Mater Dei Catholic High School

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Mater Dei Catholic High School             Go Crusaders!

Academy of Science


Our Academy of Science was founded to provide an exemplary science learning experience in two ways.

  • First, the Academy engages students in practical and theoretical science through collaborations and partnerships with the scientific community.
  • Second, the Academy challenges students with a rigorous academic program that encourages all students to achieve at the highest levels of excellence in preparation for college and careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Selected students are placed in an advanced math and science curriculum in their freshman year. These freshmen are introduced to field scientists and their work through visits and partnerships with institutions that include The University of California San Diego’s Physical Sciences Department, The Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, The Kyoto Prize lectures and the Scripps Research Institute. These partnerships include visits to their laboratories, providing mentors for our students from among the doctoral and post-doctoral scientists, and summer internship opportunities in the laboratories and research facilities they represent.


The Program


The Academy of Science is a unique and unparalleled, collaborative education experience in which high achieving students are challenged to expand their intellect, and to develop skills in scientific inquiry, critical thinking, problem solving and communications. The Academy’s academically rigorous learning environment focuses on science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM), while fostering a culture of innovation based on leadership, social justice and serving our global community. The Academy of Science promotes three objectives for our students:


  1. STEAM Fundamentals for College Readiness,
  2. Work-Based learning incorporating STEAM research and innovative experiences with San Diego’s STEAM community professionals, and
  3. Career development and resume building in STEAM.

What is STEAM?

STEAM or (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) is a vibrant movement in Southern California, especially San Diego.  According to UCSD STEAM Connect, STEAM K-12 education not only emphasizes STEM technical skills such as mathematics and computer programming, but is also a curriculum that emphasizes skills such as collaboration, information synthesis, and innovation.  By fusing the arts with STEM, STEAM teaches our students creativity, critical thinking and an optimistic outlook education sparking the interplay between left-brain convergent thinking and right-brain divergent thinking.   In a rapidly changing world, our high school students must become well-rounded citizens who have imagination and technical skills to conquer new challenges in our global economy.  With a STEAM education, future workers are more likely to succeed through innovation and entrepreneurship.


Entrance into Academy of Science as a Sophomore:

  • Must earn a B- or above in math, science & English classes in the students’ Freshman year.
  • Must complete Algebra 1 with a B- or above.
  • Must have a cumulative 3.00 GPA.
  • Did not receive a D or F in the Freshman year.

Students participating in the Academy of Science are strongly encouraged to read the information about the Academy of Science in the Curriculum Guide. Information concerning diploma requirements, grades and the appeal process are detailed.




Sea Bass Video

To participate in the Academy of Science and receive an Academy of Science Diploma, there are two different tracks to follow: Academy of Science and Academy of Science with Honors. The below table explains the requirements for each track.


MDCHS Academy of Science diploma with Honors distinction. MDCHS Cum GPA:  3.75 or above.

MDCHS Academy of Science diploma Cum GPA: 3.0 or above.



4 years of Science with 1 advanced science class.  Minimum grades of B- in all Science classes.

4 years of Science with minimum grades of C+ in all classes. ChemCom not allowed as a class.

3 years of

4 years of Math & English including Pre-Calculus.  Minimum grade of B- in all classes

4 years of English. Complete Pre-Calculus OR 4 years of Math. Minimum grade of C+ in all Math and English classes.

3 years of Math

Academy of Science 1, 2 & 3.  Minimum grade of B- in all

Academy of Science classes.

Academy of Science III required.*

Two years of Academy of Science classes. Minimum grade C+ in Academy of Science classes.



Participate in STEAM internship.  60 hours.

STEAM Internship preferred but not required.



Participate in as many STEAM competitions as possible; builds your resume for college.

Same as Honors.



Field trips for STEAM career exploration when enrolled in Science Academy classes

Same as Honors.




*Grades to determine Academy of Science recognition for graduation ceremonies are determined at the end of the 5th grading period Senior year.

**Students entering Academy of Science as a Junior may earn an Honors Diploma.  This student must complete all Honors requirements AND complete Academy of Science III for one year.