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Major & Minor Requirements

Southwest Studies examines the region of the greater Southwest through a variety of lenses, encouraging students to see the complexity that diverse people have created in a specific place.  This blend of peoples and histories living in a distinctive landscape provides a model for study applicable to any region. Using the tools of traditional disciplines in combination with interdisciplinary techniques, students will learn to observe and analyze places and people and to use these skills to solve real problems.

Director and Major Advisor:  Professor Eric Leonard (Geology)

Faculty Advisors: Drossman (Environmental Science), Hecox (Environmental Science), Hilberry (English), Hilt (Physics), Kannan (Environmental Science), Hyde (History), Kelso (Biology), Leonard (Geology), Levine (Music), Linkhart (Biology), Monroy (History), Montaño (Anthropology), Padilla (English), Perramond (Southwest Studies and Environmental Science), Popkin (Sociology), Torres-Rouff (History), Tucker (Art).

Southwest Studies Visiting Faculty (2012-13): Beard, Crawford, and Guerra.


Major in Southwest Studies

A major in Southwest Studies requires a minimum of 13.0 units and a maximum of 15 units:

  • Geography "core" course: SW272 - 1 unit
  • Language requirement: Spanish 201 or equivalent - 2 units or 4 units
  • Two appropriate methods/theory courses: 2 units (many of these have prerequisites), AN215; CO300; CO391; EN250; EV222; EV228; FG311; HY399; MU393; PS321; SO229; SW301 or others by petition 
  • Five units of electives from approved list: A student should choose elective that prepare them for their senior project (see program advisors for current list). 
  • Junior research seminar: SW 395 Prerequisite: COI - 1 unit
  • Senior capstone project: SW400-401 Prerequisite: COI - 6 units in the major and approved methods course. - 2 units (1 unit for SW400 and 1 unit for SW401)

 Minor in Southwest Studies

A minor in Southwest Studies requires a minimum of 7 or a maximum of 8 units including: 

  • FYE/SW175 or SW272
  • Language requirement: Spanish 101 or equivalent - 2 units 
  • Four units of electives from approved list (see program advisors for current list) 

Southwest Studies Senior Courses for Major

SW 400-401 – Senior Project (2 units: 1 unit for SW400 and 1 unit for SW401) (Prerequisites: 5 units from approved SWS course list and COI) Independent research to be done in consultation with two faculty members who serve as advisors to the Program. The Faculty Advisory Committee must approve a proposal for the project by the end of the junior year.

The final project takes one of three forms:

(a) Field and Archival Research: This is supervised empirical research leading to an article length, publication-quality paper. Students design a project, collect and analyze data, provide context for the data in an appropriate way, and then craft an essay that presents their research and results in a manner suitable for a peer-reviewed journal.
(b) Literature Review: This is a critical review of the literature that addresses a particular subject of importance to the region and the disciplines involved. Students carefully outline the topic they will address, and use classic and recent texts and journal articles to support a thesis. Such a review is not a mere summary of the literature; instead, it analyzes existing literature to assess the field critically and to identify further research needs.
(c) Directed Field Study: This is a project completed in the field under the direct supervision of a Colorado College faculty member. In addition to the service component, the project results in a final paper (e.g., grant/program application, critical summary) that is negotiated between the supervising CC faculty, the student, and the agency/organization director.