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Choosing Courses

Eligibility and Age

Students qualify for CTY programs at either the CTY level or Advanced CTY level based on scores earned on a designated test. You may view accepted tests and score charts on our eligibility page.

Eligibility is linked to two academic subject areas: math and science, and writing and humanities. Students may be eligible in just one area, or both. In addition, programs and courses may have specific age and grade requirements. Please keep this in mind as you review our courses.

At this time, Young Students courses are open to students with either CTY or Advanced-CTY level eligibility in the relevant academic subject area. Courses group students according to their highest grade completed. There are courses for students who have completed grades 2 or 3, grades 3 or 4, grades 4 or 5, and grades 5 or 6. Grade 2/3, 3/4, and 4/5 courses are only offered at day sites.

For day programs: In addition to qualifying scores, for day programs, students must have completed at least 2nd grade by the summer of the program year. They must also be at least 7 years old by June 30 of the program year.

For residential programs: Students must have completed at least 5th grade and be at least 10 years old by June 30 of the program year.

Interest in the Subject

As your child reads through the course descriptions, some may immediately sound interesting. Others may be unfamiliar. One of the benefits of CTY is the opportunity for children to discover new interests. If your child would like to know more about a particular course, you can:

  • Download a sample syllabus from the course pages. Online syllabi are located at the top of each course description. Please note that the sample syllabi are meant to provide an idea of the level of the course and whether or not the content area interests you. CTY instructors are given guidelines within which they each develop their own syllabi. Choice and sequencing of topics within the content area, as well as specific activities, labs, and assignments, will vary.
  • Help your child look at the sample texts. Though the texts vary by instructor and may change every year, the samples will help you gauge the level of the course and your child’s interest in the subject.
  • If you have more detailed questions about a course, please email us or call 410-735-6277 and ask to speak to the summer programs staff member responsible for that course.

CTY and School Course Work

For most students, CTY courses provide a challenging and satisfying experience and help them to develop strong academic skills. Because most CTY courses are quite different from standard elementary and middle school courses, they do not directly affect the courses students take at school.

A Student's Grade at School and CTY Courses

The grade designation on Young Students courses sometimes causes confusion. The designation does not correlate to the level of content compared to a standard school curriculum. For example, a course for second and third graders at CTY offers content that is well above their school grade level but in a way that is appropriate for the students’ social and motor skills, as well as academic development. Motor skill development is particularly significant in the science courses.

Note to Parents

In our Young Students Catalog and Resources you will find a variety of courses. Academically talented students should be encouraged from an early age to be involved in decisions about their education, and choosing their CTY courses can be a good place to start. Have your child take as much responsibility as possible for reading the course descriptions and deciding which courses to request.

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