GAD Curriculum


The U.S. Academic Decathlon® is excited to announce that the overall curricular theme for 2021–2022 will be Water: A Most Essential Resource. Following is some general information on the topics in each of the subject areas. Please visit to purchase curriculum materials.


  • SCIENCE: The science topic will be an introduction to marine biology.
  • LITERATURE: The literature curriculum will include critical reading, one long work of literature, and selected shorter works. The long work of literature will be The Sea-Wolf  by Jack London.
  • Art: The art curriculum will explore the impact of water on art, including subtopics such as ink wash painting, watercolor, water as a subject of art, and the use of water in architecture, sculpture, and environmental art.
  • Music: The music curriculum will explore the many ways water has influenced music, from musical instruments that rely on water to compositions inspired by water.
  • Social Science: The social science topic will be the impact of water on human history.
  • Economics: The economics curriculum will cover fundamental economic concepts, microeconomics, and macroeconomics and will include a thematic section on the economics of water.
  • Mathematics: The mathematics curriculum will cover permutations and combinations, algebra, and statistics.*

The full subject area outlines have been posted on the U.S. Academic Decathlon website (on May 1) and are also published in the U.S. Academic Decathlon Study Guide, which began shipping on May 15.

* The 2021–22 mathematics curriculum and materials are the same as were used for the 2018–19 U.S. Academic Decathlon.

Essential Information for Coaches

This section’s title is a link which will direct you to the USAD website for valuable information about the program.

Calculator Policy

This section’s title is a link which will direct you to the USAD website for the most current Calculator Policy.

Curriculum Updates/Corrections

For a current list of curriculum updates, visit the curriculum section of the USAD website.

Scroll down to the bottom of the page, click on “Student Resources” and click on “Curriculum Updates.”

(You may be required to log in to view this information. Please contact USAD if you need login information.)

Practice Test Information

For information on ordering Practice Test materials, go to the USAD website Scroll down to the bottom and click on “Materials Brochure.” Here you will find all of the different materials that are available from USAD, how much they cost, and how to order them.

Reminder: Curriculum, Practice Tests and other study materials are ordered directly from USAD and not through GAD.