Upper School


Since 1893, we have empowered young women to discover and employ their unique talents as leaders and global citizens. Supported by a liberal arts and STEM foundation, Ursuline’s curriculum provides the most relevant, effective, and proven teaching practices, which spark passion and encourage collaboration. We strive to provide all students with engaging experiences, both in and outside the classroom, guiding their educational journey in pursuit of collegiate success.

Infused with the spirit of St. Angela Merici, our motto is Serviam, meaning “I will serve.” Students learn to adapt, empathize, and serve with resilience. We are committed to helping young women grow spiritually in a faith-based community. This community includes over 100 Ursuline schools around the globe, many of whom we partner with in such capacities as class projects, sports competitions, and travel and exchange experiences.  

At Ursuline, every young woman is embraced into the lifelong bonds of sisterhood. Our students often remark how they feel a deep level of trust, knowing that they can always count on their sisters to support them without fail. As we look forward to welcoming a new freshmen class next school year, we know from the first time they step foot on our campus they will be warmly received by over 200 sisters. This strong sisterhood, one that unifies and includes every student, is what makes Ursuline so special.

Every student is provided with opportunities and support to find their unique voice. Through a dynamic curriculum that weaves leadership, innovation, discovery, and rigor into daily life, our students become confident young women. In addition to a traditionally rigorous curriculum rooted in essential content, their experiences in service, global education, athletics, and clubs build leaders who will make an everlasting mark on the world. Ursuline graduates are known for being accomplished and innovative. Our alumnae have saved lives in war zones, founded life-changing judicial courts for those in need, led presidential campaigns, competed in the Olympics, and received Emmy Awards and Golden Globes nominations. Some have even advanced technology companies into global prominence.

Along their journey to become a true Ursuline girl, we have cultivated a unique curriculum vision founded on Serviam, global citizenship, leadership, wellness, community-building, and academic pursuits across all STEM, liberal arts, and artistic arenas.


Serviam – meaning “I will serve” – is the core of Ursuline Academy’s mission and is inspired by the spirit of our founder, St. Angela Merici. Serviam projects teach students to recognize needs and ultimately become changemakers in the world. Each year, they support over 50 nonprofit organizations, such as the Ronald McDonald House Charities and Special Olympics, through fundraising and charitable efforts.

Global Education & Ursuline Education Network

Essential to being a leader is understanding and respecting other cultures. Through a network of over 100 Ursuline schools worldwide, students have the unique opportunity to meet and learn from our sister schools and global partnerships.

This rich international exchange program invites students to connect on virtual projects, communicate in various formats with Ursuline students from across the world, serve as a host family for visiting students, and represent Ursuline as a delegate on domestic or international exchange trips. Most recently, students visited Australia, Italy, Ecuador, Germany, and France and hosted students from Peru, South Africa, Brazil, and France.

Ursuline offers a Global Scholars Program for students who show a particular interest in global studies. Students earn this distinction through course study and service hours related to global issues, as well as literacy projects that include reflections on the student’s experiences. Colleges and universities recognize this distinction as a significant selection criterion in the admissions process.

Freshmen Transition Series

We understand that the transition to high school is a process rather than just a day of activities; therefore, we created a unique program to support freshmen as they seek to become their best selves. Leadership of this series is a collaboration between the Counseling Department and the Dean of Academics throughout the first semester of freshmen year. The students are guided through elements of social-emotional development, relationship building, and the cultivation of academic skills that strengthen success in all areas of study.

AP Capstone Diploma

AP Capstone consists of two mandatory courses, AP Seminar and AP Research. Students learn to think critically and creatively to construct meaning and gain understanding, design and conduct a study or investigation, propose solutions to real-world problems, plan and produce communication in various forms, collaborate to solve a problem, and make cross-curricular connections.


As an early adopter of the entrepreneurial mindset, Ursuline has equipped students with critical problem-solving skills and the insight to identify opportunities to create, improve, disrupt, and transform business and societal systems. The dual-enrollment three-credit curriculum, EntreX, is offered via the McConnell Youth Initiative and the University of Delaware’s Horn Program in Entrepreneurship. Most recently, Ursuline has expanded its design thinking footprint with the 1893 IDEA Studio launch in January 2024.


All sophomores are immersed in the importance of soft skills through our robust Leadership curriculum. Students are challenged to develop their personal brand that syncs with their unique talents and values and pursue and present their leadership initiative. This program has produced many new ventures that the students continue to foster throughout their high school career. Additionally, students now have the option of 1 college credit in Leadership via the University of Delaware under LeadX.

Fine Arts

Ursuline’s commitment to the arts spreads the breadth of visual and performing opportunities. Our visual arts program promotes visual awareness and imaginative expression in non-verbal media. Students are exposed to traditional and contemporary techniques and concepts from Western and non-Western sources. Drawing is emphasized as a “thinking” tool to develop sophisticated observational skills. The critically essential elements and principles of art are integrated throughout all the courses. These courses cover but are not limited to, painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, ceramics, and digital art.

If students prefer an audience, our performing arts experiences encompass various theater and music study aspects. From the staged plays and musicals to the lively performances of the chorus and ensembles, excellence is held out to students as a goal, and then the process of reaching that excellence is taught. One of the strengths of Ursuline’s performing arts program lies in the notion that anyone can perform. Students take a risk each year, commit themselves to disciplined study, and enjoy the fun and camaraderie that results from working towards a shared vision.

Course Offerings

The breadth of course offerings at Ursuline Academy is impressively large, given the size of the school. Students have access to over 20 AP courses starting as early as freshman year. During the Junior and Senior years, there is a wide range of electives, specifically in the Science and Social Studies Departments. As they focus on core requirements during freshmen and sophomore years, students then can tailor their course load in the upperclassmen years based on personal interests and pursuits.

SUP Community

There is a unique bond connecting Salesianum, Ursuline, and Padua students who share the commonality of Catholic values, empowering education, community engagements, and a call to serve.  Students have the opportunity to partner with these fellow students in a wide range of activities such as Marching Band and Wind Ensemble taught at Sallies, performing arts productions at all three schools, and service initiatives that unite.  Student Council members join forces to make a greater impact, exemplified with annual fundraiser participations in the Unlocke The Light basketball tournament and a Flag Football tournament to support SalsTHON.  Freshmen also have a unique opportunity to meet students from all three schools during events specifically focused on the transition to high school, and building a network of healthy friendships, including the SUP Freshmen Workshop series launching in Fall 2023.

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