Just the Facts
CITYterm is an experience-based semester program for intellectually adventuresome juniors and seniors in high school. Based at The Masters School in Dobbs Ferry, NY, the program brings together 30 students and eleven faculty members, seven in residence, for an intensive study of New York City. Students spend three days of our six-day academic week in the classroom and three days in New York City. The program encourages students to connect classroom learning with city experiences through an integrated, interdisciplinary curriculum that employs New York City as its central text.
CITYterm was founded in 1996 by David Dunbar, Pam Clarke, and Rachel Stettler.
CITYterm Director Cotter Donnell developed a passion for experiential learning as a student on an Outward Bound course during college, and he has worked to incorporate it into his work as a teacher and administrator in independent schools over the last seventeen years. Inspired by CITYterm’s Teaching for Experience summer workshop for educators, Cotter helped to design a place-based interdisciplinary program on his native Los Angeles at Polytechnic School in California before transitioning to New York to be CITYterm’s new director. Cotter has an undergraduate degree from Boston College and master’s degrees in Educational Leadership from the Klingenstein Center at Teachers College, Columbia University and English from the Bread Loaf School of English at Middlebury College. Cotter lives on campus with his family.
CITYterm has a six day per week academic schedule. Students spend two weekday afternoons in the city and all day Saturday engaged in fieldwork. They devote three weekday afternoons participating in the Urban Core, an interdisciplinary, humanities-intensive honors course that encompasses the History, Literature, and Urban Environments of New York City (for which students receive three credits from their home school, the equivalent of three honors-level courses). The Urban Core is taught by a team of experienced teachers who foster the students’ exploration of New York City and the learning process itself.
In addition, students take Math, Science, Foreign Language and/or American History in hour-long course blocks which meet three times per week. The following courses are available to support students’ on-going academic programs at their home schools: Algebra II/Trigonometry, Probability/Statistics, Pre-Calculus, AP Calculus AB and BC; French III, IV and AP Language; Spanish III, IV and AP Language; AP Latin; Physics and Chemistry; U.S. History, and AP U.S. History.
CITYterm aims to support and challenge students. As we do so, we hold each other to the highest of expectations in all facets of community life.
As a member of the CITYterm community, students are expected to:
Fulfill all academic and community obligations.
Take responsibility for their own learning and actions.
Act with thoughtfulness toward others; engage in no behavior that is illegal, antisocial, unsafe, or destructive.
CITYterm’s home base, The Masters School, is an established boarding school that supports CITYterm with on-call residential faculty, an athletic trainer, a full-time nurse, and physician referrals. In addition, CITYterm adheres to the following safety procedures in New York City:
Students travel in groups with teachers until they can navigate safely. Then, students travel in groups of three or more. They are rarely allowed to travel alone while in New York and only with parent permission.
Faculty members always know the whereabouts of students. Students create detailed, written itineraries before each trip to New York City that are reviewed and approved by the faculty.
There is always a CITYterm faculty member on duty in the dorm and in New York City when the students are in the City.
Type of Sending School:
Students from New England (NY, CT, MA, RI, ME, VT, NH): 42%
Students from other states: (58%), including: California, Colorado, Washington D.C., Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, North Carolina, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin
Students from outside the U.S.: (> 1%) including Ireland and China
Admission to CITYterm is selective and based upon academic performance, faculty recommendations, and personal essays. CITYterm enrolls approximately 30 juniors and seniors in each of two semesters. CITYterm invites interested applicants from all public and independent schools to apply by February 15th.
For questions about Admission, please contact Manyata Berbick, Program Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The tuition for a CITYterm semester is one-half the annual boarding tuition at The Masters School, plus a transportation fee to help offset the costs of travel to, from, and within New York City. The cost of attending CITYterm in the 2018-2019 academic year is $33,500, which includes the local transportation fee of $600. We also require students to have a $650 spending money budget to cover incidentals, including personal items and social time. Students who take good advantage of the many free activities available in New York City typically find that $650 will last them the entire semester.
Need-based financial aid is available. We provide need-based financial aid for approximately 25-30% of our students each year and many of our partner schools match this aid with funds of their own. For questions about Tuition and Financial Aid, please contact Ravi Katkar, Associate Director of Admission, at email@example.com.