Middle & Upper School
Welcome to the Middle & Upper Schools
As students transition from the Lower School to the Middle and Upper Schools, they are welcomed into a new world of challenging academic instruction. In addition to languages, GIS students receive intensive instruction in math, sciences (physics, chemistry, biology), history and social studies (both European and American), economics, geography, art and music.
The German "Gymnasium" System
In the German system, grades 5 and 6 are seen as an orientation level, and grades 7 through 9 are the middle level. At GIS, we combine these grades into the Middle School. Grades 10 through 12 comprise the Upper School.
At GIS, we follow a challenging, well-rounded bilingual college preparatory curriculum which requires that students study mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, German, English, French or Spanish, geography, European history, American history, ethics/religious studies, art, music and physical education. In the German system, this is known as the Gymnasium track.
This rigorous Gymnasium track is recognized globally for its depth and breadth and is highly regarded for how well it prepares students for admission to the most selective colleges and universities around the world.
A very small percentage of students may be placed in the Realschule or Hauptschule tracks instead of the Gymnasium track. This is a decision made thoughtfully by both the parents and the school based on a thorough consideration of a student's interests and academic abilities. However, students of all three tracks (Gymnasium, Realschule, Hauptschule) remain in the same class studying the same subject matter. Through personalized, in-class differentiation and grading modified for each track, students are challenged according to their abilities.
GIS employs highly qualified faculty from the US, Germany, Switzerland and Austria, 95% of whom hold an advanced degree and are considered highly trained experts in their fields.
Two Diplomas, Limitless Opportunities
Whether students choose to enhance their musical talents at Julliard, dream up a revolutionary solution to the world’s energy challenges at Stanford, or refine their international diplomacy skills at Yale, our outstanding curriculum and extra-curricular activities set them on a path to success.
GIS graduates in the "Gymnasium" track earn both a NY State High School Diploma and the German International Abitur, or DIA. The DIA is an internationally recognized and highly regarded diploma which gives students incredible flexibility to study at colleges and universities around the world.
In addition to top-ranked German-speaking universities in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, in recent years GIS students have been accepted to Yale, Sarah Lawrence, Columbia, Cornell, NYU, Julliard, Stanford, Franklin and Marshall, Oxford (UK), McGill (Canada) and SciencesPo (France), among many others. A complete list of colleges and universities to which GIS students have been accepted is available on our College Advising page.