Course Request Guidelines for New Students

9th Graders

Typical 9th Grade Schedule

  • English
  • Health (6th pass/fail course)
  • Math
  • Science
  • Language
  • History or Art and Philosophy and Religious Studies

English

All 9th graders will be automatically enrolled in Voices & Visions of Justice.

Health

All 9th graders will be automatically enrolled in Health as a sixth, pass/fail course that meets once a week.

Math

Course placement will be recommended by the Math Department and depends on results of the math placement test and/or previous performance in math classes.

Science and Computer Science

Generally, 9th graders take Physics (Physics 1 w/Algebra or Physics 1 w/Trig). Level placement will be determined by the department.

Language

Students will select from Arabic, Chinese, French, Latin, or Spanish. For students with experience with their chosen language, course placement will be recommended by the Language Department and depends on results of the language placement test.  Students new to a language will be placed in Level 1.

History and Social Sciences

Students may take history in their 9th or 10th grade year or both years. Students will rank the history and social science options when requesting courses.

Visual and Performing Arts and Philosophy and Religious Studies

Deerfield has a two-term Visual and Performing Arts requirement and a one-term Philosophy and Religious Studies requirement. Because these two requirements can share one slot in a year-long program, we couple them together under the heading “Humanities.” Students should try to complete their Humanities requirements before the end of the 10th grade, and many students choose to fulfill these requirements in the 9th grade year. There are several one- and two-term arts courses from which to choose.  Some arts courses can be taken either as a fifth graded course, or as a sixth course pass/fail. They will labeled with (p/f) in the course title. Students who take a year-long arts course will fulfill their Phil/Rel requirement during another year. In Philosophy and Religious Studies, choose from among our one-term courses.

General Advice for filling out Course Requests

  1. Map out a four-year course program to ensure fulfillment all of Deerfield’s graduation requirements. Try for a gradual increase in the level of difficulty of your course load from 9th grade to 12th grade.
  2. Students must take exactly FIVE graded courses each term, but may include a 6th pass/fail visual or performing arts course.)
  3. When requesting history, prioritize all choices.
  4. Visual and Performing Arts and Philosophy and Religious Studies must have alternates

10th Graders

Typical* 10th Grade Schedule

  • English
  • Health (6th pass/fail course)
  • Math
  • Science
  • Language
  • History or Art and Philosophy and Religious Studies

*Please note that students who have repeated a 10th grade may have a schedule that diverges from the “typical” 10th grade schedule.

 

English

All 10th graders will automatically be enrolled in Defining Literary Traditions.

Health

All 10th graders will automatically be enrolled in Health Seminar as a sixth, pass/fail course during one term. The course meets three days per week.

Math

Course placement will be recommended by the Math Department and depends on results of the math placement test and/or previous performance in math classes.

Science and Computer Science

10th graders generally take Chemistry (Chemistry I or Chemistry Accelerated). Students who have previously taken a year-long high school Chemistry course, generally take Biology or Physics. Level placement will be recommended by the department.

Language

Students will select from Arabic, Chinese, French, Latin, or Spanish. For students with experience in their chosen language, course placement will be recommended by the Language Department and depends on results of the language placement test. Students new to a language will be placed in Level 1.

History and Social Sciences

Students may take history in their 9th or 10th grade year or both. For incoming 10th graders, a 9th grade history course at a previous school may count toward the graduation requirement.

Visual and Performing Arts and Philosophy and Religious Studies

Deerfield has a two-term Visual and Performing Arts requirement and a one-term Philosophy and Religious Studies requirement. Because these two requirements can share one slot in a year-long program, we couple them together under the heading “Humanities.” Students should try to complete their Humanities requirements before the end of the tenth grade. There are several one- and two-term arts courses from which to choose.  Some arts courses can be taken either as a fifth graded course, or as a sixth course pass/fail. They will labeled with (p/f) in the course title. Students who take a year-long arts course will fulfill their Phil/Rel requirement during another year. In Philosophy and Religious Studies, choose from among the one-term courses.

General Advice for filling out Course Requests

  1. Map out a three-year course program to ensure fulfillment of all of Deerfield’s graduation requirements, using our online resources. Try for a gradual increase in the level of difficulty of your course load from 10th grade to 12th grade.
  2. Incoming students receive graduation requirement credit for some of the courses taken at a previous high school.
  3. Students must take exactly FIVE graded courses each term, but may include a sixth, pass-fail visual or performing arts course.
  4. When requesting history, prioritize all four non-U.S. choices.
  5. Health Issues will be automatically assigned as a sixth, pass/fail course for one term. You do not need to do anything.
  6. Visual and Performing Arts and Philosophy and Religious Studies must have alternates.

11th Graders

Typical 11th Grade Schedule

  • English
  • Math
  • US History
  • Science
  • Language or Elective

English

Students will prioritize the 11th grade English options, each of which emphasizes a particular genre, historical context, or unifying theme in American literature.

Math

Course placement will be recommended by the Math Department and depends on results of the math placement test and/or previous performance in math classes.

Science and Computer Science

Students should continue their science sequence, e.g. Physics-Chemistry-Biology or Biology-Chemistry-Physics. The department recommends that students take one year of each core science before returning for a second year in any one. Level placement will be recommended by the department.

Language

Students will select from Arabic, Chinese, French, Latin, or Spanish. For students with experience in their chosen language, course placement will be recommended by the Language Department and depends on results of the language placement test. Students new to a language will be placed into Level 1.

History and Social Sciences

Students have three options for U.S. History: U.S. History; American Studies; or Honors U.S. History. Students who have already taken a full-year U.S. History course that includes a significant research paper experience may be permitted to request one of the 600-level history electives.

Visual and Performing Arts

The entire arts curriculum, including AP courses and other one-term, two-term, and year-long courses, is available. Some arts courses can be taken either as a fifth graded course, or as a sixth course pass/fail. They will be labeled with (p/f) in the course title.

Philosophy and Religious Studies

Generally, two-term courses and one-term courses are available.

General Advice for filling out Course Requests

  1. Map out a two-year course program to ensure that you will fulfill Deerfield’s graduation requirements  as closely as possible and as it fits into the two-year schedule. Incoming students may be given credit for 9th and 10th grade courses taken in a previous high school if they are similar to ones we offer.
  2. Students must take exactly FIVE graded courses each term. (You may choose a 6th pass/fail performing arts course.)
  3. Science, Visual and Performing Arts, and Philosophy and Religious Studies courses must have alternates. Note: Alternate choices do not have to be in the same discipline. 

12th Graders and Post Graduates

Typical 12th Grade Schedule

  • English (required)
  • Math (not required)
  • Elective
  • Elective
  • Elective

English

Students will prioritize courses among the 12th grade English options, including a year-long course, three one-term courses, or two-term courses with a one-term course in English, History, or Philosophy and Religious Studies.

Math

Course placement will be determined by the Math Department and depends on results of the math placement test and/or previous performance in math classes.

Science and Computer Science

Virtually the entire curriculum is available. Level placement will be recommended by the department.

Language

Students will select from Arabic, Chinese, French, Latin, or Spanish. For students with experience in their chosen language, course placement will be recommended by the Language Department and depends on results of the language placement test. Students new to a language will be placed in Level 1.

History and Social Sciences

All 600-level courses are available. All history courses must have alternates selected, but alternate does not have to be a history course.

Visual and Performing Arts

The entire arts curriculum, including AP courses and other one-term, two-term, and year-long courses, is available. Some arts courses can be taken as either a fifth graded course, or as a sixth course pass/fail. They will be labeled with (p/f) in the course title.

Philosophy and Religious Studies

Two-term courses and one-term courses are available.

General Advice:

  1. One-year seniors and post-graduates have one Deerfield diploma requirement:  A FULL YEAR OF ENGLISH.
  2. Students must take exactly FIVE graded courses each term, but  may include a 6th pass/fail performing arts course.
  3. Science, History, Visual and Performing Arts, and Philosophy and Religious Studies courses must have alternates. Note: Alternate choices do not have to be in the same discipline. 

Course Request Guidelines for Returning Students

Students should work with their advisor to map out their course plan for each year and should consider student interest, exposure to different disciplines, graduation requirements, course level the student desires to reach by graduation, workload, wellness, and college matriculation requirements. Advisors should ensure the following when filling out course requests:

  1. All students must take 5 courses each term and at least 3 departments reflected in their schedule.
  2. Returning students may request a 6th pass/fail course in VPA or they may petition to take a 6th graded course in any discipline.
  3. Students should prioritize their requests for each course as required by the form, but please note that ANY of those selections may selected as a part of their schedule.
  4. Alternates should be included where requested in the form. Please try to include as wide a range of alternates as possible.

10th Graders

Typical 10th Grade Schedule

  • English
  • Health (6th pass/fail course)
  • Math
  • Science
  • Language
  • History or Art and Philosophy and Religious Studies

English

All 10th graders will automatically be enrolled in Defining Literary Traditions.

Health

All 10th graders will automatically be enrolled in Health Seminar as a sixth, pass/fail course during one term. The course meets three days per week.

Math

Course placement into the next math level will be recommended by the Math Department.

Science and Computer Science

10th graders generally take Chemistry (Chemistry I or Chemistry Accelerated) if they took Physics 1 w/Algebra or Physics 1 w/Trig in 9th grade. Students who already have credit for a year-long high school chemistry course, generally take Biology or Physics. Level placement will be recommended by the department.

Language

Students will generally move into the next level of language after their 9th grade course unless they have fulfilled the graduation requirement and desire to not continue in language courses. For honors courses, level placement will be recommended by the department.

History and Social Sciences

Students may take history in their 9th or 10th grade year or both. Students who did not take history in 9th grade must take 10th grade history.

Visual and Performing Arts and Philosophy and Religious Studies

Students should complete their Humanities requirements (2 terms of VPA and 1 term of Phil/Rel) before the end of the 10th grade. Often, students who took history in 9th grade, take Visual and Performing Arts and Philosophy and Religious Studies in 10th grade. There are several one- and two-term arts courses from which to choose.  Some arts courses can be taken either as a fifth graded course, or as a sixth course pass/fail or graded if the student petitions successfully. Students who take a year-long arts course will fulfill their Phil/Rel requirement during another year. In Philosophy and Religious Studies, students may choose from among the one-term courses.

11th Graders

Typical 11th Grade Schedule

  • English
  • Math
  • US History
  • Science
  • Language or Elective

English

Students will prioritize the 11th grade English options, each of which emphasizes a particular genre, historical context, or unifying theme in American literature.

Math

Course placement into the next math level will be recommended by the Math Department.

Science and Computer Science

Students should continue their science sequence, e.g. Physics-Chemistry-Biology or Biology-Chemistry-Physics. Computer Science is also an option. The department recommends that students take one year of each core science before returning for a second year in any one. Level placement will be recommended by the department.

Language

Students will generally move into the next level of language after their 10th grade course unless they have fulfilled the graduation requirement and desire to not continue in language courses. For honors courses, level placement will be recommended by the department.

History and Social Sciences

Students have three options for U.S. History: U.S. History; American Studies; or Honors U.S. History. Students who have already taken a full-year U.S. History course that includes a significant research paper experience may be permitted to request one of the 600-level history electives.

Visual and Performing Arts

The entire arts curriculum, including AP courses and other one-term, two-term, and year-long courses, is available. Some arts courses can be taken either as a fifth graded course, or as a sixth course pass/fail. They will be labeled with (p/f) in the course title.

Philosophy and Religious Studies

Generally, two-term courses and one-term courses are available.

12th Graders

Typical 12th Grade Schedule

  • English (required)
  • Math (not required)
  • Elective
  • Elective
  • Elective

English

Students will prioritize courses among the 12th grade English options, including a year-long course, three one-term courses, or two-term courses with a one-term course in English, History, or Philosophy and Religious Studies.

Math

Course placement into the next math level will be recommended by the Math Department. Most students do continue math in 12th grade, but it is not a requirement.

Science and Computer Science

Virtually the entire curriculum is available. Level placement will be recommended by the department.

Language

Students will generally move into the next level of language after their 11th grade course unless they have fulfilled the graduation requirement and desire to not continue in language courses. For honors courses, level placement will be recommended by the department. Students may also choose to request a new language if their graduation requirement is fulfilled.

History and Social Sciences

All 600-level courses are available. All history courses must have alternates selected, but alternate does not have to be a history course.

Visual and Performing Arts

The entire arts curriculum, including AP courses and other one-term, two-term, and year-long courses, is available. Some arts courses can be taken as either a fifth graded course or a sixth course pass/fail. They will be labeled with (p/f) in the course title.

Philosophy and Religious Studies

Two-term courses and one-term courses are available.

 

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

academics@deerfield.edu
413-774-1470
Fax 413-772-1128

Boyden Library
Mon–Fri, 8am–4pm

7 Boyden Lane, PO Box 87
Deerfield, MA 01342