Hamilton College is a small liberal arts school located in Clinton, New York. The campus is combined with Kirkland College on about 1,300 acres of rural land. The school was originally founded as a boys’ school in 1793, but became a college in 1812. Hamilton started accepting women in 1978. Since then, it has been deemed a “Little Ivy” school as well as a “Best Value” college because of its need-blind admissions process. This means that the college meets the full financial need of every student they accept. There are currently just over 1,900 students.
Hamilton offers 43 majors (or concentrations as they’re called there) in 57 different subjects. The most popular majors include: social sciences; mathematics and statistics; biology/biological sciences; liberal arts/general studies; and foreign languages, literatures, and linguistics. Class sizes remain small with a student to faculty ratio of 9 to 1. About 78% of classes have less than 20 students. Hamilton differs from other colleges in that they don’t have a set curriculum for students. This ‘open’ study plan means that students have complete control over what classes they take.
In order to graduate, students are required to take a quantitative and symbolic reasoning course and a writing seminar. However, these requirements can be fulfilled in a variety of classes. Faculty members help students devise a course of action for their studies, which also helps students form relationships with their faculty advisers and professors.
There are many opportunities outside of the classroom as well. About half of all Hamilton students study abroad through one of the 180 programs around the world. Hamilton College has sister schools in Spain, India, France and China. On-campus, there is a lively community spirit, because generally 100% of students live in college housing in a variety of options like suites, apartments, and dorms.
Hamilton College also has an active Greek presence, with ten fraternities and seven sororities. About 21% of men belong to a fraternity and 15% of women belong to a sorority. There are also many student-run organizations, in a wide range of topics from The Coloring Book Club to the Yodapez comedy troupe. Hamilton also holds many annual events like the winter carnival, FabFest, and the spring outdoor concert festival, May Day. The school competes in the NCAA Division III New England Small College Athletic Conference. There are 29 sports for men and women.
Although the college is in a rural setting, it is only 45 minutes from Syracuse and 90 minutes from Albany. Students who are interested in more flexibility in choosing their curriculum should investigate Hamilton’s programs. Hamilton College should also be considered if students are in need of financial assistance during their undergraduate education.