ensure that students learn of diversity in the human condition
and become acquainted with methods of inquiry for understanding
and respecting cultural differences, in 1991 the Oberlin College
faculty adopted a cultural diversity requirement for the B.A.
degree. The requirement is based on the belief that well-educated
persons in today's interdependent world should study and analyze
cultures other than their own. By observing distinctions in
class, ethnicity, gender, language, race, religion, and sexual
orientation, students can comprehend the differences that
have historically set social groups apart from one another,
and develop a greater capacity for intellectual open-mindedness
establishing the areas of course work described below, the
faculty recognizes the different approaches to cultural diversity.
Some courses provide appreciation of specific cultures and
societies, whether non-Western or Western, through the study
of language, history, or thought. Others stress cross-cultural
approaches in understanding cultural differences.
cultural diversity requirement is not intended to promote
the subordination of the Western tradition to other traditions.
Rather, it is founded on the belief that breadth in a liberal
arts education involves exposure not only to the three divisions
of higher learning (the Humanities, Social Sciences, and Sciences),
but also to cross-cultural and multicultural analysis. The
faculty views the cultural diversity requirement as an expression
of the College's long-standing commitment to a genuinely pluralistic
community of scholars.
Diversity Requirement. All students, including transfer
students, double-degree students, and students changing divisions
from Conservatory to College, are subject to the cultural
diversity requirement. The Multicultural Studies Committee
administers the requirement.
satisfy the requirement, students must earn at least nine
credit hours in courses with the CD (cultural diversity) designation.
The nine credit hours must be earned in at least two different
departments or programs. These courses may count simultaneously
toward the nine hours required in each division.
categories of courses designated as CD include the following:
Courses whose primary emphasis is on cultures whose origins
lie outside the Western tradition (including various minority
cultures in the United States);
Courses whose primary emphasis is on methods of analyzing
and interpreting cultural differences (e.g., differences of
language, gender, race, ethnicity, religion, and class);
Courses whose primary emphasis is on cultural pluralism within
the Western tradition.
all courses taught in a language other than English are designated
many courses designated CD offer students considerable breadth
in the study of cultural diversity. In all, this catalog contains
several hundred CD courses representing more than twenty departments