ASFA has a unique mission unlike any other public school in Alabama or most other states. ASFA exists exclusively for students who wish to pursue an extraordinary passion in one of six specialty areas of study. The quality of our advanced specialty curricula is superior and taught at college-level, and the requirements and expectations of our specialty areas are intensive and demanding. In order for us to exist and thrive, we also provide the 4 x 4 academic courses of study as required by the Alabama State Board of Education for an advanced high school diploma. While we are proud of our core academic offerings and their quality*, prospective students and parents must understand that core academics serve a role of supporting our students in making them college-ready while they focus on their intensive specialty area.
* Our core academics are of high quality and thoroughly prepare students for college while exceeding the minimum requirements of a national common core or standards based curriculum, although we do not adhere to a prescribed curricular program. Many of our core courses are taught at advanced, honors levels without carrying standardized labels such as “advanced placement” or “international baccalaureate.” Annually, ASFA students gain acceptance to top tier colleges, universities, arts institutes and professional performance companies and earn more scholarship money than most other students in the state.
Required Core Credits
To graduate from the Alabama School of Fine Arts, all students must satisfy specialty curriculum requirements and complete core academic courses specified by the State of Alabama and ASFA. Those required core credit courses must be completed in grades 9-12 and include the following:
English: 4 credits, 1 each, grades 9-12, 8 semesters
Social Studies: 4 credits, 1 each, grades 9-12, 8 semesters
Mathematics: 4 credits, 1 each, grades 9-12, 8 semesters
Science: 4 credits, 1 each, grades 9-12, 8 semesters
Foreign Language: 2 credits, consecutive in same language, grades 9-12, 4 semesters
Fine Arts: 1.5 credits for math & science students, grades 9-12, 3 semesters
Health & Wellness: 1.5 credits
Computer Applications: 0.5 credits
The school also offers numerous elective courses, subject to student interest, staff availability, the school’s instructional priorities and funding.
Junior High Students
Students in grades 7-8 may earn high school credit by completing Algebra I and then must take Geometry in 9th grade. All junior high students are required to participate in physical education by taking Health & Wellness courses, complete a computer skills course, and have a traditional study hall period.