Academic Programs
Non-Credit Programs
Humanities for Young People (HYP)

Humanities for Young People (HYP)

Attend Humanities for Young People
July 6 – 14, 2024


Enrolment for HYP 2024 is now closed.

Thank you for your interest and we look forward to receiving your application next year!

Do you love reading? Did you just put on a play?
Do you follow politics? Do you dream of being a writer?
Do you wonder what university might be like? If so, HYP is for you!

Humanities for Young People (HYP) is a residential summer program for bright and highly-motivated students from ages 15 to 17. It takes place at the University of King’s College in Halifax, Nova Scotia, for one week each summer. Secondary school students from across the country will have the unique opportunity to work closely with scholars from a variety of disciplines.

Download HYP brochure for more information

What is HYP?

The HYP program is an opportunity to experience a slice of life in King’s Foundation Year Program (FYP), Canada’s pre-eminent great books program.

FYP students spend their first year of university on a chronological odyssey through the ages, from ancient civilizations to the modern era, reading the works that have shaped our world. Students grapple directly with primary texts from ancient epics and religious texts to the most seminal works of philosophy, literature, and politics, as well as tracing developments in art, music, architecture, and science. Students build a comprehensive cultural map by becoming acquainted with the traditions of thought that have helped set our present horizons.

For nine days in July, high school students are invited to experience what it would be like to be part of such a program, immersed in a world of big ideas, with peers from across Canada who are passionate about the same things. Each year, the HYP program will pick up on a thread in the FYP curriculum such as love, truth, beauty, power, or justice, and will include a workshop from King’s other undergraduate specialization journalism.

Just like FYP students, HYP students either live in residence or participate as day students, eat together in Prince Hall, attend morning lectures by a cast of experts on the subject matter, and participate in small group discussions to deepen understanding. In the afternoons and evenings students take part in co-curricular workshops and activities and visit local sites. For students coming from outside the region, it’s a chance to see what their life in Halifax could be like and build confidence about going away to university. The group is led by an academic and a team of upper year King’s students.

The theme for HYP 2024 is Journeys

Pair of black shoes at bottom of picture stand next to compass embedded in rockDuring our week together, we will think about the many forms journeys can take, be they geographical, intellectual, artistic or spiritual, through things like travel, education, media and migration. Life itself is often described as a journey, with a clear start and end point but an uncertain itinerary along the way. Journeys can be both humble or grand, near or far, voluntary or forced: but they are always transformative.

In the late 19th century, the 27-year-old Xavier de Maistre, under house arrest for duelling, wrote Voyage Around My Room, and observed, “How glorious it is to blaze a new trail, and suddenly to appear in learned society, a book of discoveries in one’s hand, like an unforeseen comet flashing through space!” We hope that, by the end of the HYP week, you will feel that you’ve gone on your own journey of discovery.

Why do the humanities matter today?

The humanities ask—and answer—the big questions about our lives. Studying the humanities will help you develop the critical thinking and communication skills that are crucial to meaningful employment, active citizenship and healthy relationships.

Research backs us up on this: it shows that young people who pursue studies in the humanities have a broad and flexible skill set, allowing them to confront the unpredictable future with creativity, ingenuity and resilience.

The humanities encourage us to examine works of art, literature, philosophy and political science (among others!) to assist us as we try to understand and improve our world and ourselves.

I can say with absolute confidence that this has been one of the most life-changing experiences I have yet enjoyed.


Application process

Enrolment for HYP 2024 is now closed. 

Thank you for your interest and we look forward to receiving your application next year!

Students should fill out the application form and then provide the reference form to a nonrelative (teacher, guidance counselor, coach, boss, etc.) who can recommend them for HYP.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis at the end of each month. You will receive the results of your application at the beginning of the next month after you apply. Please note that spots in HYP are limited, so we strongly encourage early application.


Program will take place July 6–14. Students depart July 14.

Residence Student Fee: $1400
Day Student Fee: $500

The $1400 residence student fee includes accommodation, meals, academic activities and materials, field trips, and evening events.

For local students, the $500 day student model includes all the above except accommodation and breakfast (day students eat lunch and dinner with the whole cohort).

Bursaries for financial need are available. Please contact us at hyp@ukings.ca for more information.

Contact us

Want to know more? We’re happy to help! Get in touch.



I created so many memories with so many new friends that I still keep in contact today! My HYP experience is something I will remember forever.


Banner photo ©Christian Laforce