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

The Humanities for Young People (HYP) is a new residential summer program for bright and highly-motivated students from ages 15 to 17. It will take place at the University of King’s College in Halifax, Nova Scotia from July 6–14, 2019. Secondary school students from across the country will have the unique opportunity to work closely and collaboratively with scholars from a variety of disciplines.

Student engaged in a discussion

Hear about HYP on CBC's Mainstreet

Students peek out from behind the King's sign.

Experience university life

A student and mentor high-five each other.

Work with undergraduate student mentors

Student and faculty participate in an activity in a gymnasium

Enjoy practical skills and creative arts workshops

Student and faculty enjoying a boat ride

In the evenings, explore the natural beauty, rich culture, and history of Halifax, Nova Scotia

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.”

What will I learn?

The theme for HYP 2019 will be Thinking Through Fear. In philosopher Martha Nussbaum’s new book, The Monarchy of Fear, she claims that “fear makes us want to avoid disaster, but it does not tell us how.” Fear is a fundamental human emotion. It is also pervasive in today’s popular culture, public discourse, and news media. In the so-called “Age of Terror,” fear works personally and politically, psychologically and culturally.


You’ll grapple with questions such as: Is fear the mother of all emotions? How does fear work covertly, surreptitiously, or secretly? How does fear unite us—or divide us—politically? How do politicians and other public figures use and abuse fear? Thriller novels, horror movies, haunted houses, and rollercoasters…why do we love to scare ourselves?


You’ll engage with a wide-ranging curriculum that will take you from Ancient Greece to contemporary debates about the role fear plays in setting political agendas. You’ll read a Greek tragedy. You’ll study political theory that examines fear in our communities. You’ll watch a horror movie and read a thriller. You’ll consider the psychology of fear and how it can affect our capacity for reasonable debate, empathy, and understanding. You’ll go on an expedition to a spooky island in the harbour of Canada’s oldest haunted city. You’ll work with professors, journalists, authors, and artists to enrich your understanding of fear and learn how to become resilient in the face of it.

“The HYP lectures were awesome...”

Your professors

We have assembled a lively team of scholars, authors, artists, legal experts, and advocates who will share their expertise with you and help you wrestle with the ideas and issues that inform our understanding of migration. 

About King’s

The University of King’s College is the oldest chartered university in the country, with a long and storied tradition of scholarship and education in the Humanities, as well as a vibrant partnership with our neighours at Dalhousie University. You’ll be warmly welcomed by faculty and students alike, as we pride ourselves on a collegial and collaborative learning environment. HYP will allow you to discover some of the joys of university life: you’ll stay in residence, work with upper-year students, and meet fellow HYPsters from across the country.

“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.”


HYP welcomes applications from students aged 15 to 17. Application deadline is Wednesday June 5th, 2019.

The HYP fee is $975.00, which includes accommodation, meals, all academic activities and materials, field trips, and evening events.

• Wednesday June 12th deadline for deposit: $300

• Wednesday June 26th deadline for balance: $675

HYP is committed to accessibility and offers bursaries on the basis of financial need. Please contact us for more information.

Applicants will need to provide:

  1. Contact information: Name, address, phone number, and email address.
  2. A short written statement (max. 250 words) on why you’re interested in the theme of Thinking Through Fear.
  3. A brief letter of recommendation from a teacher, guidance counsellor, or other adult who knows you well. The letter of recommendation should be submitted by its author.

Apply online here.

Letters of recommendation can be submitted by their author here.

Contact us

Have questions? We’re happy to help! Get in touch.