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Hamilton College

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What are the academics like at your school?

Are you kidding? Professors know my name, my hometown, attend my swim meets and choir concerts, invite me over for dinner, will pick up things at the grocery store for me (I don't have a car)....99% of the professors are outstanding and ultimately they are the reason I stayed at the school. Hamilton is work intensive. Whether or not that improves our learning processes, if you want to get As it takes a lot of work. Sundays are dedicated to the library and there are a couple hours of work every night in addition. Class participation is encouraged, required, and necessary if you want to do well, presentations are a part of every class. There are occasional intellectual conversations outside of class but not as many as I have seen in other communities. There is a pretty even mix between competitive and relaxed students. The econ department is one of the most respected and distinguished on campus. While heavily male dominated, it is an excellent resource. Keep in mind that Hamilton is a liberal arts school and Econ is not a good substitute for business, we look at the theory of economics. My favorite class at Hamilton was Industrial Organization with Professor Jensen, an amazing course. Requirements? We don't have any! I haven't taken Science or Math since High School and I love it. The requirements for the majors are clear cut and manageable. While the Hamilton education is not pragmatic in terms of the 'I will remember this lecture next year in the workforce' sense Hamilton did a wonderful job teaching me to think creatively, write effectively, and communicate efficiently. These are the transferable skills that I depended on during internships and interviews. Aside from that I feel I am totally prepared to learn the on the job skills following graduation because Hamilton has given me such a good base.

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Classes are often on the small-ish side, which makes skipping or lurking in the background difficult. But the professors take the time to learn each student's name and create a relationship with him or her. Class participation cannot be avoided! In terms of requirements, Hamilton does not have many. A "point" for a quantitative class is required (any math class will fulfill this or some sciences). We are also required to take 3 writing-intensive classes in our before we graduate. These are usually interesting classes that you wouldn't expect to write in, like a dance class, and you're allowed to re-write every paper in order to improve your skills. This is a big part of Hamilton's identity because we pride ourselves on our writing abilities. We even have a famous story about a student who went to graduate school at an Ivy. The professor called this student out in class and asked her/him (I can't remember this person's gender at present) where s/he had gone to school. When s/he replied Hamilton, the professor was extremely impressed and told the rest of the class that they should have attended Hamilton.

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I have never had a class at Hamilton where a professor did not know my name, what I did on campus, how I was doing in class, and where I was from. Students studied a lot during the week, and party hard on the weekends. I spend a large amount of time with professors outside of class because they are so easily accessible. The department for my major is a very small one, but all of the professors are loving, accommodating, and selfless. Hamilton's lack of core requirements was what initially drew me to the school. It allows for such academic freedom and creates such engaging learning environments in your classes where students are there because they want to be, not because they are fulfilling some requirement. Most learning at Hamilton requires you to be independent and self-motivating, which helps prepare you for the real world. Class participation is almost always required, with the exception of a few lecture classes. It's also really common to hear students continuing class discussions after class.

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Most of the professors I have had knew my name. My favorite class has probably been medical and forensic geology. It is exciting and different. My least favorite class has been an intro sociology class. My professor had no idea how Hamilton's curriculum worked and was unfair. Students spend a good amount of time studying. Sometimes it feels like that is all they do. Class participation is required and is common. Intellectual converstations do happen outside of class. Students are probably harder on themselves than they are others. Medical and forensic geology is the most unique class I have taken. I do not have a major yet. I do not spend time with my professors outside of class. I feel like Hamilton is way more demanding than I expected. Education at Hamilton is all about learning for its own sake. I have learned nothing that would help me in most typical jobs.

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Professors not only know your name, they know where you are from, what you do on the weekends, who your favorite baseball team is ect. Hamilton students definitely work hard and play hard, science majors at Hamilton are especially demanding because all seniors are required to write a senior thesis. Hamilton students definitely have intellectual conversations outside of class, but as at any school, the scope of the conversations is very wide. Hamilton does not have any required core requirements which is AMAZING! The only requirements are 3 "writing intensive" classes, which really do not need to be difficult if you choose them carefully. Many people fulfill the requirement just within their normal course load. The education is definitely geared towards learning, but students are always encouraged to think about what they like learning and where they may want to take it into the future.

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Academics at Hamilton are challenging, but definitely not impossible. If students put the time and effort into doing readings for classes, participating in the classroom, and studying for exams, everything is fine. Strong writing and communication skills are very important for students at Hamilton, so we expect to write a lot of papers and to prepare for a lot of oral presentations. We have many great resources on campus that should be taken advantage of: a Writing Center, an Oral Communications center, several tutoring services, and of course the availability and approachability of all professors. Obviously the workload and difficulty of material will depend on the class and professor, but for the most part students are always able to manage. Academics come first, but there will also always be time to relax or be involved with other things on campus.

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Class participation gets better as you get old. I spend times with my professors outside of class but students often need to take the initiative. Its hard at first and beneficial in the end. I think Hamilton students really value and cherish the academic freedom. The career center is helpful and has a lot of resources but people sometimes complain that the counselors are not knowledgable or helpful. Most students do have intellectual conversations outside class but for the most part students spend a large portion of their time working and enjoy social and non academic things for their down time. This could mean drinking and partying and could mean a movie, group discussion, or other similar events. The drinking culture becomes less important as you get older and people do more diverse things on weekends.

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Yes, my professors definitely know my name. My favorite class was organic chemistry. I know that most people in college hate this class because it is really really hard, but my professor was so amazing and brilliant that it made the class awesome. My least favorite class was my intro. bio course. There were too many people and I felt like there was not enough personal attention. Most classes though I feel give you that attention you should get at a small school. Students study very regularly here. Class participation is always present. Yes, we have very intellectual conversations outside of class. I think that Hamilton asks a lot out of its kids but we are all very smart and almost all get the grades and get their work done.

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I have a very good relationship with my professors--they all know my name, and I go to office hours frequently, even when I do not have homework questions. My favorite classes are any classes with Professor Muirhead or Professor O'Neill. They are my favorite professors and make the classes highly enjoyable. Class participation is expected, although it is expected in more classes than others (eg. english vs. math). Hamilton students do have intellectual converstions outside of class ranging from Nietchze to what's going on in Tibet. Students are very competitive--at least in my classes. Since Hamilton is a liberal school, there are no set requirements. This course freedom allows students to take essentially whatever they want.

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Do professors know your name? Yes, including many who never taught me. Is class participation common? Yes, it is expected and is integral to the teaching process. Do Hamilton students have intellectual conversations outside of class? Yes, I often feel we do this too often. There may be too many intelligent people for the world to handle. What's the most unique class you've taken? Geology and Development of Modern Africa Do you spend time with professors outside of class? Yes, in many cases i know their families. I have also gone to the pub with some after hours (I'm 22 years old for the record). How do you feel about Hamilton 's academic requirements? I LOVE the open curriculum.

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