Postgraduate Program

The Hill has a rich tradition of hosting postgraduate students (PGs) for an “extra year of high school.” The program is best designed for candidates showing academic promise and maturity who are seeking to strengthen their educational preparation before entering college. Students will benefit from living away from home for the year with more freedoms and responsibilities, but with more structure and supervision than a college community. From Orientation day through Commencement, postgraduate students work together and with Associate Director of Admission Phil Canosa to support each other and ensure that each student maximizes his or her experience.

At the same time, postgraduates fully integrate into the sixth form (senior) class and the entire student body, in the classroom, in the dormitory, and on the athletic fields and the stage, and in other extracurricular activities. Postgraduate students come to Hill for a variety of reasons. While some come because they have exceeded the level of courses offered at his or her current high school, others come to pursue a higher level of athletics, music, or other artistic endeavors. Many students also are interested in a transitional year away from home before heading off to college. Regardless of the individual reasons, all postgraduate students are looking for the combination of academic, social, and physical growth that a year at The Hill will provide.

Please contact Mr. Canosa at for more information.

Answers to frequently asked questions about the postgraduate program:

Q: Do all postgraduates (PGs) live on campus?
Yes. The Hill has a one-year boarding requirement; therefore all PGs live on campus.

Q: Do PGs live with other postgraduate students?
A: PGs will have a postgraduate roommate and will reside in dorms with a mix of sixth, fifth, and fourth form students.

Q: Is there an age limit?
A: To compete in athletics there is an age limit. In order to be eligible for competition on Hill athletic teams, a student may not turn 19 years of age before September 1. This is a Mid-Atlantic Prep League (MAPL) rule.

Q: Are there special postgraduate classes?
A: No. After careful review of a student’s high school transcript, Hill’s academic office will place PGs in appropriate classes that will challenge students and give him or her the opportunity for success. New for the 2023-24 academic year is English 5 for Post-Graduates (with embedded Honors option). Students also may be placed in English 4 Honors and English 4 AP. A sample PG course load would be an English, a math, a science, a Religious Studies course, and an elective. There is great flexibility in devising a program to appropriately challenge and interest you.

Q: Will postgraduates earn a diploma?
We encourage all PGs to complete a full year at Hill and earn a diploma. While PGs have the option of receiving only a certificate of completion, we recommend that they work towards a diploma. Fulfilling Hill’s graduation requirements through their entire high school and postgraduate year is all that is necessary to earn a Hill diploma. 

Q: How many postgraduates attend Hill each year?
Hill annually enrolls 14-20 postgraduates.

Q: Where are these students from?
A: In just the last few PG classes, there have been students representing more than 10 states and four foreign countries.

Q: Why do students come for a postgraduate year?
The reasons are many: Desire more challenging courses than currently offered at their high schools; Interested in Hill’s wide range of extracurricular activities; Interested in a year away from home before the college experience; Interested in building on existing academic foundations to present a more complete picture to colleges and universities; Interested in studying and living in a diverse structured and residential community. Some international students often find it beneficial to spend a year at an American high school before college.