International Admission

The discourse that is the foundation of a liberal arts education is shaped by the interplay of many different perspectives. At Hamilton, we welcome students from more than 45 countries. International students comprise 6.4% of our student body.

Our professors work closely with students to help them find their voice, while fostering skills and relationships that last a lifetime. Our curriculum emphasizes critical reasoning, analysis and most importantly communication skills, so that upon graduation students pursue careers ranging from health care and law to business and government service. We are proud of the contributions that our international students add to Hamilton’s vibrant community.

Hamilton prides itself on our supportive and opportunity-rich community. From chatting with professors over coffee to participating in the microfinance club, Hamilton students are actively engaged in and out of the classroom. Take a moment to explore the plethora of opportunities and support services offered in the list below.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the application requirements for international students?

There is no separate application for international students. International students follow essentially the same procedures as all students applying to Hamilton. We use the Common Application or Coalition Application. Please note that all official documents must be translated, preferably by an official agency, if the originals are not in English.

Who is required to submit an English-proficiency exam?

All international students are required to submit a TOEFLIELTS, or DET in addition to the general standardized testing requirement. While Hamilton does not have a specific score requirement for these English-proficiency exams, we recommend a minimum score of 100 on the internet-based TOEFL exam (or 600 on the paper-based TOEFL) or an overall band score of 7.0 for the IELTS, or a score of 120 on the DET.

Hamilton will waive the English Proficiency requirement for students whose primary language is English, students who have studied at a school with an English curriculum for at least three full years of instruction, students who score above 700 on the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing section of the SAT, students who are taking HL English A, English Language and Literature or English Literature and Performance, or students who are taking A-level English exams.

What was the profile for students admitted to Hamilton last year?

Learn about the most recent class admitted to Hamilton by viewing the class profile on the admission home page.

Can I apply Early Decision as an international student?

Yes. If Hamilton is your first choice, you should apply under one of our Early Decision plans. The admission deadlines for Early Decision are November 15 (Early Decision Plan I) or January 1 (Early Decision Plan II). Students who apply Regular Decision may also convert their application to Early Decision Plan II any time before February 1.

Please note that Early Decision is a binding agreement. If accepted under one of our Early Decision plans, a student must withdraw all other applications and make a commitment to enroll at Hamilton College. Failure to do so may jeopardize your admission to Hamilton as well as other colleges.

Does Hamilton admit international transfer students?

Interested international students may apply to transfer to Hamilton, but please note that we have very limited financial aid for international transfer students. Therefore, international students with financial need may be at a competitive disadvantage. Prospective transfer students are advised to apply after successfully completing one full semester at a college or university. The maximum number of times a student can be considered for admission to Hamilton, including first-year or transfer admission, is three.

Will Hamilton waive my application fee?

Pleased visit our Fee Waiver page to see if you are eligible.

What is the Certification of Finances?

The Certification of Finances is a document created by the College Board for international students applying to U.S. colleges. All international citizens must submit this form at the time of application (unless you are a permanent resident of the U.S. or hold dual citizenship with the U.S.), or your file will remain incomplete, regardless of whether or not you are applying for financial aid. More information about the financial aid application process for international students can be found on the Financial Aid website.

What standardized tests does Hamilton require?

Hamilton is SAT optional, but not testing optional. So, you still need to submit some form of standardized tests. If you do not submit either the SAT or the ACT, you may submit a combination of scores that can include AP exams, SAT Reasoning Test, SAT Subject Tests, IB final exam results* or the TOEFL or IELTS. Please refer to our list of acceptable exams that may be used.

*Please note that IB predicted scores will not fulfill the testing requirement. You must have completed your IBO externally assessed exams in order for this option to fulfill the standardized testing requirement for Hamilton.

Hamilton accepts official or self-reported scores as part of your application for admission. For a list of testing centers in your country or for more information regarding standardized tests, visit our Standardized Testing page.

Does Hamilton accept the Cambridge International A Levels?

Hamilton welcomes applications from students with Cambridge International A Levels. The preferred requirements for entry are completion of at least 3 A level subjects in areas such as English, humanities, social sciences, mathematics, lab sciences and/or foreign languages (applications can be submitted while in the process of completing A levels). Credit may be awarded on a case-by-case basis for A Level examinations with a grade of A or A*. Please contact the Registrar's Office at regofc@hamilton.edu for specific questions about receiving credit for A Level examinations.

Are interviews available for international students who cannot visit campus?

Hamilton offers off-campus interviews with alumni in select international locations. These interviews provide you with the opportunity to learn more about Hamilton and for Hamilton to learn more about you, but are not required. If we are unable to accommodate your off-campus interview request with an alumni admission volunteer, you are welcome to submit a video interview through one of our third-party partners (Initialview or Vericant). 

If this option is a financial burden for you and your family, please contact Anna Wise, our Director of International Recruitment, at awise@hamilton.edu to schedule a Skype/Phone interview.

Please note that any interview for Hamilton is optional and not a required component of the application.

How important are extracurricular activities in the admission decision?

Each case is different. Although Hamilton seeks to enroll well-rounded students, we realize that in many countries extracurricular activities are not a priority. If you have been an active member of a club or organization, participated in community service projects, held a job, played sports, etc., please mention these in your application. If you are interested in pursuing the visual or performing arts at Hamilton, we welcome supplementary materials that follow our guidelines.

How do I contact the admission staff member who is responsible for my area?

All international applicants should contact Anna Wise, Associate Dean of Admission and Director of International Recruitment.

Does Hamilton offer an English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) program?

Hamilton does offer individualized ESOL support for students who require extra help with English. All Hamilton students are required to demonstrate English proficiency during the application process, but many need additional support when adjusting to Hamilton's communication-intensive environment. Tutoring is done in small settings and is customized to each student's needs.

Does Hamilton offer a major in engineering?

Hamilton does not offer a degree in engineering, but we do offer five- or six-year, combined-degree programs with Columbia University, the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College, and Rensselaer Polytechnic.

Hamilton also offers access to a combined plan at the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College. This program is on a 2-1-1-1 schedule. The student completes two years at Hamilton, the junior year as a visiting student at Dartmouth and returns to Hamilton to complete the senior year and to earn the B.A. The student then returns to Dartmouth to finish the second year of engineering studies and to receive a degree in engineering.

Admission to these programs in the traditional divisions of chemical, civil, electrical and mechanical engineering, and now many others such as biomedical, computer and environmental engineering, is based on obtaining a G.P.A. of 3.0, or a B average, and the positive recommendation of the Department of Physics. Various 4-2 plans lead to different degree options.

Does Hamilton offer a business major?

Hamilton does not offer a business major. Students interested in business frequently take courses in economics, mathematics, government and communication. Hamilton is nationally recognized for teaching effective writing and persuasive speaking to all majors; therefore, all students are well-equipped to pursue a career in business.

Does Hamilton offer pre-professional advising?

In addition to academic advising, Hamilton offers guidance for students interested in attending professional schools after graduation. Among the professions for which the College advises are business, education, engineering, government service, health professions and law.

What is your policy for awarding advanced credit for Advanced Placement, IB, Abitur, etc.?

In order to receive AP credit, a student must take a departmentally approved Hamilton course and pass with the minimum grade stipulated by the department. Students must take one of the courses listed on the Advanced Placement Policies webpage as their first course in the department, unless otherwise designated. A student may not receive credit toward a degree solely on the basis of a score on an Advanced Placement test.

IB credit is awarded only to students who complete the full IB program and receive the IB diploma. Students who only receive a certificate for completing one or several IB courses are not eligible to receive Hamilton credit for their IB work.

Students completing the Abitur can receive credit for courses with test grades of 10 or higher or for courses without exams if the combined yearly score is 10 or higher (out of 15). Credit will only be awarded in subjects that are considered Liberal Arts.

If you have more specific questions regarding transfer credit, please contact the Office of the Registrar at regofc@hamilton.edu.

The First Chinese Student on the Hill
Zhaosen Guo ’21 and Professor Chang

The First Chinese Student on the Hill

With an Emerson Foundation grant, Zhaosen Guo ’21 researched the first Chinese student who enrolled at Hamilton in collaboration with Associate Professor of Biology Wei-Jen Chang.

Contact Information

Office of Admission

Siuda House
Campus Road
Clinton, NY 13323
800-843-2655 315-859-4457 admission@hamilton.edu
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