Hamilton Adirondack Program

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Janelle A. Schwartz
General Director


The Hamilton Adirondack Program is a place-based, off-campus semester experience that combines rigorous academic study with the skills and understanding gained through field work and internships in the Adirondack Park with local organizations and in wilderness contexts. The focus is on interdisciplinary, local environmental issues with global implications and applications. The goal is to extend these vital lessons into students’ future careers and life plans.

"It's very good to see students using the Adirondacks as the unique classroom that it is — and even better to see them giving a huge amount back to these mountains as volunteers across the park!"  
—Bill McKibben

We seek to attract a broad spectrum of students  — students from all majors and interests! — who want to investigate the ecological, geological, political, economic, historic, and cultural issues that shape the complex mix of natural and human environments in the Adirondacks.

We offer students an intensive 15-week FALL residency at The Mountain House, in Keene, NY, in the heart of the High Peaks region. We provide our participants with leadership opportunities in which they learn intensively, interdisciplinarily and experientially about the nature and importance of place and place-making through stewardship and the liberal arts.

We seek students who demonstrate motivation, maturity, and a willingness to work and live both independently and communally in a wilderness environment.

16 students per term. The program is open to Hamilton juniors and seniors in their fall semester. Hamilton sophomores may apply through an appeals process to the Committee on Academic Standing (contact the General Director for more info). The program is also open to qualified sophomores, juniors, and seniors from other participating undergraduate institutions. Students attending the program from other undergraduate institutions will receive an official Hamilton College transcript and must be enrolled in full time study during the course of the semester. For more information about admission eligibility, click here. For the application, click here

Courses are taught by Hamilton College faculty, augmented by guest speakers and over 50 of our local partners throughout the Adirondack Park. Each student enrolls in 4 courses:

Students may earn up to two credits in their area of major or minor concentration, pending approval from their home department or program. Those students in Environmental Studies at Hamilton can automatically obtain credit toward their ES major or minor for the Intensive Seminar and the Independent Capstone Project.

Additional experiential leadership opportunities are available, such as outdoor skills building and trip leading and community outreach and volunteering – all challenge-by-choice.