must first be introduced to new topics, often making use of demonstrations. They can then participate in questioning and discussion, problem solving, laboratory experiments, and collaborative projects.

    Intermediate Physics

    This algebra-based course is a continuation of Physics 9. The first trimester covers heat, kinetic theory, and properties of gases, liquids and solids, and the laws of thermodynamics. Second and third trimesters are devoted to the study of electrostatics, properties of direct current, and magnetism. The curriculum includes projects, experiments, labs, and problem solving exercises.

    Introduction to Chemical Engineering

    Introduction to Chemical Engineering and Processes is a core course taken by sophomore students in the Academy for the Advancement of Science and Technology (AAST). This course and other science and mathematics courses throughout the AAST scope and sequences, Introduction to Chemical Engineering and Processes provides the theoretical, vocational and laboratory experience for further studies and careers in chemistry, chemical engineering and related fields. Both chemist and chemical engineering viewpoints will be covered, providing an overview of chemical reactions processes from a research lab scale to production scale. The lab component of the course will provide hands on experience in the design and engineering of chemical reaction processes.

    Physical and Organic Chemistry

    Physical and Organic Chemistry introduces advanced coursework starting with the synthetic and mechanistic models essential to understanding the wide range of transformations within organic and inorganic systems. Special emphasis on physical chemistry, including thermodynamics and kinetics, will be developed throughout the course so that students see how these essential chemistry topics are essential to understanding engineering considerations such as heat transfer and solvent effects.

    Adv Physics

    The goal of this course is to develop a deeper conceptual understanding of the principles of physics and examine the relationships which exist between physics and chemistry and biology. Topics to be covered include- mechanical waves and sound, optics, elements of quantum mechanics and elements of modern physics.

    Quantum Mechanics

    Students will be introduced to the fundamental tools of Quantum Mechanics. The course will start with a brief introduction of the principles in Quantum Mechanics. This will be followed by the study of Schrodinger’s equation and its applications in various cases such as particle in a box, potential wells and harmonic oscillator. We will also solve the Schrodinger’s equation for hydrogen atom. Students will be exposed to other tools such as operators, vector spaces, matrices and Dirac notation. This course will be fundamentally different from the “Quantum Physics” elective: mathematical techniques will be utilized frequently. If deemed necessary some topics such as differential equations, complex numbers and linear algebra will be reviewed.

    Java programming

    Students will learn to write Java programs involving input and output, conditions, methods, and loops. Oriented programming will be introduced, which is the design paradigm of nearly all modern software systems. Students will learn to design objects having behaviors, properties, and inheritance.