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 visual or performing arts (three and four-year students only).
  • 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.

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 section teacher may suggest a change of level. Students may also request such a change and should consult with their teacher and their academic advisor before contacting the Dean of Studies, Lydia Hemphill.

Study abroad is available to all students from their sophomore to senior years, although typically students who choose to go abroad will do so during their junior year.

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. Exemplary students with a grade point average of 92.0 or higher may qualify for admission to the Cum Laude Society, a national honor society. 

Because of its commitment to rigorous academics, Deerfield offers a wide range of accelerated and Advanced Placement courses. All of Deerfield’s classes are appropriately challenging, but AP and accelerated courses provide an extra challenge for ambitious students.

All students are assigned a faculty advisor at the beginning of their time at Deerfield. After their first year students may choose a new advisor, or continue with their original one, 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 any questions a student may have and are involved in every major academic or athletic decision a student makes while at Deerfield. In addition, faculty eat lunch with their advisees every Thursday and may schedule outside events for their advisees. Advisors are a key component of the Deerfield experience, as they provide guidance and friendship to students throughout their time at Deerfield.

The Pursuit of Excellence Policy states that students may miss up to five class days a year if an unusual and extraordinary opportunity arises, including opportunities in a variety of academic, athletic, and artistic fields. The Academic Affairs Office determines the legitimacy of pursuit of excellence requests on a case-by-case basis.

Contact Academics
Fax 413-772-1128

Boyden Library
Mon–Fri, 8am–4pm

7 Boyden Lane, PO Box 87
Deerfield, MA 01342