Just as Hamilton provides academic advisors to its students during their undergraduate years, so it endeavors to assist them in their plans for postgraduate study and employment. The staff of the Career Center regularly advises students on postgraduate planning, and many faculty members are available for consultation concerning study or careers in their particular fields of interest.
In recent years, approximately 16 percent of new graduates have entered graduate or professional schools directly after college. Some 50 percent enter graduate programs within five years after receiving their degrees. Since most Hamilton students undertake postgraduate study, proper preparation for such work is an important aim of the curriculum. About 75 percent of recent seniors elected to take jobs immediately after graduation. As they begin to plan for their postgraduate years, all undergraduates are encouraged to use the resources and counsel available at Hamilton.
The Career Center offers workshops, individual appointments and other services to assist students in exploring career options, preparing for job searches and planning for graduate and professional schools. Students are strongly urged to visit the center in their first or second year at Hamilton. Information on career development and career field choices, and data on all recruiting opportunities, is available online at the Career Center website. The office maintains reference books concerning graduate study in the United States and abroad, as well as information on career-related experiences including internships, volunteer programs and summer employment. Also, the center acts as a clearinghouse for students who wish to establish a permanent file of credentials.
In addition to arranging career seminars and campus visits by employers and representatives of graduate and professional schools, the Career Center coordinates a mentoring program with the participation of alumni, who are an integral part of the career advising process. Each year a number of alumni return to campus to discuss career options with students in a variety of formal and informal settings, and students often visit alumni at their places of employment during school vacations.
Students contemplating graduate study should consult as early as possible with the chair of the department in which they plan to concentrate. Knowledge of requirements for the primary field of interest and of appropriate related courses is essential to planning a solid program. For example, students considering a career in chemistry need to know the courses that will enable them to qualify for a certificate issued by the American Chemical Society, as well as the courses most helpful toward graduate work in chemistry. A student considering geosciences should be aware that the other natural sciences are useful both to the potential concentrator and to the future geologist. A solid grounding in mathematics, including analytical geometry and elementary calculus, is particularly important to the scientist, the economist and very frequently to the social scientist.
Any student planning on graduate work should be aware that many programs require a reading knowledge of at least one foreign language for the master's degree and often two for the doctorate. A student should consider whether French, German, Greek, Latin, Russian, Spanish or a non-Western language will be helpful.
A student contemplating graduate work should consult the Websites and catalogues of major universities for their requirements. This background will permit useful planning in consultation with the appropriate department chair.
Most accredited medical and dental schools require two semesters of English (or comparative literature), two semesters of biology, four semesters of chemistry (including two of organic) and two semesters of physics. Additional requisites vary, but often include "competence in mathematics" and biochemistry. The requirements for schools of veterinary medicine are generally more rigid and vary from school to school. Some veterinary schools require a class in genetics; a few require microbiology. Requirements for the allied health professions, including physical therapy, nursing and physician assistant programs, often include anatomy, physiology and psychology. Students interested in any career in the health professions should consult with the health professions advisor as early as possible to plan a course of study to meet the requirements of the schools of their choice. (See "Early Assurance Program in Medicine" under "Academic Programs and Services.")
Many Hamilton students enter law school immediately upon graduation or within a few years thereafter. While law schools do not prescribe any particular courses or program of study as part of a formal pre-law curriculum, they seek graduates who demonstrate analytical reasoning powers, skill in oral and written forms of expression, and the ability to comprehend and organize large amounts of factual data. Students interested in entering law school are advised and assisted by the Pre-Law Committee composed of faculty members and the associate director of the Career Center.
Hamilton is proud of the number and quality of its graduates who have pursued careers in the field of education. Students interested in teaching, school administration, student services and other careers in education should consult with the staff of the Career Center, the Office of the Dean of Students, the director of the Education Studies Program and/or their advisor.
For many careers and professions, no prescribed program is necessary. The best preparation for business or government service is well-developed skills in reading, speaking and writing; a wide choice of courses, including economics and/or mathematics; and a concentration in the area which the student finds most interesting. Students who intend to enter a graduate school of management or business administration are strongly advised to take mathematics at least through calculus. In addition, many employers look for well-rounded students who also have demonstrated leadership, community service and involvement in extracurricular activities during their time at Hamilton.
Students interested in engineering as a career may pursue this interest at Hamilton in a number of ways. Among others, the cooperative program (see "Cooperative Engineering Programs" under "Academic Programs and Services") leads to the B.S. or M.S. degree in engineering in a 3-2, 4-2 or 2-1-1-1 plan. Other arrangements may also be made. In order to keep this career option open, it is necessary to take courses in physics, mathematics and chemistry. The usual pattern is at least one course in science and one in mathematics for each of the first five or six semesters.