Bachelor of Arts (BA)
Students in the College of Arts and Sciences pursue a program of study leading to the Bachelor of Arts degree. The Arts and Sciences curriculum is comprised of three divisions:
Arts and Humanities Division: Art, Cinema Studies, Classics, Comparative Literature, Creative Writing, East Asian Studies, English, French and Italian, German, Hispanic Studies, Jewish Studies, Music, Philosophy, Religion, Rhetoric and Composition, Russian, and Theater and Dance. (All courses designated HU.)
Social and Behavioral Sciences Division: African American Studies, Anthropology, Comparative American Studies, Economics, History, Politics, Psychology, Sociology, and Gender and Women's Studies. (All courses designated SS.)
Natural Sciences and Mathematics Division: Biology, Biopsychology, Chemistry and Biochemistry, Computer Science, Geology, Mathematics, Neuroscience, and Physics and Astronomy. (All courses designated NS.)
Most of these programs offer majors leading to the BA degree; many also offer minors. Interdisciplinary majors are offered in Archeological Studies, Environmental Studies, Latin American Studies, Law and Society, Russian and East European Studies, and Third World Studies. Concentrations are offered in International Studies and Cognitive Sciences.
Double-Degree Program. Students may participate in the Double-Degree Program in which they choose a major leading to a BA degree in the College of Arts and Sciences and a Bachelor of Music (BMus) degree in the Conservatory of Music. Prospective double-degree students apply for admission to each division separately. Students already enrolled in one division may apply for admission to the other division at the appropriate Admissions Office. Admissions requirements and standards are the same as those for single-degree students. The Academic Standing committees of both the College of Arts and Sciences and the Conservatory of Music review the records of double-degree students at the end of each semester.
Normally it will take five years to complete requirements for two degrees, and normally both degrees are awarded at the end of the fifth year of study. If a double-degree student elects to graduate from each division in separate semesters, the full requirements for the first degree as a single degree must be met. Requirements, regulations and procedures relating to academic standing, advising, major study, etc., for both divisions will apply.
To earn two degrees under this program a student must complete the requirements for one or more majors leading to the BA degree and the requirements for one or more majors leading to the BMus degree, as well as a minimum of 152 semester hours of course credits.
Combined Liberal Arts and Engineering Program. Oberlin College has cooperative arrangements with severalengineering schools whereby qualified students may obtain both the Bachelor of Arts degree from Oberlin and the Bachelor of Science in Engineering degree from the engineering school. In this program, students spend three years at Oberlin and then two years at the engineering school. For further details, please see "Engineering" in this catalog.
Pre-Business. Many Oberlin graduates pursue business or graduate programs in business. The better graduate schools of business welcome Oberlin applicants as students with a solid liberal arts background. An undergraduate degree in business is neither required nor, in many cases, desired for acceptance into these schools. Students considering graduate work in business may major in virtually any area of the liberal arts. They are advised to take introductory courses in economics, mathematics and computer science—areas often required for admission to, and recommended as preparation for, the better graduate programs. Please see the Office
of Career Services for further advice.
Pre-Law. Many Oberlin students enter law school after graduation. Information on general requirements for law admissions can be found in the Office of Career Services or by asking faculty designated as pre-law advisors. A list of these advisors is available in the Office of Career Services. Normally, a student is expected to take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) in either the second semester of the junior year or in the first semester of the senior year.
No one major, including the Law and Society major, should be considered as key for preparing for the study of law. However, students interested in law school may wish to look over the core courses, core research seminars, and related courses listed in this catalog under "Law
and Society." These courses contain subject matter relevant to the law, and are helpful in developing analytic skills essential to the study of law.
Pre-Medical. Students planning to apply to medical school
may major in any subject provided they also complete pre-medical
requirements. Early in their academic careers at Oberlin they should
discuss their plans with one of the Health Careers advisors. For
a list of advisors and other information, please see www.oberlin.edu/hcf.
Most medical schools require one year of biology with laboratory, one year of physics with laboratory, and chemistry with laboratory through organic chemistry. Students intending to take this work at Oberlin should note:
1. Chemistry 101, 102, 205, and 254 normally are chosen to complete the chemistry requirement. An alternative to Chemistry 254 is Chemistry 325, 326.
2. Biology 118/119 and 213/214 will meet minimum biology requirements. Premedical students often elect additional biology courses, especially Biology 120 and 312.
3. The Physics 103, 104 sequence is the most common means of satisfying the physics requirement. An alternative sequence is Physics 110, 111.
Students should consult the appropriate departmental listings for descriptions of these offerings and their prerequisites. Most medical schools also require a year of English and some require one or two semesters of mathematics. A year of calculus or a semester each of calculus and statistics usually satisfies the mathematics requirement. A few schools specify or recommend one or more courses not mentioned above. To determine requirements of specific medical schools students should consult the most recent edition of the Medical School Admissions Requirements (MSAR) published by the Association of American Medical Colleges. This publication is available in Kettering Science Library and the Office of Career Services.
The required Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) is administered at Oberlin and elsewhere in April and August. Information about the test, including deadlines for filing applications and application forms, is available from the Office of Career Services. Students intending to enroll in medical school immediately after graduation must complete the minimum science requirements listed above by the end of their junior year and take the MCAT in April (preferably), or in August (if more time is required for review). Others defer the MCAT and applications to medical schools until the senior year or later in order to complete premedical requirements and explore other interests. In any case, it is not necessary or advisable to take more than two mathematics or science courses in either semester of the first year.
Pre-Education. Although there is no department of education at Oberlin, students are offered a number of opportunities to pursue an interest in teaching and other careers in education. The Curricular Committee on Education has identified courses at Oberlin that are related to the study of education. Students are encouraged to consider these courses, along with a wide variety of other liberal arts and sciences courses, to prepare for teaching in independent or public elementary and secondary schools, and to help assess their interest in pursuing professional programs at the graduate level.
For courses related to the role of education in society, the role of education as a profession, and educational pedagogy, please see the section titled "Education." Supervised experience in tutoring and classroom teaching is also possible. The Education Committee maintains a list of faculty members who are prepared to offer private readings in education, sponsor Winter Term projects, or advise students on graduate education programs and employment opportunities. For additional information, please contact the Office of Career Services or the Center for Service and Learning. (See "Office
of Career Services" and "Center
for Service and Learning" elsewhere in this catalog.)