The Honor System
The Honor System helps maintain a high standard of integrity in
all academic work, under the basic assumption that all work submitted
is the sole and original product of the individual student. The
System respects the student's ability to maintain this standard
and encourages the further development of this ability.
The System, which is supervised by the student Honor Committee,
applies to all work submitted for academic credit, such as examinations,
quizzes, papers, and laboratory assignments. The system also applies
to destruction, hiding, and improper removal or retention of library
materials with the intent of denying others access.
The administration of the Honor System requires the collective
and individual cooperation of the entire Oberlin College community
and is fully explained in the document Student Regulations, Policies
Oberlin provides a Winter Term of four weeks in January to encourage
and enable students to discover the value of self-education. This
term affords students an opportunity to devise and pursue programs
of independent study or research and to undertake, individually or
with a group, on or off campus, other projects of educational value
that the structured curriculum during the academic year cannot accommodate
Winter Term provides an opportunity for variations and supplements
to the usual course offerings, with an emphasis on experimentation
and creativity, intellectual independence, and personal responsibility.
Projects may be proposed by faculty, students and occasionally
by members of the administrative and professional staff and alumni.
Many departments offer individual and group projects; students
often devise their own projects.
Students who pursue their projects on campus can take advantage
of the facilities and opportunities that Oberlin offers. Many concerts,
theatrical productions, films, lectures, forums, and discussion
groups that enliven Winter Term are part of on-campus projects.
Typical off-campus projects include (but are not limited to) career
exploration, internships, and community service.
Each fall the Winter Term Committee issues the Winter Term Handbook,
a detailed description of Winter Term procedures and deadlines,
and a listing of Winter Term Group Projects. The Handbook and the
listing appear online at: www.oberlin.edu/wintertm.
Term Credits and General Information
Winter Term Credit Requirements:
In order to graduate from Oberlin, students pursuing a bachelor's
degree are required to earn three full Winter Term credits.
Transfer students must earn one credit in each Winter Term during
their enrollment at Oberlin, unless this would result in more than three credits.
Credits are earned by completing a project, either individually or
as part of a group. Individual projects require a written proposal, final report
and a positive assessment of the project by the sponsor. Winter Term projects
are evaluated as "completed" (Y) or "not completed" (N); no letter grades are
given. Winter Term project titles and credit earned are recorded on student transcripts.
Winter Term projects are rated as half or full. Students may participate
in one half, two halves, or one full project each Winter Term.
The time commitment for a half-time project is three hours per weekday;
the commitment for a full-time project is five to six hours per weekday.
The required three credits may be earned on or off campus, in any
Students who plan to take a leave of absence for study abroad for
an entire academic year should plan to complete Winter Term projects during each
of the three years in residence, since they may not register for Winter Term
while on leave for the entire year. Students on leave for one semester may register
for Winter Term if they are enrolled at Oberlin for the other semester of the
year and if their courses of study elsewhere do not overlap with Winter Term.
Winter Term credits are not the same as semester credit hours, i.e.,
the Winter Term credits are not included in the required 112 Arts and Sciences
or 124 Conservatory semester hours.
[This requirement affects students entering Oberlin in fall 2000
or later.] Students may propose Winter Term projects from one of the following
1. Academic Study: a faculty-sponsored,
academically-focused research, study, or performance project that
can be conducted on- or off-campus, individually or as part of
a group project.
2. Field Experience: a learning
activity that could include career exploration, social or political
action, community service, or an internship.
Growth and Development: an opportunity to learn a skill, try something
new, or pursue subject matter outside of traditional academic disciplines.
one full project (or two half projects) may be earned from category
three. All three Winter Term credits may be earned from categories
one and two. Student and sponsor together must determine the most
appropriate category for a proposed project.
student registered for Winter Term credit may not be paid for work
associated with his or her project.
about Winter Term requirements should be directed to the Office of
the Dean of Studies for students in the College of Arts and Sciences
and the Assistant Dean for students in the Conservatory of Music.
Sponsor. Every project must have an on-campus sponsor. Faculty members
and, under some circumstances, members of the Administrative and
Professional Staff, may serve as project sponsors. Finding a suitable
sponsor is largely a matter of matching student and faculty or staff
Fees. There are no additional tuition or room fees for Winter Term.
Students may purchase (or use their Oberlin College identification
cards to charge) individual meals at Stevenson during Winter Term.
Students may also use flex dollars that remain in their accounts
from the fall semester to purchase meals at Stevenson during Winter
Some on-campus projects, especially those directed by an invited
specialist, require a fee from each participant to help defray expenses.
This fee typically ranges from $10 to $40 or more.
Winter Term Planning and Advising. Students should discuss their
Winter Term plans with their academic advisors and potential project
sponsors in October or early November. Early planning is especially
important for students who choose an individual project.
In this catalog, many departments list information about the 2005
Winter Term. For students interested in a career-related or community
service project, advisors and numerous resources are available to
assist them in identifying opportunities. Please see the Winter Term
Handbook for detailed information, online at www.oberlin.edu/wintertm.
The First-Year Seminar Program
The First-Year Seminar Program (FYSP) offers first-year students
a wide variety of low-enrollment classes to encourage critical thinking,
develop discussion and writing skills, and provide a venue for intellectual
exchange between students and faculty. Each seminar is limited to
14 students. First-year seminars are offered in both the fall and
spring semesters by departments and programs throughout the College.
These seminars fulfill part of Oberlin’s writing proficiency
requirement and some fulfill part of the quantitative proficiency
requirement. A full listing of FYSP courses can be found in the “First-Year
Seminar Program” section of this catalog. Individual departments
and programs also list these courses in their curricula. For further
information, please visit the program’s web site at www.oberlin.edu/fys.
Experimental College (ExCo)
For students who wish to pursue topics outside the normal course
offerings of the College of Arts and Sciences or the Conservatory
of Music, an important alternative is available in the Experimental
Experimental College (ExCo) is a student-run organization that sponsors
courses (for limited academic credit) taught by members of the Oberlin
community: faculty, students, administrators and townspeople. Each
year a list of subjects not found in the regular curriculum is offered.
Students can receive up to five hours credit toward graduation from
ExCo courses. Courses are typically offered for one credit. Credits
earned in ExCo courses count toward the general graduation requirement;
they do not satisfy any distribution, cultural diversity or other
requirement. Experimental College catalogs are distributed shortly
before ExCo registration, which takes place in the first week of
ExCo also invites applications from individuals who wish to coordinate
an ExCo course. The Experimental College Committee approves applications
for courses in advance of the semester in which the course is to
be offered. Student instructors may receive the number of credit
hours listed for the course, plus one additional hour. More information
is available at the ExCo office in Wilder Hall.
Study Off-Campus and Abroad
Oberlin College encourages the desire of students to supplement their
Oberlin experience through a program of study off-campus for credit.
By providing exposure to new perspectives, participation in quality
off-campus programs enriches the educational experience. Students
on financial aid should consult the Office of Financial Aid before
planning to participate in an off-campus program, because not all
types of financial aid can be applied to off-campus programs.
Programs Sponsored by Individual Departments
The Danenberg Oberlin-in-London Program runs each semester and involves
two Oberlin faculty members and about 25 students. The curriculum
each semester varies according to the academic disciplines of the
instructors involved, but it seeks to take advantage of the unique
opportunities afforded by the cultural and historical setting of
a program in London. Prerequisites and details of the curriculum
for 2004-05 are listed in this catalog under the London Program.
Studies in Spain at the University of Córdoba. Students of
Spanish language, literature and culture may participate for fall,
spring or both semesters in the Programa de Estudios Hispánicos
en Córdoba (Spain). This program is sponsored by a consortium
comprised of Wheaton College, Oberlin College, Smith College, Trinity
College, Wellesley College and the College of Wooster. Córdoba,
one-time capital of Roman Spain and seat of the Muslim Caliphate,
offers a unique opportunity for on-the-scene study of the Muslim,
Jewish and Christian influences on Spanish culture. Courses are offered
in literature, history, art, architecture, music, economics, and
social and political reforms. (Please consult the catalog section
for the Hispanic Studies Department.)
Oberlin in Italy is an intensive summer program in Italian language
and culture sponsored by the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. Based
in Urbania, Italy, this month-long program includes intensive language
study and the study of Italian culture, including art history, Italian
opera history, literature, ceramics, drawing, and other fields. For
singers, instrumentalists, and liberal arts students, the program
includes musical, vocal and dramatic coaching, and performances of
a chamber opera and opera scenes, and other concerts. Auditions are
required for performers. Application deadline is early February.
The program fee includes tuition and accommodations (choice of family
or apartment). For information and applications, contact Anna Hoffmann
in the Conservatory Outreach Office (440-775-8044). Daune Mahy is
the faculty sponsor. No financial aid is available for this program.
Oberlin-in-Europe. The Euro Summer School is a seven-week intensive
and multicultural program offered through a partnership with the
Center for European Studies at the University of Maastricht, The
Netherlands, and the International Studies Center of the Wirtschaftsuniversitat,
Vienna, Austria. The program provides a unique opportunity for Oberlin
students to mix and study with students from across Europe while
experiencing firsthand the life and business cultures of Austria,
Belgium, France, Germany and The Netherlands, and visiting several
of the most vibrant cities in Europe. Fully credited courses by Oberlin
College, offered in English, explore the economics, institutions,
and business practices shaping Europe today. As minimal preparation
for the program, students need to have completed introductory economics.
David Cleeton, Professor of Economics, is faculty sponsor for the
program. More complete information and application forms can be found
on the web at: www.oberlin.edu/oeurope.
Great Lakes Colleges Association Programs
Through its membership in the Great Lakes Colleges Association (GLCA),
a consortium of 12 midwestern colleges, Oberlin College allows its
students to participate in certain off-campus programs in the United
States and in foreign countries. Each program is administered by
a member school. Information on these programs is available from
the campus liaison for each program and from the Office of the Dean
of Studies in Peters Hall. Through its membership in GLCA, Oberlin
offers students the opportunity for academic leaves of absence to
participate in the following:
Overseas Study. GLCA recognizes one-semester or year-long programs
in Costa Rica, the Czech Republic, Russia, Japan, China, India, Nepal,
Kenya, Senegal, and Turkey.
In the United States. GLCA recognizes the following off-campus study
-The Urban Center in Philadelphia combines work-study in
a community organization with a seminar in urban affairs and an independent
-The Oak Ridge Science semester places students with research
scientists working on intensive investigations and provides advanced
course work in the natural and social sciences.
-The Newberry Library Program in the Humanities, based in
Chicago, provides an opportunity for seminars and independent study
with the Newberry's rich collection of books and manuscripts.
-The New York Arts semester provides both seminars and placements
in a variety of arts areas.
-The Borders Program based in El Paso, Texas, and Ciudad
Juárez, Chihuahua, Mexico, is offered each fall semester.
It explores the cross-boundary relationships and encounters that
now shape the U.S.-Mexico border region.
Other Off-Campus Study Options Inter-College Exchanges. Students may be selected each semester to
participate in an exchange with Gallaudet University, the nation’s
only liberal arts school for the deaf, or Fisk University, a predominantly
black university in Nashville, Tennessee. Sophomores and juniors
in good academic standing and an interest in intergroup relations
are eligible to apply. Application for these programs should be made
through the Office of the Dean of Studies.
Oberlin Affiliated Programs. Oberlin College academic departments
and programs have affiliations with approximately 70 U.S. and abroad
programs and institutions. Oberlin Affiliated Programs are offered
in nearly all parts of the world and cover a broad range of curricular
opportunities. Affiliation indicates that the program has been recommended
by a faculty department or program and approved by the Off Campus
Study Committee. In addition, students who receive approval to participate
in affiliated programs may apply Oberlin financial aid to the program
costs within the specified guidelines.
The Office of the Dean of Studies maintains a list of Oberlin
Affiliated Programs. Detailed information about these and other
programs is available in the Study Away Library in Peters Hall.
Center for Service and Learning
In keeping with Oberlin’s historic commitment to thoughtful
social action, the Center for Service and Learning promotes the
linkage of intellectual inquiry, artistic development and community
Each year, an estimated 1,000 Oberlin College students volunteer
their services to the surrounding communities. This involvement
allows students to explore issues of personal and intellectual
concern while becoming active members of their community.
The Center for Service and Learning links students with community
organizations providing educational service opportunities that
satisfy community needs. Students interested in opportunities for
socially relevant research or in developing community-service programs
receive consultation and assistance. The Center also offers several
programs that enable participants to better understand how their
efforts can contribute to long-term, systemic solutions to social
problems. For more information, please visit www.oberlin.edu/coladm/campus/service.html.
The Office of Career Services
Career Services helps students in the College of Arts and Sciences
and the Conservatory of Music identify and achieve meaningful career
objectives that synthesize their Oberlin educations and experiences.
The office provides high-quality advising as well as opportunities,
resources, and programs for students to actively engage in an on-going
career development process that includes:
(1) acquiring exposure to a broad range of career fields;
(2) assessing career interests, skills, and values;
(3) gaining experience to clarify and achieve career goals, developing
and practicing presentation skills that integrate information about
themselves, their academic skills, extracurricular activities and
work experience; and learning about and implementing effective
search strategies for finding employment, internships, performance
opportunities, and post-graduate education.
The Office of Career Services and its main library are located
in Longman Commons, Stevenson Hall. The Career Resource Center
in the Conservatory of Music is located in Robertson Hall 129.
Both are open Monday through Friday. The office maintains a comprehensive
web site to make resources easily accessible to students at www.oberlin.edu/career.
Students should make an appointment with a career advisor, during
their first or second year at Oberlin. To make an appointment,
call the main office at 440-775-8140. Drop-in times are also available
at the Conservatory of Music’s Career Resource Center. Check
the web site for specific times.
Honorary Societies Phi Beta Kappa. The Zeta of Ohio Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa was
established at Oberlin College in 1907. Students in the College
of Arts and Sciences are elected to membership on the basis of
scholarly achievement, broad cultural interests and good character.
Rules of eligibility are established in accordance with regulations
of the national society. Among other requirements, students must
have completed at least nine credit hours, of which up to four
may be AP credit, in each of the three divisions of the College
of Arts and Sciences and must have taken at least two-thirds of
their hours for letter grades. Most students are elected in the
spring of their senior year; spring election for second-semester
juniors is also possible for students with truly exceptional academic
records. The total number of students elected from any class will
not ordinarily exceed 10 percent of those expected to receive the
Bachelor of Arts degree.
Society of the Sigma Xi. The Oberlin Chapter of the Society of
the Sigma Xi was established in 1941 for the promotion of scientific
research. Any graduate student who has shown noteworthy achievement
as an original investigator in some field of pure or applied science
may be elected as a member. Any graduate student or undergraduate
student who has shown marked aptitude for research in pure or applied
science may be elected as an associate member.
Pi Kappa Lambda. The Theta Chapter of Pi Kappa Lambda National
Honor Society was established in 1926 at the Oberlin College Conservatory
of Music in order to recognize outstanding achievement in musicianship,
musical leadership and scholarly attainment. Twenty percent of
the Conservatory graduating seniors are eligible for election,
provided the residence requirement of at least four semesters prior
to graduation has been met.
The Oberlin Shansi is a non-profit educational exchange program
affiliated with Oberlin College and institutions in China, India,
Indonesia and Japan. It fosters international understanding at
three levels: undergraduate, post-graduate and faculty. It offers
work/study winter term and summer grants to undergraduates going
to Asia and, through the Shansi Student Committee, carries out
a variety of public programs on campus. To recent Oberlin graduates
it offers two-year teaching fellowships at its affiliated institutions
in Asia. Shansi sponsors Asian faculty and students to teach, do
research, and study at Oberlin and provides grants to Oberlin faculty
and staff to travel and lecture in Asia. Through its Global Education
Program, Shansi provides opportunities for faculty, staff and students
to introduce Asia and Asian American topics to area school systems.