The Guided Studies Program is a special curriculum for talented, strongly motivated students in each entering class who wish to examine the evolution of Western European cultures through an integrated, interdisciplinary study of their history, literature, and thought from classical antiquity to the present. The program concentrates on the primary issues and modes of interpretation that have shaped European cultures and also introduces students to basic patterns of social, economic, and political development.
Courses in the humanities form the core of the program, but materials from other fields are also included to extend the range of the students’ understanding. The program consists of eight courses, arranged in a coherent sequence, plus a yearlong first-year student colloquium. (The colloquium is an integral part of the first-year Guided Studies courses but carries no separate academic credit.) Ordinarily, students complete Guided Studies in three semesters. Students may be granted permission, when appropriate, to distribute the courses over four or five semesters.
Guided Studies can accommodate approximately 20 students in each entering class. Admission is by invitation only. Invitations to become candidates for the program are sent to exceptionally well-qualified students accepted into the entering class at Trinity shortly after admissions notices are sent in March of each year. Applicants who do not receive an invitation but find Guided Studies appealing should make their interest known to the director(s) of the program (until January 2014, Professor Sheila Fisher; after January 2014, Professor Chloe Wheatley or Professor Frank Kirkpatrick) no later than the end of March. A small number of sophomores and juniors may also enter the program; those interested in doing so should make application to Professor Fisher or Professors Wheatley and Kirkpatrick by March 15 of the academic year preceding their intended period of enrollment.