The Summer Institute strengthens OUS scholars' academic skills by immersing them in the rigorous educational culture of Colgate University prior to the official start of their first year. 



From early July to mid-August, OUS students live on campus and participate in two academic courses taught by Colgate faculty, with emphasis on critical reading, analytical writing, and quantitative literacy skills.

Colgate recognizes that not everyone has access to abundant resources, engaging teachers and counselors, and state-of-the-art technology. This could be due to personal economic circumstances, or inadequately funded public schools. Consequently, not all students arrive at Colgate with a backpack full of academic, social, and economic privileges. The OUS program begins with a five-week, pre-first-year Summer Institute. The Summer Institute strengthens OUS scholars' academic skills by immersing them in the culture of this rigorous institution of higher learning. Indeed, we aim to see the students for more than just their grit and determination. We want to validate their experiences in order for them to thrive in this educational setting.

In addition to taking courses, students are introduced to various resources available on campus, including the librariescareer services, and financial aid.


Throughout the Summer Institute, six OUS juniors and seniors serve as academic coaches and help guide participants through the academic rigors and expectations of a Colgate education. Moreover, students receive one-on-one advising from members of the faculty as part of the supplemental academic advising process.

How to Join

The Summer Institute is open exclusively to students admitted to Colgate in the Office of Undergraduate Studies (OUS). All applicants to Colgate are considered for the OUS program — no additional application is necessary or possible. If accepted to the program, students will be notified with their Colgate acceptance letter. Full participation in the Summer Institute is an additional admission requirement for students enrolled as OUS scholars.


Programming also introduces participants to various offices that manage student affairs and campus life. In addition, students will be introduced to Hamilton and its surrounding communities to learn about the myriad offerings in their new home-away-from-home.

Frequently Asked Questions

For students and families coming to campus by car, there will be signs directing traffic to the campus parking lot near Jane Pinchin Hall, which is the anticipated residence hall for the 2021 Summer Institute. Personal cars are not allowed to remain on campus during the five-week session.

For those arriving in Utica or Syracuse by bus, train, or plane, we will provide shuttle services to campus. We will send a questionnaire regarding travel plans prior to the program. We urge students and their families to complete the questionnaire, even if arriving by car so that we can plan accordingly for everyone's arrival.

Jane Pinchin Hall (campus map) is the anticipated summer residence for all OUS scholars in the Summer Institute. The Summer Institute's  Academic Coaches (ACs) and the Community Leaders (Cls) will also reside in the same residence.

OUS scholars will not be living at Jane Pinchin Hall upon returning for the beginning of the fall semester. The plan is to have all OUS scholars reside in a cohort and in proximity with one of the residential commons during their first year on campus. 

OUS scholars should plan on bringing casual clothing, as well as one or two dressier outfits for special activities. The weather is generally moderate during the summer, but it can get cool during the evenings and early mornings, while rising to quite warm temperatures during the day.

We cover the cost of tuition, books, supplies, fees for co-curricular activities, room, and most meals during the Summer Institute. Bring some pocket money for any other personal expenses.

Note about linens: We will provide a set of university-rented linens consisting of a pillowcase, two sheets (includes fitted sheet), two towels, and two washcloths for the duration of the Summer Institute. The OUS scholars are responsible for laundering these items. Washers and dryers are available in residence at a cost of $1.70 per load, wash or dry. OUS scholars are responsible for providing their own pillow and comforter.

This is a list of suggested items OUS scholars should consider bringing as well:

For the closet:

  • Jacket/sweater
  • Bathing suit
  • Causal clothing (shorts, jeans, sweats, etc.)
  • Comfortable shoes (sneakers, flats, etc.)
  • Hangers
  • Pajamas
  • Robe
  • Socks/underwear
  • Two or three business casual outfits (blouses/dress shirts, pants, tie, dress/skirt, dress shoes)
  • Umbrella

For the bathroom:

  • "Shower bucket" (for carrying supplies to and from the shower)
  • Bathrobe
  • Brush/comb
  • Contact lens supplies/glasses
  • Deodorant
  • First-aid supplies
  • Hairdryer
  • Toiletries
  • Shampoo/conditioner
  • Shaving supplies
  • Shower shoes (flip-flops)
  • Soap
  • Toothbrush/toothpaste
  • Haircare products (perms, grease, pink lotion, etc.)

For the bedroom:

  • Alarm clock
  • Blanket/comforter
  • Bookbag/backpack
  • Desk lamp
  • Fan
  • Laundry supplies (bag/basket, detergent, dryer sheets)
  • Mini refrigerator (optional)
  • Pillow
  • Comforter
  • Small microwave
  • Throw blanket

During the Summer Institute, we will be providing you with medical insurance coverage through the university’s insurance provider (Haylor, Freyer & Coon), which will be in addition to any coverage you and your family may have. 

For the 2021-2022 academic year, the charge for the annual student health insurance policy offered through the university provider will be $1,942 (this was billed on the fall semester billing). If you are covered by your parent/guardian’s medical insurance and their insurance coverage is comparable to the policy provided by Colgate, you may waive the Colgate coverage. However, you must visit this site to enroll actively in or waive the Colgate student health insurance coverage. You will receive additional information about Colgate's student health insurance program in the mail as well. 

Please do not hesitate to reach out to OUS with your questions and concerns.

The better cell-phone service providers with coverage in the area are AT&T and Verizon.

OUS scholars are expected to be in attendance for the entire five weeks. We have planned several social and recreational activities and outings for community building. We ask that OUS scholars not plan to go home, visit family/friends, or have visitors during this time.

There will be a pre-orientation program that all OUS scholars are expected to participate in, and more information will be shared at the Summer Institute.