Located at Lake Tahoe, California, Sugar Bowl Academy is a fully accredited college preparatory high school for competitive skiers. It's a world-class ski academy for Alpine, Nordic and Freeride athletes.

You will be expected to adhere to the highest academic performance standards. The minimum number of units required for graduation exceeds the minimum entrance requirements for the University of California system and fulfills the NCAA core curriculum requirements for freshman eligibility. The recommended units reflect what is expected by most selective colleges and universities.

Graduation Requirements

You must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.00 to continue enrollment, and complete your entire senior year to graduate. Only grades earned at the Academy are included in your GPA calculation. All credits earned at other institutions are shown on your transcript. Freshmen and sophomores are expected to take a course load of at least 18 units, and are expected to complete Visual/Performing Arts and Health requirements. Juniors must take at least 15 units. Seniors must take at least 12 units in addition to completing a senior project.

Fall 2017 Schedule

Department Minimum Recommended
English 12 units (4 full years)
Mathematics 9 units (3 full years) 12 units
Science 9 units (3 full years) 12 units
Social Science 9 units (3 full years) 12 units
Foreign Language 9 units (3 full years) 12 units
Visual and Performing Arts 3 units (3 full years) 6 units
Health and Wellness 1 unit (1 trimester)
Senior Project 3 units (1 full year)
Physical Education 3 units for each year enrolled at SBA
Experiential Education 1 unit for each year enrolled at SBA

Advanced Placement (AP)

We'll encourage you to consider participating in Advanced Placement (AP) classes when they are offered and are appropriate. Participation in such classes shows your decision to be challenged by the most rigorous curriculum offered by the school. However, because of the skills necessary, admission to AP classes requires teacher permission and a formal application.

In order to enroll in an AP level course, you must have maintained an average of 90% or higher in the department's previous course (as determined at the time spring trimester progress report grades close) and receive the approval of your previous teacher (often through a formal application process). In the event that you average an 88% or 89% in your previous course and would still like to be considered for AP placement, you must submit in writing a petition to the AP teacher explaining why you should be considered for the course. This piece of writing must be submitted with the AP application.

If you're enrolled in an AP class, you are required to take the appropriate AP Exam in May, and should expect the academic load to be heavier and the grading to be more rigorous than in other courses. AP classes continue beyond the AP Exam date through the end of the school year. Subsequent work focuses on practical application of skills and content learned and is an integral part of your spring trimester grades.


Senior Project

As a prerequisite for graduation, all SBA seniors are required to complete a year-long senior project. The Senior Project program is designed to be the culminating experience of your academic experience at Sugar Bowl Academy and is a unique personal journey in which you'll gain an in-depth understanding of a particular subject area. You'll be required to write a 10-20 page research paper, present for 20-30 minutes before the entire school and document your experience through a portfolio. You may choose to create a product as a natural extension of your inquiry. You'll learn the skills of annotating a bibliography, outlining, sourcing and citing research, interviewing, surveying, working with mentors and more.

Past projects have covered a wide variety of topics, including:

  • White Supremacy in the United States — What key events throughout US History have created the existence of white supremacy and how are the repercussions seen today?
  • Strength Training for Cross Country Skiers — How does the manipulation of nutrition, exercises and periodization of a strength program help an endurance athlete perform physiologically at his or her best?
  • Entrepreneurship of Hard Goods — How can one capitalize on the different facets of entrepreneurship to start a successful hard goods business?
  • International Service Organizations — How can international service organizations support altruistic practices that result in sustainable community development?
  • The Supreme Court, Democracy, and Citizens United — How has the Supreme Court, through the Citizens United v. The Federal Election Commission decision, changed the political landscape of America, affected voters' opinions and set a standard of precedent in future elections?
  • Hip Hop and Social Justice — How can Hip Hop embrace themes of past Black music to effectively promote social change in the current era of legal discrimination?

Quick Facts

Average class size: 10

Largest class size: 20

Smallest class size: 3

"Sugar Bowl offered me numerous AP classes and great preparation for the AP exam, all while never missing a powder day."

— SBA Alumnus