Campus Spotlight: Colgate University
Looking for an in-depth liberal arts education and research experience? You might be interested in Colgate University, an acclaimed college in Hamilton, New York, that offers a unique liberal arts core and plenty of opportunities for undergraduate research.
The Colgate Core
Possibly the most distinct feature of Colgate University is its core liberal arts curriculum. These general education requirements encourage all students to explore classical ideas about the human experience and what it means to be a scholar.
During their first two years, Colgate students are required to complete four core courses. One focuses on the influence of ancient Mediterranean and Near East texts on modern ideas about philosophy, religion, politics and art. Another examines the effects of industrialization and science on the modern world through primary texts from 1750 to the present.
For the third and fourth core requirements, students must take one course from each of the following series:
- Scientific Perspectives on the World: These courses apply scientific methods to topics outside the realm of the natural sciences, such as art, religion or even sports.
- Communities and Identities: This series offers a broader understanding of human culture and identity through communities such as the North American Indians and the peoples of the Arctic.
Colgate also requires all students to take at least one course designated under 'global engagement.' These classes examine the effects of globalization and cross-cultural interaction, and are intended to prepare students for today's highly international academic and professional worlds.
Finally, the Colgate core is rounded out by the 'areas of inquiry' requirement, which ensures that students take at least six courses across several different disciplines. The fields are divided into three major subject areas: Natural sciences and mathematics, human thought and expression and social relations, institutions and agents.
Beyond the Classroom
There's one thing that many prospective students fear they'll miss out on at a liberal arts college: Research.
Not at Colgate. The university prides itself on offering an unusually high level of research opportunities for undergraduates. And unlike large, traditional research universities, where undergrads typically only get to work with graduate teaching assistants, Colgate students work closely with faculty on research and publication.
Some students find themselves engaging in in-depth scholarly research as early as their sophomore years. And by graduation, many Colgate students have even co-authored papers in academic journals or presented work at major conferences.
The final thing that makes Colgate stand out is its study abroad program. The university is a national leader among baccalaureate institutions for the number of students it sends overseas.
Colgate offers over 20 off-campus study programs led by faculty, special extended study courses that incorporate national and international travel and myriad opportunities to participate in study abroad programs through other universities.
Semester programs take students to areas as diverse as Wales, Jamaica and India, and past extended study courses have included trips to Costa Rice, China, Israel and beyond.
Curious about liberal arts programs on the west coast? Check out Pitzer College, located just outside of Los Angeles.