Freshman seminars are designed to stimulate students' interest in the liberal arts from the outset of their college careers; to encourage students to begin asking important questions and seeking answers to them; and to provide students with the opportunity for interaction with faculty and other students in a small seminar environment. Seminar enrollment is limited to 12-14 students per class and is open only to freshmen. No special skills or knowledge in any specific academic area is necessary for successful performance in the class, and the work level will be consonant with expectations in other freshman-level courses. However, all seminars require active participation of students, and include a significant amount of both writing and oral presentation. Topics vary from semester to semester, and will be determined by individual instructors. The freshman seminar courses do not satisfy any specific core requirements, and are counted as general elective credit toward graduation.


The Honors Program is designed for the student who has given evidence of a high degree of intellectual curiosity, independence of thought, excitement about learning, and appreciation of knowledge-for the student who brings out the best in his fellow students and his teachers alike. Participants in the program are encouraged to take an active role in the learning process, entering into dialogue with their professors and their classmates. With its small classes and excellent faculty, Hampden-Sydney provides a first-rate learning environment for such active, engaged students. Participation in Honors work is limited to recipients of honors scholarships and to other demonstrably superior students who apply for membership in the program. Entrance into any phase of the program is subject to the approval of the Honors Council. Interested students should contact the Director of the Honors Program, Professor J. Vitale.

The program includes the following components, each an independent entity:

Honors 101-102, 261-262, 361-362, 461-462. (See under Honors in Course Offerings.)

Student Summer Research Program: Research grants awarded to rising sophomores, juniors, or seniors who show exceptional promise as independent researchers. Application is made to the Honors Council.

Departmental Honors: Departmental Honors promotes independence, self-reliant study, and appreciation of the relationship between the particular concerns of an academic discipline and the broader spectrum of the liberal arts. Qualified juniors and seniors may apply to pursue Departmental Honors within the department of their major. If a student is pursuing a double major, he may devise a Cross-Disciplinary Honors project that draws on his work in both disciplines. Ordinarily, a student who wishes to pursue Departmental Honors or Cross-Disciplinary Honors must possess an overall academic average of at least 3.0 with an average of at least 3.3 in the department(s) of his major(s).

Departmental Honors work includes from six to twelve credit hours in specially designed courses and independent study. Credit is given for laboratory work. Like students pursuing Honors within a single department, students undertaking a Cross-Disciplinary Honors project may receive credit for specially designed courses and independent study, which may be located in a single department or officially registered under the rubric of Interdisciplinary Studies. Credit hours will reflect the extent of the interdisciplinary work undertaken. (Note: A three-hour independent study housed in one of a student's majors will not also count as a three-hour course in the other major. If a student pursuing Cross-Disciplinary Honors wishes to earn six hours of course credit, he must devise an independent study that is worthy of six hours' credit.) Specific requirements and eligibility are established by individual departments, in conjunction with the Honors Council.

Interested students should consult the Chair(s) of the appropriate department(s) or the Director of the Honors Program, Professor J. Vitale.

Honors 499-500, Senior Fellowship (See under Honors in Course Offerings.): The Senior Fellowship is intended to be a cross-disciplinary course of study not easily housed within a single major and not easily accomplished through a sequence of regular courses in several majors. The Senior Fellowship emphasizes breadth as well as depth of study and thus is different from departmental honors projects housed within a major.

In the spring of their junior year a group of men is selected to be Senior Fellows for the following year. These men must demonstrate the maturity, intellectual competence, and imaginative curiosity to warrant their pursuit of a program of independent study contributing to their own enrichment and that of the College. The Fellows are permitted the maximum amount of freedom consonant with the satisfactory development and completion of their personal projects. That freedom can include the waiving of conventional upper-division requirements in the Fellow's major or majors, though applicants for the Senior Fellowship must complete all core requirements in the curriculum. The strongest applicants for the Senior Fellowship will have completed most, if not all, such requirements by the end of the junior year. Each Senior Fellow will work closely with an advisor in executing his program of study. The essence of the Senior Fellowship program is responsible individualism. Within a reasonable academic framework, the student is offered an unexcelled opportunity for personal intellectual fulfillment.

The Council provides general supervision of all programs and may prescribe certain requirements for the Fellows. Also, the Council must certify at year's end that the program of study undertaken has been successfully completed.

Members of the junior class may become candidates for Senior Fellowships by individual application or on nomination by any member of the faculty. Each candidate must file his application with the Director of the Honors Program, Professor J. Vitale, during the first few weeks of the second semester. Senior Fellows pay full tuition.


Inaugurated in 1997, the Wilson Center for Leadership in the Public Interest oversees campus-wide efforts to prepare students, alumni, and the people of Southside Virginia to be informed citizens and effective leaders.

The James Madison Program in Public Service

One of the programs of the Wilson Center is the James Madison Public Service Certificate Program for students interested in careers in government. Those who successfully complete the Minor receive the Public Service Certificate and have their participation noted on their transcripts. Full-time students who wish to participate in this program must apply for admission in their sophomore year. If admitted, they are required to complete Interdisciplinary Studies 375 by the end of their junior year. Beginning in the fall of their junior year, students are urged to enroll in special one-hour "lab" classes (INDS 377-380) that are offered each semester. The other courses required for the Minor are Interdisciplinary Studies 395 (Public Service Internship Research Project), and at least three of the following (but no more than two from any one department): (1) Economics 208; (2) Economics 231; (3) Economics 402 or Government and Foreign Affairs 231; (4) Interdisciplinary Studies 440, 465; (5) Philosophy 314 or Religion 225; (6) Government and Foreign Affairs 230 or 333; (7) Government and Foreign Affairs 332; (8) Psychology 306; (9) Psychology 310; and (10) Rhetoric 210. In extraordinary circumstances, a student whose project can better be accomplished through pure research can petition the Public Service Program Committee to pursue research in the place of Interdisciplinary Studies 395.

Students enrolled in the certificate program are expected to engage in community service activities either as participants in the "Good Men, Good Citizens" program or through association with organizations such as Habitat For Humanity. Finally, completion of the certificate requires satisfaction of the requirements of the Society of '91 leadership program that falls under the Dean of Students' Office or participation in the annual leadership workshops offered by the Wilson Center for Leadership in the Public Interest.

Second-semester sophomores who wish to be considered for participation in the certificate program should have a GPA of at least 2.7 and must submit an application, including an essay, to the Director of the Public Service Program, Professor David E. Marion of the Department of Government and Foreign Affairs, by the Friday following Spring Break. For additional information, students should contact Professor Marion.

Military Leadership and National Security Studies Track

The Military Leadership and National Security Studies track in the public service program is designed for students who are interested in the historical, political, cultural, ethical, and legal dimensions of national security policy as well as the place and role of the military in American society. Participation in this program should enrich the training received by students enrolled in the ROTC program or who hold positions with National Guard or Reserve units; however, students need not be in the ROTC program to participate in the certificate program, and participation in the ROTC program will not guarantee admission to the certificate program. Those who successfully complete the Minor receive the Public Service Certificate and have their participation noted on their transcripts.

Students enrolled in the program must complete one required course during each of their final three years at Hampden-Sydney College: Interdisciplinary Studies 275 (sophomore year), History 377 (junior year), and Interdisciplinary Studies 440 (senior year).

Students also must complete at least two courses from separate departments outside the major, selected from Government and Foreign Affairs 242, 342, or History 313; Government and Foreign Affairs 442; Interdisciplinary Studies 465; Rhetoric 210; Religion 225 or Philosophy 314; Religion 103; Psychology 310; English 207; and Government and Foreign Affairs 230 or Interdisciplinary Studies 375. In addition, candidates for the certificate will be expected to satisfy at least one of the following requirements: hold a student leadership position, participate in the Society of '91 Program, and/or complete an approved summer military training program.

Students who wish to be considered for participation in the Military Leadership and National Security Studies Track must have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.7 and must submit an application to Professor Simms of the Department of History by November 1 of their sophomore year.


In addition to the College's own academic study-abroad programs, Hampden-Sydney students are eligible to participate and earn academic credits in approved foreign-study programs sponsored by other colleges or educational organizations. These programs offer a variety of opportunities for study in Europe, Central and South America, South and East Asia, and the Middle East.

Students in full-year or semester programs should have earned a minimum of 45 hours with a grade-point average of 2.5 at the time of undertaking foreign study. Ordinarily, full-year or semester programs of foreign study are approved from the second semester of the sophomore year through the junior year. Seniors wishing to study abroad during the academic year must first seek a waiver. International students must contact the Director of Global Education and Study Abroad to determine eligibility for study abroad.

Students may participate in summer programs of foreign study at any point in their academic careers as long as they are in good standing at the College and meet the requirements of the program to which they are applying.

Grades in courses taken by modern languages majors in fulfillment of their major requirement for foreign study are computed as part of their grade-point average. Grades in courses taught in a foreign country by Hampden-Sydney professors and courses offered in a program in which Hampden-Sydney College has policy-making and administrative oversight (e.g., the Virginia Program at Oxford) are also computed in the grade-point average. Hampden-Sydney students are able to transfer credit hours for all passing work with a grade of C or better completed in programs endorsed by the International Studies Committee. All other foreign-study courses are considered for transfer credit on an ad hoc basis. Any student who studies abroad is responsible for providing the Registrar's Office with transcripts of the work promptly on completion of the foreign study.

Students should make foreign-study plans in consultation with their academic advisor and the Director of Global Education and Study Abroad, Ms. Cooper. Students should contact the Office of Financial Aid to consider the impact of foreign study on their financial aid. Some financial aid may be available to eligible Hampden-Sydney students wishing to study abroad. Information about foreign-study programs is available from the Office of Global Education and Study Abroad.

To encourage and facilitate foreign study, the International Studies Committee of the Faculty approves foreign-study programs in three categories:

I. Endorsed programs: This is a select list of semester and academic-year programs chosen for their compatibility with the College's goals and curriculum, students' living and classroom status at the host institution, and the location of the programs. Students are expected to take at least one course in the language (where the dominant language is not English) and the culture of the host country. These programs are the principal foreign-study programs recommended to Hampden-Sydney students. Courses in these programs must be approved in advance by the chairs of the academic departments involved. The current listing of endorsed programs is available from the Office of Global Education and Study Abroad.

The addition of a foreign-study program to the College's list of endorsed programs requires an in-depth review by the International Studies Committee of the Faculty and subsequent approval by the Dean of the Faculty, followed by the completion of an articulation agreement with the host institution for the program. In order to allow sufficient time for this process, requests for such additions must be submitted to the International Studies Committee of the Faculty at least one full semester in advance of the desired date of participation in such a program.

II. Programs for Modern Language Majors: The Department of Modern Languages endorses certain programs for the purpose of satisfying the foreign-study requirement by its majors.

These programs are endorsed for modern language majors and are not necessarily suitable for other students. Students should consult the chair of the Department of Modern Languages about these programs.

III. Supplementary Programs: Interested students arrange individually for approval of participation in programs not specifically endorsed by the College. The burden of demonstrating that a specific program fits the College's goals and is important to the student's educational program lies with the student. Students should contact the Director of Global Education and Study Abroad for information about the process for applying to any program which is not on the current list of endorsed programs. Students must establish course equivalence with departments on an individual basis. College-administered financial aid is not available for these programs.


Each year Hampden-Sydney faculty develop May Term Abroad programs in special topics within their disciplines. These programs generally run from mid-May to mid-June and normally carry 3 to 6 hours of credit (depending on the structure of the program and the content of the courses associated with the program). Costs for these programs typically include Hampden-Sydney tuition, airfare, accommodations, some meals, ground transportation, entrance fees and tours pertinent to course content, and insurance. Past programs have included European Union Studies in France, Economics/Government and Foreign Affairs/Culture studies in Eastern Europe, Tropical Biology in Mexico, Theatre in Scotland, Language Immersion in Spain, and Area Studies in Egypt. May Term Abroad options are announced each fall, applications are accepted in December and January, and non-refundable deposit fees are due on February 1. Students in good standing at Hampden-Sydney or other colleges are eligible to participate.


Among the endorsed programs is the Virginia Program at Oxford, a six-week summer program at St. Anne's College, Oxford University. Students earn six hours of course credit studying Tudor-Stuart History and Literature the Oxford way, in small tutorials with British faculty supplemented by lectures from many of the best historians and literary scholars in England. Students from Mary Baldwin, Roanoke, and Sweet Briar Colleges, Virginia Military Institute, and Washington and Lee University also participate in the program. For more information, contact Professor Kagan of the Department of Fine Arts.


The Asian Studies minor consists of the following requirements: A minimum of eighteen hours to be chosen from at least three of the Departments of Modern Languages, History, Fine Arts, Government and Foreign Affairs, and Religion. The most typical configuration is six hours of language and twelve hours selected from at least two other disciplines, but it is also possible to do eighteen hours of coursework selected from at least three different disciplines, with a restriction of nine hours maximum in a single discipline counting towards the minor. Students electing to pursue this minor develop their course of study in consultation with their major advisor and the Asian Studies advisor, Professor Eric Dinmore.

One course is to be a three hour 495 independent study taken in one of the above disciplines. This course serves as a "capstone" experience and its product is a twenty page research paper or its equivalent. The capstone paper is evaluated by the director of the independent study and the Asian Studies advisor.

An immersion experience, approved by the Asian Studies advisor, in language study and/or cultural study is strongly recommended.

Current courses that count towards the Asian Studies minor:
Chinese 101-102: Introduction to Chinese (currently listed under Chinese 185)
Chinese 201-202: Intermediate Chinese (currently listed under Chinese 285)
Fine Arts 210: Asian Theatre
GVFA 225: Government and Politics of the Middle East
GVFA 226: Government and Politics of Asia
History 205-206: East Asia
History 207-208: Middle East Survey
History 325: East Asia in the Age of Imperialism
History 326: East Asia in Revolution
Religion 103: Introduction to World Religions
Religion 202: Religions of South Asia
Religion 203: Religions of East Asia
Religion 204: Islam
Religion 405: Seminar in World Religions

Courses not on this list may count towards the minor, subject to the approval of the Asian Studies advisor.
Core curriculum courses may be used to satisfy the requirements for this minor.


Students with a particular interest in environmental studies may elect to follow, in addition to the regular academic major, a coherent pattern of courses oriented to the environment. Students are introduced to both the scientific and the humanistic dimensions of environmental issues. The requirements for the minor are (a) Biology 108 and 203, and Economics 212; (b) one course chosen from Physics 108 and Chemistry 105, 106, or 110 and 151; (c) two courses, from two different departments, chosen from English 204, Interdisciplinary Studies 440, Government and Foreign Affairs 231, Religion 103, 225, or 329, and Sociology 201; and (d) Interdisciplinary Studies 372. There are also extracurricular programs and internships. Students interested in the minor should consult the coordinator, Professor Townsend.


Students with a particular interest in international studies may elect to follow, in addition to the regular academic major, a coherent pattern of internationally oriented courses and related requirements leading to a Certificate in International Studies. Requirements include:

(1) a minimum of ten courses from a broad list drawn from the humanities and the social and natural sciences, selected from a minimum of four departments, with no more than three of the ten from any single department;
(2) a "capstone" course consisting of an independent study project and a one-credit-hour interdisciplinary seminar for all students involved in capstone projects, wherein participants give frequent reports on their research; and
(3) a summer, semester, or year of foreign study.

Students should normally declare their intention to undertake this program by formal application at the end of the sophomore year. Interested students should consult the chair of the International Studies Committee of the Faculty.


Students may receive academic credit for internships related to their academic fields of study. Such internships combine work done normally in the summer with on-going course work and the production of a substantial research paper on a related issue. See under Course Offerings: Internship.


Hampden-Sydney conducts a five-week May Term starting one to two weeks after Commencement. One of its purposes is to provide students with an opportunity to take courses which are experimental in content or presentation, particularly those which require extensive time off campus. (See also May Term Abroad, above.) These special summer courses carry regular academic credit. In addition, certain courses offered during the regular session are also offered during the May Term so that students can accelerate progress toward graduation, meet requirements ahead of schedule, or repeat courses. The maximum load that a student may carry during the May Term is two courses (with any corequisite laboratories). Fees are charged by the course-hour. Students may live in Hampden-Sydney dormitories, and all College facilities are available for their use.

Students who are in good standing at Hampden-Sydney or other colleges are eligible for admission to the May Term; those on academic suspension from Hampden-Sydney or another institution are not eligible. Admission to the May Term in no way assures admission to a degree program at Hampden-Sydney College.

Credits earned during the May Term are applicable to degree programs and are transferable to other institutions. For Hampden-Sydney students on academic probation at the end of the spring semester, grades and quality units for May Term courses have no effect on the probation until the completion of the subsequent semester. Acceptance of May Term credits by other institutions depends on the policy of those institutions.

The application deadline for on-campus May Term courses is May 1. Applications for May Term Abroad courses are accepted in December and January, and non-refundable deposit fees are due on February 1. Other information, including the schedule of courses, is available early in the spring semester from the Associate Dean of the Faculty.