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 14 to 16. It will take place at the University of King’s College in Halifax, Nova Scotia from July 7th–16th, 2017. 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.

Experience university life

Mi’kmaq and Canadian flags side-by-side against a blue sky

Mi’kmaq and Canadian flags on Dalhousie campus

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 2017 is The Challenges of Reconciliation. The Canadian Truth and Reconciliation Commission Final Report, released in 2015, insists that “education is the key to reconciliation.” HYP 2017 offers you the chance to study works from the Indigenous and Western traditions to enrich your understanding of Canada’s current reconciliation process.

You’ll grapple with questions such as: What does it mean to be forgiven for a historical injustice? How can we create conditions for reconciliation within our communities? What do public apologies do? Is reconciliation the same as recognition?

You’ll engage with a wide-ranging curriculum that will take you from Ancient Greece to contemporary Indigenous art. You’ll drum. You’ll read Sophocles and Shakespeare. You’ll learn about first-contact from European and Indigenous perspectives. You’ll participate in a sweat lodge. You’ll work with Indigenous filmmakers and storytellers. You’ll analyze public apologies and think about historical responsibility.

In the morning, you’ll enjoy challenging lectures. In afternoon sessions, you’ll work on practical skills and participate in arts workshops. In the evenings, you’ll explore the rich culture and history of Halifax…and hang out with your new friends!

The Humanities for Young People administration would like to acknowledge that HYP 2017 will take place in Mi’kma’ki, the ancestral and unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq People. This territory is covered by the “Treaties of Peace and Friendship” which Mi’kmaq and Wolastoqiyik (Maliseet) people first signed with the British Crown in 1725. The treaties did not deal with surrender of lands and resources but in fact recognized Mi’kmaq and Wolastoqiyik (Maliseet) title and established the rules for what was to be an ongoing relationship between nations.

“The HYP lectures were awesome...”

Your professors

We have assembled a lively team of scholars, Indigenous Elders, artists, and activists who will share their expertise and help you wrestle with the challenges of reconciliation.

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 14 to 16.

The HYP fee is $1,100, which includes accommodation, meals, all academic activities and materials, field trips, and evening events. HYP is committed to accessibility and offers a number of bursaries on the basis of financial need. HYP will also offer a number of scholarships to Indigenous students. Please contact us through the HYP website for more information.

June 9th deadline for deposit: $350

June 30th deadline for balance ($750)

HYP is committed to accessibility and offers bursaries on the basis of financial need. HYP also offers full scholarships to Indigenous students. 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 challenges of reconciliation.
  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.