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Scotland Study Group

University of St. Andrews
Director Spring 2018: Associate Professor Jacob Klein
Department of Philosophy
Founded in 1413, the University of St. Andrews is the oldest university in Scotland, and one of the premier institutions of higher learning in Britain. The university draws over a fifth of its 5,700 undergraduates from overseas, representing some 75 different nationalities.
The town of St. Andrews — also known as the "home of golf" — is a beautiful burgh of about 15,000 people on the rugged east coast of Scotland. It has a vibrant town center filled with shops, cafes, and restaurants (plus the impressive ruins of the ancient cathedral).

There is reliable train and bus service to nearby larger cities, such as Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Stirling. Edinburgh's international airport offers daily budget flights to European destinations.

This study group has not been designated to satisfy the Core Global Engagements requirement.  Students will need to meet the Global Engagement requirement by enrolling in a designated course offered on campus.

Students explore cathedral ruins on Scotland Study Group Students and professor explore city on Scotland Study Group

Academic Program

Participants register as students at the University of St. Andrews and have the same access to all of its facilities as regular students do. In order to earn the equivalent of four Colgate credits, each student takes the course offered by the study group director and two to three courses from the St. Andrews curriculum.


In 2018 the Director’s course will be Philosophy 381: Skepticism Ancient and Modern. This course will trace the history of philosophical skepticism, with special attention to its origin in late antiquity and its reception and transformation in the early modern period, particularly in work of Descartes and Hume.

To appreciate the cultural reach of skepticism, we will explore skeptical themes in at least one of Shakespeare’s plays. Our discussion throughout will focus on the rigorous examination and evaluation of arguments both for and against skepticism. The course will connect students to the Scottish intellectual tradition through our study of David Hume, who freely employed skeptical argumentation while maintaining a deliberately ambiguous relationship to skepticism itself.

Students are expected to take 75 St. Andrews credits, which is the equivalent of 4.00 Colgate course credits. This includes the 15-credit director’s course. Exceptions to the standard course load must be pre-approved by the study group director, the director of off-campus study, and the associate dean of the faculty.

  • Students register for courses (or “modules”) the first week of the term at St. Andrews.
  • Students must notify the Colgate registrar’s office of final selections.
  • Course catalogues are available at: catalogue.
  • Students are expected to consult the online catalogues and meet with their Colgate advisers prior to departure to determine appropriate courses to best serve the student’s overall academic goals.
  • The Colgate philosophy and religion departments will award concentration credit for all philosophy or divinity courses taken at St. Andrews. Credit levels will be determined by the department chair.
  • Students are not permitted to take courses that duplicate or substantially overlap with previously completed coursework.
  • All courses outside of the philosophy or divinity faculties at St. Andrews require preapproval from Colgate’s registrar’s office and also, in some cases, the relevant department or program. Courses are expected to fit within Colgate’s liberal arts curriculum. If there are questions about a specific course, please contact the registrar’s office.
  • St. Andrews courses do not fulfill Core Curriculum requirements.

Living Arrangements

Students share a meal as a large group.

Study group participants live with St. Andrews students in the university's halls of residence. There are options to choose from (single or double, en suite or not, catered or not, etc.).  Colgate students enter the university's housing lottery along with everyone else.

Extracurricular Activities

There will be two group excursions: a weekend trip to Edinburgh and a trip to Oxford and London (with a stopover in York) during the first week of the two-week spring break. Travel arrangements are made by the Study Group Director.


Ideally, students should have taken at least two courses in philosophy or religion by the time they arrive in St. Andrews.  In order to be admitted to St. Andrews, students need to have at least a 3.2 grade point average.


For details of student expenses on this study group, please see Student Cost Estimate Sheets.


The deadline for applications to the Spring 2018 Scotland Study Group is Friday, November 4th, 2016.  Applications are on the Colgate University Off-Campus Study/International Programs study groups’ websites and are submitted online.  Student notification of selections will take place late December 2016.

Passports and Visas

Scenic of a city in Scotland

You must confirm that your passport is valid through December 2018. Some students participating on the Spring 2018 Scotland Study Group will be required to obtain a U.K. student visa. With participation on this study group comes the responsibility of understanding and complying with U.K. visa requirements. If you will not be traveling on a U.S. passport it is imperative that you contact an adviser in Off-Campus Study/International Programs, 101 McGregory, and International Student Services, 103C Lathrop, to learn as much as you can about the regulations. For all students there are significant visa requirements to be met that take time, advance planning, and incur extra costs.

Program Dates

The Departments of Philosophy and Religion Program at St. Andrews University program dates: about mid-January through May, 2018.

Informational Sessions

  • Thursday, September 29, 2016 at 8 p.m.
  • Friday, October 7, 2016 at 7 p.m.

    Both sessions will be held in 101 McGregory Hall (Center for International Programs)

More Information

For more information contact Professor Klein,