An on-campus interview is an important part of the application process. All candidates who live within a 350-mile radius of Deerfield are required to interview on-campus by February 1. If you are unable to visit campus before February, you can schedule a Skype or phone interview with an Admission Associate or interview with a Regional Admission Representative in your area. Find more information about how to schedule interviews.
Deerfield offers a need-based financial aid program that includes full-need grants, which cover 98% or more of tuition costs and other fees, and middle-income grants, which vary in size. More information about the financial aid application process is available on our website. If you have specific questions regarding your financial aid application please contact the Financial Aid office.
Prospective students should take one of the following standardized tests suggested for your year of candidacy:
9th or 10th Grade: SSAT or ISEE
11th Grade: SSAT, ISEE, or PSAT
12th Grade and Post-Graduate: PSAT, SAT, or ACT
International Candidates: TOEFL and/or SSAT or SAT*
*International candidates: Please note that international students applying for 9th, 10th, and 11th grades are welcome to take both the SSAT and the TOEFL if they so desire. International students applying for 12th grade or the post-graduate year are invited to take the SAT in addition to the TOEFL.
A variety of time-honored traditions distinguish the Deerfield experience. They are at once revered, respected, and influenced by the student body. Students fully embrace the historic aspects of these traditions, while making them wholly their own, contributing their knowledge, insight, and spirit to improve upon a base of more than 200 years. Several of Deerfield’s central traditions are described below, but many others–the Deerfield Boy and Girl, long-running school dances, Spring Day, and senior-faculty soirees to name just a few–also contribute to the vibrancy of the school.
Each fall the Head of School brings the freshmen up to the Rock, where they can look out across Deerfield’s buildings and fields. Students return many times throughout their years at Deerfield, and a trip to the Rock is often one of the last activities of graduating seniors. Current students share the experience of climbing to the Rock with generations of Deerfield alumni, who made the same trek many years before. The view has changed remarkably since then, but the experience remains the same.
Seven times a week the entire campus community gathers in the Dining Hall for a family-style meal. Nine students and one faculty member eat at each round table, which creates the opportunity for deeper connections between members of the community. After dinner every Sunday night, the entire student body joins together for one of Deerfield’s most cherished traditions, the singing of the Evensong.
One of the most popular campus events every year is Choate Day,when Deerfield’s athletic teams compete against their chief rival, Choate Rosemary Hall. The night before, Deerfield’s cheerleaders lead a pep rally, and students gather for a bonfire on the lower level. Nearly every athletic event draws a healthy crowd of Deerfield student and alumni fans who, with the help of the cheerleaders, cheer on Deerfield’s teams with cries of “Go Big Green!” and “V-I-C-T-O-R-Y!”
Since the school’s founding, Deerfield students have been required to dress with professionalism for classes. Though it can be daunting at first, most students find that they become accustomed to–and even enjoy–the ritual of dressing up for class.
Every Wednesday morning the entire student body and faculty crowd into the Large Auditorium for school meeting. Students sit by class, and each meeting begins with class cheers, followed by the singing of one of Deerfield’s songs. The contents of each meeting vary, but usually include pertinent announcements, student performances, and featured speakers. Students are invited and encouraged to contribute to the meeting with announcements and presentations. Gathering as a community where everyone can have his or her voice heard contributes to the cohesiveness and warmth of the community.
Deerfield has no mascot, but it does have symbols, and the three most important are the Door, the Seal, and the Deerfield colors.
Located on the front of the John Williams Dormitory, the Deerfield Door is the primary symbol of the Academy. Its architectural design represents part of the Pocumtuck Valley’s heritage as well as the Academy’s historical tradition.
The Academy Seal is a more formal symbol, which includes a detailed image of the Deerfield Door, the phrase “Founded 1797,” and the school’s motto: “Be Worthy of Your Heritage.” A bronze version of the seal can be found on the floor of the main entrance to the Athletic Center; a long-standing Deerfield tradition holds that it is bad luck to step on the seal.
Perhaps the most prevalent symbols of Deerfield are the school colors—green and white. At games, the cheer “Go Big Green!” is constantly heard, and loyal Deerfield students and alumni are said to “bleed green.”
Our Head of School
Margarita O’Byrne Curtis was appointed Deerfield’s 55th Head of School in July of 2006. Dr. Curtis graduated from Tulane University and earned her doctorate in Romance Languages and Literature from Harvard University. Before becoming a faculty member at Phillips Academy Andover, she taught at Harvard and won, for four consecutive years, the Certificate of Distinction in Teaching from the Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning.
Dr. Curtis believes that Deerfield, because of its traditions, close-knit community, and dedicated faculty, is uniquely positioned to provide a superior education, building character, along with a commitment to educational excellence. She engages the skills and talents of devoted and caring faculty and staff as she collaboratively develops a bold vision that will carry Deerfield into its third century.
The Early Years
On March 1, 1797, Governor Samuel Adams signed a bill granting a charter for the founding of an academy in Deerfield. The school’s trustees pledged the Academy to “the instruction of youth, and the promotion of piety, religion, and morality.”
The arrival of Frank L. Boyden in 1902 marked the beginning of the second significant phase of the Academy’s history. Thousands of Deerfield graduates fondly remember Mr. Boyden not only as the driving force of the Academy, but also as the major figure of their developmental years.
“The test of worth of any school… is the record of service of her alumni.”
— Frank L. Boyden
In 1968, after 66 years of leadership, Mr. Boyden retired as headmaster. He was succeeded by David M. Pynchon. Mr. Pynchon greatly expanded and strengthened the curriculum and faculty. He continued his predecessor’s efforts to solidify the Academy’s economic support.
Following the Boyden Legacy
Mr. Pynchon left Deerfield in May 1980, and Robert E. Kaufmann was appointed headmaster. Mr. Kaufmann, who had taught under Mr. Boyden in the 1960s, oversaw Deerfield’s transition from an all-boys school to a coeducational institution, and he also completed a major building and renovation program. Mr. Kaufmann retired as headmaster in 1994.
Eric Widmer, a graduate of Deerfield’s Class of 1957, was appointed headmaster in July of 1994. During his 12 years of leadership, Mr. Widmer strengthened the Academy’s commitment to financial aid, initiated exciting international learning opportunities, and enhanced the physical environment for both living and learning by introducing state-of-the-art technology throughout the campus. Mr. Widmer retired in June of 2006 to serve as the founding Headmaster of King’s Academy in Madaba, Jordan.