Hiram College uses an innovative academic program which is designed to strengthen the educational partnership between faculty and students that has always defined a Hiram education. The Hiram Plan combines the best aspects of a traditional semester calendar with the benefits of the intensive educational opportunities offered through concentration on a single course.
Through the Hiram Plan, each academic semester is divided into two sessions: one of twelve weeks and one of three weeks. During the twelve-week session, students usually enroll in three courses of four semester hours each. The longer session provides a suitable format for courses which cover a broad range of material, allows students to integrate what they learn in their concurrent classes, and provides opportunities for substantial research and writing projects.
During the three-week session, each student enrolls in one three- or four- hour seminar or course, each of which will have a limited enrollment. Each faculty member will teach only one course or seminar during the three-week session. These intensive classes provide students and faculty with numerous special opportunities that are not possible in the twelve-week sessions. The students and faculty participating in a seminar can, for example, meet at any time or location mutually agreeable. Faculty have developed special topic courses which include field trips, experiential learning, and numerous study abroad opportunities. The three-week sessions provide students with an intensive learning opportunity, which is useful preparation for work or graduate and professional studies after Hiram. Perhaps most importantly, the small class sizes and daily class meetings experienced in the three-week session enable students and faculty to form close, educationally meaningful relationships that often last a lifetime.