More to Explore @ Upper School

Academic Research Program

Celebration of Research 1

All students take tests. At Liggett, our students take a four-year journey of discovery that invites them to engage more fully with their world. The Academic Research Program starts with a student’s passion and culminates in three semesters of intense investigation that leads to new questions and ultimately lean into a distinct area of study. These projects take our students from the head of the class to the forefront of innovative thinking, their projects often having reach and impact outside our own school.

Since its inception in 2013, projects have included looking at models of renewable energy for the city of Detroit; examining treatments for multiple sclerosis; investigating how “buy local” marketing campaigns can impact urban neighborhoods; researching the factors that would determine the success of the fledgling National Women’s Soccer League; exploring race-related factors that affect breast cancer rates in the United States; looking at how the black market for ivory in China affects elephant poaching in Africa and the potential for harvested rainwater to charge cell phones. They’ve even taken place on the Broadway stage!

The Celebration of Research caps off the project for seniors as they showcase their work and reach the end of their University Liggett School academic journey.

Explore The Academic Research Program

Course Selection 


We offer guidance through the course selection and scheduling process to help students create the best balance of courses and extracurricular activities. For younger students, exploration of broad themes and essential questions build the foundation for later studies. We ask our older students to consider a concentration, an area of strong interest that they can use as a platform for in-depth study.

Students have the opportunity to pursue their passions with challenging electives like Forensics and Biotechnology, World War I, History of Math, Science Fiction and Popular Imagination, Literary Topics in Spanish and Digital Imaging: Photography Publications. The complete catalog of Upper School Course Descriptions

College Guidance that helps Students Find a Purpose and Place in the world

University Liggett School’s comprehensive and personalized college guidance program provides unmatched attention to each student’s needs and interests. Our goal is to provide each student and his or her family with the assistance they need to successfully complete the college planning, application, and admissions processes...and proceed to an exciting academic career at a college or university that gives them an opportunity to accomplish amazing things.

With one counselor for every 35 students, our staff spends focused time building one-on-one relationships, stimulating our students’ curiosities and helping them identify what life beyond Liggett has in store for them.


  • Provide support and guidance to families
  • Know each student well so that we can advocate based on individual strengths
  • Compose personal and detailed recommendations
  • Track each student’s interests and applications
  • Give insights on admissions, testing, financial aid, etc.
  • Conduct college application workshops for students and parents.
  • College athletics support


  • More than 90% of our seniors are offered admission to their top choice university, including many of the finest institutions in the world.
  • The Class of 2021 received more than $3M in Merit Scholarships 
  • Average 8.44 completed applications per student
  • 17 students attending University of Michigan
  • Matriculated to 36 different colleges/universities, including the US Naval Academy and three HBCUs 



Student Immersion

10th grade DC

Whether it’s a trip across the globe or the chance to explore Detroit immigrant communities through food, our Upper School students learn by experiencing the topics they are exploring.

From a three-day retreat at Camp Tamarack or excursions for our language students extending across oceans when they travel abroad to live the cultures they’ve learned about, the doors to the world are thrown wide open, literally. Closer to home,”History Through the Lens of Detroit,” takes students on monthly visits to local sites as part of a nationally recognized educational program.

As the school’s sophomore class departs for its weeklong trip to Washington D.C., our freshman, junior and senior classes engage in Immersion Week. Immersion Week offers students a full week of finding something that fascinates them, yet another way we keep students’ natural curiosity and real world experiences at the center of our educational programming.

This unique learning experience has put students in equestrian stables and hospital operating rooms, in French pastry kitchens and film critiquing circles, at sewing machines and on curling sheets, to name just a few. In all, students chose from 17 different courses that explored life skills, French desserts, Chinese cooking, garden design, food preservation, sewing, the medical profession, the power of a Yelp review, genres of books and film, the sports of curling and rock climbing, sociology and issues related to education equity, reimagining clothing on a budget, horse care and riding, and 3D modeling of the ULS campus.

Clubs, Co-Curriculars & Athletics


One of the tenants of The Liggett Approach is: Student interests and passions are cultivated and encouraged. Choice is a pathway to engagement. This is why our vast array of clubs are all completely student-initiated and run; they range from fishing and pickleball to community service, leadership to arts and crafts, pep, and esports to 4A, WAC and Spectrum. Co-curricular opportunities entail athletic teams, the fall play, spring musical, robotics team, ethics bowl, and sports managers. We have something for everyone.