Although the proposal for a Senior Fellowship has no set length or format, a typical proposal is approximately 7 to 10 pages long. Potential applicants are encouraged to consult with the Director of the Senior Fellowship Program before they begin preparing the application. The proposal should include the following information:

A. Reasons why you wish to do a Senior Fellowship. How would a senior fellowship year fit into your liberal arts education and/or career goals? Why would it be a more appropriate alternative to continued formal coursework and completion of your degree and concentration requirements? Is it a natural outgrowth of an experience or interest you have developed at Hamilton, of an experience abroad or elsewhere?

B. Outline of the projected study. This should include (1) appropriate and detailed background information indicating your understanding of the problem or topic you wish you investigate; (2) the means by which you will accomplish your investigation; and (3) the significance of the undertaking. You should also explain how you will have access to the necessary materials, resources and expertise, either here at Hamilton or elsewhere, to enable you to do the project. Previous coursework experience with your principal or secondary advisors is also important in establishing the background preparation for your proposed project.

C. An outline of your senior year. Explain what additional activities you expect to engage in: coursework, if any (we usually recommend at least one course per term); extracurricular activities; other activities related to your project (e.g. attending professional meetings, visiting labs or other facilities at other colleges, research at other libraries or resources).

D. An explanation of how your work at Hamilton has achieved, or will achieve, the breadth of study which is a primary goal of a liberal arts education. This breadth might be fulfilled by your (1) having taken an unusually broad selection of courses in your first three years; (2) undertaking an interdisciplinary Senior Fellowship; (3) supplementing the Senior Fellowship with course work which increase the breadth of your overall program of study; or (4) some combination of the above.

E. Any other information which you believe clarifies or strengthens your proposal for a Senior Fellowship year.

F. An unofficial transcript.

G. Letters of support provided separately by faculty members. Those faculty members who have agreed to be your primary and secondary advisors should indicate their willingness and ability to provide guidance for the year and speak to your strengths, your capabilities, and the likelihood that you will complete the Senior Fellowship successfully. In addition, you must submit a letter of support from a faculty member outside the discipline of your proposed fellowship, speaking more generally to your qualifications to be a Fellow.

H. Please include a cover sheet on your proposal with the following information:

Proposal Title
Principal Advisor
Secondary Advisor(s)

Submit the completed proposal, including the supporting letters from three faculty members, to the Office of the Dean of Faculty by Tuesday, April 9. Your proposal will be read and evaluated by the Dean, the Academic Council, and the Director of the Senior Fellowship Program. Since the Council is a diverse group representing a variety of academic disciplines, whose members may not be familiar with your topic or methods of inquiry, please make sure your proposal is comprehensible to a non-specialist.


If you have questions, please contact Todd Franklin, director of the Senior Fellowship Program, 315-859-4628 or tfrankli@hamilton.edu.

Help us provide an accessible education, offer innovative resources and programs, and foster intellectual exploration.

Site Search