Course Descriptions

  • Grade 9

    Grade 10

    Grade 11

    Grade 12

    Medical Science Seminar

    Biotechnology Lab

    Physical Organic Chemistry

    AP Biology*

    Introductory Chemistry

    Advanced Topics
    in Medicine


    AP Psychology*


    AP Chemistry*



    Topics in Hematology and Oncology

    Biological psychology


    Developmental biology

    Medical microbiology

    * Elective courses for qualified seniors

    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 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.

    Advanced Topics in Medicine

    This course is designed to explore the development, comparative anatomy, organization and physiology of the mammalian nervous system, with emphasis on the human brain. Topics include the anatomy and function of the nervous system, sensory and motor systems, control of movement, learning and memory, neurotransmitters, neuropathology and techniques used in imaging the brain.


    The primary emphasis of Biopsychology will be to introduce students to the investigation of the biological basis of behavior, studying the nervous system and its functioning. Additional topics covered may include: the study of sensory systems and perception, a discussion of development, both physical and behavioral, sexual development, gender differences, and language acquisition. Psychology is the science of behavior, and this course represents a combination of multiple fields of science as they contribute to our understanding of behavior.  It is expected that students of Biopsychology have already taken at least one year of biology at the Academy.

    Biotechnology Lab

    This one trimester biotechnology lab is designed to teach basic laboratory and biotechnology skills to 10th graders. Students satisfactorily completing this course will have a foundation on which to build, when interning in professional labs. Students will learn skills such as DNA isolation, bacterial transformation, PCR, and ELISA to mention a few.  They will also have some experience with bioinformatics. Ethical ramifications of gene technology will be discussed and its impact on student lives will be explored.

    Developmental Biology

    The goal of the Developmental Biology Program is to enable a student to learn about the process of development from a single cell, through various developmental stages to the final emergence of a complex multicellular organism, and the potential medical implications of being able to manipulate and control this process. Stem Cell biology is introduced and explained in depth.

    Gene Therapy and Research Virology

    The ongoing development of gene therapy draws from many disciplines, including virology, molecular biology, medicine, genetics, immunology, biochemistry, physiology, chemistry, biophysics, molecular imaging, cellular biology, microbiology, pharmacology, and toxicology. This course includes topics in each of these areas to enhance the basic view of what gene therapy and gene transfer involve. The student will learn and understand the current status of gene therapy and how these diverse disciplines contribute to this field.  All major types of vector involved in modern clinical trials are covered, along with the process of designing, producing, purifying and delivering them to patients.

    Human Anatomy and Physiology

    Anatomy and Physiology, the study of the structure and function of the human body, is necessary as a basic science prerequisite for students seeking careers in the medical field. This course, which will also include basic chemistry, biochemistry, and histology, is designed to give the students a selective overview of human anatomical structure and an analysis of human physiological principles by following a sequential study of the major body systems in an organized and structured curriculum. There will be extensive laboratory activities that accompany each unit under study. Units will include: characteristics of life, levels of organization, chemistry, biochemistry, cells, integumentary system, skeletal system, muscular system, nervous system (including the eye and ear), endocrine system, lymphatic and immune system, cardiovascular system (including the blood), respiratory system, digestive system, urinary system, and the reproductive system and embryology. Emphasis will be placed on the application of knowledge and skills from previous science classes to the study of human anatomy and physiology.


    This course introduces the principles of immunology including: development of the immune system, innate immunity, immunoglobulin structure and genetics, antigen-antibody reactions, the major histocompatibility complex reactions and antigen presentation, T cell receptors (genetics, structure, selection), T cell activation and effector functions, anergy and apoptosis, cytokines, phagocytic cell function, immune responses to infectious organisms and tumors, autoimmune diseases, autoimmunity, allergies, and immune deficiencies.

    Introductory Chemistry

    This is the first course in the two year chemistry sequence which is part of the AMST curriculum. Students gain a fundamental understanding of atoms, molecular structure and bonding, chemical reactions, the periodic table, stoichiometry, and solutions.

    Medical Microbiology

    The principles of microbiology and the molecular mechanisms of pathogenesis enable the student to understand an increasing number of infectious diseases.  Students taking this course will learn about of all the major categories of microbes that have medical relevance, how they impact our lives, and what current medical practice can do to keep us healthy in the face of their constant onslaught.

    Introductory Chemistry
    This is the first course in the two year chemistry sequence which is part of the AMST curriculum. Students gain a fundamental understanding of atoms, molecular structure and bonding, chemical reactions, the periodic table, stoichiometry, and solutions.

    Medical Science Seminar

    This AMST freshman course is comprised of three one-trimester rotation courses. The first, epidemiology, studies the distribution and determinants of health-related states or events in specified populations, and the application of this study to the control of health related problems. It consists of the methods used to study the frequency, distribution, and determinants of disease in populations, so that the disease can be prevented. The second is Pharmacology, which provides students with concise information essential to the understanding of how chemical agents affect living processes. The emphasis of the course is on fundamental concepts as they apply to the actions of most drugs. The last rotation, Introduction to Experimental Design, enables students to understand the basic components of scientific research which include identifying a problem, investigating what research has already been done, planning an experiment, collecting and analyzing data, and drawing conclusions. Students will also learn how to utilize some basic statistical methods. The culmination of this course is to conduct a scientific experiment and generate a scientific research presentation.


    This course provides an in-depth background in a select area of anatomy and physiology with a major focus on metabolism and neuroscience. The course of study includes Cell Anatomy and Physiology (cell metabolism) and Neuroscience (electrophysiology of neurons, spinal cord, spine and autonomic nervous system).

    Topics in Hematology & Oncology

    This elective offers a unique opportunity to interact with experts in the fields of Oncology (cancer) and Hematology (blood) and meet the patients who are survivors. A series of experts from Hackensack University Medical Center, who work with Tomorrows Children's Fund (, come to our school and discuss their work. Each is involved in a different aspect of patient care, diagnosis, treatment, or research. Students will get up-to-date information and the opportunity to ask experts any question. In addition, the patients will describe how it feels to go from healthy to ill and discuss their experience of living with a life threatening disorder.