Frequently Asked Questions

1.  Who should apply?  How do I apply?

Students who show an enthusiasm for history, reading, the arts, and express a curiosity about the world around them should apply.   Our students are academically well-rounded but have a deep interest in history, reading, and the arts.  Students should have a strong academic record in middle school.  It helps greatly if a student has at least one year in a world language and has taken (or is taking) Algebra I.

To apply:  Pick up an application from your middle school counselor or use the buttons below to direct you to the appropriate form.

2.  It isn’t immediately obvious what “the humanities” really means. What is it?

We are a four year program in the liberal arts with our core courses including and emphasizing a specialized study of history and literature, as well as the arts. “The humanities” also refers to the interconnectivity of human endeavors through time and culture.  So, we study the development of civilizations and how history influences literature, arts, math, and science. We certainly “lean into” English, history, and the arts; however our students get full and demanding courses in math and science. A study of “the humanities” is a study of culture (history, literature, music, philosophy, painting, sculpture, architecture, archeology, dance, religion, political science, psychology, anthropology, film, photography, and more).

Too often, a false binary pitting the arts and sciences against one another inhibits our intellectual and social development. A full study of the humanities rejects this bifurcation, and instead, promotes both liberal arts and STEM, realizing that they are deeply connected. Music and math are more like cousins than strangers. The study of history and geography requires an understanding of environment and ecosystem; raw materials and natural resources, coupled with chemistry, and physics inspire innovators and technologists. World history, culture, current events, and global markets are entangled. A study of the liberal arts and humanities enrich and fulfill our lives in an unparalleled way. The leaders and visionaries of today and tomorrow will benefit enormously from a serious foundation and prioritization of the liberal arts and humanities.

3.  What is Perspectives?

Perspectives on the Human Experience is the third of the three core Humanities courses.  Perspectives often “tells the rest of the story,” developing topics and themes of English and history as they relate to art, literature, philosophy, and music.  Perspectives differs each year since it integrates with each grade level of Humanities English and history.  So, for example, in 9th grade, students may study ancient Greek architecture, art, and philosophy when they study Ancient Greece in Humanities world history and English. They might also make a Greek vase or create their own Greek Classical sculpture.   But, in 11th grade, Humanities students will study American history.  So, in Perspectives, they might read The Crucible, learn about colonial art, and listen to early American music since these integrate and relate to their studies of colonial American history. 

4.  How does transportation work for Humanities students who live out of zone?

Chesterfield County currently provides transportation for out of zone students but does not provide door-to-door service.

5.  What can the Humanities Center give students that other high schools or centers can’t?

Because of Humanities core classes and scheduling, students experience up to five classes with students in their cohort immediately. As students become familiar with one another, they start building community at the onset of the program. In addition, students are taught by a faculty that is able to team teach, plan together, and build integrated curriculum. In some schools, students may study American history at the same time they are learning about British literature. In the Humanities Center, we provide a curriculum where instruction of literature and history align, integrate, and connect in a way that may not be possible in other schools.

Like other centers, Students will be incredibly well prepared for college in a variety of ways.  Here, our graduates find that they have the content and academic background to succeed as well as possess skills for seminar discussions, group work, and presentations.

The Humanities Center provides students with a smaller family setting within a larger comprehensive high school.  Students will have a different approach to academic subjects, working with a team of teachers for each grade level.  Students will have college level textbooks, a different English curriculum, student-led discussions (Socratic Seminars), creative group projects, and academic and service field trips.  Students will create documentaries using video-editing software and digital camcorders as well as canoe the James River or test water and air samples on the Chesapeake Bay!  Students will have a deep, varied, and rich education with unique experiences and opportunities. 

6.  What does a typical Humanities ninth grade schedule look like?

Most students will have five freshmen Humanities courses.  You will have the three core classes of Humanities English 9, Humanities World History 9, and Perspectives on the Human Experience I.  Most students take Humanities Geometry and all take Humanities Biology.  All courses are honors level.  Students will take a world language and either PE/Health 9 or an elective such as art or band.  If a student wants to take an elective instead of PE/Health 9, then he/she will take PE/Health during the summer or through the CCPS Online course offering (either during the summer or during the school year independently).

7.  Can Humanities students still participate in Monacan theater, sports, or clubs? 

Yes!  Humanities students are meaningfully involved in sports, theater, band, and many clubs.  Many hold class office or are officers in clubs such as Latin Club, National Honor Society, Beta Club, and the Student Government Association.  See a sample of school clubs:

 8.  What kind of workload can students expect? 

It will vary. Generally, students can expect anywhere between 1-3 hours of homework nightly. At times, such as with projects or exams, students may spend more. Other times will require less. Most students say the workload varies and can increase in higher grade levels. Students find the workload rigorous, but manageable.

9.  Where do Humanities students get accepted to college?  What do Humanities students study?

The beauty of the Humanities program is that it creates opportunities for further study; it does not limit a student’s choices.  Our students have gone on to study medicine, business, engineering, as well as the arts, English, history, education, pre-law, and political science.  Our students have been accepted at a variety of schools—check out the list:


 Chesterfield County Public Schools does not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of sex, race, color, age, religion, disability or national origin in employment or in its programs and activities.