Department and Program Recommendations for First-Year Students

The information contained in this section is written specifically to address common concerns and interests of first-year students and to give general information about academic departments.

We encourage you to call or email the faculty members designated by each department with your specific questions about their course offerings, recommended sequences, or requirements for majors, minors or concentrations.

Questions?

For general questions, contact the Academic Programs Office at 651-696-6036, or the Registrar’s Office at 651-696-6200 or visit the Registrar’s webpage.

Academic Departments/Programs A-H  Academic Departments/Programs I-W 
African Studies Interdepartmental Program
American Studies
Anthropology
Art and Art History
Asian Languages and Cultures
Biology
Chemistry
Classics
Community and Global Health
Critical Theory
Economics
Educational Studies
English
Environmental Studies
French and Francophone Studies
Geography
Geology
German Studies
Hispanic and Latin American Studies
History
Human Rights and Humanitarianism
International Development
International Studies
Latin American Studies Program
Legal Studies Program
Linguistics
Mathematics, Statistics, and Computer Science
Media and Cultural Studies
Middle Eastern Studies and Islamic Civilization
Music
Neuroscience Studies
Philosophy
Physical Education
Physics
Political Science
Premedical Program
Psychology
Religious Studies
Russian Studies
Sociology
Theatre and Dance
Urban Studies
Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

African Studies Interdepartmental Program

Macalester’s African Studies program gathers faculty from eight departments (Anthropology, French, Geography, Geology, International Studies, Music, Political Science, Sociology) to offer a range of courses and an interdisciplinary concentration focused on the diverse histories, cultures, and societies across the African continent.  Beyond this, the great majority of our concentrators study abroad in a program on the continent for a semester in their junior year.

Incoming first-year students are encouraged to enroll in these African Studies “Tier One” courses offered this fall:  History 114 History of Africa to 1800, History 154 African Life Histories, or the First Year Course Geography 243 Geography of Africa.  Compelling one-credit performance courses include Music 72 African Music Ensemble, and Theater & Dance 21 African-Based Movement. Students of greater background should consider Anthropology 258 Dynamic Africa.

Our first-year-appropriate African Studies “Tier Two” courses (meaning partial but not total focus on African issues) this fall include Anthropology 111 (with Shandy), French 194 (First Year Course), and History 256 (First Year Course).  Additional courses are available at higher levels: for more information on them, or any other questions, please contact the 2015-16 African Studies program director David Moore at mooredc@macalester.edu, or 2016-17 African Studies program director William Moseley at moseley@macalester.edu.

Our website is http://www.macalester.edu/academics/africanstudies/

Contact:
David Moore
651-696-6242

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American Studies

As the field of American Studies has evolved in the last fifty years, it has shifted from an emphasis on American exceptionalism to consider broad questions of nation, national identity, and difference. Macalester's  American Studies Department embraces a range of methodologies to consider such complex issues as how we define borders, who is a citizen, and how movements for social change have shaped society. At the start of the 21st century, the President of the American Studies Association, Michael Frisch, underscored the centrality of multiculturalism to the field. “The third axis [of American Studies] is the transformative exploration of multiculturalism, ethnicity, race, class, and gender that has been recasting for several decades now the most basic outlines of American history and culture as a contested, interactive field of forces. It almost goes without saying, but not quite, that this has not simply altered our understanding of things “within” American culture and society, but has been leveraging our capacity to re-imagine the connections of the U. S. and its peoples to everything and everyone else in the world. . .”

Department website: http://www.macalester.edu/academics/americanstudies/

Contact:
Duchess Harris

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Anthropology

Anthropology is the study of humankind in all of its aspects, cultural and biological, across both space and time. The discipline consists of four sub-fields: cultural anthropology, linguistic anthropology, archaeology (which collectively examines the cultural aspects of human existence now and in the past) and biological (or physical) anthropology, which studies human physical variation and the evolution of the genus Homo. This holistic approach to understanding human beings is a distinctive attribute of the discipline and places it at the nexus of the social sciences, the natural sciences and the humanities, making it the most interdisciplinary of the fields of study Macalester has to offer. Anthropology thus provides a broad, comparative perspective on what it means to be human. At Macalester, the anthropology program stresses two of the four fields described above: cultural anthropology and biological anthropology, and emphasizes training in anthropological methods.

The department offers four courses that are open to students with no prior training in anthropology. They are General Anthropology (ANTH 101), which introduces the student to all four sub-fields of the discipline; Cultural Anthropology (ANTH 111), Biological Anthropology (ANTH 115) and Archeology and Human Evolution (ANTH 112). Either Anthropology 101 or 111 can be taken as a prerequisite for upper level courses in Cultural Anthropology; Anthropology 112 or 115 serves as a prerequisite for further study in Biological Anthropology; Cultural Anthropology generally requires that students write papers in addition to taking examinations; requirements vary in other courses. New students interested in exploring the major may choose from any of these courses.  Consult the department chair before registering for more advanced courses.

In order to major in anthropology, a student must take 10 courses and complete a semester of study off-campus (at home or abroad). A student may petition the department to be exempted from the study away requirement. The courses taken must include ANTH 111 (Cultural Anthropology) or ANTH 101 (General Anthropology), ANTH 230 (Ethnographic Interviewing), ANTH 487 (Theory in Anthropology), one course selected from among ANTH 112, 115, 240 or 340 (the Biological Anthropology requirement) and ANTH 490 (Senior Seminar) plus five electives. Students wishing to major should consult with a member of the department.

For further information see the department website:  http://www.macalester.edu/academics/anthropology/

Contact:
Olga Gonzalez

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Art and Art History

The Art and Art History Department provides students the opportunity to create and study works of art. Studio classes are offered in Painting, Drawing, Design, Printmaking, Sculpture, Photography and Ceramics, while Art History courses focus on the historical, social and cultural aspects of artistic production. The Art and Art History Department offers majors with emphases in art history and studio art.

A dual degree Architecture Program is also available. New students are welcome to take courses in any medium or area of art history at the entry level. First-year students and nonmajors are welcome. Contact individual faculty to inquire about upper level courses with pre-requisites. Additional information can be found on the department website, http://www.macalester.edu/art/.

Contact:
Kristi Fackel
651-696-6279

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Asian Languages and Cultures

The Department of Asian Languages and Cultures serves as a home for the study of Asia, both for broad comparative and cultural studies of the history, geography, literature, film, art, music, and society in Asia, and for the more focused study of Japanese or Chinese language and culture. The department offers an Asian Studies Major and Minor, a Chinese Language and Culture Major and Minor, and a Japanese Language and Culture Major and Minor.  See the department website at http://www.macalester.edu/academics/asian/majorsminors/ for more information on the structure of each major and about the faculty and fields of study involved.

In Fall 2016, we offer a first year course "Revolution and Romance in Chinese Fiction and Film." The course  seeks to critically understand China by reading modern and contemporary Chinese fiction and film. The fictional and cinematic representation of revolution and romance not only tell us about the social transformation in China, but also universal human experiences across geographical or cultural boundaries.

In Fall 2016 the program will also offer HNUR 1011/4001:Beginning Hindi-Urdu  I.  The course is a distance learning pilot offered in collaboration with the University of Minnesota.  The class meets every day, Monday-Friday, from 1:25-2:15 p.m. via video technology.  Interested Macalester students should list this course on their course preference from.  It does not appear in the regular course schedule and cannot be added during orientation.  The course is designed to give a basic knowledge of Hindi/Urdu to beginners with little or no prior experience with the language.  Students will learn the basics of proper use of the language, such as:  to greet a person according to his/her age, religion, status; to introduce self and others; exchange information about families, homes, interests; to talk about daily routines, tell time and give the date and day.  By the end of the semester, students will feel comfortable with the thematic vocabularies and basic sentence structures of Hindi/Urdu.  The Hindi/Urdu script will also be introduced.  Additionally, students will learn about South Asian family structure, social customs, popular culture; and the use of proper language (formal/informal) in different situations. 

Contact:

Xin Yang, Chinese

Arjun Guneratne, Hindi/Urdu

Satoko Suzuki, Japanese

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Biology

Biology will be offering one first year course this year.  It is titled Human Functional Anatomy.

In this residential first year course students will explore the anatomical structures and functions of the human body.  The class will cover the essentials of human anatomy in evolutionary, functional, and clinical contexts through lectures, an integrated hatha yoga practice that will give us some 'hands-on' tools for studying anatomy in our own bodies, and periodic visits to local gross anatomy laboratories. This class is open to all students with a curiosity about the workings of our human bodies.

If you are considering majoring in biology, the most important thing for you to do in the fall is to get started in the chemistry sequence.  Most students interested in majoring in Biology should register for General Chemistry I, CHEM 111.  If you have a good high school chemistry background, you could consider enrolling in CHEM 115, Accelerated General Chemistry, which compresses the two-semester introductory chemistry sequence into one semester.  An alternative option if you have a good chemistry background is to skip General Chemistry I and enroll in General Chemistry II in the spring.  If you are interested in either of these options, you should take the on-line chemistry placement exam.  Contact Professor Keith Kuwata () for instructions and the link to take this exam.  You may take this exam over the summer or when you arrive on campus.  It is not necessary to register for one of the four core biology classes (Genetics, Cell Biology, Ecology, and Biodiversity and Evolution) during the first semester, although if you can get in to one of the classes, that’s great.  Whether or not you register for one of the four biology core courses during your first semester, you should register for one during your second semester.

For further information, see the department website www.macalester.edu/academics/biology

Contact:
Mary Montgomery

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Chemistry

CHEM 111 (General Chemistry I) and CHEM 112 (General Chemistry II) together provide an in-depth introduction to modern chemical ideas.  CHEM 115 (Accelerated General Chemistry) is a more advanced introductory course which covers key topics from both 111 and 112 in a single semester.  CHEM 111 and 115 are offered only in the fall, and CHEM 112 is offered only in the spring.  All entering students considering majors in chemistry or biology, and those seeking admission to medical school upon graduation, should take either 111 or 115 in their first semester.  One of the CHEM 111 sections is a first year course with a maximum enrollment of 16 students; it emphasizes argumentative writing in addition to chemical content.   One can place into 115 with a score of 4 or 5 on the Chemistry Advanced Placement test, a score of 5 or higher on either the higher or standard level Chemistry International Baccalaureate exam, or with a strong performance on the online chemistry placement test. (Please contact Prof. Keith Kuwata (kuwata@macalester.edu) for access to the placement test.) Please see the Chemistry Department web site (http://www.macalester.edu/academics/chemistry/) for more information.

Contact:
Keith Kuwata

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Classics

Classics is an area studies program with a focus on the ancient and medieval periods of the Mediterranean and Middle East. Here students may study the languages and literatures of Arabic, ancient Greek, Hebrew or Latin (all of which fulfill the Second Language Requirement), as well as explore art and archaeology, myth, history, and the religions, political structures and ideas that arise from this part of the ancient world. Classics is an international field and the Macalester Classics Department hosts an archaeological conservation summer field school in Israel as well as a January in Rome program. We are not offering a First Year Course in the fall of 2016, but encourage interested students to begin a classical language or enroll in an introductory context course, such as CLAS 121 Greek World or CLAS 135 India and Rome. For further information on majors and minors, study abroad programs, and what faculty and students are up to in Classics, please see our website: http://www.macalester.edu/academics/classics/. Specific questions can be addressed to department chair Beth Severy-Hoven at severy@macalester.edu. We look forward to seeing you around the Classics Department!

If you have studied Latin previously, please consult the department website for how to place yourself into the right Latin course: http://www.macalester.edu/academics/classics/majorsminors/wheretostart/.

Contact:
Beth Severy-Hoven

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Community and Global Health

The Community and Global Health concentration brings together a variety of disciplines and perspectives to important issues in population health and applies these approaches to civic engagement projects, independent research, as well as in classroom settings. The concentration builds on the strong ties between the liberal arts and the core concepts of public health—a diverse, multidisciplinary field unified around the examination of health, illness, and healing in local and international communities.

For additional information, please consult our website (www.macalester.edu/cgh) or the program's director, Ron Barrett ().

Contact:
Ron Barrett

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Critical Theory

This concentration provides students an opportunity to engage in the interdisciplinary study of Critical Theory, one of the most influential movements in inciting thought and society to critical self-reevaluations.

Critical Theory can be described as the application of philosophical thought to cultural and social phenomena with the aim of identifying formations of knowledge and the relations of power underlying them and making them possible. It is, therefore, defined not through the objects analyzed—which are found across the arts, humanities, social sciences, and even natural sciences—but through its distinctive methodology.

A concentration in Critical Theory consists of a total of 24 credits: five (5) courses—selected from two lists of courses: Core Courses and Elective Courses—and one (1) course or project that involves a major research paper.

For more information and specific courses offered, please see the Critical Theory website:  Critical Theory.

Most of the critical theory courses offered in the fall semester are appropriate for first-year students (regardless of course number), and students are encouraged to contact the instructor of the course they are interested in.

For questions regarding the CT Concentration, please contact the director of the Program.

Contact:
Kiarina Kordela

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Economics

First Year Course - Principles of Economics -

Throughout human history, from early hunter-gatherers to modern industrial societies, people have engaged in the production, trade and consumption of goods and services to satisfy basic needs and improve well-being.  This first year course introduces students to basic economic concepts and theories so that they can begin to understand how market-based systems function to serve these goals.  

The course is split into three parts.  In the first, students are introduced to the methodology of economics -- i.e., how to “think like an economist" -- and begin to learn about markets.  We investigate cases where markets work well to allocate goods and services and cases where “market failures,” such as the presence of externalities or public goods, necessitate government intervention.       

The second part of the course investigates (1) the optimizing behavior of individual consumers and firms, (2) implications of different market structures (i.e., competitive markets versus monopoly), and (3) markets for factors of production (labor, natural resources, capital, etc.) which help us understand the causes of income and wealth inequality.    

The final part focuses on the financial system and macroeconomics—the study of economy-wide “aggregates” such as Gross Domestic Product, the Consumer Price Index and the unemployment rate.  One important goal here is to examine why there are disparities in material living standards across nations.  Another is to learn about the business cycle and the role that fiscal and monetary policy play to mitigate them.      

For more information about the Economics Department, please see the department website www.macalester.edu/academics/economics

Contact:
Pete Ferderer
651-696-6093

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Educational Studies

Educational Studies is an interdisciplinary field centered on social inquiry, imagination, and advocacy. The major includes participation in thematically related courses (32 credits), civic engagement experiences, and completion of an advanced integrative project. Students may select from one of two emphases – Teaching & Learning or Education & Society.

The Teaching & Learning emphasis is designed to support students interested in entering the teaching profession. Students may begin their teacher education at Macalester and then complete their preparation through a variety of different programs immediately after graduation. Areas of teaching supported include a broad spectrum of licenses serving public school students on elementary, secondary, and K-12 levels. The Teaching & Learning track also provides excellent preparation for students intending to enter teaching through programs that do not require state licensing such as Urban Teaching Fellows, World Teach, Peace Corp, JET, Montessori or Waldorf training, adult basic or ESL education, museum education, artists-in-residence, community education, etc.

The Education & Society emphasis provides opportunities for interdisciplinary exploration of pressing social and educational issues on local, national, and international levels. Students selecting this track begin by proposing an integrative theme. Suggested themes include: Education, Equity & Diversity, Education Policy, Environmental Education, Urban Education, Civic Education, Youth Development, Media Literacy, Aesthetic Education, Feminism & Education, International/Development Education, Education for Social Justice, and individually designed focal areas.

Students majoring in Educational Studies are also required to complete a supporting Major relevant to either their interests in teaching or their selected integrative theme. A 20-credit Minor provides opportunities for students to explore their interests in Educational Studies without committing to completion of a second major.

See the department website for more information www.macalester.edu/academics/education

Contact:
Ruthanne Kurth-Schai
651-696-6035

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English

Any English course numbered from 105-194 is appropriate for first-year students and has no prerequisite. 200-level courses also have no prerequisite, though first-year students are advised to wait until the spring semester to register for them. All 100-level courses will provide an introduction to college-level study of literature or creative writing, with a heavy emphasis on the development of writing and close reading skills.

The English department is offering two first-year courses Fall 2016. One is ENGL 150-04, Introduction to Creative Writing, taught by Professor Marlon James. This is an opportunity to learn the craft of writing creatively from one of the most prominent writers in the world. Professor James, winner of the Man Booker prize for fiction in 2015, describes the course as an introduction to the writer inside you, a person you might be meeting for the first time. It’s an introduction to the art of writing and the craft of critiquing your work and the work of your peers. At the end of this course, he says, you will know what it means to write like a storyteller and read like a writer.

The other first-year course is ENGL 125-01, Ghosts of the Victorians. In this course, taught by the prominent scholar of Victorian literature Professor Andrea Kaston Tange, you will read ghost stories from the golden age of the genre, written by authors such as Charles Dickens and Emily Bronte. With these readings for a base, the second half of the course will consider the legacies of these Victorians. How are contemporary stories of ghosts and the occult shaped by their nineteenth-century predecessors? What does our ongoing fascination with these narratives say about us or about our cultural moment?

For more information about the English Department, see the department website www.macalester.edu/academics/english

Contact:
Daylanne English

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Environmental Studies

Environmental Studies is an interdisciplinary department that offers students the opportunity to develop a holistic understanding of environmental issues. The program emphasizes multidisciplinary tools and perspectives from the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities. The program encourages depth of disciplinary knowledge, breadth of cross-disciplinary perspectives, and integration through core courses and a required off-campus internship. Students may major or minor in environmental studies.  For more information see the department website www.macalester.edu/academics/environmentalstudies.

The department is offering a first year course this fall, The Anthropocene: Nature and Politics for a Future Earth.  Geologists tell us we have entered a new epoch called the Anthropocene, when humans have fundamentally reshaped the planet in ways that put the future of life at risk. Theorizing the Anthropocene has catalyzed major shifts in a variety of disciplines—including history, political science, engineering, biology, and the arts. This discussion-based class will use an interdisciplinary framework to consider what this new epoch means to our political economy and society. Fiction and non-fiction readings will help answer if there could be such a thing as a “good” Anthropocene rather than simply an apocalyptic one. As a culminating assignment, students will stage their own climate museum with students contributing artifacts that signify our entry into the Anthropocene.

Contact:
Roopali Phadke

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French and Francophone Studies

The Department of French and Francophone Studies welcomes all students of French and offers the possibility of studying French at all levels in Fall 2016 (French 101, 111, 203, 204, 305, or 306).  Students may enter the sequence at the appropriate level by demonstrating their proficiency in the language.  If you have taken French in high school or elsewhere, your proficiency level is verified by the score attained on the Macalester language placement test.  For advanced students, your level is verified by the score obtained on the French AP exam or the SAT II exam for French.  If you are in an IB program, please consult the department chair or one of the professors listed below in Summer Contacts.  For more specific placement information, including test scores, please refer to the guidelines on our website: http://www.macalester.edu/academics/french/languageplacement/

In Fall 2016, Professor Joëlle Vitiello will be offering a new First-Year Course in English titled “Food in French and Francophone Cultures:  The Local and the Global.”  This course is open to all students, including those with no background in French, and will address a number of questions, such as: France is famous for its food and cuisine: what makes it unique? How does French food translate French culture? What changes occurred throughout history? What was the impact of travel and colonial development on French food and on food in French colonies? And how do France and Francophone cultures engage with contemporary issues of sustainability?  

The FRENCH MAJOR is nine courses:

1) 306 and either 305 or the equivalent
2) six advanced courses (300 and 400 level courses) beyond 306, including a) at least one course on a francophone region, b) one course on a period preceding the 20th century, and c) one course on French or Francophone culture.
3) the Senior independent study (which includes a capstone project or an Honors Project)
4) a study abroad program in a French-speaking country (two of the six advanced courses may be taken during the study abroad program)

The FRENCH MINOR is five courses:

Two courses at the 300 level (usually 305 and 306) and three additional French courses at the 300 or 400 levels.

For more information on the French academic program, French House, study abroad, and other student opportunities, please visit our website: http://www.macalester.edu/academics/french/

Contact:
Andrew Billing (May 16 to July 16)
abilling@macalester.edu

Juliette Rogers (July 17 to August 8)

Joëlle Vitiello (August 9 to August 30)

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Geography

Macalester's nationally and internationally recognized Geography Department is unusually broad in scope for an undergraduate liberal arts college. The department leads students through an exploration of urban and regional planning, environmental geography, cartography, geographic information science and socioeconomic development in various regions of the world. Students may major or minor in geography.

Human Geography of Global Issues (Geography 111) is a gateway course, which introduces students to issues of human settlements, land use and political order.  Regional Geography of the US and Canada (Geography 242), and Contemporary Mongolia (Geography 294), are also being offered as First Year Courses in the fall and would likewise be excellent introductions to the department. Additionally, courses at the 200 level without prerequisites are open to incoming students, such as Urban Geography (Geography 241), Geography of Asia (Geography 294), Geography of World Urbanization (Geography 261),  Geography of Development and Underdevelopment (Geography 263) or Science, Nature, and Society (Geography 294).  Other upper division courses may be appropriate for students with the necessary background (such as AP Human Geography).  Contact the department chair with specific questions or see the department website at www.macalester.edu/academics/geography.

Contact:
Holly Barcus
651-696-6139

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Geology

The introductory courses in geology are designed to serve students interested in learning more about the geosciences and environmental sciences.  They provide an appreciation of the scientific principles and techniques used to investigate the Earth, and serve to inform students about the composition, materials, major processes, and history of our planet.  These courses count toward the major and minor, and fulfill general education requirements in the Science/Math category.  Many of our courses satisfy part of the quantitative thinking requirement at Macalester.  All of our courses include at least one field trip during the semester. In Fall 2016, we have one First Year Courses being offered – Dynamic Earth and Global Change (GEOL160/ENVI160). It would be an excellent way of exploring the department and the field!

See the department website for more information  www.macalester.edu/academics/geology

Contact:
Kelly MacGregor
651-696-6441

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German Studies

The Department of German Studies covers all levels of German language; German literary, intellectual, and cultural history; and literary and critical theory in conjunction with the Critical Theory Program. Interdisciplinary in outlook, the German Studies program assumes that the study of language is the study of culture, and vice versa. Elementary and mid-level courses give students proficiency in the language and introduce them to German culture past and present; upper-level courses conducted in German explore topics in literature, history, cinema, music, philosophy, or politics; critical theory courses are conducted in English. All courses, whether taught in German or in English, are open to qualified majors and non-majors.

Students taking German may apply for residency in the German House after their first year; attend cultural events such as Kaffeestunde, film screenings, or our Deutsches Filmfest competition. They may also participate in Macalester’s Study Abroad Program in Berlin and Vienna, for many students the high point of their study at Macalester. Participation in this half-year program brings students within easy reach of a German Studies major, but majoring is not required. The program includes direct-enroll courses through the University of Vienna in many academic disciplines that, beyond the German major, may count toward fulfillment of another major at Macalester.

Placement: Students with no background in German should register for German Studies 101; students who have studied another foreign language may alternatively register for German Studies 110: Accelerated Elementary German. Students with any prior training in German or any extended exposure to the language must take the placement test. Advanced students (scoring above 550 on the placement test or above 620 on the SAT II) should consult with Prof. Rachael Huener about which course is best for them. Some possibilities are German Studies 305: German Through the Media; German Studies 308: German Cultural History I; and German Studies 309: German Cultural History II.

For more information, see the department website www.macalester.edu/academics/german

Contact:
Linda Schulte-Sasse

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Hispanic and Latin American Studies

The Department of Hispanic and Latin American Studies welcomes students into dynamic language courses in elementary and intermediate Spanish and Portuguese, as well as advanced courses in literature, culture and linguistics, all taught in Spanish. All of our courses emphasize active language acquisition and application within meaningful, contemporary contexts. We believe that language is the pathway to true understanding of culture.

Macalester students take language courses for many practical reasons: as requirements for their major or minor area of study, as linguistic preparation for study abroad, to achieve a deep knowledge of the cultural, intellectual and artistic traditions of the countries they study, and to enhance career opportunities.

Students with no background or limited background in the Spanish language should register for Hispanic Studies 101 (Elementary Spanish I). Students who already have studied Spanish should register following the SAT II Spanish foreign language subject test guidelines (see below) or take Macalester’s on-line placement test (see section on second language proficiency) for help in choosing the appropriate course. Students who have not taken the SAT II or Macalester’s on-line placement test should place themselves according to the number of years of study: one year of high school Spanish is equivalent to one semester college level. The first weeks of the semester allow for some flexibility. Students who find themselves misplaced should find their appropriate level in consultation with a department faculty member. Students who have taken the SAT II should use the following guidelines for placement:

      620 and above              Hispanic Studies 305
      575-619                         Hispanic Studies 204
      475-574                         Hispanic Studies 203
      400-474                         Hispanic Studies 102
      400 and below               Hispanic Studies 101

Students who score at the level of Hispanic Studies 101 or 102 and who have the motivation to work at an accelerated pace might consider the course numbered 110.

Students can also take Portuguese in the department. Those who wish to take Accelerated Beginning Portuguese (111) usually have prior background in Spanish or another Romance language, such as French or Italian, but this is not required. Students taking the intermediate-level Portuguese course (331) in the spring will usually have completed Accelerated Beginning Portuguese, although exceptions are made for students with adequate Portuguese language skills, usually those who are heritage speakers or have lived in or studied in a Portuguese-speaking country. If in doubt about Portuguese placement, please contact Professor Ernesto Ortiz-Díaz: .

LANGUAGE REQUIREMENT

A. To fulfill the language requirement in Spanish, students must attain proficiency at the level reached at the completion of Hispanic Studies 204. Achieving proficiency requires making a personal commitment to acquiring and enhancing Spanish language skills both in class and outside of class. Students who choose to fulfill their language requirement in Spanish may do so by:

  • achieving a score of 620 or higher on the SAT II test with listening, or a score of 700 or higher on the SAT II test without listening;

  • achieving a score of 4-5 on the Advanced Placement exam; or

  • successfully completing Macalester’s Hispanic Studies 204 or the equivalent.

Students who opt for the Advanced Placement Exam must follow the internal policies of the department regarding conditions for advancing from level to level. The department requires that students must attain the minimum grade of C- to advance in the series of required courses (for example, from Spanish 101 to Spanish 102, from Spanish 102 to Spanish 203 and from Spanish 203 to Spanish 204, or a grade of C to advance from 110). If the student’s language proficiency proves to be inadequate, s/he may be required to repeat the level. Students earn credit for 101 and 102 by scoring 5-7 on the International Baccalaureate exam, but these students still need to fulfill the above guidelines to meet the second language proficiency requirement.

B. One can also choose to meet the Macalester College foreign language requirement in Portuguese by completing the intermediate Portuguese language sequence, which includes Accelerated Portuguese (111), and Intermediate Portuguese and Luso-Brazilian Culture (Portuguese 331).

If you have questions about the department or about majoring in Hispanic Studies, please contact Antonio Dorca, chair (), or visit our website: www.macalester.edu/hispanicstudies

Contact:
Antonio Dorca

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History

The discipline of history seeks to investigate events and cultures of the past by focusing on specific historical eras, particular geographic areas, and compelling thematic issues. It uses a wide range of written visual, oral, and material evidence as the basis for constructing contemporary accounts about the past. Historical accounts suggest not only how the past has shaped the present but how any contemporary arrangement represents only one possible result of previous struggles and contingencies. In this sense, history highlights discontinuity as well as pattern, difference as well as similarity, conflict as well as consensus, trauma as well as triumph.  For further information on the department and course offerings, please consult the department website at http://www.macalester.edu/academics/history/about/

In the Fall of 2016, the History Department will be offering a First Year Course on the Transatlantic Slave Trade (History 256-01).  This class examines the Atlantic commerce in African slaves that took place roughly between 1500 and 1800. We will explore, among other topics, transatlantic commerce, the process of turning captives into commodities, the gendered dimensions of the slave trade, resistance to the trade, the world the slaves made, and the abolitionist movement on both sides of the Atlantic. Students will read a range of primary and secondary sources in order to gain a more complex understanding of the slave trade and how it changed over time.

Incoming students are welcome to enroll in 100- and 200-level classes.  Examples of Fall 2016 courses that First-Year Students might find interesting include:

HIST 114-01: History of Africa to 1800
HIST 140: Introduction to East Asian Civilization
HIST 154-01: African Life Histories
HIST 194-01 Getting Medieval: The Middle Ages in the Modern Imaginary
HIST 194-02 Revolutionary Europe in the Long Nineteenth Century
HIST 235-01  Captives, Cannibals, and Capitalists in Early Modern Atlantic World
HIST 236-01  Consumer Nation: American Consumer Culture in the 20th Century
HIST 252-01  Conversion and Inquisition: Religious Change
HIST 294-02  Debating the Civil Rights Movement through Film
HIST 294-07 We Built This City: Towns and City Life from Late Antiquity to the Later Middle Ages

We look forward to meeting you in August.   If you have questions over the summer, please contact Professor Cameron Bradley at cbradley@macalester.edu.

Contact:
Cameron Bradley

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Human Rights and Humanitarianism Interdepartmental Program

This concentration provides students an opportunity to engage in the interdisciplinary study of human rights and humanitarianism. The objectives of the concentration are to cultivate in students:

  • a familiarity with major developments in the history of human rights and humanitarianism;
  • an understanding of the institutional frameworks governing human rights and humanitarianism, including international law, international organizations, civil society movements, etc.; 
  • an understanding of the theoretical and philosophical debates about the meanings of human rights and humanitarianism;
  • a capacity to understand and evaluate practical debates over the methods, motivations, and consequences of human rights and humanitarian action, including but not limited to questions of policy-making, fieldwork, and media and artistic representation;
  • a familiarity with a range of current and past global (including local, national, and international) human rights problems.

Given that students and faculty approach the study of human rights and humanitarianism from a variety of disciplinary perspectives, the program permits students to complete this concentration in conjunction with a wide array of majors.

A concentration in Human Rights and Humanitarianism consists of five courses selected from two lists of courses: Framework Courses and Specialized Courses. Of these five courses, at least two (2) courses must come from the list of Framework Courses and one (1) from Specialized Courses.

Students are encouraged to pursue internships and take study away courses in the areas of human rights and humanitarianism. These may be counted toward the completion of the concentration with the approval of the program coordinator.

Contact:
Wendy Weber

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International Development

The International Development concentration examines long-run transitions in social, economic, political, and cultural institutions that have accompanied industrialization in modern states, particularly focusing on states in the Global South. The field seeks to understand how these historical and contemporary shifts affect people’s welfare and opportunities and how change has affected patterns of wealth and resource distribution within and between countries.

A concentration in International Development requires six courses. These six courses must come from at least three different departments and no more than three courses may come from any single department with no more than two courses coming from a department in which a student is majoring. In addition, a student completing a concentration, minor, or major in an area studies department or program may include no more than two courses from that area studies plan on an International Development concentration plan.

For more information see www.macalester.edu/academics/internationaldevelopment

Contact:
Arjun Guneratne

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International Studies

International Studies is one of Macalester’s flagship majors, and is configurable – often in conjunction with other majors, minors, and concentrations – for a vast range of purposes and interests. It focuses on the interdisciplinary confrontation with globalization, across all regions and in many domains. We offer introductory courses (any of INTL 110-114) that explore key questions in today’s international life and introduce students to our department. Each version has its own focus, and students may choose any of them. There are no prerequisites: thus anyone interested in internationalism at Macalester is warmly welcomed to enroll. Our 200-level courses (especially those on human rights and public health) are suitable for first-years with some prior familiarity with, and/or very keen interest in, their specific subject matters.

International Studies is offering a First Year course in the fall.  The focus of the course is an introductory but rigorous exploration of the concept of "Globalization."

*   A mixture of formal lectures and student oral presentations, followed by collective discussions.
*   Weekly academic readings from a number of disciplinary angles (e.g history, economics, environmental studies, literature and culture, and politics).
*   Formal writing assignments (a total of about 8,000 words) and in-class examinations, including a comprehensive final.

For more information about the International Studies Department see www.macalester.edu/academics/internationstudies

Contact:
Ahmed Samatar (after June 30)

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Latin American Studies Program

Students with an interest in Latin American Studies (LAS) should do the following:

  1. Send a brief email to LAS Director Ernesto Capello at , communicating your interest in Latin American Studies. This will allow you to be informed about opportunities to meet Latin American Studies students and attend LAS events.
  2. Register for a 100- or 200-level Latin American Studies course.
  3. Register for an appropriate Spanish course, such as HISP 101, 102, 110 (accelerated), 203, 204, 220 (accelerated) or 305. If already proficient at the 305 level, consider HISP/LATI 307 (required for a Latin American Studies major) or consider enrolling in Portuguese or French.
  4. Visit Latin American Studies Program to learn more.

Contact:
Ernesto Capello

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Legal Studies Program

The Legal Studies Program offers students a variety of curricular and co-curricular opportunities for students who have interests in law—whether as a career or an intellectual pursuit. In the curriculum, the Legal Studies concentration provides students a course of study that places law within the tradition of the liberal arts, encouraging students to develop a deeper, lasting engagement with Macalester’s mission and their future work. As an interdisciplinary concentration, students find sustained engagement of law-related issues from a variety of perspectives intellectually stimulating and rewarding. As a six-course concentration, it is not essential for students to begin a legal studies concentration during the first year; however, we often find that first year students really enjoy our courses and that they build on these course experiences throughout their time at Macalester.

See www.macalester.edu/academics/legalstudies for more information.

Contact:
Erik Larson
651-696-6309

Patrick Schmidt
651-696-6147

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Linguistics

Linguistics is the scientific study of language, the medium in which we do almost everything that makes us human.

Here are a few introductory courses suitable for first year students.  These courses have no prerequisites.

Linguistics 100 - Introduction to Linguistics.  The aim of this course is to make students aware of the complex organization and systematic nature of language, the primary means of human communication.  We will explore topics such as the sounds of the English language,  endangered languages,  the history of the English language,  child language acquisition and how we learn language, language and the mind, and slang.

 Linguistics 194 – Time and Space in Linguistics.  Human languages exhibit incredible diversity when it comes to talking about time and space. In English, we can't mention an event without situating it in the past, present or future, while most Southeast Asian languages get along just fine without marking tense at all. Some languages talk about direction with cardinal terms like 'north' and 'south', while others make distinctions like 'toward the river' versus 'away from the river'. This course is an introduction to linguistic diversity through the lens of time and space.

For more information, check out our webpage: http://www.macalester.edu/academics/linguistics/

Contact:
Christina Esposito

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Mathematics, Statistics, and Computer Science

Mathematics, Statistics, and Computer Science (MSCS) is a large department with faculty expertise and course offerings in theoretical math, applied math, statistics, and computer science. We offer many great options for first year students, including two first year courses next year. One of the first year courses is a computer science course “Discovering Computer Science by Tasting the Raspberry Pi”, and the other is a mathematics course called “Thinking Like an Engineer.” The computer science course will emphasize exploration and discovery of the breadth of computer science through the use of a microcomputer called the Raspberry Pi. Students will have full-time, 24/7 use of the computer and its peripherals, which can be stowed in a small toolbox, for the entire semester. The other first-year course explores engineering in its full human context including social, ethical, historical, and economic dimensions, showing that engineering design is not solely a technical problem. During the semester, students will engage in a team-developed engineering design project. Other regularly offered courses that are popular with first year students are the calculus courses Applied Multivariable Calculus I, II, and III (MATH 135, 137, and 237), Discrete Mathematics (MATH 279), Introduction to Statistical Modeling (MATH 155), and Core Concepts in Computer Science (COMP 123). In addition, an introductory level topics course on Mathematics and Political Participation (MATH 194) will be offered and team-taught by a math and political science professor. The department offers three different majors, and four minors, including a new Data Science Minor making Macalester a leader amongst liberal arts schools in this “hot” area. Course descriptions, information about our majors and minors, advice on which course to take first and other placement information can all be found on our department website, www.macalester.edu/academics/mscs.  For information on the department's AP/IB policy and subsequent placement recommendations, go to http://www.macalester.edu/academics/mscs/wheredoistart/.  Outside of the classroom, there are many activities for you that take place throughout the year. These range from seminars on interesting topics and aimed at a student audience, to popular problem-solving competitions (from low-key and open to all who wish to participate, to more competitive events requiring deeper background), to informal meetings about various topics like “What’s there to know about study abroad and MSCS?” We begin each year with our annual MSCS Scavenger Hunt and picnic; come meet us and take part! And, be sure to check out the Math & Society Lecture in October.

Contact:
Karen Saxe

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Media and Cultural Studies

The Media and Cultural Studies major analyzes the poetics, politics, and production of media texts, in alignment with the College’s commitment to internationalism, multiculturalism, and civic engagement, using theories and methods drawn from the humanities.  The department offers an innovative ten-course major that includes opportunities for students to combine analysis, history, criticism, and production.

The major provides students with a working knowledge of historians and critics of new media, film, newspapers, radio, and television; helps students develop an ability to explicate a specific body of culture or type of media in depth; and provides students with opportunities to appreciate different kinds of media and to produce original work.

Students take at least ten courses toward the major. Four courses are required:

  • The introductory course, Texts and Power: Foundations of Media and Cultural Studies (MCST 110), which covers the history of cultural analysis, broadly defined, from traditional to contemporary approaches, providing students with a foundation in major writings and acquainting students with issues of continuing debate in media studies. Completion of or enrollment in 110 is required for admission into the major program.
  • MCST 128, Film Analysis and Visual Culture.
  • MCST 126, Local News Media Institutions, or INTL/MCST 202, Global Media Industries.
  • MCST 488, capstone Advanced Topic Seminar, in which students work on an independent project in line with the theme of the seminar and share their scholarship with a scholarly community, integrating what they have learned in the major. The capstone experience involves close analysis of cultural artifacts that examine at a higher level issues first raised in the introductory course. In exceptional cases, students with sufficient preparation may take the seminar prior to their senior year. Students may complete their honors projects in the capstone seminar.

The major also requires one advanced course in media/cultural theory, two courses on race or gender/sexuality and the media, one course in analyzing or making media, and two approved electives in media studies. Additional professional courses are available at the University of St. Thomas and other ACTC schools.

The media studies minor is for students interested in journalism or media studies or a combination. It requires five courses, including MCST 126, Media Institutions, or INTL/MCST 202, Global Media Industries. The minor concentrates on media studies and offers opportunities for critical research as well as for pre-professional experience in media production.

Students in the department have found opportunities for internships with arts and other nonprofit organizations and with media companies. Graduates have found employment in the media, in government, and in social and cultural institutions as well as opportunities for further study in doctoral programs and professional schools.

Students who enroll as majors or minors are invited to department events and notified of internships, conferences, and other off-campus opportunities. While enrolling as a major or minor requires a tentative course selection, students may change their selections before their last semester, provided they remain within major or minor requirements. More information is available at: Media and Cultural Studies.

Contact:
Leola Johnson

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Middle Eastern Studies and Islamic Civilization Interdepartmental Program

The broad goal of this concentration is to provide students with an opportunity to engage in the interdisciplinary study of the Middle East and the broader Islamic world. Somewhat more specifically, the objectives of the concentration are to cultivate in students (a) a basic familiarity with culture, politics, religion, philosophy, literature, economy, and geography of both the Middle East and the wider Islamic world; (b) an understanding of some of the major theoretical and/or methodological approaches to the study of both the Middle East and the Islamic world; (c) an appreciation of the social, political, and cultural diversity/complexity of the Middle East and Islamic World; (d) a sympathetic understanding of a relevant worldwide or cultural perspective different from his/her own; (e) a capacity to engage thoughtfully and constructively in potentially difficult dialogues regarding some of the more contentious issues affecting the region/civilization (e.g. US intervention in Iraq, the Arab-Israeli conflict); and (f) if possible, facilitate knowledge of a language that is spoken natively by people of the Middle East or Islamic world.

Given that students and faculty approach the study of Middle East and Islamic civilization from a variety of disciplinary perspectives, the program permits students to complete this concentration in conjunction with a wide array of majors. The program promotes breadth by requiring that students complete courses (in several departments) dealing with both the Middle East and the wider Islamic world; it promotes depth by requiring a capstone project focused on a relevant topic.

For more information, go to www.macalester.edu/academics/mesic

Contact:
Brett Wilson

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Music

All students may participate in the Music Department, which offers courses, ensembles, and lessons in a variety of musical traditions. Our first-year course in Passion Music will be appropriate for not only students interested in sacred vocal music, but also anyone interested in studying music more generally at Macalester. Students considering the major or minor in music should register for Theory I (offered in fall semesters only). Courses appropriate for general students include World Music and Music Appreciation. Students are encouraged to audition for any of our ensembles—African Music Ensemble, Macalester Concert Choir, Macalester Chorale, Macalester Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, Mac Jazz Band, Jazz and Popular Music Combos, Pipe Band, Early Music Ensemble, Chamber Music Ensembles—at the beginning of each semester. Private lessons are available for an extra fee to all Macalester students. Registration for lessons and ensembles takes place during the first week of classes.

See the department website for more information www.macalester.edu/academics/music

Contact:
Victoria Malawey

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Neuroscience Studies

Students interested in majoring in Neuroscience Studies should complete a number of introductory level courses in biology, chemistry and psychology before taking courses specifically related to neuroscience beyond the introductory course, Neuroscience Studies 180: Brain, Mind and Behavior. If you are interested in this major, in addition to the Brain, Mind and Behavior course, you should consider taking several of the following courses during your first year: Biology 260 (Cell Biology) and Biology 265 (Genetics), Chemistry 111 (General Chemistry I), Chemistry 112 (General Chemistry II) Math 155 (Introduction to Statistical Modeling) and Computer Science 120 (Computing and Society) or 123 (Core Concepts in Computer Science)

See www.macalester.edu/academics/neuroscience for more information.

Contact:
Eric Wiertelak

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Philosophy

This fall the Philosophy Department is pleased to offer three First Year Courses:

Ethics.-- Prof. Sam Asarnow
Introduction to Philosophy: Bodies, Minds and Selves -- Professor Joy Laine
Thinking Like an Engineer -- Profs. Diane Michelfelder and Daniel Flath

The Department is also offering a number of regular courses suitable for first-year students:

Ethics -- Prof. Sam Asarnow
Introduction to Symbolic Logic (2 sections) -- Prof. Janet Folina
Environmental Ethics -- Prof. Joy Laine
Philosophy of Religion -- Prof. Joy Laine
Ancient and Medieval Philosophies -- Prof. Geoffrey Gorham

More information about these and other philosophy courses can be found at the Registrar's website or the department website or by contacting the department chair, Prof. Geoffrey Gorham. http://www.macalester.edu/academics/philosophy/

Introduction to Philosophy (Phil 100) and Ethics (PHIL 121) provide excellent introductions to the field of philosophy. Introduction to Philosophy addresses a wide range of philosophical topics and enables students to gain an understanding of philosophy in general. Ethics provides a more focused introduction to the field of moral philosophy and is required for a major in philosophy. Introduction to Philosophy and Ethics sometimes have a special focus even though they cover a range of topics. This fall, for example, one Introduction to Philosophy is on ‘Philosophy of the Future’.

Introduction to Symbolic Logic (PHIL 111) and Critical Thinking (PHIL 110) are also introductory level courses that are suitable for first-year students. They focus on formal and informal reasoning (respectively), rather than traditional philosophical issues such as right and wrong, truth, or reality. They provide students with important tools of criticism and analysis that are useful in all coursework and beyond college.

At the 200-level there are several more courses that are somewhat more specialized, but that do not have pre-requisites. New students are welcome to take, for example, Ancient and Medieval Philosophies, Environmental Ethics, Bio-Medical Ethics and Indian Philosophies when these courses are offered. Ancient and Medieval Philosophies is required for a major in philosophy, but all of these courses count towards the major (in the form of electives when not required).

Contact:
Geoffrey Gorham

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Physical Education

The department of physical education provides students the opportunity to develop or improve skills in activity classes and/or compete in a wide range of recreational, intramural, club and intercollegiate sports.

ACTIVITY COURSES

A variety of activity classes are offered through the department of physical education. Students may earn a maximum of four credits toward graduation for participating in four different physical education activity classes. Each class is one credit and all activity classes are graded S/NC.

Contact:
Vanessa Seljeskog

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Physics

In the fall of 2016, the Department of Physics & Astronomy will offer a first year course on Biomechanics (Physics 294).  Taught by Professor Jim Doyle (), this course will cover topics in classical mechanics with an emphasis on applications in animal anatomy and physiology.  Topics include description of motion (kinematics), Newton's Laws of Motion, potential and kinetic energy, oscillations, torque and rotational motion, and stress and strain of materials, with applications to structural aspects of organism design, mechanical properties of biological tissue, animal locomotion, and exercise physiology.  The course has a corequisite of Math 135 (Applied Calculus) or equivalent experience in calculus. The course is equivalent to Physics 226 Principles of Physics I, and upon successful completion of the course students may take Physics 227 Principles of Physics II.

For first-year students interested in physics and not enrolled in the physics FYC on biomechanics, the recommended starting point is to enroll in PHYS 226 ("Principles of Physics I") and MATH 135 ("Applied Multivariable Calculus I") during the fall semester of the first year.  Previous experience and testing may warrant placement in more advanced courses; please contact Professor James Doyle or Professor John Cannon (), Chair, Physics & Astronomy, with any questions.  Details about the physics major and required courses can be found at http://www.macalester.edu/academics/physics/majorsminors/.

Information about the department's AP/IB policy and subsequent placement recommendations can be found at http://www.macalester.edu/academics/physics/majorsminors/apibpolicy/

Contact:
James Doyle

John Cannon
651-696-6798

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Political Science

Political Science is offering two First Year Courses. Professor Lesley Lavery's POLI 205: Politics and Policymaking introduces students to how policies are shaped through the American political process. Professor Adrienne Christiansen's POLI 270: Rhetoric of Campaigns and Elections will use the November elections to think about how powerful campaign messages are formed, and to develop skill at doing so. Though our First Year Courses this year reflect American politics, the department reserves places for entering students in all of our Foundations courses, including the Foundations of International Politics, Foundations of Comparative Politics, Foundations of Political Theory, and Foundations of US Politics. For more information, visit: http://www.macalester.edu/academics/politicalscience/ or contact the department chair, Patrick Schmidt, at .

Contact:
Patrick Schmidt

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Premedical Program

For those of you interested in medical school or veterinary school or dentistry, you should seriously consider enrolling in General Chemistry 111 or 115 during your first semester (see the Chemistry section for details). All medical schools require the equivalent of one year (2 semesters) of general chemistry and an additional two to three semesters of advanced chemistry.

In addition, all medical schools require two – five semesters of biology with lab and two semesters of physics with lab. For biology courses, we recommend taking at least Genetics (BIOL 260) and Cell Biology (BIOL 265). If you are considering taking a biology course your first semester, you should take Genetics (BIOL 260) or Biodiversity & Evolution (BIOL 270) or the first year course in biology. Cell Biology is generally taken in the sophomore year due to the prerequisite of Chemistry 112 or 115. In addition to these courses, medical schools are also increasingly requiring a course in the behavioral sciences, which can be satisfied by taking either PSYC 100 or SOCI 110. Statistics and courses that demonstrate writing proficiency are also common requirements for medical school.

If you are interested in any premedical area (medicine, nursing, dentistry, public health, etc.) you should consult one of the health professions advisors [Professor Devavani Chatterjea/Biology, Professor Mary Montgomery/Biology, or Professor Lin Aanonsen (on sabbatical for Fall 2016), Director of the Health Professions Advising Committee/Biology] very early in your first year for academic advice. You should also contact Patty Byrne Pfalz (HPAC Administrative Assistant) in the biology department to be included on the Health Professions mailing list (pfalz@macalester.edu). For information on health professions advising at Macalester go to: www.macalester.edu/hpa/.

Contact:
Mary Montgomery (Biology)

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Psychology

The Psychology Department will offer a First Year Course called "The Origin of Consciousness."  

In the book The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind psychologist Julian Jaynes argues that humans became self-conscious only about 3000 years ago, and before that operated as virtual automatons obeying hallucinated voices that they attributed to gods. Described as either “consummate genius” or “complete rubbish”, the book provides a vehicle for exploring the psychology of language, religion, decision-making, creativity, mental illness, and of course, consciousness. This course will discuss these topics while reading Jaynes’ book as well as supplemental texts from psychology and neuroscience. In addition, the course is writing intensive, and students will gain explicit instruction, feedback, and practice in thesis-driven argumentative writing.

If you scored a 4 or a 5 on the AP exam in Psychology, a 5, 6, or 7 on the IB higher level Psychology exam, or submitted qualifying GCE A-level grades, you may get credit for PSYC100 and are welcome to take any intermediate-level class in the psychology department. If you ultimately decide to major in psychology, you will get placement credit for intro psych but will still take 11 courses for the major.

For more information, go to www.macalester.edu/academics/psychology

Contact:

Joan Ostrove
651-696-6775

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Religious Studies

Religious Studies is a broadly interdisciplinary investigation that takes its place among the humanities and social sciences. Majors in religious studies enter a wide range of vocations; only some are conventionally related to ‘Religious Studies,’ including but not limited to the pursuit of graduate work in the study of religion or professional life in the parish ministry/rabbinate. The department works with students who wish to focus on the academic study of religion, as well as those who seek courses in religion to help them frame and interrogate issues provoked in other academic areas. As a key part of human culture and history, Religious Studies encourages critical thinking about cultural, moral, and ethical processes unfolding in the world; majors bring this perspective with them when they enter fields as diverse as journalism, law, medicine, and community activism.

First year course for fall:  Introduction to Buddhism with Erik Davis

These classes may also be of interest:
Reli-194-02 World Religions and World Religions Discourse
Reli-135 India and Rome
Reli-194-01 American Judaisms Since 1945: From Religion to Trip to Post Ethnic

Introductory courses are broad in scope, even as they seek to be selective enough to allow an in-depth encounter with source documents situated within their historical, literary, and social contexts. Methods of instruction include not only lectures and small group discussion, but also opportunities for independent study and research, one-on-one engagement with faculty, and site-specific projects in the Twin Cities and beyond.

For more information, go to www.macalester.edu/academics/religiousstudies

Contact:
Jim Laine
651-696-6789

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Russian Studies

Russia and its neighbors encompass a fifth of the world--nine time zones--covering a wide range of languages, religions, ethnicities, ecosystems, and traditions. In Russian Studies, we explore this region’s dynamic and complex nations, whose influences are felt across the globe, and whose peoples have produced some of the world’s most enduring works of art. Our program provides guided pathways into discovering this region’s people, dramatic history, and contributions to world culture.

The Russian Studies faculty are passionate about cross-disciplinary inquiry. We teach about Russia and the post-Soviet sphere through history, law, gender studies, political science, material culture, disability studies, and human rights. We offer language courses from elementary to advanced levels. Our courses on literature, revolutionary movements, popular culture, visual arts, cinema, and translation are taught in English with no prerequisites. Motivated students are welcome to set up independent studies with us.

Our students have many options for experiential learning. By helping the local Russian-speaking community, presenting at student research conferences, or working as interns in local organizations, students acquire transferable skills to complement those that they pick up in the classroom. The Russian Studies major is interdisciplinary by design, combining language instruction, culture classes, and coursework in fields such as international studies, economics, and history. We help our majors develop their aptitude in writing, research, critical thinking, and cross-cultural understanding, skills that position students well for a wide range of careers.

For detailed information about the Russian Studies faculty, course offerings, the structure of the major and minor, study abroad, and civic engagement opportunities, see the department website at http://www.macalester.edu/russian

Contact:
Jim von Geldern


Julia Chadaga

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Sociology

sociology webpage: http://www.macalester.edu/academics/sociology/index.html

One of the classic statements on the nature and uses of sociological approaches to understanding the human condition comes from C. Wright Mills in his widely acclaimed book, The Sociological Imagination. Mills’ insights are as vital and compelling at the advent of the twenty-first century as they were in the middle of the twentieth. “The sociological imagination in considerable part consists of the capacity to shift from one perspective to another, and in the process build up an adequate view of a society and its components,” Mills reminds us. Sociological insight is synonymous with theoretical and methodological pluralism. The inherent complexities of social life cannot be wholly captured in any one theoretical or methodological approach, even as much as any one perspective may generate lasting, important insights into various dimensions of social processes. A sociological imagination serves well the objectives of a liberal education, the hallmark of which is a spirit of open-minded inquiry, a tolerance and respect for disparate ways of observing and understanding. A sociological imagination cultivates in students the skill to draw upon diverse perspectives to make “informed judgments and interpretations of the broader world around them.” The eclectic search for knowledge is sociology’s strength, and to the extent that the discipline identifies itself with political or intellectual orthodoxy, it diminishes its contributions to the liberal arts.   

Another enduring value of a sociological imagination is to help people understand how to situate their own lives in an era of far-reaching social change: “Seldom aware of the intricate connection between the patterns of their own life and the course of world history, ordinary people do not usually know what this connection means for the kinds of individuals they are becoming and for the kinds of history-making in which they might take part. They do not possess the quality of mind essential to grasp the interplay of individual and society, of biography and history, of self and the world. They cannot cope with their personal troubles in such ways to control the social transformations that usually lie behind them. It is not only information that they need. What they need is a quality of mind that will help them use information and to develop reason in order to achieve lucid summations of what is going on in the world. The sociological imagination enables its possessor to understand the larger historical scene in terms of its meaning for the inner life and external career of a variety of individuals.”

We inhabit a world not entirely of our own making. We are the inheritors of organizations and ideas that commonly have an authoritative or taken-for-granted quality about them. One of the principal aims of sociology is to impart comparative and historical perspectives on the origins of contemporary institutions that have immediate and lasting relevance for the lives and livelihood of students -- whether they are markets, corporations, governments, families, schools, colleges, or any other social collectivity. How did we get where we are now at this particular moment in history? What kinds of social transformations are taking place in the midst of our lifetimes? What might the future look like?

Contact:
Erik Larson

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Theatre and Dance

Welcome to Macalester and the Theatre and Dance Department. We are a committed team of teachers, artists, technicians and – especially – students like you.

We work and play together in classrooms, rehearsal studios and onstage/backstage to make Macalester’s theatre and dance programs one of the BEST liberal arts performance programs in the nation. We are HAPPY to have you join us.

Let us take this opportunity to tell you about some of the Theatre and Dance courses open to you and our upcoming season.

Fall courses OPEN to New Students:
Introduction to Theatre Studies
Technical Theatre
Voice and Speech
Fundamentals of Scenography
Creative Technologies: Tools of Design--email Prof. Megan Reilly, , if you are interested in taking this course

PERFORMING LABOR
THDA Theme for 2016- 2017 Season
Performing artists work.  The making of performance, whether as performer, designer or master electrician in the lighting grid, requires research and analysis, the development of technique and craft over arcs of years, and skills of patience, collaboration and improvisation.  In this season, THDA is calling attention to the ways we work, the values and in/visibility of labor, and the disciplinary powers invested in performing labor.  We are also, in our productions, representing labor and issues that workers face personally, locally and globally.  Our season invites conversations among students and colleagues about work -- purposeful, compulsory, under-compensated, stolen, joyous -- and the ways workers, we, wrest meaning from workaday lives.

The season’s offering:
Fall Family Fest Weekend:  Dance and Theatre Sampler:
A window into Student Choreographers and THDA Classes
Performances: Sept 30, October 1;   6:30  PM

URINETOWN THE MUSICAL   directed by Harry Waters Jr.
Campus auditions open to all: Sept 15,16, 17
Performances: November 4,5,6, 10, 11, 12

FALL DANCE CONCERT:  Faculty and Student works
Performances: December 2, 3

MEDEA by Euripedes, music by Joseph Barber, adapted by Barbra Berlovitz
Orchestra, Dance and Theatre presentation in Mairs Hall
Performances:  February 17, 18

ACUTE CARE: New work about Nurses and Health Care/Givers directed/devised by Beth Cleary
Performances:  April 6,7,8      (Possible Tour April 13, 14, 15)

SPRING DANCE CONCERT: Student Produced and Choreographed
Performance:  April 28, 29

Please come to an information session about the department on Friday afternoon of the first week of school, at 4:30 PM in the theater.  And check out the website http://www.macalester.edu/theatreanddance/

Contact:
Harry Waters Jr.

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Urban Studies Interdepartmental Program

The Urban Studies concentration is designed for students who major in a variety of disciplines and are interested in urbanization and wish to gain an interdisciplinary perspective on city life.  Geography 241 or any of the 100- or 200-level electives from contributing departments (e.g. American Studies, Educational Studies, History, Political Science, Theatre and Dance) provide an appropriate introduction to the urban studies program for first-year students.  Please see the website for further information: http://www.macalester.edu/academics/urbanstudies/

Contact:
Laura Smith

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Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies (WGSS) as an academic program grows out of a history of struggles by women and other minorities for social and political justice.  The classes are based in that historical understanding of ourselves as people who enjoy the privileges and bear the responsibilities of those efforts.  If you are interested in taking a WGSS course in your first semester, we recommend either “Introduction to Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies” (WGSS 100) or “Gender & Sport” (WGSS 102). These courses will provide a strong foundation on feminisms and gender in the matrix of race, class, and sexuality. They will also prepare you for more advanced courses in the WGSS curriculum. “Latin America through Women’s Eyes” (WGSS 141) is also available for you to take in your first semester and is cross-listed with Latin American Studies and Political Science.  Please see the WGSS website for course descriptions and more information about our major and minor (www.macalester.edu/WGSS).

Contact:
Joan Ostrove

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