Academic Environment

Goals for Student Learning and Development

Our goals emerge in particular from our collective sense of a Skidmore education as a transformative experience. We want our students to acquire both knowledge and capacities that enable them to initiate and embrace change and apply their learning lifelong in new contexts. We believe that this learning takes place throughout our students’ experience, both inside the classroom and out, on campus and off. Our goals articulate, then, in language that is as clear and lean as possible, our understanding of students’ learning and development at Skidmore. They lay the groundwork for our continued inquiry into the evidence of that learning.

I. Knowledge

  • Acquire knowledge of human cultures and the physical world through study in the arts, humanities, languages, mathematics, natural sciences, and social sciences
  • Understand social and cultural diversity in national and global contexts
  • Demonstrate advanced learning and synthesis in both general and specialized studies

II. Intellectual Skills and Practice 

  • Think critically, creatively, and independently
  • Gather, analyze, integrate, and apply varied forms of information; understand and use evidence
  • Communicate effectively
  • Interact effectively and collaboratively with individuals and across social identities
  • Engage in and take responsibility for learning; strive for excellence

III. Personal and Social Values

  • Examine one’s own values and their use as ethical criteria in thought and action
  • Interrogate one’s own values in relation to those of others, across social and cultural differences
  • Develop practical competencies for managing a personal, professional, and community life
  • Apply learning to find solutions for social, civic, and scientific problems

IV. Transformation

  • Integrate and apply knowledge and creative thought from multiple disciplines in new contexts
  • Embrace intellectual integrity, humility, and courage
  • Foster habits of mind and body that enable a person to live deliberately and well
  • Develop an enduring passion for learning

The Curriculum

Requirements for Students Who Enter Fall 2020 and Beyond

Integrations Requirements

Scribner Seminar

In their first year at college, students build connections to academic and residential communities, identify intellectual interests, and encounter faculty expectations for excellence. The First-Year Experience Program provides curricular and cocurricular opportunities that facilitate entering students’ successful integration into the Skidmore College community. Through New Student Orientation, Scribner Seminars, and other Campus Life programming, students learn to balance freedom with responsibility, solve problems, and develop strategies for academic achievement.

All students are required to enroll in a Scribner Seminar during the fall semester of their first year. Students not completing the Seminar will be reviewed by the Committee on Academic Standing on a case-by-case basis, in consultation with the director of the First-Year Experience. The CAS will, when deciding on the disposition of such cases, reference guidelines approved by both CAS and the Committee on Educational Policies and Planning (CEPP) and included in the CAS Operating Code. Scribner Seminars may not be used to meet any other College requirements.

The Bridge Experience

The Bridge Experience requirement encourages students to understand how power and justice have shaped the experiences of people with a variety of identities in the United States and how these people have responded to the reality of inequality in their lives. The Bridge Experience has two components: A Content/Theory/Reflection component that explores how unequal distributions of power affect different individuals, groups, and communities in contemporary America and a Practice/Application component that encourages students to reflect upon their own positions in their respective communities and on campus and to connect their study of power, justice, and identity to other areas of their education and to the world beyond the classroom. Practice/Application projects not only require students to demonstrate a critical understanding of power, justice, and identity, but also learn how to communicate and share their insights with a broader audience.

Students must complete the Bridge Experience on campus, though some designated travel seminars may fulfill one or both of the components of the Bridge Experience requirement.

The College strongly encourages students to complete the Bridge Experience requirement in their sophomore or junior year.

The Senior Experience Coda

The Senior Experience Coda is a moment for students to produce a piece of original work that demonstrates their intellectual or artistic development during their Skidmore careers. Additionally, the Senior Experience Coda provides students with the opportunity to reflect on their academic past and look to the future by integrating many aspects of their liberal arts education and imagining themselves as citizens in the world they are facing beyond graduation.

Students typically fulfill their Coda within their major, but they are free to pursue interdisciplinary experiences and codas offered by other departments and programs.

Students may choose to fulfill their Coda within their major, but they are free to find interdisciplinary experiences and codas offered by other departments and programs.

The Senior Coda experience will be informed by the following themes:

  1. Creativity: Students will produce original work and engage with individual ideas through analysis, invention, or creation.
  2. Relevance: Students will connect to the broader world, which may mean the broader world of academic discourse and/or the world outside of Skidmore College.
  3. Integration: Students will consciously and reflectively examine their liberal arts education.

Foundation Requirements

Expository Writing

Students are required to complete successfully one designated expository writing course by the end of the sophomore year. Students placed in EN 103 Writing Seminar I must complete this prerequisite course by the end of the first year. In some cases, students may be required to complete certain preparatory courses in their first semester prior to enrolling in EN 103 Writing Seminar I. Designated writing courses offered by the English Department and in various disciplines can be taken to fulfill the expository writing requirement. Skidmore’s writing program includes tutorial help at the Boshoff Writing Center.

Courses that satisfy the Expository Writing Requirement may be English Department writing courses (EN 105 Writing Seminar II, EN 105H Writing Seminar II, or EN 110 Introduction to Literary Studies) or specially designated writing-intensive courses in other disciplines.

Each department or program also provides students with opportunities to learn and practice the particular conventions of writing within their discipline. Departments or programs determine the exact nature of the requirement. The specifics are provided in the description of the major.

Applied Quantitative Reasoning (AQR)

All students must successfully complete an Applied Quantitative Reasoning course (AQR) by the end of their junior year.

Students can satisfy the prerequisite to enroll in an AQR course in one of three ways:

  1. Achieving a score of at least 650 on the MSAT I examination, a score of at least 570 on any Mathematics SAT II examination, or a score of at least 28 on the Mathematics ACT examination
  2. Earning the necessary score on an online quantitative reasoning placement diagnostic administered before they enroll in their first-semester courses.
  3. Successfully completing a Fundamental Quantitative Reasoning course (FQR).

Students who do not have the required MSAT I, Mathematics SAT II, or Mathematics ACT score to place into an AQR course will take an online quantitative reasoning placement diagnostic prior to course registration for their first semester at the college to determine if they have the requisite background and aptitude to succeed in an AQR course. Students who do not demonstrate on the diagnostic placement that they are prepared for an AQR course must take either MA 100 Quantitative Reasoning or a Fundamental Quantitative Reasoning course (FQR). Students who place into MA 100 Quantitative Reasoning will need to complete successfully MA 100 Quantitative Reasoning, an FQR course, and an AQR course by the end of their junior years to satisfy the requirement, while students who place into FQR will need to complete successfully an FQR course and an AQR course by the end of their junior years to satisfy the requirement.

Global Cultural Perspectives

Students must successfully complete a designated course that will allow them to develop intercultural understanding and global perspectives by turning their attention away from western, Eurocentric cultural traditions to study such topics as the global south, First Nations/indigenous peoples, colonialism/formerly colonized nations, and mass migration. Courses that satisfy this requirement may include comparative approaches to these topics.

Language Study

Students must successfully complete a course that focuses on acquisition and or analysis of a language other than English.

Inquiries Requirements

Artistic Inquiry through Practice

Students must successfully complete a course that will allow them to develop an understanding of creative expression through hands-on engagement in a performing, visual, digital, or literary art.

Humanistic Inquiry through Practice

Students must successfully complete a course that examines contemporary or past cultural values, helping them to cultivate critical judgment as they study how people process and record the human experience.

Scientific Inquiry through Practice

Students must successfully complete a course that will allow them to learn about the nature of science through scientific practices that they employ to understand particular aspects of the world. Students will consider the process of scientific thinking as a set of inquiry-based methodologies and will become versed in the design of scientific studies. Students will also learn a body of disciplinary knowledge.

Requirements for Students Who Entered Prior to Fall 2020

First-Year Experience

In their first year at college, students build connections to academic and residential communities, identify intellectual interests, and encounter faculty expectations for excellence. The First-Year Experience Program provides curricular and cocurricular opportunities that facilitate entering students’ successful integration into the Skidmore College community. Through New Student Orientation, Scribner Seminars, and other Campus Life and Residential programming, students learn to balance freedom with responsibility, solve problems, and develop strategies for academic achievement.

Interdisciplinary Study — Scribner Seminars

A distinctive feature of intellectual activity at Skidmore is the college’s attention to interdisciplinary learning. The ability to integrate ideas from several different disciplines lends coherence to a student’s entire college education and may be applied to many areas of life. Scribner Seminars, the centerpiece of the First-Year Experience, constitute a significant interdisciplinary component of the curriculum. (See course descriptions for titles of Scribner Seminars.) Scribner Seminars, each limited to a small group of first-year students, invite participants to

  • work closely with faculty and peers;
  • help students identify and fulfill their academic aspirations;
  • introduce them to new ways of thinking; and
  • provide opportunities to work both collaboratively and independently.

The seminars reflect the academic interests and intellectual passions of the faculty instructors, inviting first-year students to take intellectual risks, and challenging their notions about inquiry and knowledge. (See Interdisciplinary Courses for additional opportunities to pursue interdisciplinary learning.)


As the foundation of their college experience, Skidmore students strengthen their writing proficiency and demonstrate competence in quantitative reasoning. The ability to read critically, to write clearly and precisely, and to reason quantitatively lies at the heart of a liberal arts education. Skidmore students thus exercise, during their first years of study, the indispensable tools of intellectual discourse and discovery.

Expository Writing

Students are required to complete successfully one designated expository writing course by the end of the sophomore year. Students placed in EN 103 Writing Seminar I must complete this prerequisite course by the end of the first year. In some cases, students may be required to complete certain preparatory courses in their first semester, prior to enrolling in EN 103 Writing Seminar I. Designated writing courses offered by the English Department and in various disciplines can be taken to fulfill the expository writing requirement. Skidmore’s writing program includes tutorial help at the Writing Center.

Quantitative Reasoning

Quantitative skills are not only promoted through a wide range of mathematics, computer, economics, and statistics courses, but also are reinforced by peer and professional support services directed by the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science. All students will demonstrate competence in basic mathematical and computational principles by the end of the sophomore year. This may be demonstrated by attaining a 630 or higher on the Old MSAT I exam (taken January 2016 or earlier), a 650 or higher on the new MSAT I (taken March 2016 or later), a 570 or higher on any mathematics SAT II exam, an ACT math score of 28 or higher, by passing Skidmore’s quantitative reasoning examination, or by successfully completing MA 100 Quantitative Reasoning. By the end of the junior year, all students must successfully complete a designated course in mathematics, statistics, or other numerical operations in various academic disciplines, or in the use of computers for the manipulation of mathematical, social-scientific, or scientific data.


The purpose of the breadth requirements is to ensure that students come to know and understand the central questions, content, and types of analysis that characterize the major knowledge domains of the liberal arts:

  • the arts
  • humanities
  • natural sciences
  • social sciences

Students who have completed these requirements should be able to identify, understand, and evaluate inquiry in each of these domains.

Students must successfully complete one course in each of the following four fields:


Students actively engage in the making or performing of artworks as modes of creative invention, interpretation, expression, and discovery. Through the critique and analysis of artworks, students develop a context for and an understanding of their own creative output as well as the creations of others. The fundamental student learning goals include the advancement of technical proficiency and the refinement of critical aesthetic sensibility. Courses in this category are typically, but not exclusively, offered in creative writing, dance performance, music performance, studio (visual) art, and theater performance.


Students examine and reflect upon human culture as expressed in historical tradition, literature and languages, art and music, ideas, and beliefs. Students learn about diverse heritages, customs, and values that form patterns and analogies but not general laws. The humanities search for an understanding of the unique value of the particulars within human contexts and thereby create a climate that encourages freedom of thought, imagination, and inquiry. Courses in this category are typically, but not exclusively, offered in art history, classics, dance theory and history, literature (in English and in other languages), music theory and history, philosophy, religion, and theater theory and history.

Natural Sciences

Students actively engage in the process of understanding the natural world through the use of scientific methods. Students study phenomena that are the product of natural processes and are known through the senses rather than only through thought or intuition. Through the laboratory component of courses meeting this requirement, students will design and execute experiments (where appropriate as dictated by the discipline), collect data by observation and/or experimentation, and analyze data. Student learning goals thus include mastery of both content and process. Courses in this category are typically, but not exclusively, offered in biology, chemistry, exercise science, geosciences, physics, and psychology.

Social Sciences

Students study the organizational structure of human societies. They learn about the origins, functions, dynamics, and relations of large-scale social forces (such as institutions and cultures) and their intersections with the individual and small groups. In addition, students explore the connections between historical processes and contemporary social issues. Social scientific inquiry uses a combination of conventional scientific methods and humanistic, qualitative approaches. Courses in this category are typically, but not exclusively, offered in American studies, anthropology, economics, government, history, and sociology.

Culture-Centered Inquiry

In culture-centered inquiry, students learn that culturally based perspectives and values are not universal, and in so doing enhance their ability to interact with persons from diverse cultural backgrounds. Students fulfill this requirement by completing one course in a foreign language and one course designated as either non-Western culture or cultural diversity study.

Foreign Literature and Language

Students expand their use of a foreign language or their understanding of the literature of that language by studying in its non-translated form. A student may choose a course (by placement) from the literature and language courses offered by the Department of Classics or the Department of World Languages and Literatures, excluding courses in translation.

and either

Non-Western Culture

Students investigate a way of life and a set of cultural assumptions significantly different from Western perspectives. In these courses, students examine the social, political, literary, aesthetic, or linguistic arrangements of cultures.


Cultural Diversity Study

Students investigate the interaction of culturally distinct peoples within a given sociopolitical context. These courses may focus on diversity in the United States or on intercultural relations in other contexts. However, at least one of the groups examined will have non-Western origins.

The Major: Focus and Depth

The core curriculum described so far provides the foundation that students need in order to choose a major appropriate to their academic and career interests. This choice usually occurs during the second semester of the sophomore year, prior to registration for the junior year, allowing time for students to explore a variety of major and minor options. Skidmore offers the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees in more than 50 areas, including traditional liberal arts disciplines, paraprofessional fields, interdepartmental combinations, and interdisciplinary programs. Qualified students may construct a self-determined major when their educational interests lie outside Skidmore’s established majors. All areas of concentration at Skidmore, including those most oriented toward careers and professions, thrive within a liberal arts and humanistic environment. Students electing two majors must plan course selections very carefully and should seek assistance from a faculty advisor as early as possible.

Periclean Honors Forum Curriculum

The Periclean Honors Forum offers a range of courses in a variety of disciplines at the 100, 200, and 300 levels. Designated Periclean honors courses (designated HF), including 1-credit add-ons and variable-credit independent studies, expect a high degree of involvement from participants, employ more sophisticated materials, pose more complex questions, and provide an unusually challenging academic experience.

The Periclean Honors Forum offers a supportive intellectual community for all highly motivated Skidmore students and especially encourages the academic aspirations of first-year and second-year students. Academic excellence, leadership, and citizenship are the core values of the “forum,” which, as the name suggests, organizes and promotes the common goals and interests of the entire academic community.

Internships for Academic Credit

Skidmore’s long experience in combining liberal arts education with career preparation has established strong connections between the life of the mind and the life of practicality and action. This twofold understanding of higher education is brought to focus through internships offered for academic credit.

Earning academic credit through an internship can be particularly rewarding to students as an application of their academic work to other life situations, as an exercise of their liberal arts skills and perspectives, and as a bridge between college and career. In recent years Skidmore students have earned valuable experience and academic credit in government agencies, retail and industrial organizations, publishing houses, banks, law firms, radio and television networks, and art, music, and theater organizations. Internship affiliations can be arranged by students themselves or in consultation with the Career Development Center, or be made available through alumni and friends of the College.

The associate dean of faculty with responsibility for student academic affairs oversees internship credit guidelines and application criteria at Skidmore. An electronic library of internship opportunities is maintained by the Career Development Center. Once they have completed a first semester at Skidmore, qualified students may apply for internship experience, and academic credit, during any semester of the academic year, including the summer sessions. Students will be charged the regular application and tuition fees as for any other credit-bearing course taken during the academic year. During the summer when students are not in residence, reduced fees apply.

The course IN 100 Exploration Internship is available as an introductory experience to qualified students in any academic discipline. IN 100 Exploration Internship applications are reviewed by the associate dean of the faculty with responsibility for student academic affairs.

Many departments and programs at Skidmore offer internships at the 299 or 399 level. These opportunities are centered on a specific academic discipline, are offered at a more advanced level than IN 100 Exploration Internship, and often carry prerequisites. Grading may be on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis. Consult the course descriptions in the departmental listings for details.

A maximum of 12 credit hours of internship credit may be counted toward the student’s degree program. All 399 internships count toward the Skidmore “maturity” requirement, and 299 and 399 internships (but not IN 100 Exploration Internship) may count for “liberal arts” credit only as indicated in the Catalog under each departmental description of internships. Internship credit may count toward an academic major or minor if it is so indicated in the Catalog under each departmental and program description. Internship credits are offered on a graded (A-F) or Satisfactory-Unsatisfactory (S/U) basis as determined by the sponsoring department or program and indicated in the Catalog.

Academic Guidance

Scribner Seminar professors serve as faculty advisors and academic mentors to the first-year students enrolled in their seminars. Transfer students are assigned to a member of the faculty who serves as a student’s advisor. A student wishing to change his or her advisor may do so at any time by completing a written application available in the Office of Academic Advising. A student typically changes his or her advisor when declaring a major. All students are encouraged to consult their faculty advisors about course scheduling, the College’s general academic requirements, and the student’s particular field of interest. Students may seek further advice on these and other issues from the Office of Academic Advising. This office also handles questions about leaves of absence, academic standing, choice of major, internship credit, academic support resources and services, academic integrity, honors and prizes, student opportunity funds, graduate fellowships, and other academic opportunities or difficulties. Although faculty mentors and the Office of Academic Advising provide guidance, responsibility for course selection and timely fulfillment of degree requirements ultimately lies with the student.

Information Resources

Scribner Library

The Lucy Scribner Library provides access to hundreds of thousands of books and e-Books with thousands of media items including DVD, CDs, and vinyl records.  Over 300 databases provide access to academic journals, magazines, and newspapers with some specializing in images, archival documents, and streaming video and audio. These online resources can be accessed both on and off campus as well as from the student computers within the library.  We also loan electronic items like laptops, portable chargers, and players for media like DVDs and vinyl records along with non-traditional items like museum passes. In addition, the library houses the Skidmore College archives and collections of rare books with some of the materials digitized as part of our Digital Collections repository.

If students need materials not available through Scribner Library, they have access to materials in the libraries of regional colleges and academic and research library collections throughout the world through Skidmore’s interlibrary loan and resource sharing arrangements.

The librarians, who are subject specialists, teach research techniques and are available for consultation about individual research at the research help desk, over chat, via email and by scheduling one-on-one appointments.  They maintain a variety of subject and topic guides to help students get started in their research.  Credit-bearing library courses are also available during the academic year.

The library is a major hub of Skidmore campus offering a variety of spaces for students to use for studying, researching, and socializing. Our latest renovation, the Creative Corridor, provides more group and flexible spaces and seating options to help foster student collaboration and spur creativity.    

GIS Center for Interdisciplinary Research

The Skidmore GIS Center for Interdisciplinary Research, located on the second floor of the Lucy Scribner Library, provides students and faculty with the resources and expertise to incorporate GIS and related geospatial technology into course offerings and research across academic disciplines. The center serves the entire campus with maps, data, analysis, and visualization tools and helping to inspire critical and spatial thinking when approaching problems, analyzing them, and considering potential solutions. For more information about the GIS Center, visit

Information Technology

Information Technology is an active part of academic life at Skidmore. The IT department supports services that include access to the internet, email, academic software, voice and data network infrastructure, printing, multimedia, academic technologies, and administrative information systems.

As Skidmore encourages computing across the curriculum, IT makes information technologies accessible to all students. IT employs professional staff and student assistants to help students, faculty and staff utilize computers more effectively. Additionally, IT provides online training resources, workshops on a variety of topics and one-on-one consulting.

General-purpose computer areas are available in several locations across campus, including Scribner Library and Media Services. In addition to these computer areas, the College’s campus center, Case Center, is open 24 hours and provides computers for checking e-mail in the Burgess Café. All facilities are open to any interested students, faculty, and staff and include either Windows or Macintosh computers. Most of the public computer areas are equipped with high-quality laser printers.

The Media Services department, located in the Scribner Library, operates a media development lab that provides students, faculty, and staff access to advanced tools for digital media production. Resources include video- and still-image editing facilities, a sound editing suite, scanning capabilities, DVD recording equipment, and small- to large-format color printing. Some items, such as digital cameras and digital video cameras, are available for short-term loan.

For additional information about the Information Technology department, visit

Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery

Opened in fall 2000 and named in honor of Frances YoungTang ’61, the 39,000 square-foot museum-gallery is designed to facilitate cross-disciplinary communication through the visual arts. The experimental nature of the Tang’s programming integrates multiple media and a range of disciplines to explore common themes. The building houses

  • a 120-seat interdisciplinary space;
  • classrooms for lectures, events, and film screenings;
  • flexible gallery space;
  • a museum shop; and
  • storage for Skidmore’s permanent collection.

John B. Moore Documentary Studies Collaborative

MDOCS is an interdisciplinary center presenting the stories of the human experience in documentary forms: old and new; visual, oral, and written; analog and digital. Providing resources for and fostering collaborations between Skidmore’s academic programs and documentary practitioners, MDOCS invites students, faculty, and staff to learn and use the documentary arts for critical inquiry, discovery, civic engagement, and exposition. MDOCS, on its own and in partnership with individuals and programs, offers classes in the principles of documentary and instruction in documentary filmmaking, audio storytelling, and exhibition, among other documentary forms.

Off-Campus Study & Exchanges

The Office of Off-Campus Study & Exchanges (OCSE) organizes a wide range of off-campus opportunities for academically qualified students who wish to enhance their on-campus educational experience. The office works closely with academic departments and programs to ensure coordination between programs at Skidmore and international and domestic off-campus study opportunities. The office also advises students on program choices and application procedures, helps orient students to the cultural and personal challenges they will encounter off campus, and helps reintegrate students into the life of the college when they return. The office manages Skidmore programs abroad in England, France, New Zealand, Spain, a variety of faculty-led travel seminars, and domestic programs such as the Skidmore Exchange with Spelman College. The office also provides support for an additional 120 Approved Programs abroad. Students must have a 2.750 minimum GPA and appropriate academic background, must be in good academic and social standing, and must have the endorsement of the College in order to participate in off-campus programs.

Other Off-Campus Programs

Visiting Student Programs at American Colleges

While students do the majority of their work at Skidmore, the College offers the opportunity to take a semester or full-year program at another school in the United States. Many colleges in the state of New York and in other states have visiting student programs, and students should write to the registrar of the college in which they are interested to get information about programs and deadline dates. Prospective visiting students not participating in an approved off-campus program should then apply for an official leave of absence through the Office of Academic Advising.

Hudson-Mohawk Association of Colleges and Universities

To extend and enrich their collective educational resources, Skidmore and the following institutions have participated in the Hudson-Mohawk Association of Colleges and Universities:

  • Adirondack Community College
  • Albany College of Pharmacy
  • Albany Law School
  • Albany Medical College
  • Empire State College
  • Excelsior College
  • Hudson Valley Community College
  • Maria College
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  • Russell Sage College
  • Schenectady County Community College
  • Siena College
  • the State University of New York College at Cobleskill
  • Union College
  • the State University of New York at Albany

Students may choose individual courses at any of the member institutions through a cross-registration agreement by consulting the registrars at both institutions. To be eligible, students must have paid the full-time tuition charge at Skidmore and be taking at least half their full-time load on the Skidmore campus. (Note: Although the formal consortium is no longer active, most institutions still consider cross-registrations.)

Reserve Officer Training Corps

Skidmore students interested in participating in Reserve Officer Training Corps programs may do so through the Hudson-Mohawk consortium. With the permission of the Committee on Academic Standing, a limited amount of credit (typically 6 or fewer hours) may be counted toward the degree for academic courses taken in the ROTC program.

Students pursuing a ROTC program through cross-registration must plan their courses and their academic major with care due to the time requirements of the ROTC program and the commuting time (30 to 40 minutes) involved. Because of the scheduling requirements of some majors, full participation in a ROTC program may not be possible. Accepted candidates are advised to discuss their plans both with the ROTC program of interest and the Office of the Registrar at Skidmore before enrolling at Skidmore. All cross-registering students must provide their own transportation.

For information on ROTC programs and/or scholarships, interested students should contact the ROTC program of interest. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Troy, NY 12181) has Air Force, Army, and Marine Corps programs and can be contacted here: or or 518-276-6236. Siena College (Loudonville, NY 12211) has an Army ROTC office.

Higher Education Opportunity Program/Academic Opportunity Program

The Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP) recruits and admits talented and motivated students from New York state who otherwise, owing to academic and financial circumstances, would be unable to attend Skidmore. The Academic Opportunity Program (AOP) recruits and admits students who are HEOP-like in their academic and economic profiles, yet are not eligible for support from the program because they reside in states other than New York or have income levels slightly above the HEOP economic eligibility guidelines. Holistic in their approach to student development, both programs provide a required summer session on campus for students about to begin their first year, and continued academic, financial, and counseling services. The Summer Academic Institute strengthens students’ academic and study skills and prepares them for an academically and personally successful college experience.

Office of Special Programs

The Office of Special Programs presents distinctive academic programs, arts institutes, lecture series, artist/scholar residencies, and community programs that enrich the College’s core mission and enhance the local community. Situated within the Academic Affairs division of the College, Special Programs is responsible for the College’s Summer Sessions and nationally recognized Pre-College Program, as well as an array of renowned educational and cultural arts programs.

Summer Programs

Through the Office of Special Programs, Skidmore’s summer programs draw thousands of people of different ages and backgrounds to the campus for credit and noncredit courses, seminars, and workshops, many of which incorporate the city’s cultural activities into their offerings. Full details on all the College’s summer program offerings can be found on the Summer at Skidmore website.

Summer Sessions

There are two five-week and one 10-week summer sessions at Skidmore. Students may register for up to 8 credit hours in each session. Enrolling in summer classes enables students to

  • take advantage of the small classes and the opportunities to concentrate on just one or two courses at a time;
  • fulfill all College, foundation level, and departmental requirements; and
  • catch up or accelerate progress toward a degree.

The Summer Sessions feature courses in the full range of the liberal and studio arts as well as special topics courses in a variety of disciplines. Skidmore’s summer sessions offer unique opportunities for specialized study. Students may also engage in independent study courses with faculty and take advantage of the many internship opportunities in the summer.

Pre-College Program in Liberal and Studio Arts for High School Students

The Skidmore Pre-College Program in Liberal and Studio Arts is a summer college experience for high school students to live and learn with other exceptional students from around the country and abroad. The college credit-bearing program is designed for highly motivated and talented students who share a common interest in exploring the academic and social aspects of campus life and preparing for college success. The courses open to high school students are foundation-level courses offered as part of Skidmore’s summer session for college students.

New York State Summer Writers Institute

The New York State Writers Institute, sponsored by Skidmore and SUNY Albany, offers an annual summer program for writers. The four-week program features workshop courses in creative writing taught by an extraordinary staff of professional writers, including winners of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. The program may be taken for undergraduate credit or as a noncredit workshop.

Jazz Institute

This is a two-week residential institute for jazz musicians including high school and college students, music educators, and professional musicians-focusing on theory, improvisation, jazz history, and digital recording. Master classes are taught by top jazz artists, and the program features an evening concert series that takes place in the Arthur Zankel Music Center. The program coincides with Freihofer’s Jazz Festival at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center. This program may be taken for academic credit or as a noncredit workshop.