An open curriculum is best suited for students who are smart, independent, motivated and committed to the liberal arts ideals of a broad-based education.

Academic Freedom

Hamilton is one of the few U.S. colleges with an open curriculum, which means you’ll have the freedom to choose courses that reflect your interests, while still fulfilling the faculty’s expectation that you study broadly across the liberal arts.

Frequently Asked Questions

What exactly is an open curriculum?

An open curriculum allows you to choose courses based on your interests and skills. Most colleges have a core curriculum or distribution requirements; Hamilton does not.

How does the open curriculum shape the academic culture on campus?

Imagine being in a class where everyone is there because they’re genuinely interested in the subject, not because they have to fulfill some requirement. In such an environment, classes are more interesting and engaging.

Can I really take whatever academic courses I want?

For the most part yes, but Hamilton’s professors believe so strongly in the importance of writing that they will require you to enroll in three writing-intensive courses. In these courses, which are offered throughout the curriculum, you will write often, receive feedback on composition, form and content, and pursue substantive revision. We also expect you will demonstrate facility in quantitative and symbolic reasoning by completing one or more courses in at least one of the following three categories: statistical analysis, mathematical representation, and logic and symbolic reasoning. Finally, Hamilton maintains a physical education requirement.

What requirements must I fulfill to graduate?

To graduate from Hamilton you must complete 32 units (almost all Hamilton courses are one unit), three writing-intensive courses, at least one quantitative and symbolic reasoning course, the physical education requirement and the requirements for the concentration (what most colleges call the major), including a course that addresses how social categories structure the world in which we live..

What is the concentration (i.e., major)?

Many students do not start their Hamilton education with a clear idea of which concentration to pursue, and many others change their proposed concentration during their first two years. You will declare your concentration in the spring of your sophomore year. Each concentration includes a Senior Project.

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