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Student FAQs

I'm not a philosophy major, but I love philosophy. Can I apply?

Absolutely!  There is no requirement that students in the program major in philosophy or plan to attend philosophy graduate school.  Still, many of the students in the program will be philosophy majors and be thinking about applying to graduate school.  As long as you are interested in spending time with us, thinking and talking about philosophy, you may apply.

I am not a Hamilton College student. Can I apply for the summer program?

Yes!  Our program is funded by a source which aims to improve the instruction of undergraduates at Hamilton, so we are required to try to fill half of our slots with Hamilton College students.  That leaves at least ten slots for students outside of Hamilton.

I participated in the summer program in a previous year. Am I eligible to participate again?

Yes.  Our courses and activities vary each year so students may attend more than once.

I'm going to graduate from college this year. Am I eligible to participate?

The program is designed mainly for rising juniors and seniors in college.  It's not impossible that we would admit some students who have already graduated, but it is unlikely.

I'm a first-year student now, so will be a rising sophomore this summer. Am I eligible to apply for the program?

Yes, rising undergraduate sophomores, juniors, and seniors are all welcome to apply. 

I am an international student. Can I still apply?

International students are welcome to apply, and their applications will be treated just as any others.  Hamilton currently provides visa sponsorship for international students not currently enrolled in a U.S. college and we have been able to secure visas in the past.  Visa requirements may vary based on the student's country of citizenship.  Please note that visa application processing times and travel restrictions may vary based on the current COVID restrictions for the US and other countries in 2022.

Faculty FAQs

I submitted a proposal last year and would like to try again. Do I need to submit a new proposal?

Yes, please!  We received many excellent proposals in previous years and would be pleased to be able to consider them again.  Two of our courses in the second year were also proposed, and not accepted, in our first year.

How long should a course proposal be?

We don't have a particular length for proposals in mind.  We are looking for proposals which are likely to succeed for the students and for the instructor, and which would be interesting to hear about in the conference.  We wouldn't need a complete syllabus, or all the core texts.  But the more robust the plan the better so that we can have some good basis for our decisions.  Some successful proposals in the past have been three single-spaced pages, eight pages, and fifteen pages, with the longer ones containing some sample teaching materials.

Should my proposal be prepared for anonymous review, with a separate cover letter?

We do not look at the proposals completely anonymously, since we need to consider the backgrounds of potential instructors.  But we do generally start our review process by considering the proposals without thinking about the person teaching them.

What do you look for in evaluating course proposals?

Among the questions we ask ourselves when reviewing proposals are: Is the proposal innovative, especially pedagogically?  Do we have evidence that the instructor can lead an innovative course effectively?  Are the expectations for the students reasonable?  Will this proposal lead to productive philosophical experiences for the students?

Should I include evidence of teaching success in my proposal?

Our central goal is to support creative pedagogy.  Evidence of teaching excellence would be welcome.

I'm a graduate student or a post-doc. Can I apply to be an instructor?

We're happy to read applications containing pedagogically creative ideas from graduate students and post-docs.  We've had junior members of the profession teach for us in the past, though not someone still in graduate school.  Since we are inviting innovations, we want to make sure that instructors have enough experience to maintain an excellent experience for students even when the pedagogical experiments don't work as well as we all hope.  Although we do not expect to hire a graduate student or post-doc to teach, if any applicant has enough experience to reassure us on that point, while also describing an especially promising technique or innovation, we will happily consider their proposal.  


Can I choose my own tutor?

We prefer that our tutors be former Hamilton students now in graduate school.  But that may not be possible and we will work with instructors to ensure that any tutors will be acceptable to them.

I teach and live outside of the United States. Can I apply to teach in the HCSPiP?

We have in the past been able to arrange J-1 visas for participants.  Please contact Russell Marcus to check on current options.

Tutor FAQs

Can I be a tutor for the HCSPiP?

We prefer that tutors be Hamilton alums.  This is both because our funding is supposed to benefit the Hamilton community and because the tutor roles involve acculturating students to our context, and alums know that context well.  Still, our first year, we had only one alum and the two other TAs (as they were known at the time) had no prior connection to the college.

We begin to organize the program by sending out a call for courses.  In that call, we ask instructors if they know of people who might be good tutors, in case we don't have three Hamilton alums appropriate for the positions.  In that latter case, we will start our search for tutors by consulting the faculty who will teach the courses we have selected.  So, one way to increase your chances of joining the program is to be recommended by someone whose course is selected.

If you wish to be contacted in case we have need of tutors beyond the two stages just described, please contact Russell Marcus.

All Participants FAQs

Can I bring my family member?

We are not prepared to house or feed participants' family members, but if you have a need please contact our Program Director, Russell Marcus, at

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