Started in 1966, the University of Massachusetts Amherst's Summer Seminar at Trinity College, Oxford is one of the oldest American summer programs at Oxford University. Now, 5 years later, the Seminar is still guided by its original intention: to introduce a wide range of students to the best of Oxford University's academic and social traditions. To that end, Summer Seminar students take small classes organized around discussion rather than lectures taught by Oxford faculty, and these features make for an exhilarating environment for teaching and learning. At the same time, participants also have the opportunity to explore England and Europe, both on their own and on Friday field trips.
2017 Dates: The 2017 seminar begins on Saturday, July 1, and ends on Friday, August 11.
Last summer the Seminar offered courses in British literature, history politics, law, and culture. We have recently added a course in marketing. This summer, we will be adding a course in economics. Most courses employ the Oxford tutorial system in which students meet regularly with their tutors in small groups. Seminar tutors are all experienced scholars either currently teaching at Oxford University or with experience teaching there in the past. During the summer 2016 Seminar, the average course enrolled nine students.
You can find course lists on The Oxford Summer Seminar website (Seminar classes might change based on enrollment, although this is highly unlikely. We will also do our best to find an appropriate substitute for any changed classes). Course offerings are subject to minimum enrollments and registration is on a first come, first served basis, thus students are encouraged to apply well in advance of the deadline. Course enrollment will be finalized in April. All Seminar students enroll in two four-credit courses which run for the full six weeks of the Seminar. All courses give Honors credit to students in Commonwealth College. (Students not in Commonwealth College just earn the extra credit.)
All Seminar students reside at Trinity College, many of them living in a quadrangle designed by Sir Christopher Wren in the seventeenth century. The College's spacious gardens, among the finest in Oxford, provide a beautiful setting for conversation, reading or a casual stroll. Meals are served in the College Dining Hall, constructed in 1618. The meal plan includes five dinners--Sunday through Thursday nights--and breakfast seven days per week. Social and intellectual life extends beyond the College walls, and Oxford itself has all the cultural vibrancy expected of one of the world's great university towns. Streets rich in literary and historical significance meander among the University's thirty-nine colleges. During any summer week, one can find concerts in college chapels and plays produced in college gardens. Coffee shops, pubs, bookstores, churches, and gardens all lie just outside the College gates. Blocks away from Trinity College are the University Parks, with beautiful trails for running and jogging, fields for pick-up soccer, and other recreational opportunities. For those who need a harder work-out, Oxford has several gyms that offer short-term memberships.
The Oxford Summer Seminar offers its students an opportunity not just to dwell among these academic treasures, but also to study and learn at a university that has been educating students since the Middle Ages. The Seminar invites its students to participate in a great academic tradition that has, for many former Seminar students, profoundly enriched their lives.