Areas of Study

Browse our academic majors, minors, and integrative concentrations in the College of Arts and Sciences.


Interdivisional Minors and Concentrations

  • College of Arts and Sciences

    Africana Studies

    The major Africana studies prepares students to become as adept critical thinkers, presenters, and researchers, as well as valuable global citizens. Because Africana studies is a multidisciplinary degree program, we offer courses to students of any major—knowledge to expand your worldview and deepen understanding of people of African ancestry.

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  • College of Arts and Sciences

    Anthropology

    A major or minor in anthropology provides the holistic study of the human condition—socially, culturally, linguistically, and biologically in space and in time. If you have traveled or are interested in travel; have experienced different societies, cultures, and foods; if you are adventurous and willing to engage in intense, hands-on learning within a liberal arts setting, a major in anthropology may be for you.

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  • College of Arts and Sciences

    Archaeological Studies

    The archaeological studies major at Oberlin is an inherently interdisciplinary field that draws from methods and research practices in the humanities, social sciences, and sciences.

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  • College of Arts and Sciences

    Art History

    Considering a major in art history? Oberlin’s program investigates the main tendencies, major artists, and important works from around the world, including Africa and the Black Atlantic, East Asia, Islamic cultures and the West.

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  • College of Arts and Sciences

    Biochemistry

    Current. Foundational. Flexible. Interdisciplinary. Experiential. Rigorous. Collaborative. These are among the strengths of our Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, which offers majors variable and interdisciplinary coursework within the foundational fields of analytical, inorganic, organic, and physical chemistry.

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  • College of Arts and Sciences

    Biology

    The Department of Biology prepares majors in the principles, concepts, and methods of modern biology and develops analytical skills necessary for advanced study in a broad range of scientific and non-science disciplines.

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  • College of Arts and Sciences

    Book Studies

    Book Studies is designed to provide pathways for students interested in books as communication, material culture, and artistic media on a global scale. It encourages connections across the curriculum to let students choose from a range of courses based on their interests.

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  • College of Arts and Sciences

    Chemistry

    The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry offers majors flexible and interdisciplinary coursework within the foundational fields of analytical, inorganic, organic, and physical chemistry.

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  • College of Arts and Sciences

    Cinema Studies

    Oberlin’s Cinema Studies Program is one of the first established at a liberal arts college. It’s also one of few programs where cinema studies majors don’t just study films and filmmaking, they produce them.

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  • College of Arts and Sciences

    Classical Civilization

    The major in Classical Civilization covers literature, history, and society, as well as Greek and Roman contributions to philosophy, religion, and government. This program provides a broad foundation for students interested in all areas of literary, humanistic, and historical study.

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  • College of Arts and Sciences

    Cognitive Sciences

    Cognitive science is a multidisciplinary field investigating cognition or thought. Cognitive scientists examine the structures and processes that underlie a creature’s ability to think and reason. Our program integrates the perspectives and methodologies from several disciplines including anthropology, biology, computer science, linguistics, mathematics, music theory, neuroscience, philosophy, and psychology.

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  • College of Arts and Sciences

    Comparative American Studies

    Our major in Comparative American studies examines the range and diversity of American experiences, identities, and communities. From interdisciplinary perspectives, students study social, political, economic, and cultural processes within the United States as well as explore the role of the nation in a global context.

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  • College of Arts and Sciences

    Comparative Literature

    Literary theory, literature, the arts, European languages, literatures, and translation represent the foundation for the major in our Comparative Literature Program.

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  • College of Arts and Sciences

    Computer Science

    The computer science major is taught within the context of a liberal arts degree, with emphasis on the lasting principles of the discipline rather than on specific training in particular tools and techniques. We stress the fundamentals of computer science while maintaining a highly current and relevant curriculum using advanced methodologies and devices.

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  • College of Arts and Sciences

    Creative Writing

    A major in our Creative Writing Program offers students a broad and balanced course of study that emphasizes interconnections between various literary genres: fiction, poetry, nonfiction, playwriting, and screenwriting.

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  • College of Arts and Sciences

    Dance

    The Department of Dance focuses on four areas of study that allow dance majors to pursue the discipline from different perspectives: creation and performance, critical inquiry, physical techniques, and somatic studies. We encourage dance majors to create, perform, collaborate, experiment, and think about movement in a manner that is consonant with their experience in the other fine and liberal arts.

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  • College of Arts and Sciences

    East Asian Studies

    Our East Asian Studies Program is one of the largest and most interdisciplinary majors, focusing on the region that includes China, Japan, and Korea. Program majors study East Asian languages coupled with East Asian history, literature, religion, art history, politics, and anthropology.

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  • College of Arts and Sciences

    Economics

    Economics is the study of the allocation of limited resources in the face of society’s unlimited wants. Students with an interest in data analysis, mathematical modeling, public policy, business, and finance will find the major in economics to be broad, challenging, and diverse.

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  • College of Arts and Sciences

    Education Studies

    The Education Studies Concentration prepares students for graduate work in education, including teacher certification, careers in education policy, or entry into the teaching profession. Although Oberlin does not offer an undergraduate education degree, students have opportunities to engage in courses, long-term projects, community-based learning, and field experiences relevant to the education profession.

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  • College of Arts and Sciences

    Engineering, 3-2

    Our 3-2 Engineering program will develop within majors not just the requisite grounding in science and mathematics, but also the creativity, effectiveness in communication and problem solving, and sensitivity to real problems that are hallmarks of successful engineers.

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  • College of Arts and Sciences

    English

    The English department balances the study of traditional fields of English and American literature with a strong commitment to interdisciplinary work. For the English major, this involves the contemporary fields of Africana studies, postcolonial studies, cinema studies, comparative literature, creative writing, and gender, sexuality, and feminist studies.

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  • College of Arts and Sciences

    Environmental Studies

    The Environmental Studies Program provides an interdisciplinary approach to the study of human interactions with the environment. We endeavor to equip our majors with the knowledge, intellectual tools, and learning experiences necessary to understand the causes and consequences of our environmental challenges. The program seeks to develop in students the creative problem-solving skills necessary to design and build a more sustainable relationship between humans and the rest of the natural world.

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  • College of Arts and Sciences

    French

    Mastery of spoken and written language, a critical appreciation of literature and cinema, and the study and analysis of culture are the hallmarks of the major in the Department of French and Italian. Both areas of study are interdisciplinary allowing French and Italian majors to choose other courses that will broaden and enrich their studies of these world languages.

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  • College of Arts and Sciences

    Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies

    The Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies Program gives support and direction for disciplinary, cross-disciplinary, and interdisciplinary scholarship in gender, sexuality, and feminist studies. This broad academic approach helps majors explores how gender, race, class, and sexuality are represented in relation to ethnicity, nationality, politics, and other categories of human experience.

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  • College of Arts and Sciences

    Geology

    The major in Oberlin’s Department of Geology explores some of the worldwide environmental, climatological, and geological questions of the day that will help majors develop a high level of inquiry, field study, analysis, and problem-solving skills.

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  • College of Arts and Sciences

    German

    The study of German focuses primarily on the study of literature. Genres, literary movements, and individual authors and themes are examined with the aim of expanding the German major’s capacity for literary analysis and appreciation.

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  • College of Arts and Sciences

    Greek Language and Literature

    The Greek Language and Literature major offers courses in classical civilization that cover literature, history, and society, as well as Greek and Roman contributions to philosophy, religion, and government. Our coursework provides a broad background for majors interested in all areas of literary, humanistic, artistic, and historical study.

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  • College of Arts and Sciences

    Hispanic Studies

    Through coursework, Hispanic studies majors will develop a broad and intimate understanding of the rich and varied cultures of the Spanish-speaking world, built on a solid competence in spoken and written Spanish.

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  • College of Arts and Sciences

    History

    The Department of History’s interdisciplinary focus engages history majors in numerous subjects approached through a variety of methodologies to help them become astute observers, practiced researchers, and critical thinkers. Rigorous coursework coupled with a research component helps our majors gain deeper understanding of themselves and the world around them.

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  • College of Arts and Sciences

    Individual Major

    Students who decide upon the Individual Major can focus their academic work on an interdisciplinary topic outside the framework of an existing department or program major. You define your own major program of study, drawing on courses from two or more disciplines within the college.

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  • College of Arts and Sciences

    International Affairs

    Students curious and passionate about the factors that shape global issues may pursue coursework in the International Affairs Integrative Concentration. Grounded in the social sciences and focused on contemporary issues and their recent history, the concentration will prepare students for careers and pursuits spanning national boundaries.

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  • College of Arts and Sciences

    Jewish Studies

    The Jewish Studies Program offers an interdisciplinary approach to the study of Jewish history and Judaism. Jewish studies majors will learn to read and comprehend core religious and historical texts, as well as methods for interpreting other materials relevant to Judaism as a religious system and body of thought; and Jewish history, literature, and culture.

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  • College of Arts and Sciences

    Journalism

    The concentration in journalism complements a variety of majors. Combining coursework with cocurricular and extracurricular work, the concentration serves the career goals of students interested in a variety of forms of journalism: political reporting, music journalism, science journalism, and more.

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  • College of Arts and Sciences

    Latin American Studies

    The Latin American studies major is an interdisciplinary academic program that supports students with a strong interest in Latin America and the Caribbean: the peoples, cultures, history, language, and traditions. We emphasize Spanish-language competency, which is essential for majors and anyone who wishes to study or function effectively in a Spanish-speaking environment.

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  • College of Arts and Sciences

    Latin Language and Literature

    The Latin Language and Literature major is one of three areas of study offered through the Department of Classics. Our programs in Greek and Latin Language and Literature develops a deeper understanding of the works of ancient Greece and Rome and enables majors to make independent judgments about ancient society through the study of source documents in their original languages.

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  • College of Arts and Sciences

    Law and Society

    The Law and Society Program major explores philosophical, political, economic, historical, sociological, ethical, scientific, and religious issues that are central to understanding the role of law and legal institutions in society.

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  • College of Arts and Sciences

    Linguistics

    Our linguistics minor is interdisciplinary, taking advantage of Oberlin’s strengths in many academic areas that apply to our liberal arts philosophy and goal of ensuring that students receive a well-rounded education. Students who minor in linguistics will gain multiple disciplinary perspectives on human language, in addition to a foundation in descriptive and theoretical linguistics.

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  • College of Arts and Sciences

    Literary Translation

    Students concentrating in literary translation will study the history and theory of literary translation, analyze specific cases and practical problems, and develop their own extended translation projects. The Literary Translation Concentration can be completed by any student with any major.

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  • College of Arts and Sciences

    Mathematics

    The mathematics major is both a technical and cultural field of study. The Department of Mathematics seek to introduce majors to a central area of human thought; prepare them for graduate study in pure or applied mathematics; support students studying fields that use

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  • College of Arts and Sciences

    Middle East and North Africa Studies

    Middle East and North Africa Studies focuses on this region broadly, including Africa north of the Sahara, the Arabian Peninsula, Eastern Mediterranean, Iran, Turkey, and the Red Sea and Gulf Littoral states. Students who minor in this course of study should have a beginning knowledge of languages used in the region, namely Arabic, Hebrew, Farsi or Turkish.

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  • College of Arts and Sciences

    Musical Studies

    The Musical Studies Program is designed for arts and sciences students with serious preparation for and interest in the study of music within a liberal arts context. Musical studies majors will take courses in both divisions, which include musical foundations, music theory and aural skills, musicology, applied study, and private instruction.

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  • College of Arts and Sciences

    Neuroscience

    The neuroscience major is designed for students interested in the cellular, chemical, and structural organization of the brain and the relationship between the brain’s operation and perception, thought, emotion, and behavior. Opportunities are available for students to use multiple approaches at many levels of analysis including molecular, cellular, systems, and behavioral levels.

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  • College of Arts and Sciences

    Peace and Conflict Studies

    The Peace and Conflict Studies Concentration is an interdisciplinary concentration that studies the factors that lead to human conflict and aggression, including those that are psychological, sociological, anthropological, environmental, political, economic, religious, and historical in nature. Students will study not only the factors that lead to human conflict and aggression but also examine levels of conflict, both individual and group, and explore the potential links between issues of social and environmental justice and violent conflict.

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  • College of Arts and Sciences

    Philosophy

    Philosophy is an essential component of a liberal arts education. It develops skills necessary for all intellectual pursuits. As a philosophy major, you’ll have the opportunity to grapple with “big questions,” and to think about the philosophers who are working on these questions today, and those who have shaped the history of philosophy. You will learn to think carefully, critically, and with clarity; to develop reasoned arguments of your own; and to evaluate the arguments of others.

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  • College of Arts and Sciences

    Physics

    Our Department of Physics and Astronomy is designed to serve both students interested in science as an important part of a general education, and those desiring intensive training in physical science. Coursework for physics majors ranges from fundamentals to electronics and astrophysics.

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  • College of Arts and Sciences

    Politics

    The Department of Politics encompasses a broad field of study and focuses on American politics, comparative politics, political theory, and international politics. Coursework will help politics majors incorporate critical political viewpoints into their everyday experiences and future careers.

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  • College of Arts and Sciences

    Psychology

    The Department of Psychology’s curriculum prepares its majors for graduate work in psychology and for other academic and career goals where a background in psychology and its methods is relevant. Our scientific approach to understanding human behavior equips psychology majors with analytical, research, and clinical skills for careers in many fields with a human service orientation.

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  • College of Arts and Sciences

    Religion

    A major in the Department of Religion offers a broad curriculum in the study of religion, and affords an opportunity for concentrated study in particular religious traditions and specific areas of religious thought and practice.

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  • College of Arts and Sciences

    Rhetoric and Composition

    The Department of Rhetoric and Composition supports the collegewide commitment to the teaching of writing, as it is one of the primary skills needed for almost any occupation to which a graduate might aspire. Beyond these practical values, writing serves as one of the most essential tools for inquiry in a liberal education. We encourage our rhetoric and composition majors and all Oberlin students to pursue the goal of writing well.

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  • College of Arts and Sciences

    Russian

    The Department of Russian Language, Literature, and Culture offers a wide range of distinctive courses, both in Russian and in translation, for majors and non-majors alike. Through our multiyear sequence of language courses, students can gain extensive training in speaking, reading, and writing Russian, and develop a working understanding of Russian culture.

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  • College of Arts and Sciences

    Russian and East European Studies

    Our major in Russian and East European Studies prepares students for research or study in Russia or Eastern Europe. The curriculum is multidisciplinary, incorporating offerings in history, politics and sociology with courses in Russian language, literature, and culture.

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  • College of Arts and Sciences

    Sociology

    The Department of Sociology reflects the breadth and rigor of the discipline, offering courses in the core areas of social organizations and institutions; social inequality and stratification; micro-sociology, individuals and society; and the historical and comparative study of social change. Sociology majors have many opportunities to participate in independent research, field internships, study away, and private readings.

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  • College of Arts and Sciences

    Statistical Modeling

    Statistics is the science of analyzing data, with these analyses often being based on models that are used to answer questions or reveal underlying relationships. Statistical modeling is applied across many disciplines to model human behavior and natural phenomena and to aid in decision making in the face of uncertainty.

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  • College of Arts and Sciences

    Studio Art

    Our Studio Art program is an integral part of the liberal arts curriculum, not a specialized technical field. Studio art majors will gain a solid educational foundation that will prepare them for graduate work or help them continue development as an artist on their own.

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  • College of Arts and Sciences

    Theater

    The Department of Theater offers a major course of study in the areas of acting, directing, design and production, theater history and criticism, and playwriting within the broader context of a liberal arts education. Theater majors can acquire practical experience in all aspects of the theater by participating in departmental, student-based, and community productions.

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  • College of Arts and Sciences

    Visual Art

    Oberlin’s visual art major allows students to pursue an interdisciplinary approach to the study of the visual arts. Students might study art or architectural history within a particular social or historical context; urban or environmental studies; or art conservation. Creative arts projects might involve dance, theater arts, creative writing, or computer music.

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