Geffen Academy's Mission Statement

Geffen Academy at UCLA is a university-affiliated school for students in grades 6-12. We value academic depth and inspiration within a humane educational environment. Our community is guided by principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Geffen Academy students are encouraged to be questioners, analysts, and presenters, who are creative, collaborative, and active young adults. Our students practice their skills, competencies, and relationships with deliberation. Geffen Academy graduates believe that knowledge is beautiful, transformative, and relevant to one’s life and civic responsibility in a global community.

Academic Philosophy and School-Wide Learning Goals

Education is most transformative when it pairs the mastery of content and skills with a mindset that appreciates complexity, thrives on feedback, generates creativity, and finds opportunity in challenge. Geffen Academy students thus seek to become ever more responsible for their own intellectual, physical, emotional, spiritual, environmental and social development. Knowing that effective learning is itself something that must be learned, Geffen Academy students rigorously explore and adopt the processes that best enable the education that most matters to them.

If deep learning is a difficult pleasure, it is a pleasure nonetheless. The time spent in the patient mastery of a range of disciplines ultimately enables the joys of creativity, expression, and engaged civic participation. While there is no single recipe for a successful and satisfying life, arriving at a considered understanding of oneself and one’s world often features as a key ingredient. Paradoxically, knowledge gained without reference to immediate use can prove to be of profound practical benefit as well, giving those who have it an edge in careers that do not yet exist while also inclining them toward ethical use of future opportunity.
Regardless of the particular pathways students take through the Geffen Academy program, the most significant outcomes arise when the various elements of the school work in concert. The following are the school-wide learning goals that transcend individual disciplines, comprising objectives that become possible only through the coordinated efforts of all at Geffen Academy.
  • Persistent Inquirers
  • Thinkers & Creators
  • Powerful Communicators
  • Compassionate Partners
  • Adaptable Learners

Curriculum and Academic Programs

The curriculum at Geffen Academy is tied closely to the school’s mission and learning goals and offers students the opportunities to explore broadly, as well as dive deeply into subjects of particular interest.

Middle School

The Middle School is a period of discovery. The curriculum has been designed to give students ample opportunities to explore their strengths, to challenge themselves, and to investigate ideas that inspire them. One important focus of the Middle School’s curriculum is the development of core disciplinary skills, as well as substantive work on the school-wide learning goals of developing students who are persistent inquirers, thinkers and creators, powerful communicators, compassionate partners, and adaptable learners.
  • Discipline
  • 6th
  • 7th
  • 8th
  • Humanities
  • X
  •  
  •  
  • History
  •  
  • X
  • X
  • English
  •  
  • X
  • X
  • Mathematics
  • X
  • X
  • X
  • Science
  • X
  • X
  • X
  • World Language
  • X
  • X
  • X
  • I-Track
  • X
  • X
  • X
  • Arts Rotations
  • X
  • X
  • X
  • PE
  • X
  • X
  • X
  • Wellness
  • X
  • X
  • X

Upper School

Upper School is a time of deliberate practice, taking skills learned in Middle School and applying them ever more deeply, expansively, and thoroughly. Geffen Academy’s curriculum reflects this by providing courses that challenge and inspire.

All Geffen Academy students take courses that are considered general education requirements: these are Geffen Academy’s required courses for graduation. This general education is accompanied by a student’s specialization in a field or fields of their choosing. Students will accomplish this by taking courses within or across disciplines known as “concentration courses.”
  • Discipline
  • 9th
  • 10th
  • 11th
  • 12th
  • Humanities
  • X
  •  
  •  
  • X
  • History
  •  
  • X
  • X
  •  
  • English
  • X
  • X
  •  
  • Mathematics
  • X
  • X
  • X
  •  
  • Science
  • X
  • X
  • X
  •  
  • World Language
  • X
  • X
  • X
  •  
  • I-Track
  • X
  • **
  • **
  • **
  • Arts
  • X
  • **
  • **
  • **
  • PE & Water Safety
  • *
  • *
  • *
  • *
  • Wellness
  • X
  • X
  • X
  • X

*Indicates that a student has a requirement to fulfill in any year before graduating.
**Indicates that a student needs to take one additional year of the discipline at some point in those years that have asterisks.

Concentration Courses in Upper School

Each department offers concentration courses. Students may choose to follow a department’s recommended course of study within the departmental concentration courses; or may choose to take concentration courses from different departments; or may choose to propose their own independent concentration course of study, in consultation with their advisor and an appropriate department chair.

Concentration courses act as Geffen Academy’s honors’ courses, since the courses will demand advanced work from the students and will dive more deeply into the study of and methodologies within the fields or disciplines in which students are interested. Some concentration courses may have prerequisites. Concentration courses may include a UCLA course, as agreed upon by the student, student’s advisor, parents, and Geffen Academy administration.
  • Disciplines
  • University of California (UC) "a-g" Subject Requirements
  • Geffen Academy Graduation Requirements
  • (a) History/Social Studies
  • 2 years, including one year of U.S. History and one year of world history
  • 2 years, including one year of U.S. History and one year of modern world history
  • (b) English
  • 4 years
  • 4 years, including 9th grade Humanities (“Immersive Cities”) and 12th grade Humanities (“Rhetoric”)
  • (c) Mathematics
  • 3 years, including topics covered in elementary algebra, advanced algebra, and two- and three-dimensional geometry
  • 3 years (4 years recommended)
  • (d) Science
  • 2 years of laboratory science in 2 of the 3 disciplines of biology/life sciences, chemistry, physics (one year of interdisciplinary/integrated/earth or space science can meet this requirement)
  • 3 years, including chemistry, physics, & life sciences (4 years recommended)
  • (e) Language Other than English
  • 2 years (of the same language)
  • 3 years (of the same language)
  • (f) Visual and Performing Arts
  • 1 year of visual and performing arts
  • 2 years
  • (g) Elective
  • 1 year of a course approved specifically in the “g” subject area, including courses that combine any of the “a-f” subject areas in an interdisciplinary fashion; or one year of an additional approved “a-f” course beyond the minimum required for that subject area.
  • 1 year (I-Track fulfills this requirement)
  • I-Track
  • n/a
  • 2 years
  • PE & Water Safety
  • n/a
  • 4 trimesters, plus 2 trimesters of water safety
  • Wellness
  • n/a
  • 4 years
  • Advisory
  • n/a
  • 4 years