Opportunity Programs at Hamilton College is an academic program held in high regard by both the College and the New York State Education Department. Students who are offered admission to Hamilton through the Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP) or Hamilton College Scholars are deemed to have the potential to excel with the structure and proven support of the program. Selection for admission through Opportunity Programs is highly competitive. An offer of admission is a clear statement of the student’s potential, and a sign of the College’s willingness to fully invest in their success.

Successful completion of the five week summer program is a prerequisite for fall matriculation through Hamilton’s Opportunity Programs. In addition to allowing students to earn (1) one general studies credit, students also have the opportunity to begin developing strong working relationships with college faculty, have interaction with  key college officers, and work with program counselors to help students optimize their academic experience. Students continue through a 4 year protocol that focuses not only on the acquisition of knowledge, but its application; allowing students to create options and choices that lead to highly successful and satisfying futures.

During the summer, students participate in a total of 9 academic and support classes. All students participate in Math, English, Campus Psychology, Philosophy, Physical Fitness, Oral Communications, Routine for Learning (self- designed study routine), Government, and are designated to one of 3 sciences; Geology, Biology, or Chemistry. In addition students participate in library resource seminars, workshops with the Career Center, and receive a thorough introduction to the campus Information Technology Systems.

Integrated within the Summer Program are also unique opportunities to fulfill the College’s Quantitative Literacy and Fitness requirements for graduation. The Summer Program also provides opportunities for cultural enrichment, camaraderie, and civic engagement through planned weekend excursions that include art, fine dining, collective and community collaboration, and team building.

Our focus is to help students create a sense of ownership, ease transition, and support the Hamilton curriculum with a well-rounded approach that makes success possible.

At the conclusion of the summer program an academic support profile is developed for each student. Students are aware of their reading speed and comprehension, critical skill and analysis abilities, vocabulary level, writing concerns, or any area that requires support or personal attention. The director then discusses this profile with the student, increasing student readiness for the fall semester. 

This year marks the 44th year of Opportunity Programs at Hamilton College.  We are proud of the formative role Opportunity Programs has played in the educational and personal success of countless students.


Office / Department Name

Opportunity Program

Contact Name

Aaron Ray

Director of Opportunity Program

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

Site Search