The Hiram Plan

Hiram's academic semester is organized by the Hiram Plan. Sometimes called the 12–1–3 plan, it’s as unique and special as Hiram students.

The Hiram Plan consists of 12 weeks of traditional coursework, a one-week break, followed by a three-week intensive study in a single class. According to alumni and students alike, this structure is a near perfect one for fostering student learning and engagement.

During the first twelve weeks of the semester, most students enroll in three four-credit classes. At the conclusion of that semester, students get a weeklong break to recharge and refresh. Following the break, students immerse in a single class that usually meets four times a week for the next three weeks. Many 3-Week courses take the shape of a research project, a service-learning experience, an internship or a study-away opportunity. The 3-Week is also a good time to focus on a unique topic of interest or a subject you struggle with.

Can you think of a better way to organize your classes, keep you motivated, and allow you to recoup in-between? We can't.

Over the course of four years, you'll complete eight 3-Week sessions, so the possibilities are endless. Here are a few ways you may spend your 3-Week:

1. Study in another country.

Hiram College study abroad trips are unlike most college programs in that our own faculty lead them. Our faculty will be leading 3-Week trips to more than 10 destinations over the next two years, exploring topics such as:

2. Study in another state.

You don’t need to leave the country to get away during the 3-Week. There are many opportunities to supplement one or two weeks of classroom instruction with a weeklong (or more) trip to another state: 

  • Photography in the historic cities of Gettysburg, Pa.; Rochester, N.Y.; and Washington, D.C.
  • Environmental literacy and education at our Northwoods Field Station in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula
  • The history of jazz and culture in New Orleans
  • Marine ecology in Florida

3. Gain experience in the field.

What better way to spend three weeks of intensive study than by learning hands-on? Many 3-Week courses combine classroom instruction with in-the-field work. It's the perfect way to get a taste of what your first job may entail or to try out a field in which you may be interested.

  • Entrepreneurship students team up with real world start-up companies at Cleveland’s Shaker Launch House Incubator.
  • Education students study the changing culture and landscape in American classrooms by visiting diverse schools.
  • Lab courses in the sciences involve one-on-one research with faculty. Students often become co-authors on published scholarly papers.

4. Explore a unique classroom topic.

We're known for our unique 3-Week course topics – topics on which you might spend an hour studying in a normal course, but on which you have the opportunity to immerse yourself during our 3-Week. You won’t find these course titles at other colleges:

  • The Science of Sleep
  • Money and the Mind
  • Politics of Sex
  • Insects and Society
  • Dialectology
  • Campaigns and Elections
  • The Art of Puppetry
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