As a liberal arts institution, Hamilton encourages applications from students of diverse talents and intellectual promise. Prospective students are selected not only on the basis of their performance in high school and their ability to profit from Hamilton's various programs, but also on the basis of their capacity to enrich college life in some fashion -- be it scholastic or extracurricular.

The Admission Committee reviews each application individually and reaches a decision by consensus. Since the number of qualified candidates far exceeds the number of openings available each year, admission to Hamilton is highly competitive.


Requirements for Admission

Because Hamilton's academic program is rigorous, applicants for admission must demonstrate highly developed learning skills. The candidate should, therefore, complete a formal secondary school program, including such preparatory subjects as English, mathematics, foreign language, science and social studies. Although the distribution of these subjects may vary, a minimum of four years of English, three years of mathematics, three years of science and three years of one foreign language is desirable. Nonetheless, since the prime criterion for admission remains the candidate's ability and desire to perform at intellectually demanding levels, Hamilton will consider applications from highly recommended individuals whose preparation does not conform to these guidelines.

The deadline for submitting applications through regular decision is January 1. An application consists of the following: the application form itself (Hamilton's online application is the Common Application), Hamilton's one-page Application Supplement, an admission essay, a secondary school report, a mid-year school report and a teacher reference form. Applicants are offered a variety of ways to meet Hamilton's standardized test requirement. They include: the SAT Reasoning Test; or the American College Testing assessment test (ACT); or three exams of the student's choosing, to include a writing or verbal test, a quantitative test (chemistry, math or physics) and a third test of the student's choice: acceptable exams include SAT II subject tests, AP Exams and the TOEFL for international students. See the Admission website for more specifics.

Because the Admission Committee wants to know as much as possible about each applicant, a personal interview on campus is strongly recommended. Interviews may be scheduled from spring of the junior year through February 1 of the senior year. The candidate should contact the Admission Office at 800-843-2655 to schedule an appointment. Because interview slots are limited and are often booked weeks in advance, students are urged to arrange an appointment well ahead of their intended visit. The Admission Office schedules interviews Monday through Friday from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. The office is also open on most Saturday mornings from July through November. For those unable to visit the College or schedule an interview during their visit, an off-campus interview with an alumna or alumnus of the College may be arranged. An off-campus interview should be requested as early as possible during the senior year. Alumni interviews cannot be scheduled after December 15. The phone number is 800-791-9283.

A campus visit should involve more than just an interview. Applicants are encouraged to take a tour of the campus, attend an information session, visit classes, talk with faculty members and students, and eat in one of the dining halls. The Admission Office will be glad to assist with any arrangements.

Hamilton is a member of the National Association of College Admission Counselors and adheres to its Statement of Principles of Good Practice in the admission process. Applicants are expected to be aware of their rights and responsibilities as delineated in the Statement of Students' Rights and Responsibilities as promulgated by NACAC. Copies of either or both of those statements may be obtained by writing or calling the Admission Office.


Early Decision

The Early Decision program is designed for students who have investigated their college options thoroughly and have decided that Hamilton is their "first choice." Hamilton College values the commitment and enthusiasm demonstrated by students who choose this program. The program enables students to clearly indicate that Hamilton is their first choice, and allows admitted students to conclude their college search early in the senior year.

A student may apply for Early Decision under the following plans:

Plan I: November 15--Deadline for application
December 15--Notification of decision

Plan II: January 1--Deadline for application
February 15--Notification of decision

Students applying under any of the Early Decision plans will be required to sign a statement that they will withdraw all other college applications and will file no additional applications if they are accepted by Hamilton. A guidance counselor and a parent must also acknowledge the commitment by signing this statement.


Advanced Placement Credit

Entering students who score satisfactorily on the Advanced Placement Tests or who have earned the International Baccalaureate diploma may be awarded (with the approval of the appropriate department and the Committee on Academic Standing) advanced placement and/or credit. In addition, credit may be granted for coursework taken on other college campuses with regular college faculty.

With the approvals of the appropriate academic departments and the Committee on Academic Standing, students who have earned the International Baccalaureate diploma may be awarded credit based on that diploma.

With the same approvals, a student who scores satisfactorily on an Advanced Placement Test may be awarded advanced placement in that department's curriculum. The department, may, but need not, award the student credit for a lower-level course upon that student's completing, with a grade satisfactory to the department, the course in which he or she was placed.

A student may not receive credit toward a degree solely on the basis of a score on an Advanced Placement Test.


Hamilton Opportunity Programs

Hamilton offers three programs designed to improve access to higher education for ­students who, may have experienced academic and/or financial obstacles, but who clearly have demonstrated an ability to perform in a competitive academic environment.

Hamilton participates in the New York State-sponsored Arthur O. Eve Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP) and its own Hamilton College Scholars Program. Both provide a wide range of support services, including a mandatory, credit-bearing summer session. Academic support, counseling and tutoring are also provided. In addition, Hamilton supports Opportunity Pathways, an academic and career support program for low-income parents in Herkimer, Madison and Oneida counties. Opportunity Pathways provides comprehensive needs and skills assessment, academic and career counseling, academic support, and assistance with books and travel cost.

For further information, contact Phyllis Breland, director of Opportunity Programs, at 315-859-4398.


International Students

Applications from superior students from other countries are encouraged. International students should submit the results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) in addition to the materials mentioned above if their language of instruction has not been English. Financial aid is available to international students demonstrating need.


Home-Schooled Students

Students who have met their local and/or state regulations for schooling at home may apply for admission to Hamilton. We strongly recommend these home-schooled students have an on-campus interview to discuss their academic preparation for college-level work.


Transfer from Other Colleges

The College is interested in well-qualified, highly motivated students who wish to transfer to Hamilton from other institutions. Because of the College's graduation and residency requirements, no student can transfer more than two years' academic credit from another institution. (See also "Evaluation of Credit for Transfer Students" under "Academic Regulations.")

Transfer candidates must submit official records of all college work accompanied by two letters of recommendation, one of which must be from the dean or academic advisor at the institution most recently attended. The deadline for fall transfer applications is April 15; admission decisions are mailed by early June. The deadline for spring transfer applications is November 15; admission decisions are mailed by January 1. Financial aid for transfer students is available but limited.


Bridge Program

In order to be of service to the community, Hamilton will admit highly qualified high school students (usually seniors) to take courses to supplement their academic programs. To be considered for admission, a student must have exhausted his/her high school ­curriculum in a given area or have a compelling reason for beginning a new course of study in a subject not offered by his/her high school. The Bridge Program supplements high school offerings; it does not replace or substitute for them.

A student may take no more than one course per semester through the Bridge Program and no more than two in total. Bridge students will be allowed to register for a second class only after completing a first course with a grade of B or better, and their grades from Hamilton courses will be reported on their high school transcripts.

All interested students must apply through the Admission Office and, if accepted, must get permission from the department chair to take the course. A score of 5 on the AP Calculus exam is required for admission to the program to take Calculus 2 or any more advanced math course.

Application deadlines for the program are June 15 for the Fall semester and November 1 for the Spring semester.


Hamilton Horizons Program

Convinced that education is a continuing process, Hamilton invites qualified men and women who have been away from formal collegiate education for two years or more to return via the Hamilton Horizons Program. Interested candidates are asked to meet with the director of the program.

The Hamilton Horizons Program provides older students with the same educational opportunities offered to regular undergraduates. The program offers no distinct courses for adults, no evening or weekend courses and no adjunct faculty. Instead, students in this program are incorporated into the mainstream of the College's academic life.

To earn a degree at Hamilton, students in the Hamilton Horizons Program must satisfy all the requirements stated in the College Catalogue, except the requirement in physical education, the requirements governing minimum and maximum course loads, the requirements governing residence on campus and the requirement that the degree be completed within seven years following matriculation.

Applicants are initially accepted as part-time students in the program, which in itself offers no degree. After two semesters, each student has the option of applying to the College as a candidate for the baccalaureate degree. Hamilton Horizons students may take courses for credit or audit them without formal matriculation. The deadline for fall Horizons applications is May 1; the deadline for spring Horizons applications is November 1.