Frequently Asked Questions

How do I become a candidate for admission to the Humanities Gateway Program?

Each year, around mid-March, selected applicants for admission to Trinity are invited to become candidates for enrollment in the program. If you receive such an invitation and wish to be considered for possible participation in the program, you will receive a link to our application website. Any other Trinity applicant who finds the program appealing may likewise become a candidate by writing Professor Wheatley at chloe.wheatley@trincoll.edu.

If I express interest in the Humanities Gateway Program, what happens then?

If the Admissions Office makes a favorable decision on your application to Trinity, the Humanities Gateway Steering Committee (composed of faculty who teach in the program) will then review your academic qualifications and determine whether to admit you to the program.  

Will my chances of gaining admission to Trinity be affected by my decision about the Humanities Gateway Program?

No. Admissions decisions are made independently of Humanities Gateway considerations. If you are invited to become a candidate for the program but choose not to do so, that will not adversely affect your prospects of being admitted to the College. Nor will your chances of gaining admission be strengthened because you have expressed interest in the Humanities Gateway.

Can I begin the Humanities Gateway at any time after the start of my first year?

A very small number of sophomores and juniors may be admitted to the program on a “space-available” basis. And students are occasionally taken into the Humanities Gateway at the midpoint of their first year.

Who will be my faculty adviser if I participate in the Humanities Gateway Program?

HMTS101 counts as your first-year seminar, and you will have as your first-year/sophomore adviser one of the faculty members in the program or the program’s director.

I plan to take a sizable number of courses related to my major during the first two years. Can I still participate in the Humanities Gateway?

Yes, definitely. During the first and sophomore years combined, students typically enroll in a total of from 17 to 19 courses. Since the Humanities Gateway consists of only six courses, you will have ample opportunity to take work in other subjects in those years. Although we strongly encourage you take the Humanities Gateway courses in sequence and with your cohort, under special circumstances, and with the permission of the director, you can defer coursework.

My primary interest is in the social sciences, the natural sciences, or the arts. Why should I consider participating in a program that emphasizes the humanities?

The program can have substantial value for those intending to major in other areas.  By enabling students to incorporate a coherent humanities sequence into their course of study, the program can help them achieve a broader, more balanced liberal education. Over the years, substantial numbers of arts, social science, and natural science students (including many pre-meds) have participated in the program and thrived.

How heavy is the workload in the Humanities Gateway Program?

Because the program is intended for strongly motivated students who want to be challenged academically, all of the courses require a great deal of reading, writing, and critical thinking. Most students have found the subject matter to be so interesting and stimulating that they haven’t regarded the workload as burdensome. In those few cases in which a student decides, after a semester or two, that the program is not an appropriate fit, he or she is welcome to withdraw from it, as a few participants do each academic year. It should be noted, however, that students in the program have had the time to involve themselves in a wide variety of extracurricular activities, including the student newspaper and radio station, many different intercollegiate sports, musical and theatrical groups, and volunteer work in the Hartford community.

Will it be possible for me to study abroad if I choose to do the Humanities Gateway?

Yes. In fact, the proportion of Humanities Gateway students studying abroad is larger than that of the overall student body. Many participants in the program report that it has provided them with especially valuable preparation for study away.

What are the career interests and goals of Humanities Gateway students?

Participants in the program, like the Trinity student body as a whole, are interested in a wide variety of occupations and professions. Students have found that the knowledge and exacting intellectual discipline it provides constitute valuable background preparation for many different careers.

What happens if I decide to drop out of the Humanities Gateway Program before completing it?

You may withdraw from the program at the end of any semester, and you will receive full academic credit for those courses you have successfully completed up to that time. There is no penalty for withdrawal.

If I am admitted to the Humanities Gateway Program does that mean that I will be entitled to remain in it until completion?

No. The Program Steering Committee maintains standards of satisfactory progress; students failing to work up to those standards can be asked to withdraw from the program. Fortunately, this happens only very rarely.

How does Humanities Gateway courses relate to Trinity’s general education requirements?

The Humanities Gateway Program is an alternative to the first-year seminar requirement. By taking a designated writing-intensive Humanities Gateway course in the first semester, you can fulfill part one of the two-part writing requirement all students must meet. Moreover, any of the six specified Humanities Gateway courses satisfies the humanities distribution requirements, and the third-semester courses both fulfill the global engagement requirement. Selected courses in the program are also counted towards the completion of major requirements in the departments of Philosophy, Classics, Religion, History, and/or English (contact individual departments for more details).

What recognition is accorded students who participate in the Humanities Gateway Program?

The fact that you have successfully completed the Humanities Gateway sequence will be noted on your transcript.​ The accomplishments of exceptional students, who earn an A- cumulative average for the six courses they have completed, be recognized on the transcript in the following way:

Humanities Gateway Program: European Cultures completed with Distinction.”

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