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All College Requirements

All-College Requirements for the Bachelor of Arts Degree (B.A.) at Colorado College

The following requirements apply to all students who entered in Fall 2012 or after. Students who matriculated prior to the fall of 2012 may choose to fulfill these requirements or the All-College requirements approved in the 2011–12 Catalog of Courses.

  1. Students must satisfactorily complete 32 units of academic credit.
  2. Students must satisfactorily complete a major course of study. No major may require more than 14 units in any one department and no more than 16 overall (including prerequisites). In departmentally based majors, the two units beyond the 14-unit limit can be courses outside the department or adjunct courses. There are more than 30 possible majors at Colorado College, including a major of the student’s own design, the liberal arts and sciences major. Students at Colorado College may complete a double major. The following rules must be observed:
    The two majors may be from traditional departmental majors or an interdisciplinary major and a departmental major as long as the latter is not a discipline making up part of the interdisciplinary major.
    • Both departments must approve the option.
    • In no case may more than three courses within the majors overlap.
    • The student must have an advisor in each major.
    • The student must complete all-college requirements.
    • The completed major(s) will be recorded on the student’s official transcript.
  3. Completion of the Critical Perspectives requirements: The West in Time (one two-block course, 2 units); Global Cultures (1 unit); Social Inequality (1 unit); Scientific Investigation of the Natural World (2 units, including at least one lab or field course); Quantitative Reasoning (1 unit). Courses may meet more than one designation (for example, a course may be designated both “West in Time” and “Global Cultures”) but students must choose one designation or the other, except in the case of “Quantitative Reasoning,” which may be fulfilled along with any of the other Critical Perspectives requirements. Courses of one half unit credit, and, independent study and reading courses do not count toward Critical Perspectives requirements.
    [1] Critical Perspectives: The West in Time asks students to position their knowledge of the broader world not just through multifaceted inquiry into “the here and now” but through critical inquiry across time as well. As an all-college requirement, The West in Time acknowledges the crucial importance of understanding the past as the context out of which contemporary modes of inquiry and contemporary fields of study have grown. The West in Time is a two-block, two-unit course in which students will explore compelling aspects of the Western experience over a significant period of time (antiquity to the modern period or the Middle Ages to the modern period). This Critical Perspectives requirement acknowledges the modern Western propensity to create cultural and historical narratives that assume development and progress over time. It also insists on the importance of understanding the contemporary Western ‘self’ in the context of previous iterations of the ‘self.’ Courses in this area of inquiry will accomplish some combination of the following:
      • Engage students in an exploration of the past through examination of ideas, events, cultural institutions, and practices;
      • Enable students to expand their understanding of narratives of the development of the Western tradition over time and provide them with the analytical tools to critique those narratives;
      • Engage students in critical analysis of the connections between the past and the present;
      • Encourage students to consider how our understanding of contemporary events is informed by our grasp of the historical past.
    Both the Global Cultures and Social Inequality Critical Perspectives requirements are designed to prepare students to think critically and creatively about the challenges of living in a rapidly changing society and globalized world.
    [2] Critical Perspectives: Global Cultures courses focus primarily on the study of non-Western societies, or some aspects of them, including by means of intensive study of a non-Western language.
    [3] Critical Perspectives: Social Inequality courses focus primarily on how inequality — with respect to nationality, race, ethnicity, gender, class, and/or sexuality — is produced, reproduced, experienced, and resisted. They analyze critically the social and cultural differences, traditions, and experiences of marginalized or subjugated populations in the United States or globally, investigating the social, political, economic, cultural, psychological, and/or historical processes that shape the emergence and status of such populations. In so doing, these courses may examine such matters as the nature of power and domination, political economy, social justice movements, identity formation, and/or cultural and artistic productions.
    [4] Critical Perspectives: Scientific Investigation of the Natural World enhances students’ understanding of the natural world and of the methods central to modern science. It gives students opportunities to explore the broader earth system and universe, a sphere of inquiry that includes but is not limited to humans. In a world influenced by science and technology, informed citizens need to be familiar with the distinctive ways of thinking characteristic of the sciences and need to cultivate skill in quantitative reasoning. This requirement complements The West in Time and the Global Cultures requirements by addressing a distinct approach to the understanding of the world that originated in the West but currently exercises global influence. These courses will meet the description of the preceding paragraph and will accomplish some combination of the following:
    • Explicitly address the nature of the scientific method;
    • Give students direct experience in the gathering and analysis of scientific data;
    • Emphasize the use of quantitative reasoning;
    • Introduce the foundations and principles of scientific knowledge;
    • Enhance scientific literacy.
    • At least one of the two units must involve significant laboratory or field experience.
    [5] Critical Perspectives: Quantitative Reasoning courses develop students’ ability to work with and interpret numerical data, to apply logical and symbolic analysis to a variety of problems, and/or to model phenomena with mathematical or logical reasoning.
  4. Two blocks (or equivalent) of college-level language.
    Colorado College believes that learning a language gives any student an important intellectual experience of cultural difference. A student may learn about other cultures in a variety of ways, but we believe interpreting and expressing individual experience and cultural values in another language is necessary for enhanced international and multicultural awareness. This requirement reflects the conviction that a liberal education is incomplete when it includes no language study. Learning a language other than one’s native tongue is not equivalent simply to acquiring a tool for practical use. It is a means to enter fully and directly into the vital perspectives and unique workings of another culture. In addition, language study helps students understand grammar, enhances vocabulary, and significantly supports general literacy.
    The language requirement, which may not be fulfilled with adjunct courses, may be fulfilled in two ways:
    • Two units in any of the languages offered at Colorado College, unless the student is approved by the office of accessibility resources for a course substitution based on evidence of a disability that significantly impacts the student’s ability to complete the foreign language requirement;
    • An acceptable language program at any accredited college or university, in any non-English language, equivalent to two units of language at Colorado College, if approved by the registrar’s office.
  5. FYE — A two-block course required of all first-year students addressing issues likely to stimulate debate and including critical reading, effective writing, and a research project.
  6. All students, beginning with the Fall 2010 entering class, will demonstrate writing proficiency in the form of a successfully evaluated first-year portfolio or subsequent coursework in classes emphasizing writing. (See the Writing Program section for more information.)
  7. A cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.0.
  8. Courses taken at other institutions will be granted as much equivalent credit as deemed appropriate by the registrar’s office.
  9. All students must complete 32 units of credit to qualify for a Colorado College B.A. degree. Those students who have one unit or less to complete toward their 32 units (in both all-college and the major requirements) may be allowed to march in commencement ceremonies without receiving a diploma. There are no exceptions and no appeals to this policy. As described below, a specified number of the 32 units must be taken in residence, here at Colorado College, or through Colorado College programs and exchanges, including the ACM semester programs, detailed elsewhere in this catalog.
    The following rules apply to the academic residence requirement:
    • Students who enter Colorado College as first-semester, first-year students must complete 24 units at Colorado College or Colorado College programs and exchanges, including the ACM semester programs. Transfer students are required to complete a minimum of 16 units at Colorado College or Colorado College programs and exchanges, including the ACM semester programs.
    • All Colorado College students are required to complete their last eight units at Colorado College, except for students participating in Colorado College programs and exchanges, including the ACM semester programs. Students who have completed 16 units at Colorado College may petition to the Dean’s Advisory Committee to waive up to four units of the eight-unit rule.
    • Because different departments have their own residence requirements for their major, students should consult their major department before conducting any off-campus study in their major. These policies should not be confused with residential life policies regarding college housing.
  10. In extended-format courses, students may take no more than one extended-format course per semester (one-half unit) and one extended-format course spanning the year (one unit) unless the dean of the college grants permission for an overload.
  11. In each adjunct course, students may earn one-quarter unit toward their degree requirement for each semester of work. Students may take no more than three adjunct courses per semester, unless the registrar’s office grants permission for an overload. In no case may students count more than two total units of adjunct credit towards the general education degree requirements.