Career Pathways

Our curricular pathways empower students to self-direct their learning by making course choices to fit their areas of interest and career goals. Each pathway is designed around a broad area of focus:

(Pathways have been designed based on student survey data over the past decade regarding students’ interests and career aspirations.)

Electives are designed to support career-readiness and teach specific skills needed. Juniors and Seniors benefit from individualized offerings like internships, virtual mentors or online classes.

Discover Career Pathways in our Course Catalog » PDF Document

Students are asked to select a pathway by the end of their freshman year, but anyone can change pathways as interests change. The pathways are designed to make sure that students are getting their required credits for graduation no matter which pathway they choose. They appeal to many different types of students, and we have created new classes specifically for these pathways that strengthen their relationship to the themes.

Community Support

In addition to the pathways, Ferndale High School has entered into new relationships and strengthened existing relationships with outside organizations that provide area high school students with non-traditional courses of study, including the Oakland Technical Campus and Oakland Community College, expanding our facilities and teaching resources for every student.

Ferndale Orchestra students perform with professional musicians.

Visual & Performing Arts Pathway

Is your passion for music, dance, theater, or visual arts? Our award-winning Ferndale music department is home to accomplished music teachers who are musicians in their own right. Our visual arts electives offer a wide variety of courses for experimenting across mediums and building a foundational understanding of artistic practice. Ferndale’s dance and theater programs allow our students to showcase their exceptional talents in physical performance. This pathway is for students looking to learn to communicate the human experience through forms of expression that go beyond the limits of language.

Current Arts Electives

  • Theater I
  • Introduction to Dance
  • Theatrical Dance 1
  • Theatrical Dance 2


  • Wind Ensemble
  • Symphony Band
  • Symphony Orchestra
  • Concert Orchestra


  • Bel Canto Choir
  • Concert Choir​

Impi Robotics students are STEM superstars

STEM Pathway

Do you want to solve the problems of yesterday, today and tomorrow? STEM refers to studying four different models of understanding – science, technology, engineering and mathematics – and learning how they relate through real-world applications. This interdisciplinary approach encourages a functional understanding of the sciences to prepare you for exciting, innovating careers in growing industries like computer engineering, computer science, & robotics as well as traditional fields like medical science and engineering. The STEM pathway prepares students to build the future and make it run.

Current STEM Electives

  • Environmental Science
  • Intro to Forensic Science
  • Intro to Programming 1-Coding
  • Intro to Programming 2-Mobile Computer Science Principles
  • Intro to Mass Media (Broadcast Arts)
  • Physics 1
  • Physics 2
  • Introduction to Health Sciences
  • Introduction to College Biology
  • Introduction to Engineering Design (Project Lead The Way)

Our student entrepreneurs excel at DECA competitions.

Entrepreneurship Pathway

Do you want to work for yourself? Our business and leadership courses will increase your capacity to develop, organize and manage a business in a competitive global marketplace. The Entrepreneurship Pathway will provide you with the knowledge and experience necessary to take smart risks and excel.

Entrepreneurship Electives

  • Business Management 1
  • Business Management 2
  • Computer Applications
  • Marketing
  • Sales
  • Hospitality

Humanities Pathway

Do you want to change society? Studying the great thinkers and change-makers of history will teach you how people are impacted by each other what it means to be human in complex social organizations. You can gain insight into the human experience, both unique and universal, through the study of literature, philosophy, history, and psychology. Through investigations of how humans interact with each other and how societies evolve, you can prepare yourself for a career in politics, law, education, and behavioral sciences. The Humanities Pathway offers insights into how social structures influence us and opportunities to improve them.

Current Electives

Social Studies

  • Detroit History
  • AP Microeconomics
  • AP Government
  • AP U.S. History
  • AP World History
  • Practical Law *NEW*

English Language Arts (ELA)

  • Speech *NEW*
  • Creative Writing *NEW*

Upcoming Electives

  • Journalism (Yearbook and Newspaper) - Fall 2018
  • Women in Literature - Fall 2019
  • African American Literature - Fall 2019