Humanities for Young People

Please note:

Due to current health and safety concerns, we regret that we are canceling our annual summer Humanities for Young People (HYP) program for 2020. We look forward to offering this program again in the summer of 2021.

hyp1Humanities for Young People (HYP), is a non-credit programme for ambitious teens who want an intellectual challenge and a taste of college life.

From July 6–14, 2019, students will study challenging texts with some of our most engaging professors, develop their analytical, verbal, and interpersonal skills, and enjoy residential life at Canada’s oldest chartered university.

HYP will clarify what we study in the humanities, how broadly applicable humanities skills are, and the way the humanities shape our communities. Our aim is to ignite curiosity and passion in young people.

HYP is an academic adventure that will take you from Ancient Greece to multicultural Canada.

Each year, HYP will conclude with a public symposium featuring the work of students, professors and a keynote address:

  • 2016: The Humanities in Our Communities
  • 2017: The Challenges of Reconciliation
  • 2018: Migration
  • 2019: Thinking Through Fear

The theme for HYP 2020 is Hindsight. It’s a cliché that “Hindsight is 20/20”, but what do we really learn from considering the past? The philosopher G.W.F. Hegel wrote, “What experience and history teaches us is that people and governments have never learned anything from history, or acted on principles deduced from it.” Thoughtful engagement with the past is key to several humanities fields ranging from literature to philosophy to history, but claims about the past can also be contentious and complicated. Whose histories do we use to understand our present, and imagine a new future?

HYP is open to all Canadian students ages 15 to 17 with an interest in writing, in reading, and in thoughtful inquiry. The application deadline is June 1, 2020.

For more information on Humanities for Young People, or to apply, please visit or contact the program staff at