Academics
Upper School

Personalized Pathways

Since Bryn Mawr’s founding in 1885, our curriculum has been grounded in challenging young women to pursue deep inquiry and self-reflection. We want our students to continue to discover their unique talents and passions, to be encouraged to take risks and explore new ideas, and to have time to do the things they truly love. The Personalized Pathways program allows exactly that, and helps us to recognize and celebrate what our students are accomplishing at Bryn Mawr and beyond.
Building upon Bryn Mawr’s foundational college preparatory curriculum – our Core Program, Personalized Pathways is designed to let students pursue their interests and deepen their understanding and experience in one of three areas: Arts, Global Studies, or STEM/Entrepreneurship. Students may apply to this optional program during the spring of their ninth grade year.

Through Bryn Mawr’s Core Program and the introduction of Personalized Pathways, students can pursue opportunities to connect their academic studies with significant and meaningful experiences beyond the classroom. Students will create experiential learning opportunities in our program, such as curating an art exhibit, participating in an international exchange, organizing an event for classmates, or interning with a researcher. Along the way, students are guided by faculty and advisors and may culminate their work with a Capstone project during their senior year. Successful completion of the Personalized Pathways program will result in a scholar designation on their official Bryn Mawr transcript.

At Bryn Mawr, we want each student to receive an education that enables her to build a strong, distinctive, resourceful self. Our Personalized Pathways program is one of the ways we fulfill our commitment to graduating resilient, confident, self-assured young women who are comfortable with risk, possessed of important life skills, and active participants in both individual and community pursuits.

Program Overview

Grade 9


  • Discover your individual strengths and interests!
  • Work with your teachers and advisor to learn about the opportunities available in the Upper School.
  • Reflect on your learning and begin charting your course. Choose between continuing in the Core Program or selecting the Arts, Global, or STEM/Entrepreneurship Pathway.
  • Work to devise an appropriate tenth grade course schedule.
  • Begin to explore and plan potential experiential learning options, such as community service, an internship, or summer work opportunities that complement your chosen path.

Grade 10


  • Begin your portfolio to document and reflect on what you’re learning and experiencing.
  • Check in with your advisor to discuss and evaluate your progress and plan future academic and experiential opportunities.
  • Work to develop an appropriate eleventh grade schedule.




Grade 11


  • Continue on your path by choosing from a menu of experiential learning opportunities, such as curating an art exhibit, performing in a concert or play, participating in an international club or exchange, interning with a researcher, attending a conference, or completing a service project.
  • Continue to document your learning! Use a blog, journal, or video diary to chronicle and share your projects, service, and leadership.
  • Gather ideas for a culminating senior experience proposal.
  • Work to devise an appropriate twelfth grade schedule.

Grade 12


  • Complete academic and experiential requirements for your Pathway.
  • Complete and present a Capstone project to showcase your pathway experience. Examples could be creating a solo art exhibition or playwright project, pitching a new product or service, or presenting research on a global solution at convocation or to a panel of experts.
  • Successful completion of the Personalized Pathways program and Capstone will result in a scholar designation on your official Bryn Mawr transcript.

Explore the Pathways

List of 4 items.

  • Arts Pathway

    The Arts Pathway supports the academic exploration of and participation in both visual and performing arts through coursework and experiential learning opportunities.

    >> Download PDF Overview


    Logistics

    • Students in the Arts Pathway select appropriate courses as they build their Upper School academic schedule.
    • Students maintain a portfolio that documents and reflects on their Arts-focused coursework, projects, service and leadership.
    • Students who complete a senior Capstone project in addition to all other Pathway requirements receive a Scholar Designation on their Bryn Mawr transcript.


    Program Requirements


    Freshman Year
    • Entering 9th grade, all students select required introductory arts course for one semester from available choices
    • Students applying for the Arts Pathway may choose to focus on either visual arts (painting, mixed media, ceramics, sculpture, photography, video work, or art history) or performing arts (theater, dance, music, and creative writing such as poetry and playwriting) when making course requests for sophomore year [March 2018]

    Sophomore Year
    • Students take core schedule of math, science, English, history, and world language
    • Visual Arts: Select an arts elective from approved course list and participate in Arts Scholars visual art exhibition
    • Performing Arts: Select an arts elective from approved course list and/or participate in a significant production experience, such as a role in musical or play, or performing with Upper School Dance Company

    Junior Year
    • Students take core schedule of math, science, English, history, world language and public speaking
    • Visual Arts: Select a visual art elective from approved course list and participate in Arts Scholars visual art exhibition
    • Performing Arts: Select an arts elective from approved course list and/or participate in a significant production experience, such as a role in musical or play, or performing with Upper School Dance Company

    Senior Year
    • Visual Arts: Select a visual art elective from approved course list and participate in Arts Scholars visual art exhibition
    • Performing Arts: Select an arts elective from approved course list and/or participate in a significant production experience, such as a role in musical or play, or performing with Upper School Dance Company


    Arts Capstone


    This phase of the independent research and creative exploration requires the student to identify a field of study, complete research, document the creative process, and produce artistic projects appropriate to the arts discipline(s). Final projects might include:
    • A visual arts solo senior exhibition or curatorial project
    • Student direction of an independent performance project or play
    • Playwriting project
    • Research and presentation of art-related subject


    Experiential Learning


    Students must earn a minimum of five experiential learning credits by the end of the first semester of senior year. A maximum of two credits can be applied to the designation from any one experience. All experiences must be approved by an Arts Pathway mentor and documented in the student’s portfolio. Students are encouraged to develop additional experiential opportunities in conjunction with advisors.

    Possible Experiences for 1/2 credit:
    • Lead or actively participate in an arts club or organization
    • Participate in activities such as ceramics or stage club
    • Lead or sponsor a convocation or assembly with an arts focus
    • Participate in arts conference or workshop

    Possible Experiences for 1 credit:
    • Complete your community service requirement (50 hours) with a local arts organization
    • Display leadership in a significant support role for a major production (stage manager, student director, etc.)
    • Experience a summer internship (at least two weeks) with an arts organization
    • Take summer pre-college coursework in arts disciplines

    Possible Experiences for 2 credits:
    • Four-week or longer arts internship

    For more information about the Arts Pathway, contact Michael Robinson, Arts Director at RobinsonM@brynmawrschool.org.
  • Global Pathway

    The Global Pathway supports students who wish to explore world cultures and global issues through coursework and experiential learning opportunities.

    >>Download PDF Overview


    Logistics

    • Students in Pathway select appropriate courses as they build their Upper School academic schedule
    • Students maintain a portfolio that documents and reflects on their globally focused coursework, projects, service, and leadership
    • Students who complete a senior Capstone project in addition to all other Pathway requirements receive a Scholar Designation on their Bryn Mawr transcript


    Program Requirements

    Note: Students participating in the Global Pathway may fulfill requirements via two routes as outlined below: Double Languages or World Perspectives.

    Freshman Year
    • Students complete English, history, math, science and world languages courses. Double language students complete two world language courses and defer either history or science (physics)
    • Students apply for Global Pathway when making course requests for sophomore year [March 2018]

    Sophomore Year
    • Global Pathway students complete English, history, math, science, and world languages course, along with arts elective and World Perspectives course (10th or 11th grade). Students designate one course from approved list for Global Pathways credit
    • Double Language students complete English, history, math, science, and two world languages courses, along with an arts elective (10th or 11th grade). Students designate one course from approved list for Global Pathways credit

    Junior Year
    • Global Pathway students complete English, U.S. History, math, science, and world languages course, and World Perspectives course (10th or 11th grade). Students designate one course from approved list for Global Pathway credit
    • Double language students may complete English, U.S. History (11th or 12th grade), math, science, and two world languages courses. Students designate one course from approved list for Global Pathways credit

    Senior Year
    • Global Pathway students complete fourth year of world languages or fourth year of history or approved globallyfocused humanities course. Double language students complete fourth year of at least one world language


    Global Capstone


    Students will choose a pressing world issue of interest. They will need to demonstrate that they have sought to understand it at the local, national, and international levels and that they are ready to play a role in making a positive impact. Final projects could include:
    • Developing an innovative solution for a pressing issue of local or global significance by inventing a machine, designing a program capable of performing a difficult task, or creating a model or framework to solve the problem
    • A visual presentation that will help the Bryn Mawr community and others understand the problems and our role in effecting change


    Experiential Learning


    Students must earn a minimum of five experiential learning credits by the end of the first semester of senior year. A maximum of two credits can be applied to the designation from any one experience. All experiences must be approved by a Global Pathway mentor and documented in the student’s portfolio. Students are encouraged to develop additional experiential opportunities in conjunction with advisors.

    Possible Experiences for 1/2 credit:
    • Lead or actively participate in a globally-minded club or organization approved by global advisor
    • Bring in a speaker who works with languages/global focus to talk to students during lunch, club or fifth period
    • Host an international student for two weeks
    • Participate in a global conference, workshop, seminar, or videoconference
    • Attend a lecture or exhibit with a global emphasis
    • Serve as a peer mentor for fellow students

    Possible Experiences for 1 credit:
    • Complete your community service requirement (50 hours) with a local, globally-minded organization
    • Participate in a global exchange or school sponsored international trip
    • Experience a summer internship or job of at least 2 weeks with a global organization

    Possible Experiences for 2 credits:
    • Four-week or longer global internship

    For more information about the Global Pathway, contact Jenniffer Gray, World Languages and Cultures Chair, at grayj@brynmawrschool.org, or Kim Riley, History Chair, at rileyk@brynmawrschool.org.
  • STEM/Entrepreneurship

    The STEM/Entrepreneurship Pathway supports students who want to pursue either a STEM focus or an entrepreneurship focus through coursework and experiential learning opportunities.

    >>Download PDF Overview


    Logistics

    • Students in the STEM/Entrepreneurship Pathway should select appropriate courses as they build their Upper School academic schedule.
    • Students maintain a STEM/Entrepreneurship portfolio that documents and reflects on their creative projects, service, and leadership.
    • Students who complete a senior year Capstone project receive a STEM/Entrepreneurship Scholar designation on their Bryn Mawr transcript.


    Program Requirements


    Freshman Year
    • Students complete one mathematics, one science, and one-half computer science credits
    • Students apply for either STEM or Entrepreneurship Pathway along with course requests for sophomore year [March 2018]

    Sophomore Year
    • Students take core schedule of math, science, English, history, world language, and arts elective
    • Select a STEM/Entrepreneurship Pathway related elective from approved course list. Sample approved semester electives include: STEM Research Methods, Entrepreneurship, Robotics, Honors Programming iPhone Apps and Industrial Design

    Junior Year
    • Students take core schedule of math, science, English, history, world language, and public speaking
    • Select a STEM/Entrepreneurship Pathway related elective from approved course list. Sample approved semester electives include above-mentioned courses, plus: AP Computer Science (Year), Honors Engineering our Energy Future and Principles of Engineering

    Senior Year
    • Students take core courses to fulfill Bryn Mawr graduation requirements
    • Select a STEM/Entrepreneurship Pathway-related elective from above-mentioned courses or approved coordinated courses


    STEM/Entrepreneurship Capstone


    Students may opt to complete a STEM/Entrepreneurship Capstone. This phase of independent research requires the student to identify their field of study, complete research, and create prototypes of their work when applicable. Areas of study could include topics ranging from cancer research to new product/service development. In the second semester, students will present their research, product, or service to a public audience.


    Experiential Learning


    Students must earn a minimum of five experiential learning credits by the end of the first semester of senior year. A maximum of two credits can be applied to the designation from any one experience. All experiences must be approved by a STEM/Entrepreneurship Pathway mentor and documented in the student’s portfolio. Students are encouraged to develop additional experiential opportunities in conjunction with advisors.

    Possible Experiences for 1/2 credit:
    • Lead or sponsor a convocation/assembly with a STEM/Entrepreneurship focus
    • Attend three talks/presentations at organizations outside of the Bryn Mawr community related to STEM/ Entrepreneurship
    • Host a STEM/Entrepreneurship expert on campus during lunch or fifth period
    • Participate in a STEM/Entrepreneurship conference, STEM Career Fair, workshop, seminar, or videoconference
    • Lead or actively participate in a STEM/ Entrepreneurship club or organization
    • Participate in a STEM/Entrepreneurshiprelated competition (i.e. robotics, entrepreneurship, 3-D printing, etc.)
    • Serve as a peer mentor for fellow students

    Possible Experiences for 1 credit:
    • Complete your community service requirement (50 hours) with a STEM/ Entrepreneurship-minded organization
    • Work at a summer job with STEM/ Entrepreneurship focus
    • ••Participate in a STEM/Entrepreneurshipfocused international trip
    • Additional options subject to approval

    Possible Experiences for 2 credits:
    • Four-week or longer STEM/Entrepreneurship internship

    For more information about the STEM/Entreprenurship Pathwy, contact Justin Curtis, Technology Director at curtis@brynmawrschool.org or Eric Elton, STEM Director at eltone@brynmawrschool.org
  • Core Pathway

    A historic strength of The Bryn Mawr School, the Core Program is an ideal fit for the student who wants to explore widely and creatively, discovering an eclectic array of opportunities in the sciences, arts and humanities. The Core Program supports each student as she tries out different disciplines, as she reflects broadly and deeply, as she grows emotionally and intellectually, and as she engages in coursework, extracurriculars and experiential learning opportunities. For example, the Core Program student might combine an internship in Marine Biology with an exchange trip to South Africa and a role in a tri-school production. Her opportunities are endless. As a college preparatory school grounded in the classical humanistic tradition, Bryn Mawr’s Core Program reaffirms Bryn Mawr’s longstanding belief that our students will learn to:
    • Read, write, speak and think with sophistication
    • Appreciate nuance, distinguish between the ordinary and the extraordinary, and care about that difference
    • See pattern and beauty in art, dance and music
    • Grasp and perform scientific inquiry to better understand the world
    • Appreciate different cultures and world languages
    • Be able to develop, express and defend an opinion
    • Commit themselves to spirit and sportsmanship through athletics and physical activity
    • Identify and exercise their individual leadership skills

    >>Download PDF Overview


    Logistics

    • Students in Bryn Mawr’s Core Program select appropriate courses as they build their Upper School academic experience.
    • Students document and reflect on their coursework, athletics, projects, service, internships, travel and leadership experiences.
    • Students work toward culminating senior year experiences, including convocation and senior project, and may apply to be an Edith Hamilton Scholar.


    Program Requirements


    Freshman Year
    • Students take core courses of English, History, Math, Science, World Language, Introduction to Computer Science and an Arts elective. Students have the option of choosing to do a double language track starting in ninth grade (and defer either History 9 or Physics)
    • Outside of the classroom, students participate in student clubs, organizations and after-school activities, and begin learning about experiential opportunities such as community service, internships and global trips.

    Sophomore Year
    • Students take core courses of English, History, Math, Science, and World Language (or English, History, Math, Science and two World Languages for double language students; students may also choose to begin double language path in tenth grade). Students take an Arts elective to fill the graduation requirement in one semester and can choose an additional Arts or Computer Science elective, STEM Research Methods or World Perspectives course in the other
    • Students continue to participate in clubs, organizations and activities, and begin to seek out leadership opportunities while also continuing to pursue relevant community service, internship and global trips

    Junior Year
    • Students take core courses of English, History, Math, Science and World Language, with increasing elective options, as well as Public Speaking to prepare for their senior convocation speech. Students may choose to take AP Computer Science and defer U.S. History or Biology, and can choose from a wide variety of semester electives in Art, Computer Science, History, Science or World Languages and Cultures
    • Students begin planning for various senior culminating experiences, including their senior convocation speech and senior project, and may consider applying to be an Edith Hamilton Scholar

    Senior Year
    • Students choose courses from a variety of over 100 different elective choices available at Bryn Mawr, Gilman, and Roland Park Country School, with the option of maintaining a schedule that includes English, History, Math, Science and World Language or choosing more courses in a particular discipline or area of interest to them
    • Students complete their convocation speech and senior project. Interested students may also apply to be Edith Hamilton Scholars: Senior Convocation is a long-standing tradition and graduation requirement at Bryn Mawr. An extension of the 11th grade Public Speaking course, the convocation speech is a 15-minute presentation prepared by each senior and delivered to the Upper School community and invited guests. Although the emphasis should be on speaking, dance, dramatic presentations and musical recitals are acceptable. The Senior Project is a graduation requirement that provides seniors with an opportunity to plan and execute a project independently during the last two weeks of senior year. During the project, seniors are encouraged to explore the working world by pursuing a career or personal interest. Through the Senior Project program, seniors play an active role in their education, get a glimpse of the world beyond school, and operate responsibly within the larger community. Inaugurated in 1999, the Edith Hamilton Scholars Program affords Bryn Mawr seniors an opportunity to pursue a unique course of study of particular interest to them while working with a mentor who has expertise relevant to the subject matter. Application to the program is open to all rising seniors who desire to undertake a rigorous project, for which they receive neither credit nor grade, in addition to their regular academic courses.

    For more information about the Core Pathway, contact Jason George, Academic Dean, at georgej@brynmawrschool.org

Frequently Asked Questions

List of 6 items.

  • Should I choose a Personalized Pathway?

    Personalized Pathways is a completely optional program. Bryn Mawr’s foundational college preparatory program, our Core Program, is a powerful educational experience and allows students a wide variety of academic and experiential opportunities. A Personalized Pathway simply allows students to connect their academic studies with significant experiences beyond the classroom in a more structured way.
  • How do I choose a pathway?

    First, explore, discover and articulate your interests and skills. Talk with your teachers and advisor about areas that you would like to focus on during Upper School.
  • Who will support me as I progress along my pathway?

    Your teachers, pathway directors, and especially your advisors will be your guides along your Personalized Pathway. You’ll also have classmates working alongside you for support, encouragement, and reflection.
  • Is a Capstone project required?

    Students can be on a pathway in 10th, 11th and 12th grade and choose not to undertake a Capstone project. However, completion of a Capstone is necessary to receive a scholar designation on your transcript upon graduation.
  • Will my pathway appear on my Bryn Mawr transcript?

    Yes, your transcript will note your participation in the Personalized Pathway program. You’ll receive a scholar designation on your transcript following successful completion of a Capstone project during senior year.
  • How will this impact my college search process?

    Whether a student participates in an Arts, Global, or STEM/Entrepreneurship Pathway or continues with Bryn Mawr's Core Program, the college search process centers on building and presenting a strong individualized narrative that reflects her true, genuine interests.
Located in Baltimore, Maryland, The Bryn Mawr School is a private all-girls kindergarten, elementary, middle and high school with a coed preschool for ages 2 months through 5 years. Bryn Mawr provides students with exceptional educational opportunities on a beautiful 26-acre campus within the city limits. Inquisitive girls, excellent teaching, strong student-teacher relationships and a clear mission sustain our vibrant school community where girls always come first.