Your courses will present possibilities for hands-on research, carried out in small classes with support from faculty members. Instructors will provide training in essential principles and standards of scientific and statistical research – and encourage you to think creatively. You will learn to conduct and assess many types of social research.

Ben Goldman '17

Arts, academics and Gregorian chant

When Ben Goldman ’17 visited Hamilton College, he says he met students who’d received College grants to do cool projects or attend conferences. “Now it’s going full circle; I’m getting funding to do a really cool project that I’m really passionate about,” says Goldman, who got a grant to travel to Quarr Abbey, on the Isle of Wight, to study Gregorian chant. Goldman, who majors in dance and sociology, picked Hamilton in part because it gave him the flexibility to combine the arts with more traditional academic interests.

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He came into Hamilton interested in theatre and musical theatre and has landed major roles in College Choir productions. Less expected was his passion for dance. “I really enjoy the arts and music and theatre and all this, but the dance department really grabbed me in a different way,” he says. Sociology grabbed him too. “And I realized that a lot of really, really important topics to me are really pursued and studied in sociology: socio-economic class, sexuality, gender, religion,” says Goldman, who is thinking about attending law school after he graduates.

Chris Takas '05
Chris Takacs ’05

A graduate’s progress: a book and pursuit of a Ph.D.

Chris Takacs ’05 entered Hamilton College expecting to major in philosophy, then discovered the passion that became his career. He’s pursuing a doctorate in sociology at the University of Chicago and recently published a book with a man who was his professor at Hamilton, Dan Chambliss, the Eugene M. Tobin Distinguished Professor of Sociology.

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At Hamilton, Takacs  did well in a beginning sociology class and Chambliss invited him to join a seminar. Takacs felt honored. “And Dan was a great teacher,” says Takacs, who knows better than most the value of a great teacher. He experienced it as a Hamilton student, then he researched it as a scholar – with Chambliss.

Takacs began doing research with Chambliss as an undergraduate and the partnership proved fruitful. They co-wrote a book, How College Works, published in 2014 by Harvard Press. The book shows, among other findings, the impact of excellent professors and strong student-professor relationships on a student’s academic path.

Takacs says his own path exemplifies the book’s findings. Hamilton has an exceptional level of high-quality teachers who have that positive influence, in his experience.

“It was true for me, it was true for a lot of my friends,” he says.