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Student Handbook

Academic Policies and Regulations

Academic Departments and Programs

The complete Hamilton College Catalogue can be found online. Also available is a PDF version of all courses, searchable by department/program and updated each evening.

Concentrations

Among the requirements for graduation is the successful completion of a concentration (major) offered by several departments and programs of instruction. The number of courses comprising a concentration normally ranges from eight to 10. Every student is required to complete a senior program as defined by his or her concentration. For more information, see "Concentration" (under "Academic Regulations") and "Senior Program" below.

The specific disciplines and programs in which a student may concentrate are Africana Studies, American Studies, Anthropology (Cultural Anthropology and Archaeology), Art, Art History, Asian Studies, Biochemistry/Molecular Biology, Biology, Chemical Physics, Chemistry, Chinese, Classics (Classical Languages and Classical Studies), Communication, Comparative Literature, Computer Science, Dance, Economics, English (Literature and Creative Writing), Environmental Studies, Foreign Languages, French, Geoarchaeology, Geosciences, German Studies, Government, Hispanic Studies, History, Mathematics, Music, Neuroscience, Philosophy, Physics, Psychology, Public Policy, Religious Studies, Russian Studies, Sociology, Theatre, Women's Studies and World Politics.

Minors

The specific disciplines and programs in which a student may minor are Africana Studies, Anthropology, Art, Art History, Astronomy, Biology, Chemistry, Chinese, Classics (Classical Languages and Classical Studies), Communication, Comparative Literature, Computer Science, Dance, Digital Arts, Economics, Education Studies, English (Literature and Creative Writing), Environmental Studies, French, Geosciences, German Studies, Government, Hispanic Studies, History, Japanese, Latin American Studies, Mathematics, Medieval and Renaissance Studies, Music, Philosophy, Physics, Psychology, Public Policy, Religious Studies, Russian Studies, Sociology, Theatre and Women's Studies.

Senior Program

All students are required to complete the Senior Program in their concentrations. Each department and program of concentration has designed a senior program that serves as an integrating and culminating experience for the concentration. Students use the methodology and knowledge gained in their first three years of study. Building on their courses and showing their increasing ability to work independently in terms of both motivation and subject matter, seniors are required to produce a significant synthesis of knowledge by means of one of the following: a research project leading to a written, oral or visual creation; a seminar for concentrators, including a major presentation and research paper by each student; or comprehensive examinations ideally involving both written and oral components. This requirement allows seniors to demonstrate at an appropriate level their mastery of content and the methods of the discipline.

Senior Fellowship Program

Each spring, the vice president for academic affairs/dean of faculty designates up to seven academically outstanding members of the junior class as Senior Fellows. Students in the junior year may become candidates by submitting a proposal for a senior year of independent study. The proposal usually grows out of previous academic study and is framed in consultation with two faculty advisors of the student's choice. Senior Fellows are exempt from taking a normal course load in the conventional curriculum, and they need not complete concentration requirements; they may take such courses as are appropriate to their fellowship projects and their educational goals. A written thesis is required at the close of the fellowship year, along with a public lecture to the College community. Evaluation is made by the advisors and an examination committee.

Advanced Placement

In order to receive AP credit, a student must take a departmentally approved Hamilton course and pass with the minimum grade stipulated by the department.

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