Senior High Elective Courses

Senior High students at St. Ambrose Academy are encouraged to explore elective studies outside of the core curriculum of English, History, Latin, Math, Religion, and Science. For students whose schedules allow it, wider exposure to more elective topics of interest will be of great benefit to their intellectual and personal formation. 

Introduction to Ancient Philosophy

This course explores the big questions about “life, the universe, and everything” raised by the earliest philosophers from Solomon to the early Greeks and Romans, with special emphasis on Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. Students read short introductions to the personality and thought of 33 early philosophers and discuss their biggest ideas in a conversational setting.

This course is available to Juniors and Seniors.


Students are introduced to a variety of media with an emphasis on fine arts skills. Freshmen and sophomores work on principles of design, form, and space to have a solid foundation for visual expression. Juniors and seniors develop techniques for college art classes and create pieces suitable for a portfolio.


Band electives include individual instrument lessons, group lessons, end-of-semester performances, and other opportunities for playing publicly. Students in these programs also prepare for Solo/Ensemble competitions.


The first semester of this course focuses on acting skills. Students will develop concentration, characterization, physical agility, and creativity through the use of improvisation, pantomime, monologues, and directing. The second semester focuses on bringing great literary texts to life, from Greek tragedy to Shakespeare to modern theater, using the skills built in the first semester. The year will culminate in presenting rehearsed scenes. 


Music courses offer students an opportunity to focus on choral, solo, and ensemble singing. Music theory and the history of music in the Church are also taught. 

Physical Education

The “good, true, and beautiful” can be learned through physical exercise and sport as well as in academic courses. Students are introduced to a variety of games/activities throughout the year which include: volleyball, kickball, capture the flag, dodgeball, bowling, ice skating, pickleball, basketball, floor hockey, soccer, ultimate frisbee, sledding, badminton, and touch football.

Introduction to Rhetoric

This course is for anyone who loves, or wants to learn to love, public speaking.  Our emphasis is on persuasion, and students will learn the art of rhetoric through exposure to Aristotle’s Rhetoric, reading and listening to great speeches, practicing impromptu speeches, and delivering an 8-10 minute persuasive speech at the end of the semester.  This would be a great course for anyone interested in apologetics, law, advertising, marketing, or who just wants to develop self-confidence and improve their writing and public speaking.

This course is available to Juniors and Seniors.