Gateway and Related Programs

The Cities Program

The Cities Program is a non-major, interdisciplinary curricular offering for exceptionally well-qualified entering students. It examines cities, past and present, in the United States and elsewhere, from a wide variety of humanities and social science perspectives and helps students understand contemporary urban issues in all their complexity. Participating students take two courses in their first semester, one of which has been expressly created for the program and is not open to other students. In the second semester, students take another specific course for the Cities Program and also choose another elective from a growing number of urban-related classes at Trinity, approved by the student’s adviser and the director of the program. (For details, see the Cities Program on p. 296.)

The Cities Program takes advantage of Trinity’s location by using Hartford as a site for the close-up study of urban issues and by drawing on its rich array of intellectual and cultural resources. Students are given many opportunities to supplement their classroom learning by getting personally involved with the social, economic, and cultural issues of this city, which in many respects is a microcosm of urban America. Thus, the program attracts not only students interested in the academic study of cities but also those with an interest in activism who want to engage the manifold challenges of urban life. The Cities Program is designed to be compatible with every major offered at Trinity and has also become a launching pad for students to continue with an urban studies minor or major.

Approximately 15-20 talented and strongly motivated students are admitted to the Cities Program in each entering class. Applicants for admission to Trinity who wish to learn more about the program should request a copy of the Cities Program prospectus from the Admissions Office or contact the program’s director, Dean Xiangming Chen. In March of each year, those applicants to the College judged to be best qualified for the program are invited to become candidates for enrollment in it.

Genomics Research Program

The Genomics Research Program at Trinity is designed for academically motivated students interested in the life sciences. Developed in affiliation with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s SEA-PHAGES initiative, it is a selective program for exceptional first-year students that provides a biological research experience during the first two semesters of college, and a research seminar during the sophomore year. The GRP offers program-specific courses in which each student identifies and characterizes a nonpathogenic virus collected from the environment. From the viruses described, one is selected for complete genome sequencing. Students then explore genomic analysis by analyzing the genome structure - identifying new genes and adding them to the public gene databases. A student representative will present the class research at the end of the first year in a research symposium hosted by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at its research campus in Virginia. The program is a unique opportunity to participate directly in the exciting area of genomics and to experience biological discovery firsthand.

There are five courses in the Genomics Research Program, finishing with a sophomore seminar that explores research throughout the wide range of biology. The program is compatible with all majors. Participation is by invitation; please contact Professor Kathleen Archer for more information.

Guided Studies Program: European Cultures

The Guided Studies Program is a non-major, interdisciplinary curriculum that the faculty authorized for implementation in 1979. The program is intended for strongly motivated students who wish to examine the evolution of European cultures through an integrated study of their history, literature, and thought from classical antiquity to the present. It concentrates on the primary issues and modes of interpretation that have shaped European cultures, while introducing students to basic patterns of political, social, and economic development. Courses in the humanities form the core of the program.

By furnishing students with greater knowledge of the major European cultural, social, and political traditions, the Guided Studies Program cultivates habits of critical inquiry that make possible the comprehension of other global traditions. Furthermore, by exploring modes of European culture in their historical setting, the program provides a context within which the student may make informed judgments about contemporary issues, controversies, and conflicts of value.

Those enrolled in the program take a specified sequence of eight courses characterized by both breadth and coherence and by the ways that significant connections are drawn among them. The program is designed to be compatible with every major at the College and may be taken by students whose main orientation is toward the natural sciences, social sciences, or the arts, as well as by those primarily concerned with the humanities. Although the sequence of courses is usually completed during the student’s first three semesters of enrollment, it may be distributed across four or five semesters if such a pattern is more compatible with the student’s overall plan of study.

The program can accommodate only a limited number of students: approximately 20-25 in each entering class. Applicants for admission to Trinity who are interested in the program should write the Admissions Office for further details or contact Professor Chloe Wheatley. In March of each year, those applicants to the College judged to be best qualified for the program are invited to become candidates for enrollment in it.

InterArts Program

The InterArts Program is a special one-year curriculum for a selected group of first-year students interested in a cross-disciplinary approach to the study and practice of art. The InterArts faculty is drawn from the departments of music, theater and dance, fine arts, and creative writing. Participating students take a sequence of two seminars especially designed for the program and two arts practice courses of their own choosing (e.g., painting, dance, creative writing, etc.). In March of each year, exceptionally well-qualified students who have been admitted to Trinity are invited to become candidates for the program. Admitted students who do not receive such an invitation, but who find the program appealing, may also become candidates by notifying its director, Professor Katharine Power, of their interest.

Interdisciplinary Science Program

The Interdisciplinary Science Program (ISP) is a non-major curriculum designed by science faculty. Inaugurated in the fall of 1987, the ISP is intended for a selected group of first-year students who have exceptional scientific and mathematical aptitude, who are strongly motivated for academic achievement, and who wish to explore interdisciplinary connections within the sciences and issues related to the application of science and technology in modern society. The goal of the program is to provide participants both a broader understanding of the nature of scientific activity and the opportunity to test their interest in science by engaging in research.

Students enrolled in ISP participate in special courses distributed across three semesters. During the first semester, ISP students enroll in a special seminar. This seminar focuses on the process of discovery and includes readings from many science disciplines. In the second semester, students select from a list of research topics in the participating departments and serve as research apprentices with science faculty. Students experience scientific endeavor as a group activity and interact across disciplinary lines through weekly meetings with the entire ISP class.

The ISP culminates with a course from the humanities or social sciences that addresses some issue related to science and society. While the ISP is intended primarily for students who plan to major in the sciences, engineering, and mathematics, it is designed to be compatible with every major at the College. The three-semester sequence allows study abroad.

The program can accommodate only a limited number of students: approximately 20 in each entering class. Applicants for admission to Trinity who are interested in the program should write the Admissions Office or Alison Draper, director of the Interdisciplinary Science Center, for further details. In March of each year, those applicants to the College judged to be best qualified for the program are invited to become candidates for enrollment in it.