People definitely care about academics, and it is definitely challenging. I don't think that's anything to worry about. The campus is a bit isloated being that it's in the middle of nowhere and on top of a hill, but hey, that's what you get when you want a small liberal arts college. You're not going to find a school like Hamilton with a much better set up. Bowdoin has a great little town, but drive 5 miles and you're back in rural Maine. If you ask me, there's just no way around it if you want a NE LAC.
Yeah that's true. I've visited a few NE LAC's like Bowdoin, Bates, Colby, etc., but I never saw Hamilton. Now I am seriously considering Hamilton but just don't know that much about it. Are you a current student?
nope, im going to be there next year though! i've visited a few times and the location is okay with me. nothing too great but i'll deal with it, it's worth it. you should email a few current students, they're always really nice and eager to give you their perspective.
As a current Hamiltonian I think I can comment on the academics and social life at Hamilton College. The college does seem isolated, but Cornell, Colgate and Syracuse are no more than 45 minutes away by car. I recall vividly how isolated I felt without a car to get me off campus whenever I wanted. That eventually changed.
The academics are notoriously rigorious, especially the sciences. There are people who know how to get by with doing the bare minimum and getting Bs. Lots of people take easy courses to solidify an A, but I would advise against that route. There are some very outstanding professors here and their scholarship bears witness to this. The majority of students here seem to favor Economics and Government. Most students care about their academics here. You'll see once you get in class and take a look around at the students.
Sundays you see everyone at Burke library. It's hilarious. Hamiltonians are known for getting off on parties and drinking Thursday-Saturday. Sunday is work day. Get used to it.
What discipline are you guys interested in studying?
From what I know of the English department at Hamilton, if you do not take an English course freshman year, you will never be allowed to take one anytime after. Something I learned a little too late. Be that as it may, the English department is very good and some professors are overly harsh. You will definitely improve your writing. Watch out for Prof. Pat O'Neil, she's a bit harsh with her selection of words and grades very difficult. Not that I'm trying to deter you from taking a course from her. Do I think you can learn a lot from her? Yes, I do. She's very much into Cinema, so if that's your thing, you should be good.
I wish there was more I could say about the English department. For an English major, I would suggest trying to find a job with the Writing Center located in the Dark Side of campus (Kirkland College). It's in the second floor of KJ and is an invaluable resource center. Go to them ASAP and inquire about job positions. I'm pretty sure there are openings every year. As a writing tutor, you would help students improve their writing by reviewing their work. You will improve yours as well, so it's a win-win situation. If I were an English major, I would definitely try to find work with the Writing Center.
Biochemistry is a very interesting major. I'm familiar with the Biology department but not so much with the Chemistry department at Hamilton. Since you will be taking courses in both disciplines, let me say a few words about the Bio faculty. First and foremost, I think Prof. Williams, Chair of the Bio department, is brilliant. He is in love with his butterflies and just recently published The Nature Handbook or something like that. He is very well read and knows a lot about ecology. I'm not sure if you will need to take a class with him, but I would strongly recommend it.
Williams sometimes works in conjuction with Prof. Lehman. Let me warn you about Lehman. This guy is very smart, he knows his stuff. My only complaint is that he is too spread out, highly disorganized and just keeps rambling on and on without pause. I remember sitting in his class thinking, "When is this guy ever going to pause so I can actually write something down?" Trust me, Lehman is very vocal; he loves the sound of his own voice. He is a fantastic prof. and will tell you lots of stories of his days in grad school. I would advise to stay on top of his class. Most of what is on his exams he explains thoroughly in class, just too damn fast.
I also heard Prof. Miller is very good. I'm not too familiar with her work, but an alum I spoke with two years ago had nothing but good things to say about her. She's also with the Bio department.
One prof whom I think nobody liked was Prof. Festin. From what I've heard, this guy was psycho. He thought he was the only guy with a Ph.D. All the students who ever took a class with him spoke bad about him. I don't think you'll have to put up with him as he is gone. He left behind a lot of very angry seniors.
As a biochemistry major, you will definitely have your work cut out for you. It's a lot of work and the textbooks are very expensive. The labs they will make you do are so damn taxing on the body. But if you like this sort of stuff, bless you.
The good thing is that you will have new state of the art technology and facilities to work with. Chances are you'll be in the new Science Center right next to Burke Library. It's pretty far if you live in the dark side. They even have a Cafe Opus (02) in the first floor where you can grab some coffee, mochas, muffins, etc.
The most difficult course I've heard people complain of in biochemistry is organic chemistry. I hear it's very tough but if you work your ass off, an A is possible. I think you will be visiting your profs a lot during office hours. You might even live in the Science Center (something I felt I was doing first semester freshman year).
Hope that helps. I'm sorry I don't know anymore, but good luck.
Cool man, i could pay you for being of help, but ....
Since i'll be around the New science center and Burke Library so much, which housing do you think would be convenient to live in and what campus job would also be convenient. Hopefully, they should be at close proximity....
P.S (can't believe i'm acqually going to hamilton! wow)
Katuga, I think you can make up your own major if Hamilton does not offer it. I know several people who did it in the past. You just have to go through a whole bunch of BS and get signatures and authorization. It's a pain, but definitely possible.
AdelineLux, now you're speaking my language. As a philosophy major with a deep interest in law, I must say that the philosophy department at Hamilton is like no other. All of the professors are extremely competent. My favorites are Prof. Werner and Prof. Franklin.
Freshman year, definitely take contemporary moral issues with Werner. Werner is so laid back and easy-going that his own attitude makes the class worth going to. Everyone loves Werner (although there are a few select who think they know more than him and hate him because he's very much likely smarter than you). Werner is into pacificism and just war theory. The guy is as cynical as can be. Yet, despite that, everyone loves him. He really is, in my opinion, the best professor Hamilton's got. Definitely take Ancient Western Philosophy with him. You'll love it. Easy grader.
Franklin is a very hard grader and can be condescending in class (stressing his intellectual muscles). He is, however, a nice guy out of class and you will learn a lot from him. He's especially interested in Critical Race Theory, Nietzsche and Existentialism. Definitely take his The Black Self class. You will learn a lot from him.
For Pre-Law, I think you should talk to Prof. Simon ASAP. He knows a lot about the whole law school application process. For classes relating to law, definitely take Michael Bagge's Poverty, Law and the Welfare State. I'll be honest, that class is intense. Probably the most intensive class I've taken yet at Hamilton and the guy is not even a professor. He's an actual practicing attorney who teaches that one class every spring semester. It's a very popular course, but people do not realize the amount of work they're getting themselves into. He makes you read and brief cases like there's no tomorrow. He and Werner know each other very well and their intelligence is just astonishing. I would definitely take his class. It's labeled as a Sociology class. Look into it.
Do not and I repeat, do not take Intro to Philosophy. Philosophy is philosophy. There's no need for an introductory course to philosophy, you just do it. Instead, take contemporary moral issues and go from there.
I would advise to stay away from Instructor Ceballes. The guy is very smart, but has no passion for what he teaches and goes off tangents all the time. He's not officially a professor as he does not have his Ph.D., which he is still in the process of getting. I took Modern Western Philosophy with him and I hated it. His lectures are so dull and repetitive, it's horrible. Try to avoid him, or at least I would.
You will notice that the Philosophy department is quite small at Hamilton, but I like it that way. Doran chairs the department. She is a really nice and smart professor who loves talking about sex. She always has her dogs in her office whenever I go into the Philosophy department.
Prof. Almeder is relatively new at Hamilton. I took Biomedical Ethics and Law with him and I can testify that this guy loves the sound of his own voice. The class was interesting, no doubt about it, and his quizes were very easy (multiple choice and one or two essays). He just goes on and on about the class material, making it more obvious, in case you forgot, that he's a genius. If you like sitting for an hour and a half lecture, this guy is your man. Oh, and don't get offended when he doesn't remember your name. Apparently he doesn't remember anyone's name. Get the picture? Other than that, the guy is very, very good at what he does.