Departments and Requirements

Middlesex Academic Departments

Departmental requirements consist of specific courses which aim to develop in all students such fundamental skills as insightful reading, critical thinking, coherent writing, and accurate calculating – skills that will enable students to do sophisticated work at Middlesex School and beyond. Because Middlesex School promotes both breadth and depth of study, a student in his or her freshman, sophomore, or junior year will not normally be permitted to suspend study in one department in order to take two courses in another.

In most cases, students are given credit for departmental requirements if they have previously taken courses at the high school level which are the equivalent of these requirements. For example, an entering member of Class III would not be required to take Math 5 if he or she had completed geometry before coming to Middlesex.


All students must take an English course each semester. Students in Class IV must take English 1 and 2, students in Class III, English 3 and 4 and the Writing Workshop, and students in Class II, English 5 and 6. Students in Class I must select one course offered by the English Department each semester.


All students must take math through the level of Math 32 (Pre-calculus: Trigonometry) and they are expected to continue the study of mathematics through their Class I year.


All students must take at least two full years of laboratory science and they are strongly advised to take three years of laboratory science. For the purpose of this requirement, Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Environmental Science are considered laboratory sciences.

Foreign Languages

All students must study a single foreign language through the third-year level or continue the study of a single foreign language through the conclusion of their Class I year. Students may not satisfy this requirement by completing two years in one language and an additional year in another. Students are encouraged to continue their language study through the Class I year. A student may begin the study of two foreign languages simultaneously only with the permission of the Academic Office.

Social Science

All students must take two years of history. All students in Class II are required to complete a full-year course in United States History. Students in Class III must take history both semesters. Modern European History is required during the second semester, and in semester I, a student must take either Early Modern European History or The Ancient World. Exceptions to this requirement will be made for:
1. a student who is taking a laboratory science and a computer science course.
2. a student who is studying two foreign languages.
3. a student who has completed two semesters of history during the Class IV year and wishes to take a full-credit art course during the fall semester.


All students entering Class IV must take four Elements of Style courses (Art 1, 2, 3, and 4), one each semester. New students entering Class III must take two Elements of Style courses, Art 1 during one semester and Art 2, 3, or 4 during the other. Returning students in Class III will take those Elements of Style courses not covered the preceding year.