The Hotchkiss School is committed to cultivating curiosity, excellence, and creativity.
Our students learn how to take risks, fail, persist, and succeed. The average class size is 12, and the learning environment is interactive and inclusive. In every class, students share their opinions. They speak up. They disagree. They learn from their teachers — and from one another.
With more than 200 courses in seven departments and small class sizes, our independent high school academic program offers a breadth and depth of study most students will not experience until college. Guided by thoughtful, engaged instructors, Hotchkiss students push themselves intellectually and form deep bonds with their classmates — whether they’re discussing environmental issues, examining global trends, or analyzing literature.
As a top college preparatory and boarding high school in Connecticut, our seven areas of study offer a comprehensive educational experience. These core disciplines include:
- Classical and modern languages
- Human development
- Humanities and social sciences
- Mathematics and computer science
- Visual and performing arts
Within each of these areas is a developed curriculum offering each Hotchkiss student the chance to gain subject mastery. Every learner will gain a holistic education that speaks to the whole being, from the classic academics to individual expression and creativity.
Hotchkiss students develop clarity of thought, confidence and facility in expressing ideas, and artistic and aesthetic sensitivity. Our graduates leave Hotchkiss with a commitment to public service and environmental stewardship, informed by a greater understanding of themselves and their role in a global society.
Preps normally carry the following six-credit load, which may include:
- Humanities (three credits) - Options include English Prep Humanities, History Prep Humanities - History, Philosophy & Religion Prep Humanities, and Art Prep Humanities.
Learn more about the Humanities Program
- A classical or modern language (one credit)
- Math (one credit)
- Science Prep Science Core (one credit)
- Human Development Prep Seminar, a once-weekly, not-for-credit course.
Lower mids normally carry the following six-credit load, which may include:
- International Experiences
- Sustainable Studies
- Campus Engagement
- Writing Opportunities
- Discovery and Innovation
- Classics Diploma
- Community Learning
- Summer Courses
Beyond the vast array of changes to write during class, we value writing as a honed craft. Bearcats have many outlets to create and improve their writing, from student newspapers to writing competitions. Students graduate with a rich competency in transferring their thoughts and ideas into compelling written words.
Learning happens through each other. As a New England boarding school with small class sizes, students have ample opportunity to be shaped by the ideas and experiences of those around them.
When the school day ends, students don't just study together — they live together, too. Ninety-six percent of our student population boards on campus across 13 residence buildings. This dormitory environment allows for social development, a deep sense of independence and responsibility, and countless opportunities for school clubs and creative expression.
At Hotchkiss, learning doesn't end when summer begins. As a private college prep high school, many of our students are motivated to continue preparing for higher education through our various summer programs. These include for-credit classes that give students further preparation for university studies.