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Distinctive Programs

A great advantage of an education based on the freedom to flourish is that it provides countless opportunities for you to learn by doing. You'll produce plays, publish papers, study abroad, present research findings at academic conferences, create sustainable service projects, and otherwise discover new ways to learn, grow, and flourish.


Your academic journey will begin through the exploration of engaging topics through reading, writing, critical analysis, and most importantly, class discussion during first-year preceptorial. This cornerstone of a Knox education builds skills of thoughtful inquiry, clear communication, and impartial judgment that transcend disciplinary boundaries.

Research and Creative Work

Pursue research, creative projects, or independent study You can pursue research, creative projects, or independent study (as 85% of our students do), with more than $250,000 of funding support from programs such as these:

  • Students in the Honors Program propose a major research project and defend a thesis before a qualified outside examiner, modeling the dissertation defense of many graduate programs. Recent topics range from global antibiotic resistance to STEM outreach for middle school students. Honors projects in the creative arts have resulted in plays, musical compositions, and exhibits.
  • If you plan to pursue independent study, check out our Richter Scholarship to help with your research, travel, equipment, and supplies. You might find yourself investigating an invasive species in East Fork Lake or studying the perceptions of America and Anglicization in Germany.
  • To encourage students who are contemplating academic teaching careers, the Ford Fellowship Program selects juniors for full-time research during the summer prior to their senior year. Projects have ranged from studying the ancient Greek language to exploring social changes in the lives of terminally-ill people.
  • The Lincoln Studies Center is devoted to examining the life and work of Abraham Lincoln while supporting special programs for students, scholars, and others with an interest in Lincoln.

Immersive Learning Opportunities

Develop a broad liberal arts foundation through experiential learning You will develop a broad liberal arts foundation and have the opportunity for in-depth specialized study.

  • If you're interested in clinical psychology, counseling, or social work, you can spend Clinical Psychology Term immersing yourself in the field by taking two integrated courses plus a clinical psychology internship in the Galesburg area.
  • During the interdisciplinary Green Oaks Term at our Green Oaks Biological Field Station, you'll cover topics such as ecology, nature writing, nature and art, utopian societies, regional natural history, and sustainability.
  • You can immerse yourself in the language, history, and philosophy of Japan through Japan Term, an interdisciplinary program that integrates fall term coursework with a two-week trip to Japan.
  • If you're an art student, Open Studio Term allows you to work as a full-time artist, and the work you create becomes part of your Senior Show.
  • The only course of its kind in the nation, the Repertory Theatre Term enables you, regardless of your major, to dedicate an entire term to the study of theatre and the staging of two major theatrical productions.

Off-Campus Study

Study off campus by choosing from more than 30 programs Study off campus by choosing from more than 30 programs in the U.S. and around the globe. In fact, nearly 50% of our students participate in study abroad and off-campus programs.

  • You can study abroad through programs in nearly 20 different countries: Argentina, Botswana, Brazil, China, Costa Rica, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Italy, Japan, Russia, Spain, Tanzania, and the United Kingdom.
  • Off-campus study programs within the United States include politics in Washington, D.C., science at the Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, and programs in the arts, business, and humanities in Chicago.
  • Many classes have an off-campus component. For example, you can take a course in marine biology that includes two weeks of studying the coral reef in Belize, or go to London to experience its theatres and museums firsthand.

Community Outreach

Participate in our strong tradition of making a difference through community outreach

You can also participate in our strong tradition of making a difference.

  • KnoxCorps is an innovative civic engagement program that allows you to help local non-profit agencies meet important needs and to enhance their offerings. You can get involved while you are a student or you may apply to become a Fellow for one year after you graduate.
  • Knox is the first college or university in the country with an official Peace Corps Preparatory Program featuring a curriculum designed to prepare you to serve in the Peace Corps or other international service.
  • The Gale Scholars program is a collaborative partnership between Knox, the local school district, and the area community college, created to encourage and support higher education aspirations and success for first-generation and income eligible youth.
  • Knox College for Kids is an enrichment program for gifted, high achieving, and talented students from Galesburg and the surrounding communities who will be entering grades 1 through 9.
  • The Center for Community Service coordinates on- and off-campus volunteer opportunities for you to consider, and many of our clubs and student organizations revolve around service.
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