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00-01 LS&A Bulletin

Chapter III: Degree Requirements and Graduation Procedures, and the Academic Minor Option

Requirements Particular to the A.B. and B.S. Degrees


The concentration requirement provides an opportunity to pursue a thorough investigation of a subject or problem. If education is to be a connected, developmental experience, then fundamental skills, abilities, and knowledge must be used continuously. Concentration programs organize students' work in such a way that later experiences relate to and extend earlier ones.

Students normally declare a concentration during the second term of the sophomore year, although some students make a decision earlier. To declare a concentration, a student should develop a plan with a concentration advisor and then submit a Declaration Form signed by the advisor to the Academic Advising Center. A student may, with the approval of a concentration advisor, change the plan. Students who wish to change concentrations must discuss their plans with a concentration advisor in the new concentration and submit a new Declaration Form.

Concentration Policies

  1. Each A.B. or B.S. student must develop a concentration plan in consultation with a concentration advisor, who must also approve it.
  2. Course requirements of the various concentration programs range from 24 to 48 credits of courses at the 200-level and above, of which no more than 30 will be in one department. The required courses outside the department for departmental concentration programs are called required cognates. Students will often take more than the required courses, but no more than 60 credits in a concentration (including courses in one department and the required cognates) may be counted toward the 120 for the degree. When an academic department has two or more divisions (e.g., Anthropology, Romance Languages and Literatures), a student may count a total of 60 credits from that department, not from each division.
  3. No more than 60 credits in one language may be counted in the 120 required for a degree. However, the 60 credit limit on courses elected in one concentration may be exceeded when the excess credits have been used to meet the language requirement.
  4. Students electing an area, interdepartmental, or special concentration may count no more than 60 credits in any one department.
  5. Students may not elect courses in a concentration plan, including required cognates, by the Pass/Fail grading option.
  6. A department or program may include in its concentration program Experiential or Directed Reading/Independent Study courses that are graded on a Credit/No Credit or Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory basis, but all other concentration courses must be taken for a grade, either A-E or (in the case of Residential College courses) with narrative evaluation.
  7. No course in the department of concentration or required course in a concentration plan may be part of a distribution plan (see, however, "Double Concentration" below in this chapter).
  8. A student must earn an overall GPA of at least 2.0 in courses taken in the field of concentration. This includes all courses taken in the department of concentration (prerequisites, required courses, and electives) and any required cognates. Any exceptions for particular concentrations are specified in Chapter VI.
  9. A course or courses that are part of the student's concentration plan may also meet the Upper-Level Writing Requirement, the Race and Ethnicity Requirement, or the Quantitative Reasoning Requirement.

Concentration Programs

Students may choose a concentration from:

Afroamerican and African Studies
American Culture
Ancient Civilizations and Biblical Studies
Arabic, Armenian, Persian, Turkish, and Islamic Studies
Asian Studies
Astronomy and Astrophysics
Biopsychology and Cognitive Science
Cell and Molecular Biology
Classical Archaeology
Classical Civilization
Classical Languages and Literatures
Communication Studies
Comparative Literature
Computer Science
Dramatic Writing
Environmental Geology
Film and Video Studies
French and Francophone Studies
General Biology
General Physics
Geological Sciences
Hebrew and Jewish Cultural Studies
History of Art
Judaic Studies
Latin American and Caribbean Studies
Latino or Hispanic-American Studies
Medieval and Early Modern Studies (MEMS)

Middle Eastern and North African Studies
Near Eastern Civilizations
Plant Biology
Political Science
Russian and East European Studies
Social Anthropology
Theatre and Drama
Women's Studies

Special Concentration Programs

Individual Concentration Program

Students with academic interests outside existing area, departmental, inter-departmental, and special concentration programs may propose their own field of concentration and, on approval, elect the Individual Concentration Program which is described in Chapter VI.

Double Concentration

A student electing a double concentration must meet all requirements for both concentrations. Courses, including cognates, elected as part of one concentration plan may be used, when appropriate, to satisfy the requirements of the second concentration. However, one of the two concentration plans must be independent of the area distribution plan. Each concentration plan must be developed in consultation with and approved by a concentration advisor.

A Concentration Release Form (see "Graduation Procedures" below in this chapter) for each concentration declared should be submitted to the Academic Auditors before the final term in residence. A double concentration is recorded on the transcript only if both release forms are received before graduation. If a student who has submitted a Diploma Application completes the requirements for only one of the two concentrations and wishes to defer graduation to complete the second, the Academic Auditors must be notified. Otherwise a degree is awarded in one concentration. After the date of graduation, a student completing additional work which fulfills another field of concentration can have the additional field entered on the transcript. The student will need to file an additional Concentration Release Form with the Academic Auditors.


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