Hogwarts Curriculum

Summary of Hogwarts Career

First Year

  • Sorted into houses
  • Begin seven core classes, which will continue until Fifth Year
  • Flying class

Second Year

  • Eligible to try out for Quidditch teams

Third Year

  • Choose two or three elective courses, which will continue until Fifth Year
  • Allowed on Hogsmeade Weekends (with parental permission)

Fifth Year

  • Students are counseled by Head of House on career paths (for NEWT class selection)
  • Apparition lessons are offered in February
  • OWL exams are taken at the end of the year
  • Students may leave school after OWLs

Sixth Year

  • Begin NEWT classes, which can be any core class or previously selected elective class
  • Non-verbal casting is taught

Seventh Year

  • Take NEWT exams at the end of the year


So you're a Hogwarts student, and you'd like to know what classes to take? Some classes are required "core" classes, while others are "electives" that can be taken starting in the Third Year. The following lore is here to help you figure out which classes to take, and what you may have taken in previous years.

Core Classes (First Year through Fifth Year)

The core classes are taken every year through Fifth Year. They include:

  • Astronomy — The study of the stars, planets, and other celestial bodies. Not to be confused with astrology, which is an aspect of Divination.
  • Charms — Considered by many to be the most fundamental field of magic, Charms teaches spells that enchant objects, people, or creatures to behave in a way that isn't normal. It is also something of a catch-all category for spells that don't qualify as Transfiguration spells. Note that charms are generally positive in nature, as opposed to curses, which have negative effects — though it could be said that both forms of magic are two sides of the same coin.
  • Defence Against the Dark Arts — "D.A.D.A." teaches students how to protect themselves from Dark magic and creatures, from blocking hostile hexes to learning how to recognize and overcome werewolves and boggarts. (Note that the Patronus Charm is very advanced magic, and is not taught in the Hogwarts curriculum.)
  • Herbology — The study of magical and mundane plants and fungi. In Herbology, students learn to care for and utilize plants, and learn about their magical properties, and what they are used for. Many plants provide ingredients for potions and medicine, while others have magical effects of their own right.
  • History of Magic — The study of magical history, including names, dates, and locations significant to the wizarding world.
  • Potions — In Potions class, students learn to mix magical ingredients into elixirs and brews to produce a variety of wondrous effects when consumed.
  • Transfiguration — The magic of changing the form and appearance of a subject. This is the field of study in which the rare wizard can learn to become an Animagus.

First Year Students also take one additional course:

  • Flying — A special class teaching the basics of flying on a broom. Those looking for more advanced training in broom flying usually join the Broom Club


In the first two months of the 1939-40 school year, all Muggle-born students were forced take only the Special Class for Underprivileged Magical Students. This replaced all other classes, including N.E.W.T.-level classes. It was abolished on October 23, 1939.

Glamers and Conjuration

Players sometimes get confused about the Glamers and Conjuration skills. Glamers and Conjuration are not classes at Hogwarts. These skills are simply aspects of Charms and Transfiguration, respectively, and are learned in those classes. They are separated from their core skills for two reasons. First, it's a matter of balance, so there aren't quite so many spells that can be cast with just two skills. Second, it's a matter of style. This allows a bit more customization. For example, a witch with a knack for spells that affect the mind, but not necessarily more physical spells, can take a high Glamers, while still having a low Charms skill.

Electives (Third Year though Fifth Year)

At the end of second year, everyone must speak to the Deputy Headmaster and arrange with them what electives will be taken in the coming Third Year. There is a minimum requirement of two electives, but up to three may be taken.

The electives chosen are taken from Third until Fifth Year. Once chosen, electives cannot change without special permission and summer courses to catch a student up to their current year's curriculum. A third elective may be dropped, if necessary.


"Extras" are official school clubs and classes beyond the normal student's load. (Unofficial clubs are generally more casual than official ones, and are not considered extras. Quidditch is not considered an extra, either.)

The normal load is:

  • First-Fifth Year: Core classes and 2 electives
  • Sixth-Seventh Year: Up to 3 N.E.W.T.-level classes
  • 0 official clubs

Anything beyond these numbers is an extra. Extras can be taxing, and the school may place limits based on academic achievement. A student may take a number of extras equal to their Mind rank, with the following restrictions:

  1. Only one additional elective may be taken (for a total of 3), and this counts as two extras.
  2. Taking a fifth N.E.W.T. class requires special approval.

Select at least two from the list below:

  • Arithmancy — A magical discipline that studies the magical properties of numbers, including using numerology to predict the future. This application of Arithmancy is much more structured and scientific than traditional Divination, though whether it is more accurate is hotly debated.
  • Care of Magical Creatures — This course teaches students about the properties, behaviors, habitats, and domestication of magical creatures, such as unicorns, hippogryphs, and blast-ended skrewts. Dark creatures are covered in Defense Against the Dark Arts.
  • Divination — The art of recognizing omens and portents, and predicting the future. Divination uses a variety of means, including crystal ball gazing, reading tea leaves, tarot spreads, and astrology. Naturally gifted Seers frequently study Divination as a means of learning to control and interpret their talent.
  • Muggle Studies — In this class, students learn about Muggle culture and history.
  • Study of Ancient Runes — Frequently shortened to simple "Ancient Runes," this is the study of runic scriptures, or Runology. Ancient Runes is a mostly theoretical subject that studies the ancient runic scripts of magic.

O.W.L.s (Ordinary Wizarding Levels)

These tests are given at the end of a student's Fifth Year. They are extremely important in regard to job placement after school. Any witch or wizard only needs to have taken and passed their O.W.L.s to be legally allowed to use magic. Many students at this time don't return to Hogwarts because their desired jobs don't require N.E.W.T.s. (In modern American terms, this is akin to a high school diploma, and/or taking the S.A.T.s.)

N.E.W.T.s (Nastily Exhausting Wizarding Tests)

After Fifth Year, if a student decides to stay at Hogwarts and take their N.E.W.T.s, they may select which subjects they wish to focus on. These may be core classes or electives, but all are considered N.E.W.T.-level classes (again, in modern terms, these are extremely intensive college-level classes). A student can take from one to five N.E.W.T. classes (assuming that student has passing O.W.L.s in those subjects). The average NEWT level student takes two N.E.W.T. classes, an over achiever might take three. To take four you have to be particularly dedicated and trying to get into some advanced profession which require N.E.W.T.s in certain subjects to qualify. Taking five N.E.W.T. level classes is borderline insanity.


The grading system for O.W.L.s and N.E.W.T.'s is as follows:

Passing Grades:

  • O - Outstanding
  • E - Exceeds Expectations
  • A - Acceptable

Failing Grades:

  • P - Poor
  • D - Dreadful
  • T - Troll
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