Course Selection for Rising Seniors

Course load

  • Rising seniors typically enroll in five courses, which is a full load. The following circumstances may allow for overenrollment for seniors:

    • Completion of the classics diploma.

    • Registration in a human development course for seniors.

    • Registration in classes that may, in some cases, be given less than the full weight by colleges that they deserve. These include:

      • Any course offered by the Visual & Performing Arts Department.

      • Any computer science course.

      • Other courses identified in collaboration with the College Office.

  • Note, that under no circumstances may students enroll in more than six courses, and learning opportunities on campus are not limited to what appears on a transcript.

  • An overview of the course numbering system can be found here.

Communication with College Office

  • Please communicate early and clearly with your college counselor. At this point is especially important for your advisor to be in regular discussion with your parents about course selection as well.

Pay Close Attention to Diploma Requirements

  • Be mindful of diploma requirements. After the lower mid year, it is especially helpful to make and periodically revise your plan of study (Google Doc template).

  • Students who entered as preps generally have completed graduation requirements in Humanities & Social Sciences, Science, and Visual & Performing Arts. Depending on your entry level, you may have also fulfilled the Classical & Modern Languages requirement.

  • Students who entered as lower mids must take an additional year in Humanities & Social Sciences. That course need not be another course in U.S. history.

Guide by Discipline


  • Honors English: EN481Y Honors Literary Research and EN490Y Honors Senior English both have a competitive application process, with decisions announced before the course selection deadline. You are well served by having realistic expectations about your chances for selection. Please consult with Mr. Frankenbach <>, the head of the English Department, should you have any questions about your eligibility.

  • All other senior English electives are now listed in the course catalog.

Humanities & Social Sciences

  • Note that incoming upper mids and seniors must have a credit in U.S. history to meet the graduation requirements. Please consult with the Head of the Humanities & Social Sciences Department, Mr. Andrew D'Ambrosio <>, or the Dean of Academic Life, Mr. Richard Davis <> with any questions about these requirements.


  • Which level? Your Languages teacher will inform you if you are being recommended for a level other than your current trajectory (i.e. if you are in CN250Y and they are recommending you for CN380Y, they would let you know; if they are recommending you for CN350Y they will not). If you have any questions about your placement, please reach out to your current Languages teacher.

  • Diploma requirement. Students who enter Hotchkiss in their prep or lower mid years are required to complete study in Languages through the 300 level to be eligible for a diploma. More information about languages course selection.


  • Which level? Your Math teacher will inform you if you are being recommended for a level other than your current trajectory. If you have any questions about your placement, please reach out to your current Math teacher.

  • Diploma requirement. Successful completion of any 300-level math course satisfies the graduation requirement, but students should still continue taking math as almost all colleges expect students to have 4 years of math. Your advisor should consult with the College Office if you have any questions about the details about how math fits into the college application process. More information about math course selection.


  • More choices. In your senior year, there are a lot of science courses open to you. Please pay close attention to prerequisites.

Human Development

A non-credit Human Development course is offered especially for seniors (HD451F/S). Information on this course can be found in the course catalog.