Academic Courses » Science Courses

Science Courses

Image of Science Course Pathways for Class of 2022 and beyond

The Science Courses offered at Del Mar include:

Physics of the Universe (formerly Physics)  
Grade 9; A-G Requirement - Phys Science; UC/CSU Designation - Lab Science(d), Elective(g)  
This is a laboratory science course recommended for all college preparatory students. Physics presents the basic laws and relationships governing physical phenomena, particularly the transformation and interactions of matter and energy. Topics include mechanics, heat, light, sound, electricity, magnetism, atomic and nuclear physics.
Prerequisite: N/A

Chemistry in the Earth System (formerly Chemistry)  
Grade 10; A-G Requirement - Phys Science; UC/CSU Designation - Lab Science(d), Elective(g)  
In this course, students study the substances that make up our world, and the changes that take place to those substances as they react and combine with each other. Topics include atomic and molecular structure, chemical formulas, bonding, and periodic law, properties of matter, gas laws, thermochemistry, acid-base concept, equilibrium, chemical bonding, oxidation/reduction, electrochemistry, stoichiometry, and introduction to organic chemistry. Chemistry in the Earth system fulfills the college lab science entrance requirement if taken in the tenth grade or beyond. Students selecting this course must have a strong foundation in algebra and English.
Prerequisite: N/A
The Living Earth (formerly Biology)  
Grade 11 & 12; A-G Requirement - Bio Science; UC/CSU Designation - Lab Science(d), Elective(g)  
Living Earth is a lab course designed to help students understand the nature of life and life processes. The main topics include nature and processes of science, ecology, cellular biology, classification of life, evolution, chemistry of life, reproduction and development, heredity, behavior, anatomy, and physiology of plants and animals. Emphasis is placed on critical thinking and problem solving.
Prerequisite: N/A

Forensic Science  
Grade 11 or 12; A-G Requirement - Science; UC/CSU Designation - Elective (g)  
This one-year introductory elective science course will allow students to apply the many disciplines of scientific study such as biology, anatomy, chemistry, physics, and earth science to solving crimes. The course covers concepts such as finger printing, handwriting analysis, ballistics, blood typing, hair and fiber examination, and DNA analysis. This course is lab based and therefore students engage in scientific methods to collect and manipulate data, making informed decisions using critical-thinking, and scientific problem solving.
Prerequisite: N/A
IB Biology HL +
Grade 11 & 12; A-G Requirement - Bio Science; UC/CSU Designation - Lab Science (d)
This is a two-year course that is designed to be the equivalent of a two-semester college introductory biology course. The goals of IB Biology HL are to help students develop a conceptual framework for modern biology and an appreciation of science as a process. Students will learn about biology in an internationally relevant context. Through hands-on experiences, students will develop the skills of a scientist.
A student’s IB score for this course is based on three external assessments and one internal assessment. The external assessments are written exams comprised of multiple-choice and free-response questions; these tests are taken at the end of the second year. The internal assessment requires each student to design their own experiment related to biology concepts and report their results and conclusions in a report similar to a paper published in a scientific journal.
+ UC/CSU Honors (Weighted) - Year 2


Prerequisite: Proficiency in Chemistry or Chemistry Honors with Teacher Recommendation.


IB Environmental Systems & Society SL  
Grade 11-12; A-G Requirement - Inter-Disciplinary Science; UC/CSU Designation - Lab Science (d)  
This is a one-year course that gives students an understanding of the relationship between the environment and society. The goal of the course is to allow students to learn about the wide range of environmental issues affecting Earth. This course will explore the scientific, ethical and political aspects of environmental issues. The course covers concepts such as human population and Earth’s resources, Earth’s carrying capacity (how much life can Earth support), conservation of wild life and natural ecosystems, pollution management, climate change, environmental values and cultures, and sustainability. This course is both lab-based and field-based, students will collect data inside and outside to make informed decisions to propose solutions to problems related to the environment. UC/CSU Weighted.

Prerequisite: Students must have completed and demonstrated proficiency in the two years of science (one year of Biology and one year of Chemistry or Physics,) required under the ‘D’ category of the A-G college eligibility requirements.

IB Sports, Exercise and Health Science (SEHS) SL  
Grade 11-12; A-G Requirement - Elective; UC/CSU Designation - n/a  
This is a one-year experimental science course that combines academic study with the acquisition of practical and investigative skills. It is an applied science course within group 4, with aspects of biological and physical science being studied in the specific context of sports, exercise and health. The subject matter goes beyond the traditional science subjects to offer a deeper understanding of the issues related to sports, exercise and health in the 21st century. Apart from being worthy of study in its own right, SEHS is a good preparation for courses in higher or further education related to sports fitness and health, and serves as useful preparation for employment in sports and leisure industries.

Prerequisite: N/A

* For more specific course details, please refer to the 2022-23 CUHSD Course Catalog. Should you require additional information, please speak with your teacher or your Guidance Counselor.