Upper School

Curricular Philosophy

In today’s Information Age, critical thinking skills are more essential than ever. St. Stephen’s high school students learn more than facts and figures; they learn to question and reason independently. Our distinguished faculty is diverse and accomplished in a wide range of fields, but it is united in its passion for nurturing the intellectual and cultural growth of all students.


Along with one of the finest private middle and high school faculties in the country, academics at St. Stephen’s are supported by first-rate facilities, including classrooms and computer labs outfitted with the latest technology, state-of-the-art fine arts studios and performance spaces. Recent additions to campus include the 14 classroom Temple Academic Center, Wycliff and Freeman dormitories, Booth Student Center, Dining Hall, Bowen Fine Arts Studios, Dell Pedestrian Green, and the Spartan Fitness and Wellness Center. The new buildings received several architectural awards and have given students beautifully designed spaces to develop their mind, body, and spirit.

Course of Study

While our academic standards are rigorous, our broad course offerings give students an array of opportunities to pursue their interests. From literature to the social sciences and foreign language to science and technology to the visual and performing arts, the learning environment at St. Stephen’s recognizes and supports each student’s unique capabilities.

Sample Course of Study

List of 4 items.

  • Grade 9

    Biology I, English, Health, History, Languages (French, Latin, Spanish or Chinese) and Math
  • Grade 10

    Biology I, Chemistry I, English, Fitness, History, Languages (Spanish, French, Latin or Chinese), Math and Visual Studies (I, II)
  • Grade 11

    Biology (I, II), Chemistry (I, II), English, Fitness Electives, History, Languages (Spanish, French, Latin or Chinese), Math, Physics I and Visual Studies (I, II, III or Advanced; Advanced Art History; Advanced Music Theory)
  • Grade 12

    Advanced Mathematics, Biology II, Chemistry (I or II), English, European History, Fitness Electives, Languages (Spanish, French, Latin or Chinese), Physics (I or II), Social Science (12th-Grade Course), Theology and Visual Studies (II, III or Advanced; Advanced Art History; Advanced Music Theory)

Upper School Fitness

St. Stephen’s believes in the importance of establishing a lifelong pattern of exercise. Fitness credits may be earned through participation in on-campus activities that take place outside of the academic day and may include the following: Junior Varsity or Varsity athletic teams, the Devil’s Canyon Adventure Program, Dance, Theatre Focus, off-season strength and conditioning, Soccer Academy or Tennis Academy, and sports management support with the athletic trainer’s approval or team management with a coach’s approval.

All activities are participation based. Students will not be cut or eliminated from a program due to skill or experience. Credit will be earned based on attendance and participation. Students who enter in 9th grade must earn six fitness credits to successfully meet graduation requirements.

Upper School Athletics Offerings

  • Fall: Cross Country, Cheerleading, Field Hockey, Football and Volleyball

  • Winter: Basketball, Soccer, and Swimming and Diving

  • Spring: Baseball, Crew, Golf, Lacrosse, Tennis, Track and Field, and Rowing

Devil's Canyon Adventure Program

The Devil’s Canyon Adventure Program (DCAP) offers students the opportunity to explore the gorgeous terrain of St. Stephen’s 370-acre campus and the many ecological wonders of the Texas Hill Country in an active, engaging way. Thanks to mild winters and long summers in Central Texas, students can participate in an array of outdoor and adventure education throughout the year. During the fall, students can be found canoeing on several lakes in and around Austin, as well as caving under the direction of St. Stephen’s professional DCAP staff. During the winter, students can learn mountain biking; spring offerings include varsity mountain biking and climbing.

Upper School Service Learning

The Upper School Service Learning Program challenges students to internalize St. Stephen’s mission and the school prayer through education, service and reflection. The annual service requirement is designed to strengthen both the character and worldview of each student by building a foundation of service to others that will extend well beyond a student’s years at St. Stephen’s. The concept of service learning hinges on providing service to those who typically do not have access to those services within a student’s local, national or international community. Developing a broader perspective on issues that affect different populations through earnest civic engagement not only empowers students to make a substantial difference immediately, but also equips them to effect positive change in the longer term.

Students must complete a minimum of 10 hours of service learning per academic year. By year’s end and prior to posted deadlines, students must reflect on the area of societal need the service addresses and respond to questions about their service experiences.

Upper School Graduation Requirements

A minimum of 18 credits is required for graduation. Each credit represents one year of study in a given discipline. The required course load is five full-credit courses per year. A student must earn a passing grade in each to qualify for promotion. Students who enter at the 9th grade will have a total of 20 credits. In addition to academic requirements, students must pass a 9th grade Health course and a 10th-, 11th- and 12th-grade Fitness course for each year of attendance. Although the school offers study-abroad opportunities, the 12th-grade year must be spent at St. Stephen’s. In addition, St. Stephen’s requires 10 hours of service learning for each year of attendance.
  • English: 4 credits

  • Classical or Modern Languages: 3 credits (in the same language)

  • Fine Arts: 1 credit (new 11th or 12th graders need 1/2 credit)

  • History and the Social Sciences: 3 credits (History III is required)

  • Mathematics: 3 credits (through Algebra II and through 11th grade)

  • Science: 3 credits (Biology is required)

  • Theology: 1 credit

  • Fitness: 4 credits

Upper School Daily Schedule

The daily schedule is organized around chapel services, classes, study, meals, athletics, and extracurricular activities. A seven-day, rotating schedule allows ample flexibility and variation and encourages boarding and day school students to learn to make decisions about their use of time.
    • Boarding High School Students in Texas

Address: 6500 St. Stephen's Dr., Austin, TX 78746
Phone: (512) 327-1213