Course Details

Hybrid courses combine in-person instruction with an online learning environment.  These “blended” courses offer the flexibility to complete a course for high school credit by meeting face-to-face for two full weekends, in addition to engaging in 16 weeks of online course work. Each hybrid course is equivalent to one semester of high school credit, ideal for motivated and independent learners with busy schedules.

  • Students in Fall 2018 cohort must be available for these on-site weekends on Northwestern University's Evanston, IL campus: October 6-7 and November 10-11. Students should anticipate 5-7 hours of online course work each week


Application Process


The Online Hybrid Program at CTD welcomes applications from returning applicants as well as new score and portfolio applicants. Before beginning the online application, determine which type of applicant you are based on the descriptions below.

Returning Applicant
You are a returning applicant if you are in grade 6 through 12 and you meet both of the following criteria: 


  • You have successfully completed a CTD course through the Weekend Enrichment Program, Summer Program or Online Program at the Magenta Tier or Indigo Tier, within the previous twenty-four months. 
  • You are now applying for an Online Hybrid course with the same qualifying subject area (Verbal, Math or Science) you used to qualify for a CTD course you previously completed.


New Scores Applicant
You are a new scores applicant if you are grade 6 through 12 and you meet any one of the following criteria:


  • You have never attended any CTD program and you have qualifying grade-level test scores (Verbal, Math or Science) for your desired course that are no more than two years old.
  • You have previously attended a course with the Summer Program, or Online Program, but you are now applying for a course with a different qualifying subject area (Verbal, Math or Science) and you have qualifying grade-level test scores. 
  • You have participated in above grade-level testing such as the PSAT™8/9 test taken in grades 3, 4, 5, or 6, the ACT® or SAT® test taken in grades 6, 7 or 8 (NUMATS) within the past two years.




New Portfolio Applicant
You are a portfolio applicant if you are in grade 6 through 12 and the following is applicable to you:


  • You do not have qualifying test scores because you have either:

              1) never taken a nationally normed standardized achievement     test 


             2) taken this type of test but not achieved a qualifying score.


An Admission Portfolio includes the following documents:


  • Required: one teacher recommendation form indicating that the student is performing 1½ to 2 years above grade level in the subject area of the course to which the student is applying (Home-school students may submit two teacher recommendations from non-family member adults who can speak to their capabilities in lieu of a teacher recommendation. Family members may not submit teacher recommendations for students); 
  • Required: most recent school report card indicating exceptional performance in the subject area of the Online Honors Elective course to which the student is applying; 
  • If available: most recent state testing report (e.g. NWEA/MAP); or any results of a grade-level test such as PSAT™8/9 taken in middle school.


To qualify for Magenta Tier Hybrid Courses students must be in grade 6 through 12 and must also provide one of the following:

  • Achievement of a score of 95thpercentile or higher on a nationally normed grade-level assessment in the required qualifying subject area (Verbal, Math or Science) for the desired course.
  • Successful past completion of a CTD course, with the same qualifying subject area (Verbal, Math or Science) within the past two years.
  • Submission of a portfolio application, consisting of a teacher recommendation and the student’s most recent report card demonstrating that the student is performing exceptionally well in the qualifying subject area.
  • Participation in above grade-level testing such as the PSAT™8/9 test taken in grades 3, 4, 5, or 6, the ACT® or SAT® test taken in grades 6, 7 or 8 (NUMATS) within the last two years.

Fees, Withdrawals and Financial Aid


CTD’s Online Hybrid course tuition fees vary. Please see class description for specific course fees. 

Withdrawal Policy

  • Requests for withdrawals and refunds must be made in writing no later than ten days before the course start date. E-mail requests should be sent to
  • Withdrawals are subject to a processing fee of $60.
  • Withdrawals that occur within ten days, but before the first day of the course start date are refunded 50% of the tuition, less the processing fee.
  • Refunds may take up to eight weeks to appear in the account from which they were paid depending on the type of account and the billing cycle.


Financial Aid

CTD offers need-based financial aid awarded as requests are received. Families are encouraged to apply early because the amount of aid available is limited. Please see the Financial Aid page for details. 

  • The deadline to complete a financial aid application for Online Hybrid programs is two-weeks before the program begins.  However, financial aid is limited and financial aid applications should be completed as soon as possible.
  • It is imperative that you complete the financial aid application as soon as possible as it may take FACTS up to ten days to process your information.
  • If you have previously completed a FACTS application for CTD you must still begin with the current link in the application confirmation email for this year’s program.  You will be able to link your FACTS account to this new FACTS information.  You may need to update financial information.
  • If you experience difficulties with the FACTS process please call the FACTS helpline at 866-412-4637.


Music Symposium: An Introduction to College Music Studies (7-12)

October 1, 2018 - January 20, 2019

This is a 16-week course designed for students in grades 7-12. It provides a stimulating sneak peek into the world of college-level music programs, challenging students to think critically about the value of music education in their own lives and in the world around them.

We begin with social and philosophical issues surrounding music in American higher education. We continue by surveying the majors and specializations that students can pursue, including Music History, Music Theory & Composition, Music Business, Audio Engineering, Music Therapy, and more. We then evaluate the different educational institutions that offer these majors, from traditional music conservatories to public research universities. Along the way, students will complete assignments drawn from college-level music courses and interact with professional music educators.

While most of the learning will happen online, we will meet for two live weekends on the Northwestern University Evanston campus. During the first weekend, students will explore the fascinating phenomenon of the Music Cognition Laboratory, participating in hands-on activities that connect musical experience to psychology and neuroscience. During the second weekend, students will work with professional musicians from Chicago’s dynamic World Music scene, documenting performances of Middle Eastern, South Indian, and West African musical traditions.

Face to face weekends: October 6th & 7th, 2018 and November 10-11, 2018.

The Music Symposium is taught by Brian Oberlander, a Musicologist who received his PhD from Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music. As an alumnus of a high school for the arts and a liberal arts honors college, Brian is well positioned to work with gifted students who thrive in creative, collaborative learning environments.

Subject Area
Arts & Humanities
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