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Sophomore Residential Seminars

In-depth Conversation
Students take advantage of a more socially and academically supportive environment.
A Global Education
In 2013-14, Professor Lesleigh Cushing led sophomores on an excursion to Israel. Learn about upcoming opportunities below.
Residential Classroom
Students live and take SRS courses in Drake Hall. 
Accepted students live and study together, then immerse themselves further in the learning experience through travel with their faculty member. The application period for the 2015-16 academic year will begin in January, 2015. 
The program is a transformational series of intensive residential seminars for sophomores, made possible with a significant grant from the Mellon Foundation. Students who are selected will live and study together, meet regularly with the seminar professors and guest speakers in their residence hall, and engage in an embedded academic travel experience related to the course at no extra charge. Each spring, all Mellon Residential Seminar students will continue the dialog with a one-quarter-credit course with their professor.


Please click here to receive updates about the 2015-16 application cycle.

Faculty teaching in the program will interview students during the first two weeks of February, 2015 and offer spots to students beginning February 23, 2015. 

What Students Are Saying

  • "Amazing teacher, really passionate about the subject and makes you think way past the text"
  • "Very interesting and brilliant"
  • "Honestly one of the best professors I have had at this school"
  • "Excellent professor. Intellectually stimulating and challenging. Open to new ideas and arguments."

Program Advantages

  • Better academic performance;
  • More socially and academically supportive environments;
  • Feeling more connected to their peers and to their program of study;
  • Greater satisfaction with their overall college experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I consider Sophomore Residential Seminars?
The seminars allow you to live and learn with other sophomores who share similar academic interests. The seminars also allow you to work closely with a Colgate professor over an entire year.

How do I become a member of a seminar?
The online application will be available beginning on January 2, 2015. Faculty teaching the Sophomore Residential Seminars will interview students during early February. Scheduling an appointment is done after you have successfully submitted your application. Once you click SUBMIT, you will be routed to a Google calendar site where you can select an interview time that works best for you. You must be logged in to Gmail with your Colgate username. The assignment of rooms and roommates will come later.

How does the housing work?
During the 2015-16 school year, three SRS classes (San Francisco, Empire, and Hunting) will be housed in Drake Hall, and two classes (Jerusalem, Modernity) will be housed in Cutten. By participating in this program, you will not have to take part in the housing lottery and selection later this spring.

Does it cost anything to participate?
No. There is no direct charge for your research trip or the field trips and other activities connected to the program.

Do the seminar courses fulfill any distribution requirements?
Yes – Existentialism (PHIL) will satisfy a "Human Thought and Expression" requirement, while Coffee and Cigarettes (HIST) will satisfy a "Social Relations, Institutions, and Agents" requirement.

I'm really interested in multiple classes in the program. Is it possible to interview with two professors to improve my chances of getting into the program?
There is no need to schedule multiple interviews. The professors will discuss their interviews in the processes of determining the final class lists. So while it's not possible to interview with more than one professor, you will still be considered for the seminars you list in order of your preference.

How important is my GPA in considering my application?
Your GPA is a factor, but it is far from the most important one. We realize that you've been at Colgate for only one semester, so it is a small sample size. If there are things you'd have us know about your first semester that put your GPA into perspective, please let us know about them in the application.

What are the travel dates for the seminars?
Many variables are considered when determining the specific travel dates of each program, such as cost of airfare and lodging, etc. Therefore, specific travel dates are currently not available. However, none of the trips will depart prior to January 2015 and families can anticipate trips taking place during the first two weeks in January. We want you to be home for the holidays and back with a bit of time to breathe before the semester begins.

Who can I talk to if I have more questions?
You can direct your questions to