Students who wish to engage in academic course work not available at the College may submit proposals for a semester or academic year of study at another institution, usually in the United States. For example, Environmental Studies students participate in the Sea Semester Program, co-sponsored by Boston University and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute. Students in Deaf Studies may attend Gallaudet University for an immersion experience in Deaf Culture.
Student-Designed Majors and Minors
A student-designed multidisciplinary major or minor must be liberal arts in spirit and content, must be comprised of at least three disciplines, and must fall within the competence of the College faculty. The student prepares, in consultation with faculty advisors, a written proposal demonstrating a coherent progression of study. The proposal must include a statement of intellectual rationale for the proposed field of study, an outline of courses already taken, and a complete plan of proposed courses. Proposals are written in consultation with the Director of CIS and faculty sponsors based in departments related to the proposed major/minor. If the plan is approved, the faculty sponsors and the CIS Director serve as an advisory committee responsible for approving changes in the major plan and giving guidance to the student undertaking the program. Students may design their major/minor from scratch, or use a faculty-designed template, or generic plan, as a basis for their course work and study Multidisciplinary majors require that integration of knowledge be an essential curricular goal. It is the responsibility of students and their faculty advisers to state explicitly how this goal will be met and how the student will demonstrate that it has been met.
Architectural Studies: Students may plan a multidisciplinary major/minor to approach the study of architecture from multiple perspectives of relevant, selected disciplines and area studies: Studio Art, Visual Art History, Physics, Computer Assisted Design, and so forth. Majors are able to develop skills in studio practices, as well as gain an understanding of the domestic and global conditions for the practice, design, and building of structures. Major or Minor.
Asian Studies: Students may plan a multidisciplinary major that is either regionally defined, focusing for example on the history, language, arts and cultures of East, South, or Southeast Asia, or a major that follows a theme throughout the Asian cultural sphere, such as the religions or arts of Asia. Majors will learn about contemporary political issues of the world’s most populous regions and explore the impact of Asia on the wider world. A second option is the Chinese Language and Civilization major which focuses on the Chinese language and courses on China from a number of departments. Major only. Students who wish to pursue a minor program complete the concentration in Asian Studies described above in the Concentration section of CIS.
Catholic Studies: Students plan a sequence of courses to develop an understanding of the intellectual tradition and social teaching of Catholicism. Towards this end they may take courses in philosophy, theology, history, art, literature, sociology, and other appropriate offerings. Such multidisciplinary study offers an opportunity to engage Catholicism comprehensively as a living faith expressed in a wide diversity of contexts and cultures. Major or minor.
German Studies: Students plan a sequence of courses to develop an understanding of the cultural, social and political life of the German-speaking peoples in their historical and international context. The broad and multifaceted world of German-speaking peoples, with their substantial contributions to music, art, philosophy and literature, provides an essential perspective on the makeup of modern European civilization. Major or minor.
Environmental Studies: Students may plan a sequence of courses utilizing the template prepared by the Environmental Studies faculty to develop an understanding of environmental problems — their causes and effects, as well as their potential solutions. Using a multidisciplinary approach, students study both the relevant natural processes and the interplay between the natural environment and social, economic, and political factors. Major only. Students who wish to complete a minor program complete the ENVS concentration described in the concentration section of CIS.
International Studies: Students may choose to develop a major In International Studies with the guidance of a faculty template that includes required courses in political science and economics but the majority of courses will be selected by the student to build a curriculum either in area studies or in a theme relevant to International Studies. There is a language requirement for students who pursue an area studies curriculum.
Italian Studies: Students may broaden their knowledge of Italian culture by taking a variety of courses that focus on the literature, art, history, and politics of Italy. The courses may concentrate on different periods of Italian civilization from antiquity to the present and may be conducted in English or Italian. Students who pursue Italian Studies as a major must have a foundation in Italian language, which is an essential element of culture, and therefore must complete the Italian language cycle (through Italian 301). Major or minor.
Medieval and Renaissance Studies: Students may focus a program of study on the cultural and political life of the pre-modern and early modern world. Spanning a period from the fourth to 17th centuries in Europe and the Mediterranean basin, an interdisciplinary study of this historical epoch offers a foundation for understanding the interaction of cultures and religious traditions. Major or minor.
Middle Eastern Studies: Focuses on historical developments, political systems, cultural traditions, religious diversity, and domestic and foreign policy issues related to the region. Minor only.
Russian and Eastern European Studies: Students take courses in history, language, literature, and political science, in an attempt to analyze the distinctive traits of Russia and its people and/or the Eastern European countries that were formerly part of the Soviet Union or the Soviet sphere of influence. Major or minor.