Courses Overview

Courses Overview

Courses begin throughout the year, in three "seasons":

  • Fall (classes beginning September through December)
  • Spring (classes beginning January through April)
  • Summer (classes beginning May through August)

You may wish to join our New and Upcoming Classes Mailing List to be notified when each new season's schedule is available.

All of our courses include weekly live class sessions with an instructor and assistants in our online classroom. These sessions are not simply lectures. They are lively, interactive discussions in which the instructor and the assistants guide students through interesting ideas and challenging problems. Please visit our How Classes Work page to learn more about what makes our school so special.

Types of Courses

Most of our courses cover mathematics. We also offer one-weekend Special Seminars for math contests, a Mathematical Olympiad program (WOOT), and computer science courses. Please read below for more details about each course type.

Math

Our math courses fall into two categories:

  • Subject courses offer a thorough exploration of a particular subject. Each of these courses (with a few exceptions) follows an AoPS textbook. Students receive personalized written feedback to weekly homework assignments. At the Introductory level, these courses are linked to Alcumus, our online adaptive learning system.
  • Contest preparation courses are designed for students preparing for specific math contests, as well as those interested in a broad survey of mathematical topics and problem-solving strategies. These courses cover more topics, but offer less depth, than our subject courses. These courses provide weekly sets of practice problems, but do not use textbooks or provide personalized feedback on individual assignments.

We further designate our subject courses into 3 levels:

Special Seminars

Our Special Seminars are special one-weekend courses designed to prepare students for specific contests. The live classes typically occur on a consecutive Saturday and Sunday for 3 hours each (with a 30 minute break about halfway through). Since these courses are just one weekend long, they do not have "homework," but each Seminar includes a practice contest to help students hone their test-taking skills.

WOOT

Our WOOT (Worldwide Online Olympiad Training) course is an 8-month long program for students studying for the highest levels of high-school math competitions. Classes occur approximiately every 2 weeks, and are supplemented by handouts, Problems-of-the-Day, problem sets, practice tests, and the liveliest message board discussions in our online school. If you are interested in WOOT, please look over the tabs of this page, as well as the Schedule and Syllabus linked at the top-right of that page.

Computer Science (Python)

We offer two computer science courses: Introduction to Python and Intermediate Programming with Python. The computer science courses are structured much like our mathematics courses. Students do not need to purchase any additional software. Each course includes instructions for installing all necessary applications. Our classroom, our message board, and our online homework systems allow students and instructors to post code that can be executed within our website. Try it below by clicking "Run"!

You can also edit any of the code shown by clicking inside the window below. What new things can you create by changing parts of the code, then clicking "Run" again?

  1. import turtle # Allows us to use turtles. Turtles rule.
  2. wn = turtle.Screen() # Creates a playground for turtles
  3. alex = turtle.Turtle() # Create a turtle. His name is Alex.
  4.  
  5. alex.speed(100) # Wanna go fast?
  6. alex.pencolor("green") # Turtles and trees are green.
  7.  
  8. # Variables that define the tree.
  9. # I wonder what happens when we change them?
  10.  
  11. leftAngle = 22
  12. rightAngle = -16
  13. leftLength = 30
  14. rightLength = 35
  15. maxDepth = 5
  16.  
  17. # Go
  18. def go(alex, depth, angle, length):
  19. alex.left(angle) # turn
  20. alex.forward(length) # draw
  21. if (depth < maxDepth): # recurse
  22. go(alex, depth+1, leftAngle, leftLength)
  23. go(alex, depth+1, rightAngle, rightLength)
  24. alex.backward(length) # and go back to
  25. alex.right(angle) # where we started
  26.  
  27. alex.left(90-leftAngle) # trees grow UP!
  28. print("Go, Alex, go!")
  29. go(alex,0,leftAngle,leftLength)



Self-Paced Courses

We currently offer self-paced Prealgebra 1 and are in the process of developing more classes. In these classes, students proceed at their own speed through a series of interactive lessons. These lessons are followed up by readings from the textbook, instructional videos, and challenging homework problems. Our self-paced courses might be a good option for students who have difficulty scheduling around our weekly live class times, or for students who just prefer to work at a faster or slower pace.

Try out a sample lesson by clicking the play button below!



Course Overview FAQs

  • What happens outside of class time?

    Outside of the live classes, students have weekly homework assignments that they can complete on their own time. In some courses, students have reading assignments to complete before the corresponding class session. If students have questions outside of class time, they can post their questions on the dedicated course message board. Learn more about the features of our online classes here.

  • Can my student get help outside of class time?

    Absolutely! Students may use the course message board to ask questions at any time about course material. Our math courses also offer Office Hours from 7:30pm to 8:30pm ET each weekday during which AoPS instructors and assistants provide live support.

  • Who are these courses for?

    We've found that the students who have the most success with our program are motivated students, not necessarily just the students who are the excellent at math already. Since our curriculum emphasizes problem solving, it is a good fit for students who have the motivation to get creative and tackle difficult problems with the various problem solving methods they'll learn.

  • Do I have to be interested in math contests to take these classes?

    Not at all! The problem-solving strategies emphasized in all of our courses benefit students who are interested in math contests and those who are not.

    Some of the problems in each class come from math contests. These problems are included because they are interesting, challenging, and relevant to the week's material.

  • How are the courses better than just reading through the textbooks?

    Our courses give students the opportunity to work with mathematically sophisticated instructors, and students can ask questions at any time. (Of course, students can ask their books a question, too, but it's probably going to be tight-lipped in its answer!) The courses also provide structure, and our subject courses give students experience with and feedback on their mathematical writing.

    Perhaps most importantly, the courses give students the opportunity to work with many outstanding peers!

  • Can I use AoPS as a full math curriculum?

    Yes! Our subject books and courses are a complete curriculum designed specifically for outstanding students. Each offers a thorough explanation of a single subject area, teaching both the key math facts as well as the more general problem-solving strategies needed for success in college and beyond (as well as major math competititions, should the student be interested). Each book chapter includes numerous exercises to practice problem-solving skills and to evaluate student progress. Weekly homework and the textbook serve a similar role for our courses. While some people use our materials as a supplement for less-advanced curricula, a student can use our curriculum as their entire math curriculum.

    The AoPS subject series includes courses that cover a typical high school's 4-year mathematics requirement of 2 years of Algebra and 1 year each of Geometry and Precalculus. You can find more information about how our curriculum matches up with Common Core standards on this page. For student enrichment, AoPS courses cover additional topics and applications omitted by other programs. We also offer a number of courses in discrete math outside of the traditional mathematics sequence for student who wish to supplement their existing curriculum.

    Our Recommendations page highlights our core curriculum, which parallels the standard prealgebra-to-calculus school curriculum, but in much greater depth both in mathematical content and in problem-solving skills.

  • Can I take AoPS courses from outside the USA?

    Yes! We have students from around the world successfully complete our classes.

    If the time zone difference prevents a student from attending the class sessions live, the student can catch up at a more convenient time by reviewing the class transcript, which contains a full record of everything in class. Students can also ask questions about the material at any time on the dedicated class message board. Learn more about the features of our online classes here.

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