Archbishop Riordan High School is committed to 21st Century Learning with a host of challenging innovations and a call to embracing Common Core standards, exploring alternative instruction and assessment, and rising above expectations of typical high schools across the nation. Our dedicated, knowledgeable, and compassionate faculty and our cutting-edge 1:1 iPad/ program meet our students where they are while remaining closer than ever to our Marianist heritage: education for adaptation and change while remaining grounded in faith, service, and family spirit.

At Riordan’s core is a rigorous and challenging curriculum which blends a classic liberal education with the skills and knowledge needed to navigate contemporary times. Students are trained to think critically, express themselves clearly, and identify overlapping themes among disciplines. Each course identifies the essential questions of each field, emphasizing an inquiry-based approach to subjects, and is designed to hone the elemental academic skills in each student. Students take a hands-on, active approach to their education so that they can apply what they learn to real-life situations.

A Riordan student’s academic course load will not merely fulfill University of California and California State University requirements, it will exceed them, allowing more time for additional electives. Students also have the option to take university-level courses at City College of San Francisco, located directly across the street from Riordan’s Campus.

AP Program
Archbishop Riordan offers 14 Advanced Placement courses to qualified students in the sophomore, junior and senior years. In addition to offering more challenging and faster-paced curriculum, these courses culminate in May of each school year with the AP exam, which if completed successfully, confer advanced standing and actual credit toward a baccalaureate degree at over 1,500 colleges and universities.

The following Advanced Placement courses are offered:
AP Calculus AB
AP Calculus BC
AP Chemistry
AP Chinese
AP Economics
AP English Literature and Composition
AP English Language
AP Environmental Science
AP Physics C
AP Spanish Language
AP Statistics
AP U.S. Government & Politics
AP U.S. History
AP World History

2018-19 Course Offerings
Download the 2018-19 Course Offerings here.

View a List of Sample Courses

Digital Arts

Digital Video Art
Digital Media
Advanced Multimedia Communications
Computer Programming


Introduction to Literature and Composition
Introduction to Literature and Composition Honors
World Literature/Composition
World Literature/Composition Honors
American Literature/Composition
AP English Language and Composition
Senior Literature and Composition
AP English Literature and Composition


Algebra IA
Algebra IB
Algebra I
Modern Geometry
Algebra II
Algebra II/Trigonometry
Math Analysis
AP Calculus AB
AP Calculus BC
AP Statistics

Modern Languages

Mandarin I
Mandarin II
Mandarin III
Mandarin IV
AP Chinese Language and Culture*
Spanish I
Spanish II
Spanish III
Spanish IV
AP Spanish Language
*Offered in Fall 2017

Physical Education

Physical Education 9
Athletic P.E.

Religious Studies

Marianist Education & Sacraments/Hebrew Scriptures
(Formerly Hebrew Scriptures / Intro to Marianist Education)

Scripture/Church 2K
(Formerly Scriptures & Sacraments)

Life Issues: Ethics/Social Ethics
(Formerly Life Issues)

World Religions of the East/West
(Formerly World Religions / Christian Lifestyles)

Catholic History


Conceptual Physics
Anatomy & Physiology
AP Environmental Science
AP Chemistry
AP Physics C: Mechanics

Social Science

Early World History
Human Geography and Ethnic Studies
AP European History Modern World History
AP World History United States History
AP United States History Economics
AP Economics, Macro and Micro
U.S. Government
AP U.S. Government and Politics

Visual and Performing Arts

Instrumental Music Ensemble
Intermediate Band
Concert Band
Jazz Band
Introduction to Acting
Art I and II
Art III and IV
Art V – Portfolio Development
Technical Theatre/Stagecraft

Non A-G Electives

Frosh Skills
Graphic Design I
Web Design

Enrichment Courses

Auto Shop
BBQ Cooking
College Applications and College Life
Graphic Design and Laser Printing
Film Appreciation and Analysis
3D Fab Lab
SAT Math Prep
Weight Lifting

Sample enrichment course offerings for the 2019-20 school year.




Block Schedule
Archbishop Riordan utilizes an A/B “modified block” schedule. The school year is split into two terms, Fall and Spring (five credits each), with students taking 6-8 year-long courses. Each class lasts 80 minutes, thus providing sufficient time for students and teachers to delve more deeply and actively into topics and activities. This emphasis on depth promotes greater understanding of skills, concepts, and ideas than the traditional fifty-minute period allows. Additionally, Riordan teachers encourage active participation of students in their own learning.

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