High School Academic Program

Page Index

Preparation for Universities Worldwide

Dalat International School provides a North American–based education, preparing students for entry into colleges and universities around the world. At the completion of four years of study and 24 units of credit, students receive the American high school diploma. The curriculum and instruction provide a broad basis in general education and a strong preparation for university systems worldwide; however, possession of a high school diploma does not guarantee admission to a post-secondary institution.

Students planning to pursue post-secondary education outside of North America should consult country- and university-specific entrance requirements. Families should do so in the beginning of grade 9, planning for necessary courses from the beginning of high school. If a student requires courses not offered by Dalat, the family is encouraged to consult with the school’s e-Learning coordinator.

Transfer credits from internet education, correspondence, and homeschool courses may be considered for transfer credit and grade (and included in the Dalat transcript) if received through an accredited institution. Please meet with the high school counselor for more details. Courses taken for enrichment through other institutions after enrollment at Dalat are not included on Dalat transcripts.

In preparation for post-secondary admission, students need to plan for taking standardized exams such as the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), American College Test (ACT), Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), and Advanced Placement (AP) exams in the appropriate areas required by colleges or universities. In addition to the high school diploma and standardized tests, students need to research other requirements set forth by the college of their choice (e.g., grade-point average, preparatory courses).

To do so, students should confer with internet sites, resource materials available in the guidance office, and the specific country’s ministry of education, university entrance board, or foreign education center.


Please note the minimum requirements to receive a Dalat high school diploma. Also included are recommendations based on many accredited colleges and universities.

Although graduation requirements may be completed by the end of grade 11, grade 12 students are expected to pursue a full load of classes for enrichment in grade 12 and may only request one study hall unless three or more AP classes are taken. In that case, grade 12 students are eligible to have a second study hall.

Subject AreaHigh School Dalat DiplomaUniversity/College Entrance Recommendations**
English4.0 credits4 credits
Mathematics5.0 credits total (2 math, 3 science or 3 math, 2 science)3 to 4 credits
Science 3 to 4 credits
Social Studies2.5 credits
(must include Media Literacy)
3 to 4 credits
Bible0.5 credits each semester of enrollment at DalatNot applicable
Fine and Applied Arts1.0 credit1 credit
Fitness I0.5 credit0.5 credit
Fitness II0.5 credit0.5 credit
Additional Credits*6.5 creditsLanguage may require 2 to 4 credits (for those who do not speak a second language)
* Additional credits beyond the specified graduation credits.
** It is a student’s responsibility to check universities/colleges regarding their specific entrance requirements.

Additional Requirements

Additional requirements for graduation include the following:

  • All students must complete 10 hours of community service for each year of enrollment.
  • All students must pass the Media Literacy class.
  • University/college-bound students who do not speak a second language are strongly encouraged to take two years of a foreign language.

Courses may not be offered if there is insufficient demand.

Classes & Grades

  • Class of 2026 Grade 9 Freshman
  • Class of 2025  Grade 10 Sophomore
  • Class of 2024  Grade 11 Junior
  • Class of 2023  Grade 12 Senior

Course Credit

The American system of education uses Carnegie units. A Carnegie unit is a measure of time in which a student studies a subject during the course of a school year. A set number of credits are required in specific subject areas in grades 9 through 12 to fulfill requirements for graduation and the American high school diploma. Students transferring from non-English speaking schools, or systems that do not use the credit system, will receive credit accordingly. One unit of credit is given for successful completion of a course that is normally scheduled for a 45-minute class period which meets five times a week for the duration of a 36-week school year. Credit is awarded for the satisfactory completion of courses on the following basis:
  • Full-year courses which meet 5 periods per week receive 1.0 credit.
  • Semester courses which meet 5 periods per week receive 0.5 credit.
  • A course must be taken in its entirety for credit to be awarded.

University-Bound Students

The graduation criteria listed is the MINIMUM requirements for graduation. Some colleges or universities require additional credits beyond our Dalat graduation requirements that may include:
  • Modern language 2–4 credits
  • Mathematics 4 credits
  • Science 4 credits

Advanced Placement (AP) Courses

Advanced Placement (AP) level courses are designed to give high school students the chance to study a subject at the level of an introductory university course. The courses are available to qualified, motivated students in grades 10–12. Students who wish to earn college credit must register and successfully pass the AP examination administered in May. Depending on the exam score and the AP policy at the selected university, students may be eligible for university credit for that course and/or advanced placement into a higher-level university course. Certain countries use the AP exam score as a primary academic qualification for admission to university rather than for the purpose of advanced placement.

Some American universities award credit for qualifying AP exam grades, meaning that students earn points towards their university degree and may be exempted from taking one of the “general education requirement” classes that are often taken during the first year of a liberal arts degree. Other universities award advanced placement, meaning that when the students are in university, they can skip the introductory courses, enter higher-level classes, and/or fulfill general education requirements.

University credit or placement can allow a student to move into upper-level courses sooner, pursue a double major or a combined bachelor’s/master’s degree program, gain time to study and travel abroad, and complete his/her undergraduate degree in fewer than four years.

Colleges and universities give credit or placement only for qualifying AP exam grades (generally a score of 4 or 5), not AP course grades. Without a corresponding AP exam grade, the university cannot verify that the AP courses a student has taken are true university-level courses.

Registration for AP courses requires a commitment to academic achievement, an understanding and acceptance of the time and amount of work the course involves, teacher and principal recommendation, a requirement to take the AP exam of the class at the end of the year in May, and meeting the established course prerequisites as outlined below.

Students taking AP courses in grade 10 are allowed to take one AP course with teacher recommendation and two AP courses with both teacher and Guidance approval. To offset the rigor of taking two AP courses, students are allowed and recommended to take one study hall, which lasts all year and for which no credit is given. An online AP class for grade 10 students is only allowed with Guidance approval, as online classes are only available to grade 11 and 12 students.

Students in grade 11 and 12 may take two AP courses with no required study hall, and may take three AP courses with only one required study hall. The study hall must last all year and does not receive credit. Students taking three AP courses are recommended to take two study halls. If a student is taking three AP courses in the first semester and then changes to two study halls in the second semester, they must keep the year-long study hall. This condition may occur if the student takes AP courses that are only one semester in length. Students taking an online AP course are recommended, but not required, to take a study hall to offset the added challenges of online learning. As two online AP courses are allowed per semester, a maximum of two study halls can be taken each semester to offset the rigor of the courses.

Generally speaking, students are able to fit six AP courses into their high school schedule from grade 10-12, with a maximum of 8 courses allowed. The only way for students to take more than the allowed maximum number of AP courses in a year or overall is through Student Services Team approval.

Students wishing to attend school in the UK or Europe may need to plan for a minimum of 3 to 4 AP courses that are commensurate with the program of study that they wish to pursue with a 4 or 5 as their exam score. Contacting the faculty within the school they wish to attend or referencing their website is essential to ensure they meet requisite courses and/or admissions tariff scores.

The following AP courses are taught on campus. Other AP courses are available through Dalat’s Online Learning program.

AP Biology
Biology, Chemistry, and teacher approval
AP Calculus ABFinal grade of B or higher in Pre-Calculus, and teacher approval
AP Calculus BCFinal grade of A or higher in Pre-Calculus, and teacher approval
AP ChemistryChemistry and teacher approval
AP Chinese Language and CultureMandarin III or appropriate score on Mandarin Placement Test and teacher approval
AP Comparative Government and PoliticsPattern of A’s in Social Studies and English, and teacher approval
AP Computer Science AAP Computer Science AAlgebra 1 and any HS-level programming course.
AP Computer Science PrinciplesAlgebra 1 and teacher approval
AP English Language and CompositionPattern of  high achievement  in HS English, and teacher approval
AP English Literature and CompositionPattern of  high achievement  in HS English, and teacher approval
AP MicroeconomicsTeacher approval
AP Music TheoryMusic Theory & teacher approval
AP Physics IAlgebra II, Conceptual Physics, and teacher approval
AP Statistics10th grade or higher, final grade of B or higher in Algebra 1, and teacher approval
AP DrawingMaster Studio, and teacher approval
AP 2-D Art and DesignMaster Studio, and teacher approval
AP 3-D Art and DesignMaster Studio, and teacher approval
AP World HistoryPattern of A’s in Social Studies and English, and
teacher approval

Online Learning

Through participation in Virtual High School (VHS), NorthStar, and SevenStar, as well as other organizations, students acquire the skills needed to succeed in an increasingly technological world. Online learning helps students master course content, as well as develop communication, collaboration, and creative problem-solving skills, and enhances Dalat’s course offerings.

This year Dalat students will have over 200 courses to choose from. Students can go online at the VHS website, vhslearning.org, the SevenStar website, and the NorthStar website, to view the complete catalog of courses. Students interested in taking an online course must request approval from the guidance office and the Online Learning coordinator. If a student takes a course from a secular online provider, there will be an additional requirement to complete a Biblical Worldview assignment in order to receive credit for the course.


Prerequisite: Application form available in the guidance office; approval from the guidance department and the high school principal.

For details of the Online Learning policies please see the Dalat Student & Parent Handbook.

Dalat International School Dual Enrollment Program (DDEP)

To view more information on our DDEP Program for 2021-2022, along with Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) – please visit the link below.

Subject Area Notes

English / Language Arts

The high school language arts program develops high-level skills in vocabulary, grammar, punctuation, oral communication, textual analysis, critical thinking, argument, research, and written expression, all of which provide excellent preparation for college.

Students read a wide range of literature that spans history, nations, and genres as well as engaging in self-selected reading. Advanced courses offer gifted students the opportunity to engage in specialized study through the Honors and Advanced Placement (AP) classes.

Junior class students who take AP English or pass the CLEP test, an optional test of college-readiness, are given additional course options for their senior year, including Journalism, Advanced Writing, and Capstone.

Courses by Department

English 991.0English 8
Honors English 991.0Pattern of A’s in MS English, and teacher approval; summer reading.
English 10101.0English 9 or Honors English 9
Honors English 10101.0Pattern of A’s in HS English, and teacher approval; summer reading.
English 11111.0English 10 or Honors English 10
European Literature
120.5English 11 or AP Language and Composition
South American Literature120.5English 11 or AP Language and Composition
African Literature
120.5English 11 or AP Language and Composition
Asian Literature
120.5English 11 or AP Language and Composition
AP English Language & Composition
111.0Pattern of A’s in HS English, and teacher approval; summer reading.
English 12 Capstone 120.5Students must demonstrate advanced skills in English through CLEP or AP testing.
English 12 Advanced Composition 120.5Students must demonstrate advanced skills in English through CLEP or AP testing.
English 12 Journalism121.0Students must demonstrate advanced skills in English through CLEP or AP testing.
AP English Literature & Composition
121.0Pattern of A’s in HS English, and teacher approval; summer reading.


The science program at the high school level prepares students for further studies at the university level by giving them a well-rounded hands-on laboratory-based curriculum. University-bound students should take a minimum of three science classes. Non-university bound students who take only two science courses will be guided to take physics for the full year in ninth grade and then the first half of chemistry and the first half of biology in subsequent years. This will give them exposure to all of the different sciences.

The order of the science classes is slightly unusual for a U.S. curriculum. It is taught with physics preceding chemistry and chemistry preceding biology as this is a more natural progression of the content and will allow for a more seamless flow between the disciplines. Courses are taught at an age-appropriate level, taking account of the student’s math abilities.

Students taking the minimum 3 Science / 2 Math credit combination and bound for college in the USA will be required to take at least Conceptual Physics, Chemistry, and Biology. Students preparing for college outside the USA not needing Biology will need to submit a letter of appeal to the HS counselor indicating they accept responsibility for replacing Biology (an expected Science class for USA college preparation) with an alternate third science class.

Courses by Department

Conceptual Physics
91.0Corequisite: Algebra 1
101.0Algebra 1
Biology111.01 semester of Chemistry
Forensic Science
Human Anatomy and Physiology
11-121.0Corequisite: 1 semester of Biology and 1 semester of Chemistry
Sports Medicine I
11-120.5Corequisite: 1 semester of Biology
Sports Medicine II
11-120.5Sports Medicine I
AP Biology
11-121.0Chemistry and Biology, and teacher approval.
AP Chemistry
11-121.0Algebra II and Chemistry, and teacher approval.
AP Physics I
11-121.0Algebra 2 and Physics or Conceptual Physics, and teacher approval.

Social Studies / History

All ninth grade students are required to take Modern World History.

U.S. passport holders in 10th grade are required to take U.S. History and Government unless approved for and taking AP World History: Modern in 10th grade. In that case they are required to take U.S. History and Government in 11th grade. All other 10th grade students are required to either enroll in the U.S. History and Government class or AP World History or Asian Studies.

Courses by Department

Modern World History
AP World History: Modern
10-121.0Pattern of A’s in both Social Studies and English, and teacher approval.
Asian Studies10-121.0None
U.S. History & Government (open to all, required for U.S. citizens)
Media Literacy
AP Comparative Government and Politics11-120.5Pattern of A’s in Social Studies and English, and teacher approval.
AP Microeconomics11-120.5Teacher approval.


The high school Bible program gives students a wide-ranging and deep understanding of the Christian worldview. The courses are both academically rigorous and spiritually formative. During the first two years, students are introduced to both the stories and major themes of the Bible. As juniors, they take a sustained look at the intellectual case that can be made for the Christian faith from the perspective of many different disciplines. In the final year, students take a deep dive into spiritual disciplines and consider the interface between Christian belief and contemporary culture

Bible classes and chapel meetings: The parent and student agree for the student to participate in and attend Bible classes and the chapel services in accordance with the attendance policy.

Dalat is an international school that teaches from a biblical worldview.

Courses by Department

Old Testament
New Testament
Foundations of Faith 10101.0None
Apologetics 11
Christ and Culture 12
Spiritual Disciplines 12


The mathematics program at the high school level prepares students for further studies at the university level with the AP options. University-bound students should take a minimum of three math classes. Students bound for math/science-related fields should aim for completing AP Calculus. Non-university bound students must take Algebra I and Geometry. Three credits are required in science if only two credits are taken in mathematics.

There are two options for reaching AP Calculus by Grade 12. The first opportunity for advancing an extra year is in middle school, when a student may qualify to take Pre-Algebra in seventh grade, thereby advancing a year. An Algebra I grade earned in middle school becomes the student’s high school grade if they do not retake Algebra I in high school. A middle school student must have teacher approval to enroll in Geometry as a ninth grade student. Otherwise, the student must retake Algebra I in Grade 9.

The next opportunity for advancing an extra year is after Algebra I, when Geometry and Algebra II can be taken concurrently. To qualify for this option, a student must be at least a 10th grader, a final grade of A in Algebra I each semester and obtain teacher approval. Statistics and AP Statistics can be taken concurrently with any mathematics class beginning in Grade 10 and after completion of the Algebra I class.

Courses by Department

Algebra I8-91.0Pre-Algebra or appropriate score on Math Placement Test.
9-101.0Algebra I or appropriate score on Math Placement Test. Recommend B or higher in Algebra 1 for eighth graders.
Algebra II10-121.0Algebra I or appropriate score on Math Placement Test
10-120.5Algebra I
Advanced Algebra10-120.5Algebra I, Algebra II
11-121.0Final grade of B or higher in Algebra II each semester, or teacher approval, or appropriate score on Math Placement Test.
AP Statistics
10-121.0Final grade of B or higher in Algebra I each semester, at least in 10th grade, and teacher approval.
AP Calculus AB
11-121.0Final grade of B or higher in Pre-Calculus each semester, and teacher approval.
AP Calculus BC
11-121.0Final grade of A in Pre-Calculus each semester, and teacher approval.

Fine & Applied Arts

The high school Concert Band and Concert Choir usually participate in music festivals outside of Penang each year. These tours involve travel to other cities, usually outside Malaysia during the first semester, and may take 3–5 days to complete and include a weekend.

The fine and applied arts program recognizes that we are made in the image of a creative God and share in His creativity. It is the calling of the departmental teachers to lay a biblical foundation for students so they can begin their own pursuit of praising God with their creativity. Through participation in the fine and applied arts, students develop an appreciation for the arts, a sense of confidence and pride in themselves, and a profound means for worshiping God and sharing His wonder.

The visual arts program at Dalat includes a four-year progression of three foundational classes (Foundation Art, Advanced Art, and Master Studio) leading up to the AP Studio Art course of choice. Students who wish to complete a Fast Track to AP Art option in three years will take Foundation Art, Advanced Art, and meet teacher approval for an accelerated entry into the AP program. Criteria for this includes:

  1. displayed mastery in Foundation and Advanced Art classes,
  2. indicate interest during Advanced Art by submitting the required application, and
  3. complete 10 AP-quality breadth pieces by the beginning of the AP Art year and have a pattern of timely work submission.

AP Studio Art courses are highly recommended for students interested in graphic arts, advertising, industrial design, and architecture courses in university.

Courses by Department

Concert Band
9-121.0One year experience or teacher approval.
Concert Choir
Music Theory9-120.5None
AP Music Theory
10-121.0Teacher approval.
Speech & Forensics
Theatre Arts I
Theatre Arts II
10-120.5Theatre Arts I
Theatre Arts III – Performance & Production
11-120.5Theatre Arts I, Theatre Arts II, and teacher approval.
Technical Theatre I
Technical Theatre II
9-120.5Technical Theatre I and teacher approval.
Graphic Design
Video Editing
Industrial Arts
Journalism10-121.0English 9 or Honors English 9
Foundation Art
Advanced Art
10-121.0Foundation Art
Master Studio
11-121.0Advanced Art
AP 2D Art and Design11-121.0Master Studio or Fast Track to AP Art Option, and teacher approval.
AP 3D Art and Design11-121.0Master Studio or Fast Track to AP Art Option, and teacher approval.
AP Drawing11-121.0Master Studio or Fast Track to AP Art Option, and teacher approval.

Modern Languages

An entrance exam is required for original entry to a world language beyond Level I.

Dalat does not require either proof of language proficiency nor two years of study for graduation. However, many universities either have this requirement in place or strongly encourage it. Families are encouraged to do research and planning about the expectations at their target schools as they make modern language study decisions.

Because we are in Malaysia, students with a Mandarin Chinese language background can qualify to take the AP Exam without the class, based on the result of a Mandarin placement test offered in September (January for second semester transfer students).

Spanish III students are encouraged to take the CLEP test, as it can earn them university credits.

Courses by Department

Bahasa Melayu I
Bahasa Melayu II
9-121.0Bahasa Melayu I or teacher approval.
Bahasa Melayu III / IV (online)9-121.0Bahasa Melayu II or teacher approval.
Mandarin I
Mandarin II
9-120.5Mandarin I or appropriate score on Mandarin Placement Test and teacher approval.
Mandarin III
9-120.5Mandarin II or appropriate score on Mandarin Placement Test and teacher approval.
AP Chinese Language & Culture
10-120.5Mandarin III or appropriate score on Mandarin Placement Test and teacher approval.
Spanish I
Spanish II
9-120.5Spanish I or teacher approval.
Spanish III
9-120.5Spanish II or teacher approval.

Fitness / Health

Courses by Department

Fitness I9-120.5None
Fitness II9-120.5Fitness I
Advanced Fitness
10-120.5Fitness I and Fitness II

Additional Credits

Courses by Department

Home Economics
Physical Education
Robotics I
Robotics II
9-120.5Robotics I
Computer Science Programming
AP Computer Science Principles10-111.0Algebra I and teacher approval
AP Computer Science A11-121.0Algebra I and any HS-level programming course, and teacher approval (e.g. Computer Science or AP Computer Science Principles )
Video Editing
Graphic Design
Leadership Development121.0Leadership Development is for seniors only, and interested students need to complete a short application process. There is limited space in this class, and only students who desire to grow as disciples of Christ and take part in leading campus ministries will be considered.
IMPACT Trip9-120.5Approval of Impact Trip Application
Online Courses

11-12VariousDalat offers a wide range of elective classes through various online providers.