Signature Academic Programs

In addition to combining courses, interested and capable students may individualize their academic experience by participating in one of the following Signature Academic Programs, which provide students a unique opportunity to advance in a particular area of study.

Advanced Robotics Concentration

Team-building, project management, and reflection

The Advanced Robotics Concentration is a three-term honors program for motivated students to explore robotics at the advanced level. The ARC program is open to rising fourth, fifth, and sixth formers. The year that a student enters the program they are required to take a sequence of three courses: CS450HO Robotics Design and Fabrication; CS560HO First Robotics Competition; and CS570HO Autonomous Robotics. In addition, students are required to be part of the afternoon lab activity which accompanies the winter term course CS560HO.

Students apply either in the winter of their third, fourth or fifth form year for admission to the program the following year. Recommended prerequisite courses (CS300 Intro Robotics, CS310 Robotics II, MD230 Reverse Engineering, MD310 Topics in Engineering) or equivalent background experience.

Arabic & Middle Eastern Studies

A Guided Study of Today's Middle East

Arabic and Middle Eastern Studies (AMES) marries intensive linguistic study of Modern Standard Arabic with courses on the literature and cultures of the Middle East. This interdisciplinary program is open to fourth and fifth formers. Students who complete the program fulfill the Choate diploma requirement in world language.

The courses that comprise the program include: Intensive Beginning Arabic (AR150HO), Second Year Arabic (AR250HO), Islamic Civilizations of the Middle East (MD458HO), The Modern Middle East (HI459HO) and Arabic Literature in Translation (EN402).

There is no application process for AMES.

Arts Concentration

A Commitment to Artistic Growth

The Arts Concentration Program allows students to develop as artists while completing the requirements of a Choate Rosemary Hall diploma. Students who are accepted into the program are expected to explore their discipline in breadth and depth by completing a series of prescribed courses and by devoting a significant portion of each week to practice, rehearsal, and studio work.

Arts concentration students focus on one of the following areas:
Music – Students take a full-year AP Music Theory and Harmony course and two terms of music history. Weekly instrumental or voice lessons and practice sessions are required. Students participate in a minimum of one ensemble group and perform in one vocal or instrumental recital each term. Sixth form students perform a solo recital in the spring of the senior year.

Dance – Students take Dance History and participate each term in Contemporary Dance, as well as Dance Company for academic credit. Dance students are also expected to choreograph, either for the Dance Company, a student theater production, or their own independent project. Students must also take two of the following courses: Acting I (TA100) or Theater Design (TA108), Fundamentals of Music and Composition (MU125), and/or any of the foundational visual arts classes (VA100, VA210, VA215, VA245, VA290).

Theater Students select an emphasis in performance, playwriting, or production. Performance students are required to take Acting I and II, the first two terms of Acting III, and Directing as well as one term of technical theater each year. Playwriting students are required to take Acting I and II, Playwriting and Screenwriting, and Directing as well as one term of technical theater each year. Production students are required to take Acting I, Fundamentals of Theater Design, Stagecraft I and II, and Directing, as well as two terms of technical theater each year.

Visual Arts – Students attend an afternoon workshop class that meets four times a week all three terms. Through project-based learning, monthly group critiques, regular meetings with their mentors, and opportunities to exhibit and speak about their work, students acquire the skills to articulate and realize their artistic goals. In addition to the afternoon workshop class, students are required to take at least one term of visual arts each year, which must include Drawing, Advanced Studio Art Portfolio, and the three-term AP Art History sequence.

To apply for the Arts Concentration program, interested fourth form students must apply during winter term and then be prepared to audition, or share their portfolio.

Capstone Program

Chart Your Course
This program is open to any sixth former who is not already participating in another Signature Program (with the exception of a Directed Study). A student in the Capstone Program must be enrolled in at least five courses in the curriculum that focus on a topic, theme, or area of curricular interest. Interdisciplinary capstone projects are also welcomed.

The recommended sequence of study is two courses in the fall, two courses in the winter, and the Capstone project – the equivalent of a course – in the spring. Under the direct supervision of a Capstone adviser, students complete a capstone experience, i.e., a final project, presentation, portfolio, paper, or other appropriate culminating experience to complete the program.

Students interested in participating in the Capstone Program should initiate preliminary discussions of their proposal during their fifth form year with the teacher with whom they hope to work.

Directed Study

Pursue a Personal Interest

A student, along with their faculty adviser, is responsible for establishing academic objectives and designing a program that includes 8-10 hours of academic work each week. The faculty adviser guides the student throughout the entire program. A Directed Study can be approved as a fifth or sixth course. All Directed Study proposals are equivalent in educational value to the normal course work they replace. Past Directed Studies have included Advanced Studies in Islam; Artificial Intelligence; Early American Gothic Romantic Literature; International Health Policy; and Topics in Quantum Physics.

Directed Study applications are reviewed and approved by the Directed Studies Committee.

Environmental Immersion Program

The Ultimate Living Laboratory

Fundamental aspects of the program include an emphasis on environmental literacy; multidisciplinary education; purpose-driven, authentic research; community responsibility; and learning experiences outside the traditional classroom.

Students conduct a year-long research project in natural science, social science, or the humanities, in which they immerse themselves in primary literature, formulate hypotheses, test their predictions, and present their findings. Experts-in-residence, field trips, and invited speakers broaden the learning experience beyond the classroom setting.

Courses required in the EIP are Ecology (Honors); Multidisciplinary Research Methods (Honors); Independent Research Project (Honors); Environmental Ethics, Environmental Economics, and Environmental Policy (Honors); Literature and the Landscape (Honors or Non-Honors); Nature Photography (Honors); and Biology (Honors) for students who have not yet taken biology.

Students may take one main campus elective per term in a topic of the student’s choice (most often math or language).

Students apply either in the winter of their fourth form year for admission to the program in their fifth form year or in the winter of their fifth form year for admission in their sixth form year.

John F. Kennedy Program in Government and Public Service

Strong communication skills and a demonstrated interest in government and public service

This five-term program is designed for students who possess a strong interest in government, politics, philosophy, economics and public service. It combines several related courses, participation in an off-campus public service experience, and an intensive tutorial with a teacher and 2-3 students in the winter term of sixth form year. The program begins in the fall of fifth form year and extends through the winter of sixth form. A culminating TED-style talk of each student’s work is shared with the community in the spring.

Three required courses include: PS550 (U.S. Government and Politics I), PS430 (Political Ideologies), and EC400 or 450 (Macroeconomics) with two additional electives from the following: PS555 (U.S. Government and Politics II), HI411 (Constitutional Law), PS460 (International Relations), PL450 (Philosophy), PY435 (Social Psychology), PS433 (Democracy, Media & Politics), or any economics course beyond macroeconomics.

Students apply to the program in the winter of the fourth form year. The process includes an application (including an essay), a statement from the current history teacher, and an interview with the program director or other faculty involved in the program.

Science Research Program

Engage in Cutting Edge Research
Science Research students focus study during three terms of training in the basics of scientific inquiry and experimentation. Courses include: Experimental Design, Research Seminar, and Protocol Development. Students spend the summer between fourth and fifth form year involved in research in a university (or similar) laboratory. The final term is focused on presenting the results of their summer work. Some areas of Science Research inquiry have included cell biology, molecular genetics, mechanical engineering, and astrophysics.

Research culminates in a written manuscript meeting the standards of professional publication, a poster one would see at an academic conference, and a 15-minute seminar talk presented to the Choate community in the fall term of the sixth form year.

Students apply in the winter of their fourth form year for admission to the program in their fifth form year.

Term Abroad

The World Is Your Classroom

Choate Rosemary Hall Study Abroad programs offer students an opportunity to broaden students’ geographical, historical, linguistic, and cultural knowledge while maintaining Choate’s high academic standards and emphasis on character and skill development.
Established over 40 years ago, Choate-run programs in China, France and Spain focus on a full language immersion experience. Students can choose term and summer programs options. Additional cultural immersion programs are offered through partner programs at St. Stephen’s School in Rome, Italy (term-long program), or at King’s Academy in Madaba, Jordan (term or summer program).

Students are eligible for a study abroad program after they have successfully completed their second year of language study. Fifth form year is the most advantageous time for most students to participate in the program. More information is available from the Director of Global Programs or the individual program directors.