Phillips Exeter Academy

20 Main St, Exeter, NH 03833

Established by John Phillips, whose nephew Samuel Phillips, Jr., had founded Phillips Academy at Andover, MA, three years earlier, Exeter is known for its outstanding faculty, diverse student body, and excellent academic and athletic facilities. The academy has been coeducational since 1970, when girls were first admitted as day students. The boarding program became coed the following fall. The present-day school enrolls a diverse student body from nearly every state, as well as various foreign countries. Exeter's curriculum exhibits noteworthy breadth in diploma requirements. Broadly distributed requirements in science, history and the humanities form the main thrust of a curriculum that stresses knowledge acquisition in a liberal arts framework. In lieu of an Advanced Placement curriculum, Exeter offers college-level courses in most subjects, including some that go beyond the AP level. At the center of an Exeter education is the Harkness Plan, made possible in the early 1930s by gifts from Edward S. Harkness, benefactor to many schools and colleges. A teacher and 12 students sit around a table forming and expressing ideas—a classroom in the seminar mode, where maximum participation is encouraged. Students are assigned at the outset, especially in mathematics and foreign languages, to courses and sections according to demonstrated ability. Help in cultivating effective learning, speaking and thinking habits establishes a sound foundation. Through close daily association of students with the faculty in all areas of school life, Exeter seeks also to blend goodness of character with the growth in intellectual skills fostered by the Harkness Plan. Exeter's comprehensive music program provides opportunities for study and performance. An orchestra and a chorus are the largest activities, while a number of other musical groups are available. Both varsity athletes and nonathletic students are involved in a daily physical education program. A dance program is also available at elementary through advanced levels. Modern language, English and theater courses utilize classrooms incorporating tablet computers and multimedia equipment, and wireless Internet access is available in the library and the student center. Off-campus programs include a term spent in Washington, DC, as a congressional intern and a half year at the Milton Mountain School in Vershire, VT. Through School Year Abroad, students may study in France, Italy or Spain, or may spend the fall term or full year in Beijing, China. Exchanges are also arranged with secondary schools in Germany, Mexico and Russia, and one-term programs are offered in England, France, Ireland and the Bahamas.

General Information

Academic OrientationCollege Preparatory
Grade RangeBoarding and Day — Coed Grades 9-PG
Coed, Boys, or GirlsCoed
Full Address20 Main St, Exeter, NH 03833
Year Established1781
Legal StatusNonprofit
Religious Affiliation(None)
AdministratorThomas Edward Hassan
Applications DueJanuary
Total Enrollment1,071
Boarding Students858
Day Students213
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