Senior School

Advanced Placement Courses Add Rigour and Enrichment

“I’ve found that HSC’s science and math courses have taken me to a level which exceeds that of most of my peers at university. AP courses were definitely worthwhile and taught me to think at a higher level.” – HSC Graduate  

Advanced Placement, or AP, is a globally recognized academic program that provides secondary school students with the opportunity to study and learn first year university curricular content while still in high school. Advanced Placement currently offers more than 30 different courses, covering all of the major subject disciplines and a wide range of foreign language studies. Students who are involved in AP would typically elect to carry between one and three of these courses in their timetable annually, although students can write as many AP exams as they wish over their secondary school careers. 

The Advanced Placement program is the world leader in curricular enrichment for secondary students, far outreaching other programs such as the International Baccalaureate (IB) Program. The number of secondary students taking part in AP programs, both in Canada and abroad, dwarfs the numbers registered in the IB Diploma program. The number of students fully involved in the IB Diploma program in this province is approximately 1/10th of the number of students involved in AP.  While there are a number of factors involved, one of the key reasons behind the popularity of the AP Program is that it provides students with choice and flexibility.  Unlike the IB Diploma program where a student must follow a prescribed pathway, AP students can opt to take a single AP course in a subject that they are passionate about or engage in as many AP courses as they see fit in terms of their post secondary preparations. 

The Senior School timetable at HSC has been structured to allow students to select from nine different AP courses as part of their daily schedules. Teachers and students work together to cover the enriched curricula in these programs and considerable time is dedicated to preparing the students for success on their AP exams. Because the curricular content of an AP course extends well beyond the standard Ontario Ministry of Education course expectations, HSC students are able to earn an Ontario Academic Credit in the subject area while concurrently preparing for the AP exam. 

For more information about the AP Program at HSC, please contact Mr. Steve McDonald in the Student Success Centre at extension 125.


Hillfield Strathallan College. 299 Fennell Avenue West, Hamilton, ON L9C 1G3 | Tel: (905) 389-1367