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This is a time when students delve more deeply into their concentration and tie their learning to experiences off the Hill through off-campus study, career-related experiences and postgraduate planning.


Explore your concentration

The junior year is the time to delve into your chosen concentration and begin mastering the breadth and depth of the discipline. Make sure you are on track to fulfill the College's general graduation requirements and the particular requirements for your concentration. Check your progress in your major to make sure you are on track to fulfill your concentration requirements. Meet with your concentration advisor to see what courses you should be taking.

Evaluate your educational plan with your concentration advisor

At this point in your education you may be having thoughts about adding a minor, a second concentration, or changing to a new concentration entirely. If so, now is the time to meet with your advisor to examine your plan, keeping in mind the desirability of cultivating a broad educational experience. If you are thinking of declaring a minor, this is a good time to check your course progress in that area of study. You will want to meet with the chair of any new concentration you are considering or another faculty member in that department.

Investigate summer opportunities and secure career-related experiences

It is never too soon to begin thinking about the connections between your education and your life after college. The Career Center works closely with students as early as their first year to help identify opportunities for career exploration and development. Each summer, Hamilton provides 140 stipends for students to conduct research and more than 70 stipends for students to pursue unpaid internships. As a junior you will want to find ways to opportunities that will prepare you for a satisfying and productive life after Hamilton.

Engage with the Career Center to begin your search for career-related experiences and learn how to market yourself.

Pursue leadership opportunities

Hamilton offers many formal and informal opportunities for students to learn to take initiative; make informed, responsible and ethical decisions; and successfully organize and collaborate with others on shared projects and goals. In a recent survey, 79 percent of seniors said they served as a leader of a campus organization.

Begin making plans for your senior project

All students are required to complete the Senior Program in their concentrations. Each area of study has designed a Senior Program that serves as an integrating and culminating experience for the concentration. The project takes on different forms depending on the concentration. Some students write a thesis based on independent research, others may complete a seminar in their major department. The project may span a full year or it may be completed in a semester.

Speak with your concentration advisor to learn about the expectations in your department. The spring of a student's junior year usually is when preliminary arrangements are made for the senior thesis. If you are planning to study abroad in spring of your junior year, make sure you are in contact with your academic advisor before you leave to learn about how to make arrangements for the senior project.

Consider applying for the Senior Fellowship program

Each spring, the Dean of Faculty designates up to seven academically outstanding members of the junior class as Senior Fellows. Juniors may become candidates by submitting a proposal for a senior year of independent study. The proposal usually grows out of previous academic study and is framed in consultation with two faculty advisors of the student's choice. Senior Fellows are exempt from taking a normal course load in the conventional curriculum, and they need not complete concentration requirements. They may take such courses as are appropriate to their fellowship projects and their educational goals. A written thesis is required at the close of the fellowship year, along with a public lecture to the College community. Evaluation is made by the advisors and an examination committee.

Learn more about graduate study and other post-graduate opportunities

If you think you may be interested in graduate study after Hamilton you will want to speak with your academic advisor and other faculty members in your department about the range of programs available. Also visit the Career Center to familiarize yourself with program requirements and to learn about standardized tests (e.g., GRE, MAT), test dates, and how best to prepare for them.

There are also a range of post-graduate fellowship opportunities like Fulbright Grants, Watson FellowshipsWatson Internships, Bristol Fellowships, and Levitt Fellowships that you can explore at the Fellowships & Scholarships Office. 

Forms & Deadlines

Key Dates for Juniors

Thurs., Aug. 26: Fall semester begins
Fri., Sept. 3: Last day to add a course
Wed., Oct. 6: Last day to drop a course
Wed., Oct. 13: Last day to declare leave of absence for spring 2022
Early Nov.: Meet to discuss registration for spring 2022
Fri., Dec. 10: Fall semester classes end
Dec. 13-17: Final examinations

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