"Jans" arrive on a cold but sunny campus to officially begin their Hamilton experience and take part in new student orientation.
Courses & Credit
Note: The presence of an organization or service on this list does not imply a recommendation or endorsement by any office or personnel at Hamilton College.
Where can I take courses whose credit will transfer to Hamilton?
If you plan to enroll in classes for which you want to receive credit toward your Hamilton degree, you should take courses from a regionally accredited college or university. In general, this means any reputable institution, private or public, that offers B.S. or B.A. degrees (including state and community colleges). Please note that accreditation does not guarantee that course credit will transfer. To receive Hamilton credit for courses you take elsewhere, you must receive a grade of “B-” or better in the course.
What kinds of courses should I take?
Because of Hamilton’s flexible curriculum, you have considerable freedom in choosing courses before you arrive at Hamilton in January. Take the opportunity to explore new subject areas in the liberal arts, to begin or refine your skills in a foreign language or to strengthen a current area of academic weakness.
Remember: You are not required to take courses for which you can receive Hamilton credit. If something looks interesting or useful to you, you might consider enrolling in it for your own benefit regardless of credit status. However, you are responsible for making sure that credits earned at other institutions will transfer to your Hamilton transcript. It is important to stay in touch with the Registrar’s Office regarding your course selection.
Should you choose to take courses for credit during the fall, you must plan to take courses that are similar to courses offered by Hamilton. Comparing descriptions of the courses you are considering with descriptions of courses in the Hamilton catalogue is one way to do this.
Any specific questions regarding class selection and transfer credit should be directed to Anne Riffle in the Registrar’s Office.
What kind of courses should I avoid taking?
- Courses in trade fields such as journalism, accounting, health and human services, criminal justice, and business. Since Hamilton has a liberal arts curriculum, these courses are sometimes difficult or impossible to transfer here.
- Math courses in sequence prior to Calculus 1 such as pre-calculus or college-level algebra.
- Courses that are the first part of a multi-term sequence. There are often such courses at the introductory level in the natural sciences.
- Courses taken on a pass/fail basis.
- Courses taken online.
What should I look for when selecting a January study abroad option?
- First make sure the program accepts first-year students.
- Next, make sure that the program operates on an academic calendar that coincides with Hamilton's calendar.
- Finally, you will need to ensure that Hamilton readily accepts transfer credits from that institution.
Previous Jans have enrolled in Arcadia University Fall in London freshman program, at St. Andrews in Scotland or occasionally in other study abroad programs such as the School for Field Studies. Another option is the SEA Semester for Hamilton Jans. Feel free to contact Anne Riffle in the Registrar's Office for course and credit transfer information.
What is the Arcadia Fall in London Program and how will my credits transfer?
The College of Global Studies at Arcadia University has partnered with Hamilton and designed a program to fit the needs of January admits. View a detailed listing of courses offered and see how their credit would apply at Hamilton. Specific questions can be referred to Anne Riffle in our Registrar's Office.
What is the SEA Semester for Hamilton Jans and how will my credits transfer?
Our partnership with SEA Semester (for Environmental Science in Woods Hole [Massachusetts] and at Sea) began in 2017. Sea Semester is a program that many Hamilton upper-class students have participated in for years. There are three programs approved for Hamilton’s Jans: Atlantic Odyssey, Ocean Exploration, and Sustainability in Polynesian Island Cultures and Ecosystems (SPICE). Atlantic Odyssey is a non-credit bearing program. Ocean Exploration and SPICE are credit bearing programs. The courses offered in the Ocean Exploration and SPICE programs have been vetted and approved by Hamilton. These three programs are tailored to first-year, “gap” semester students who are seeking a unique and adventurous fall semester. Please note that only the Atlantic Odyssey and Ocean Exploration programs will be offered for the fall 2019 semester. For more information about these two programs, please visit the SEA Semester website.
View a detailed listing of courses offered in the Ocean Exploration program and see how the credits would apply at Hamilton.
What is the School for Field Studies and how will my credits transfer?
Our partnership with School for Field Studies (SFS) began in 2019. SFS has programs that many Hamilton upper-class students have participated in for years. The ten different SFS programs involve an interdisciplinary and immersive approach to the study of environmental issues, all over the world. Interested students can apply to any of the SFS programs. The programs have rolling admissions, though space is limited. For more information about SFS programs, please visit the School for Field Studies website.
View a detailed listing of how SFS credit would transfer to Hamilton.
planning for your Arrival
Please note that you will need regular internet access throughout the fall to receive important communications from Hamilton and to register for spring classes. If your preferred fall experience will take you away from internet connectivity for long stretches of time, you will need to contact Anne Riffle (email@example.com) to discuss how it will impact your pre-arrival process.