Advanced Pingree Educational Experiences (APEX)

Advanced Pingree Educational Experiences are pinnacle courses that empower students to feed their intellectual curiosity, generate new ideas by combining creative and critical thinking, and expand their learning across academic disciplines. 

In these advanced-level courses, students synthesize skills from foundational coursework and use them to create original, self-driven, research-based projects. Central to the APEX program is Pingree’s mission-driven commitment to the community. Bridging scholarship and citizenship, students’ projects offer innovative solutions to preeminent social justice issues. As active participants in the development of each other’s work, students collaborate and provide peer feedback to facilitate thorough, thoughtful revision and community-centered learning.

At their core, APEX classes invite students to make new meaning of their cumulative studies at Pingree through innovation, collaboration, and community-minded scholarship—the cornerstones of a Pingree education.

"True rigor is more than the depth of coverage and mastery; it requires students to apply knowledge in new and novel ways. We view the most advanced courses as those that expect original thinking and invite students to make connections across disciplines."

Kristin Brown, Associate Head of School


Pillars of APEX Courses
All Advanced Pingree Educational Experiences include the following guiding pillars

Meaningful rigor and thinkload
APEX classes require students to synthesize the skills they learned in foundational courses, using them to design original research projects.

Complex student-driven research
resulting in independent and original work

Students will be expected to embrace curiosity, conducting complex research on a topic of their choice. They’ll also learn to provide and implement feedback by engaging in collaborative peer review. 

Connection between scholarship and civic engagement
Students in APEX classes will pursue purpose-driven work with real-world applications, as they use research to devise solutions to world justice issues. 

Integrated studies approach to teaching and learning
APEX courses include connections to more than one academic discipline.



Frequently Asked Questions



Beginning in the 2023–2024 school year, each academic department will offer at least one APEX or transitional APEX/AP hybrid course. Hybrid APEX/AP courses, open to students from the Class of 2024 as AP Courses and to the Class of 2025 as APEX courses, will meet the curricular requirements of the AP program while also adhering to the principles of APEX coursework. 

For next year, some of the APEX course offerings will include:

  • APEX Pingree Music Ensemble
  • APEX/AP Calculus
  • APEX/AP Environmental Science
  • APEX American Cultural Studies
  • APEX/AP Chemistry
  • APEX/AP Spanish

A full list of APEX, APEX/AP hybrid, and AP courses (open to Class of 2024 students only) for the 2023–2024 school year will be available in the spring course catalog.

Eligibility and Enrollment Process

All APEX courses have required prerequisite classes that teach students the foundational skills necessary for success in each course. Due to these foundational requirements, APEX courses will typically be open to juniors and/or seniors, beginning with the Class of 2025. Considering the advanced nature of these courses, students will continue to have a course limit. At any time, students may enroll in a maximum of three APEX courses and four total APEX/honors courses.

Enrollment in APEX courses will be determined based on a combination of an application, addressing students’ interest and prior experiences related to the course, and the recommendation of their prior and/or current teachers. Students considering applying for an APEX course are encouraged to meet with their current or former teacher in that subject area to solicit feedback on areas of strength and areas for improvement.

In addition to our excitement for next year’s APEX courses, we look forward to expanding our APEX offerings in the 2024–2025 school year when we have fully transcended APs.