The Program

Trinity’s Humanities Gateway Program serves as an intensive and rewarding curriculum for talented first-year students. The program, which has enrolled more than 700 students since it began in 1979, was originally designed by faculty members in four humanities disciplines: English, history, philosophy, and religion. Once known as “Guided Studies,” the Humanities Gateway Program offers students a carefully designed sequence of courses. While courses in the humanities form the nucleus of the program, materials from the social and natural sciences are also included in order to extend the range of students’ understanding of the complex context of the worlds they will be examining. The program’s courses and topics reflect innovative approaches to understanding the relationship of European texts to global and contemporary contexts. In this way, the program reflects Trinity’s ongoing commitment to the ideal of a coherent and dynamic liberal arts education. 

 

The Humanities Gateway is open by invitation to a small group of carefully selected students – up to 20 in each entering class. Those invited to participate are chosen for their intellectual abilities, strong academic motivation, and potential to excel at challenging interdisciplinary study. They have the opportunity to forge strong connections with their Humanities Gateway peers, and they work very closely with the Program’s faculty members, who are committed to exploring the interdisciplinary relationships that connect their fields of study.

 

The program consists of six courses, generally taken over the course of a student’s first three semesters at Trinity. Pursuing the three-semester course of study entails enrollment in two courses per semester.

 

In every course, students engage in a process of collaborative inquiry, discovery, and debate, and are encouraged to reach their own carefully considered interpretations of the issues and topics at hand. By furnishing students with greater knowledge of European cultural traditions, the program emphasizes habits of critical inquiry and self-awareness that make possible the comprehension of other cultures. What is more, by examining European cultures within their historical settings, the program provides a context within which students may make informed judgments about contemporary dilemmas and conflicting values.

 

Faculty members who teach in the program are available for advising about majors in any field. The program is compatible with every major offered at the College, including those in the arts, the natural sciences, and the social sciences as well as the humanities.

 

This website describes the nature, purpose, and contents of the Humanities Gateway curriculum and provides answers to the kinds of questions prospective candidates often ask. If, after reading it, you find the program attractive and think you are a strong candidate for it, please notify the director that you wish to be considered for enrollment. Any questions may be addressed to Professor Chloe Wheatley (chloe.wheatley@trincoll.edu).

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