Hamilton’s open curriculum gives you the freedom to choose courses that reflect your interests, while still fulfilling the faculty’s expectation that you study broadly across the liberal arts. But with freedom comes responsibility to meet the high expectations our faculty will have for you as a critical and creative thinker, writer and speaker.
As a student at Hamilton you’ll work closely with a faculty advisor to create an individualized plan of study specific to your interests and goals. That plan may include studying abroad, doing independent research or pursuing a multitude of other academic opportunities.
*Minor only, **Not offered as a major or minor
Advising at Hamilton will help you make responsible, informed decisions about your intellectual development.
Hamilton provides an increasing number of opportunities for our students to engage in significant career-related experience and often publishable research.
Our international and domestic off-campus study programs will provide you with new perspectives and new ways to challenge yourself. About two-thirds of our students study off campus before graduating.
Hamilton College has earned a national reputation for teaching students to communicate clearly, because our faculty believe writing well and speaking well are evidence of one’s ability to think well.
Kate Brouns '17
Class of 2017 Speaker
Here’s the problem we want to solve: imagine a cow standing at the top of a hill. Now, let’s say the cow begins to roll down this hill. We know the cow’s speed and its mass, and we want to calculate when that cow will reach the bottom of the hill.
This problem seems relatively straightforward, but looks can be deceiving. First, I’m not really sure how to approximate the motion of a cow rolling, I mean, look at its shape! It’s kinda lumpy, it has an udder, it has legs. And what if it’s windy outside? I’m from the Pacific Northwest, so from my experience, it’s also probably raining. We have some tough variables to deal with here, so we need to find a way to simplify it.
Now arrives the common physics joke: if we’re going to solve this problem, we have to assume this is a spherical cow in a vacuum. No legs, no wind, no rain—our unrecognizable round cow in an impossible air-resistanceless location makes our calculations much less complicated. Reality is often far too complex to take at face value, but if we make things neat and simplified, they become easily solvable! Our dear spherical cow: so symmetric, so predictable, so not lumpy.