Main Menu


Expanded Study Options

Trinity's Upper School works collaboratively with students who wish to pursue program-appropriate credit or noncredit study beyond the standard academic program. Reasons for such study vary. Some students simply seek enrichment. Others require basic remediation or courses otherwise not available because of schedule conflicts. In rare instances, especially gifted students are ready to accelerate to Trinity’s next sequential level of a discipline or to continue their study beyond the scope of Trinity’s course offerings. In all cases, students wanting this study to allow them to advance to the next level of a discipline or to be counted for credit and inclusion in GPA calculations must confer with and receive the approval of the Director of the Upper School prior to enrollment in the course.

The typical time to petition the Director of Upper School to undertake formal independent study or study beyond Trinity's offerings is during the Upper School’s normal registration period for the following year’s classes. Students pursuing such study should have mature habits of scholarship and be capable of learning in a less-monitored manner.

City Term in New York

Studying in Spain

Independent Study

Prerequisites: Approval of sponsoring member of the faculty and the Director of Upper School
Credit: By approval of the Director of Upper School prior to enrollment

Independent study is available to qualified students who wish to explore topics or areas of interest not offered in Trinity’s regular curriculum. The student and a Trinity instructor together design the program of study and determine the number and frequency of meetings, course expectations, amount of credit to be earned, and method of grading (letter grades or pass/fail). Students in independent study must have mature academic study habits and be capable of learning in a less-structured, often self-guided manner. This option is available in all disciplines. Except by special petition at the time the study is proposed, independent study courses cannot be substituted for required courses or applied toward Trinity’s minimum required credits for graduation.

Residential Study Programs

At its discretion, Trinity will provide tuition discounts for up to two Upper School students annually who are in good academic and community standing and wish to study beyond Trinity for one semester in order to enroll in residential semester programs such as The Mountain School (Vermont), Maine Coast Semester, The Oxbow School (arts focus; Napa, California), the Island School (Bahamas), Outdoor Academy (near Brevard, NC), City Term (outside New York City), or The School for Ethics and Global Leadership (Washington, D.C.). Depending on the program, students in their sophomore, junior, or senior years are eligible. Each program keeps its students on track academically while offering unique experiences according to its mission, philosophy, and location.

Families interested in exploring such programs should consult with the Director of Upper School no later than the spring of the year before the semester program would occur.

Beyond Trinity

Prerequisite: Approval of the Director of Upper School
Credit: Trinity-conferred credit is not typically possible; petitions for special exceptions to this policy should be made to the Director of Upper School prior to enrollment

Students may wish to explore other options for study beyond Trinity. Possibilities include the ones below:

  • Audited or graded classes at UNC–Chapel Hill (apply through the Undergraduate Admissions Office) or Duke University (

    Trinity Upper Schoolers may take online courses to enrich their studies or, on occasion, as a solution to a schedule conflict. Trinity partners with quality providers of online studies, including The Virtual High School, Pearson Connections, and Middlebury Interactive.