COURSE REQUEST GUIDELINES

9th Graders

English

All 9th graders will be automatically enrolled in Voice & Vision.

Health

All 9th graders will be automatically enrolled in Health as a year-long, sixth, pass/fail course. The course will meet one day per week.

Math

You do not need to request a mathematics course. 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

Generally, 9th graders take Physics or Physics IA. Where necessary, the Science and Computer Science Department Chair will review your record to determine the appropriate level.

Language

Indicate the language you intend to study on your Course Request Form. If you have not studied this language previously, you will be enrolled in level 1 and do not need to take a placement test. Placement above level 1 depends on results of the language placement test.

History and Social Sciences

If you want to take history, you have four choices. Please rank all four of these choices.

Visual/Performing Arts and Philosophy/Religion

Deerfield has a two-term Visual/Performing Arts requirement and a one-term Philosophy/Religion requirement. Because these two requirements can share one slot in a year-long program, we couple them together under the heading “Humanities.” Students should complete their Humanities requirements before the end of the tenth 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. Read the course catalog and pay close attention to the terms in which these courses are offered. 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. In Philosophy/Religion, choose from among our one-term courses.

General Advice

  1. Map out your four-year course program to ensure that you will fulfill all of Deerfield’s graduation requirements. Try for a gradual increase in the level of difficulty of your course load from 9th grade to senior year.
  2. Remember to request exactly FIVE graded courses each term. (You may choose a 6th pass/fail visual or performing arts course.)
  3. If you’re requesting history, be sure to rank all choices.
  4. Be sure to choose alternates for Visual/Performing Arts and Philosophy/ReligionPLEASE SELECT DIFFERENT CLASSES FOR ALL ALTERNATES.

10th Graders

English

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

Health

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

Math

You do not need to request a mathematics course. 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

You should request Chemistry (typically Chemistry I or Chemistry IA). If you have previously taken a year-long, high school Chemistry course, then you should take a Biology course. In all cases, the chair of the Science and Computer Science Department will review your record to determine the appropriate level.

Language

Indicate the language you intend to study on your Course Request Form. If you have not studied this language previously, you will be enrolled in level 1 and do not have to take the placement test. Placement above level 1 depends on results of the language placement test.

History and Social Sciences

If you want to take history, you have four choices. Please rank all four of these choices.

Visual/Performing Arts and Philosophy/Religion

Deerfield has a two-term Visual/Performing Arts requirement and a one-term Philosophy/Religion requirement. Because these two requirements can share one slot in a year-long program, we couple them together under the heading “Humanities.” Students should complete their Humanities requirements before the end of the tenth grade. There are several one- and two-term arts courses from which to choose. Read the course catalog and pay close attention to the terms in which courses are offered. 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. In Philosophy/Religion, choose from among our one-term courses

General Advice

  1. Map out your three-year course program to ensure that you will fulfill 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 sophomore to senior year.
  2. You will receive incoming graduation requirement credit for some of the courses taken at your current school.
  3. Remember to request exactly FIVE graded courses each term. (You may choose a sixth, pass-fail performing arts course.)
  4. If you’re requesting history, be sure to rank 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. Be sure to choose alternates for Visual and Performing Arts and Philosophy/Religion. PLEASE SELECT DIFFERENT CLASSES FOR ALL ALTERNATES.

11th Graders

English

Rank your 11th grade English options, each of which emphasizes a particular genre, historical context, or unifying theme in American Literature.

Math

You do not need to request a mathematics course. 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

You should continue whatever sequence you have already begun (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. The Science and Computer Science Department Chair will review your record to determine the appropriate level.

Language

Indicate the language you intend to study on your Course Request Form. If you have not studied this language previously, you will be enrolled in level 1 and you do not need to take the placement test. Placement above level 1 depends on results of the language placement test.  If you are placed in level 1 of a language, you are expected to take two years in order to fulfill the Language requirement “as best you can.”

History and Social Sciences

You should request one of the three classes on U.S. History: U.S. History; American Studies; or Honors U.S. History. If, however, you have already taken a full-year U.S. History course that includes a significant research paper experience you might be permitted to request one of the senior history electives as a history option.

Visual/Performing Arts

The entire arts curriculum, including AP courses and other term-long, two-term, and year-long courses, is available to you. Two-term courses can be complemented either by a spring-term elective (for which the catalog is distributed and sign-ups are gathered in January) or by one-term courses published in the Course Catalog. Some arts courses can be taken either as a fifth credit course, or as a sixth course pass/fail. They will labeled with (p/f) in the course title

Philosophy/Religion

Generally, two-term courses and one-term course are available. Two-term courses can be complemented either by a spring-term elective (for which the catalog is distributed and requests are gathered in January) or by one-term courses published in the Course Catalog.

General Advice

  1. Map out your two-year course program to ensure that you will fulfill Deerfield’s graduation requirements as best you can. Please note that you may be given credit for 9th and 10th grade courses taken in your previous school if they are similar to ones we offer.
  2. Remember to request exactly FIVE graded courses each term(You may choose a 6th pass/fail performing arts course.)
  3. Be sure to choose alternates for Science, Visual and Performing Arts, and Philosophy/Religion courses. (Note: Alternate choices do not have to be in the same discipline). PLEASE CHOOSE DIFFERENT CLASSES FOR ALL ALTERNATES.

12th Graders and Post Graduates

English

Rank your choices from among the 12th grade English options.

Math

You do not need to request a mathematics course. 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. Where necessary, the Science and Computer Science Department Chair will review your record to determine the appropriate level.

Language

Indicate the language you intend to study on your Course Request Form. If you have not studied this language previously, you will be enrolled in level 1 and you do not have to take the placement test. Placement above level 1 depends on results of the language placement test.

History and Social Sciences

All 600-level courses are available. Be sure to include an alternate (which does not have to be a history course).

Visual/Performing Arts

The entire arts curriculum, including AP courses and other term-long, two-term, and year-long courses, is available to you. Two-term courses can be complemented either by a spring-term elective (for which the catalog is distributed and sign-ups are gathered in January) or by one-term courses published in the Course Catalog. Some arts courses can be taken as either a fifth credit course, or as a sixth course pass/fail. They will labeled with (p/f) in the course title

Philosophy/Religion

Two-term courses and one-term courses are available. Two-term courses can be complemented either by a spring-term elective (for which the catalog is distributed and sign-ups are gathered in January) or by one-term courses published in the Course Catalog.

General Advice:

  1. One-year seniors and post-graduates have one Deerfield diploma requirement: THEY MUST TAKE A FULL YEAR OF ENGLISH.
  2. Remember to request exactly FIVE graded courses each term. (You may choose a 6th pass/fail performing arts course.)
  3.  Some 12th grade courses run for two terms and finish at the end of the winter. In January, a spring elective catalog will be available, and you will sign up for spring term electives to fill the slots vacated by two-term courses. You must complete all of your year-long courses.
  4. Be sure to choose alternates for Science, History, Visual/Performing Arts, and Philosophy/Religion courses. (Note: Alternate choices do not have to be in the same discipline.) PLEASE SELECT DIFFERENT CLASSES FOR ALL ALTERNATES.

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 Academic Dean.

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 Office of the Academic Dean 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