Academic Requirements

Academic Requirements

  • All students* must take a minimum of 5 graded courses per term in a minimum of three academic departments, even if they have fulfilled graduation requirements. 
  • Health; all 9th and 10th graders enrolled in 5 classes will be required to take Health Seminar I and II respectively.
  • A student in good standing shall be eligible for a Deerfield diploma upon successful completion of course load and applicable subject requirements. Successful completion includes proper attendance and a passing course-end grade.
  • Participation in a cocurricular program each term.

Graduation Requirements

  • A three-term English course is required of 9th, 10th, and 11th graders. One-year 12th graders, PGs, and any NCAA Div I or II hopeful must also take three terms of English. All other 12th graders must take at least 2 terms of English and a third term in either English, History and Social Science, or Philosophy and Religious Studies.  Doubling up in English in any year does not satisfy another year’s requirement.
  • Completion through the third level of mathematics (Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra II)
  • Completion through the third level of one foreign language. (Students for whom English is a second language may request to satisfy this requirement with their native language.)
  • Two courses of history: one of non-U.S. taken in either 9th or 10th grade; and one of U.S. History, usually taken in 11th grade.
  • Two laboratory science courses.
  • Two terms of graded visual or performing arts (three and four-year students only, two 3-term or 2-term pass/fail VPA courses will also fulfill the requirement).
  • One term of philosophy or religious studies (three and four-year students only).

* Entering ninth- and tenth-graders must fulfill all requirements. Students who enter Deerfield as juniors or seniors are expected to fulfill graduation requirements as best they can. The Academic Affairs Office will approve all exceptions. Students who have completed years of high school elsewhere may be eligible for transfer credit in some courses after review by the Academic Affairs Office.

Frequently Asked Questions

Before they enter Deerfield, all new students are required to take a math placement test to determine an appropriate class. Students who have already taken a language they wish to continue studying at Deerfield will take a placement test to determine what level class they should take. If the placement in either department is deemed inappropriate after the student arrives, then the teacher may suggest a change of level. Students may also request such a change if they feel they are misplaced, and should consult with their teacher and their academic advisor before contacting the Dean of Studies.

Students have a variety of opportunities to travel abroad through the Center for Service and Global Citizenship travel programs that run domestic and international trips during school breaks.

Study abroad and term-away opportunities are available to students through approved, partnered-programs. Study abroad is available in 10th through 12th grade, but typically students who choose to go abroad will do so during their junior year. Read more about off-campus study opportunities online here.

Yes. In order to garner Honors distinction a student must have a cumulative term average above 90.0%. High Honors requires an average of 93.0% or above. You can read more about Deerfield’s honor roll online here.

Because of its commitment to high-quality academics, Deerfield offers a wide range of rigorous courses. All of Deerfield’s classes are appropriately challenging, but courses designated as “honors,” “accelerated,” or “AP” provide an extra challenge for ambitious students.

All students are assigned a faculty advisor by late summer before they start school. After their first year, students may choose a new advisor, or continue with their original advisor, depending on the relationships they have developed with Deerfield’s faculty. Advisors are responsible for submitting course requests and writing an advisor report every term. They are available for questions a student may have and are involved in every major academic, co-or extra-curricular decision a student makes while at Deerfield. In addition, faculty eat lunch with their advisees every Thursday and may schedule other meetings for their advisees. Advisors are a key component of the Deerfield experience, as they provide guidance and support to students throughout their time at Deerfield.

Students are permitted to miss a maximum of eight (8) combined class days for Pursuits of Excellence, College Visits or other reasons each academic year (no more than 6 days missed per term). Exceptions to the eight-day limit must be approved through the Academic Affairs Office. Requests must be received at least three (3) days prior to the event. Any student requesting to miss class should make sure they are aware of the 20% Rule policy (found in the Student Handbook under the 20% Rule), and, if their request is approved, students should be sure to inform their teacher(s) of their upcoming absence(s) and arrange to make up missed work. Please click here to read more about our Request to Miss Classes Policy.

Alums and current students can request their Deerfield transcript online via our secure credentialing site, Parchment. More information on how to create a Parchment account and order your transcript can be found online here. If you have questions, please contact the Academic Affairs Office at 413-774-1470 or

Contact Academics
Fax 413-772-1128

Boyden Library
Mon–Fri, 8am–4pm

7 Boyden Lane, PO Box 87
Deerfield, MA 01342