The overall curricular focus of the Marine Academy of Science and Technology (MAST) is marine science, environmental science and biology. However, inherent within that viewpoint is an instructional framework that is constructed around the interdisciplinary relationships that exist among Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). The curriculum, which includes Honors, Advanced Placement (AP) and Dual Enrollment (DE) courses, is relevant, rigorous and accelerated. The program is designed around a 2+2+2 matriculation design whereby students move seamlessly from high school into university life and affords them the opportunity to complete the requirements for a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in six rather than eight years.
Courses that are designated as Honors follow the curriculum prescribed by the Florida Department of Education. Credit is awarded on the basis of academic grades and an End of Course examination in specific disciplines. Courses that are designated as AP and DE are eligible for college credit and are provided at no cost to students. AP courses are available to eligible students in all grades and subject areas and are taught by high school faculty. AP course content is prescribed by the College Board and final examinations are required in every course. AP examinations are graded on a scale of 1-5 with 5 being the highest score possible. College credit is generally awarded for scores of 4 or 5. Students must also earn a grade of “C” or better to earn high school credit for an AP course. DE courses are available to eligible students in all grades and are taught by university faculty at FIU. Courses are offered on a semester basis and credit is generally awarded on the basis of student performance on a midterm and final examination.
All courses are interdisciplinary in nature and require extensive reading and writing. A comprehensive and fluent understanding of language arts, mathematics, science and social studies concepts are critical to student success within the prescribed program of studies and the matriculation towards college coursework. The availability of an eight period master course schedule affords students the opportunity to complete most of their required high school coursework in two years. Students are required to successfully complete prescribed research and virtual education courses during the first two years of enrollment during which time students select a specific STEM program of study. Students in grades eleven and twelve may select from a variety of AP and DE courses that focus on each student’s program of study. University-based research and internship opportunities are available to students in twelfth grade and further refine each student’s career interest area.