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The information contained in this section is written specifically to address common concerns and interests of new students and to give general information about academic departments.
We encourage you to call or e-mail the faculty members designated by each department with your specific questions about their course offerings, recommended sequences, or requirements for majors, minors or concentrations. For general questions you may also call the Academic Programs Office, (651) 696-6036, or the Registrar’s Office, (651) 696-6200 or go to the Registrar’s web page at http://www.macalester.edu/registrar.
African Studies Interdepartmental Program
The interdepartmental program in African Studies offers a concentration that consists of six Africa-related courses. The broad theme of the African Studies concentration is Africa in a global context, recognizing the faculty’s desire to instill an understanding of the continent’s internal and external forces. Students are encouraged to take courses that help them place the region in its proper historical and global political economic context while understanding its intellectual, cultural and biophysical energies. Given that students and faculty approach African Studies from many disciplinary perspectives, the program allows students to begin this concentration from a variety of entry points. Please check individual department listings or the program website for such courses. The program promotes breadth by requiring courses in several departments, and depth by requiring a lengthy Africa-related paper in an existing senior seminar or independent study. Many African Studies concentrators study abroad for a semester in Africa. The concentration provides many opportunities for faculty and students to come together around a shared intellectual interest. Recommended courses for first year students include: History of Africa to 1800 (History 114), Geography of Africa: Local Resources and Livelihoods in a Global Context (Geography 243) and Farm and Forest: African Environmental History (History 239).
The Department of American Studies serves as the academic focal point for scholarly engagement with multiculturalism. The department’s emphasis is on the study of race and ethnicity in a national and transnational frame. American Studies 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.
American Studies provides an interdisciplinary approach to the study of racial categories and racialized experiences in the United States by encouraging close and systematic examination of a wide range of cultural and political narratives, and by creating structured opportunities to apply theoretical concepts in concrete settings of civic engagement. The department underscores the central significance of race in shaping every aspect of U.S. history and contemporary life. We encourage our students to take advantage of study abroad or away programs or the many interesting possibilities for internships.
As an interdisciplinary department, American Studies draws faculty from, and cross-lists classes with, many other departments. The department offers both a major and a minor. You can decide to double major in American Studies and any other discipline of your choice (or major/minor), for example, history or political science. Cross-listed classes enable you to count credits in both disciplines.
Courses numbered 100-199 are designed for beginning students. Mid-level courses (numbered 200-299) are also open to new students who have a special background or interest in the subject of the course. We will be happy to answer any questions that you may have.
Kathie Scott (department coordinator)
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. 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. Students interested in exploring the major may choose from 101 or 111. 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. A student may petition the department to be exempted from the study abroad 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.
Art and Art History
The Art and Art History Department offers studio classes in a variety of mediums as well as courses that focus on the historical, social and cultural aspects of artistic production. Non-majors are welcome to take courses in the department, as long as pre-requisites are met. The Art major has three emphases: Art Studio Emphasis plan, Art History Emphasis plan and the Dual Degree Architecture Program (with Washington University’s School of Architecture in St. Louis). Twelve courses are required for either the studio or history emphasis; the dual degree program requires three years of study at Macalester before transferring to Washington University. Students interested in majoring in art are encouraged to take one of the foundation courses: Drawing 1 (Art 130), Introduction to Visual Culture (Art 149), or a 100 level art history course. Additional information can be found on the department website, macalester.edu/art.
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, literature, film, art, music, and society in Asia, and for the more focused study of Japanese or Chinese language and culture. The department thus offers an interdisciplinary major and minor in Asian Studies (with a focus on China, Japan, or South Asia), a major and minor in Japanese Language and Culture, and a major and minor in Chinese Language and Culture. See the department website at: macalester.edu/asian for more information on the structure of each major and about the faculty and fields of study involved.
CHINESE LANGUAGE AND CULTURE
The department offers both Chinese language and culture courses. There are four levels of language instruction offered: first-year, second-year, third-year, and fourth-year. Students with prior background in the study of Chinese may be placed in one of these levels based on their performance on a placement test that measures the four skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing. The culture courses offered in the department include literature, film, and translation courses. See the department website at macalester.edu/asian for information about the courses, faculty, and structure of the major and minor.
To fulfill the language requirement in Chinese a student must attain proficiency at the level equivalent to the completion of CHIN 204, Second Year Chinese II. Students may take the sequence of Chinese courses through CHIN 204 (CHIN 101, 102, 203 and 204) or they may demonstrate that they have achieved equivalent proficiency by earning an appropriate score on a placement test administered by the Asian Languages and Cultures department. Students who wish to enroll in a level higher than First Year Chinese I (CHIN 101) should take a placement test to determine the appropriate level. Students with prior background in Chinese should proceed to register for the level they think is suitable, and then arrange to take a placement test during orientation (8:00AM on Friday, August 30th in Humanities 111) or during the first week of classes. The results of the placement test may or may not require a move to another class. Contact Professor Patricia Anderson for information about the placement test.
JAPANESE LANGUAGE AND CULTURE
The department offers both Japanese language and culture courses. There are four levels of language instruction offered: first-year, second-year, third-year, and fourth-year. Students with prior background in the study of Japanese may be placed in one of these levels based on their performance on a placement test that measures the four skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing. The culture courses offered in the department include literature, film, linguistics, and translation courses. See the department website at macalester.edu/asian for information about the courses, faculty, and structure of the major and minor.
To fulfill the language requirement in Japanese a student must attain proficiency at the level equivalent to the completion of Japanese 204, Second Year Japanese II. Students may take the sequence of Japanese courses through Japanese 204 (Japanese 101, 102, 203 and 204) or they may demonstrate that they have achieved equivalent proficiency by earning an appropriate score on a placement test administered by the Asian Languages and Cultures department. Students who wish to enroll in a level higher than First Year Japanese I (Japanese 101) should take a placement test to determine the appropriate level. Students with prior background in Japanese should proceed to register for the level they think is suitable, and then arrange to take a placement test during orientation (8:00AM on Friday, August 30th in Humanities 110) or during the first week of classes. The results of the placement test may or may not require a move to another class. Contact Professor Satoko Suzuki for information about the placement test.
If you are considering a major in biology you should take at least one of the four core courses listed below during your first year. If you can get into one of the courses during the fall semester, then you can take a second one during spring semester.
- Biology 260 Genetics
- Biology 265 Cell Biology
- Biology 270 Biodiversity and Evolution
- Biology 285 Ecology
These required courses may be taken in any order, however, Biology 265 (Cell Biology) should be taken in the sophomore year after a year of chemistry. Note: Biology 255 (Cell Biology & Genetics Laboratory) must be taken concurrently with either Biology 260 or 265.
If you are planning to major in biology, we strongly advise you to begin the general chemistry sequence (Chemistry 111 General Chemistry I) during the first semester.
Students considering a major in biology and interested in taking a math course should take Math 135 (applied calculus), which is required for a biology major. Students should not take Math 137 (single variable calculus) unless they also plan to take Math 237 (multi-variable calculus) at some point in the future. Math 137 will not count toward a biology major unless it is accompanied by Math 237.
Students who received a score of 5 on the Advanced Placement (AP) biology exam or a score of 5 or better on the International Baccalaureate (IB) biology exam will receive 4 or 8 credits, respectively, in general biology. These credits will count toward the credit total required for graduation, but may not be used toward a biology major or minor, or in fulfilling the distribution requirement in natural sciences and mathematics. Upon consultation with the department chair, biology students with such test scores may be exempt from taking one of the core biology courses (Biology 260, 265, 270 or 285). Those wishing such an exemption are required to substitute for that requirement an intermediate level laboratory course in the area of the exemption.
Chemistry 111 (General Chemistry I) and 112 (General Chemistry II) constitute a “standard” first-year college introductory chemistry sequence. Chemistry 115 (Accelerated General Chemistry) is an accelerated course aimed at students intending to major in chemistry; it covers the key topics from both Chemistry 111 and 112 in a single semester.
Most students wishing to take chemistry will take Chemistry 111. Well-prepared entering students (those who possess strong mathematical skills and took advanced chemistry in high school, or did exceptionally well in standard high school chemistry) who are considering chemistry as a major are encouraged to enroll in Chemistry 115. Students who learned the topics of Chemistry 111 (atomic structure, bonding, and quantitative treatment of equilibria, including acid-base chemistry) prior to arriving at Macalester may wish to consider placing directly into Chemistry 112 and skipping 111.
Adequate preparation for Chemistry 115, or for waiving the prerequisite requirement for 112, may be demonstrated by any of the following:
- A score of 4 or 5 on the Chemistry Advanced Placement (AP) test
- A score of 5 or higher on either of the Chemistry International Baccalaureate (IB) exams (HL or SL)
- Satisfactory performance on the appropriate chemistry placement test, administered during orientation (if your score is too low, you will be required to take Chemistry 111.)
If they request it from the Registrar and document their accomplishment thereof, students with a Higher Level IB Chemistry score of 5 or higher may receive transfer credit for Chemistry 111. The same holds for students with an AP Chemistry score of 4 or 5, with adequate documentation of their laboratory experience (typically their AP Chemistry course lab notebook) presented to the Chemistry Department Lab Supervisor. This credit is retained even if the student completes Chem 115.
The Macalester Department of Classics is one of the most active classics departments in the nation among leading liberal arts colleges. The department teaches courses in Latin, Greek, Hebrew and Arabic as well as many courses pertaining to Greek, Roman, and Middle Eastern culture and civilization.
There are three tracks through the classics major: Classical Civilization, Classical Archaeology, and Classical Languages. The department specializes in the history, cultures, politics and religions of the ancient Greek, Roman, and Middle Eastern worlds. Students engage the diverse worlds of antiquity through a variety of media, including ancient texts, texts in translation, art, architecture, iconography, and material culture, and through the disciplinary approaches of literature, history and archaeology.
The classics department regularly hosts international conferences and speakers on the Macalester campus, including recent Middle East peace summits. We host a chapter of the Eta Sigma Phi honor society and organize visits to museums, theatrical productions, special exhibits, and the like. Students have held local internships at the Science Museum, Minnesota Institute of Arts, and the Minnesota History Museum.
We advise new students interested in classics to begin or continue to study one of our languages. We also encourage you to enroll in one of our introductory level (100s) civilization courses. Those being offered in the fall are:
- Classics 121 The Greek World
- Classics 194 Early Arab and Persian Empires
All four languages offered by the classics department (Arabic, Greek, Hebrew and Latin) fulfill the College’s language requirement. To fulfill this requirement in any of the classical languages, students must successfully complete the equivalent of four (4) semesters of college level study in a single language. For those with some experience in these languages, placement into a language level is done through an interview with a department faculty member during orientation or the first week of class. Specific guidelines for students with experience in Latin are found below.
The department regularly directs study abroad programs in summer and/or January. Recent and upcoming study abroad opportunities with members of the department include; Rome and Pompeii, Alexandria and Cairo, Israel and Palestine.
GUIDELINES FOR LATIN PLACEMENT
Rather than administer a placement exam, the Macalester classics department prefers to place students into our Latin program on the basis of either the number of years they have studied Latin previously, or their performances on an Advanced Placement Latin exam. The guidelines for these are listed below. If there are further questions, please contact Professor Severy-Hoven at 651-696-6721 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Latin Program Primer: Every fall, we offer the first semester of elementary (Classics 111) and the first semester of intermediate (Classics 231: Prose). Every spring, we offer the second semester of elementary (Classics 212) and the second semester of intermediate (Classics 232: Poetry). Every other year we offer advanced Latin (Classics 483). Contact the department for further information on these advanced options.
Placement Based on Course Experience
For those who have not taken an AP exam, students with two years of high school Latin or less are strongly encouraged to begin again with the first semester of elementary. Some material will be review, but review is good, and is far superior to feeling lost. Students with three years of high school Latin may consider starting at the second semester of elementary, which usually begins with participles and the subjunctive mood. (Note, however, that the first semester is offered only in the fall, the second only in the spring; therefore, if you discover that the second semester is too hard, you’ll have to wait until the following fall to take up Latin.) Students with more than three years experience may enroll in the first semester of intermediate to find out if this level is appropriate, but many may find that they prefer to drop back into the second semester of elementary in the spring.
Placement Based on Advanced Placement Exam
College credit is obtainable only through the Latin AP exam. For a score of 4 or 5, a student earns credit for a course equivalent to the first semester of intermediate Latin. In order to fulfill the college language requirement, students need to take the second semester of intermediate in the spring. If they would like some grammatical review and have not read much prose, however, students are strongly encouraged to enroll in the first semester of the intermediate in the fall.
Students who earn a 3 receive credit for a course equivalent to the second semester of elementary Latin. They should enroll in the first semester of intermediate (Latin 231: Prose). They will be able to complete the college language requirement by taking one year of intermediate Latin.
Students who earn below a 3 should begin again with Classics 111.
Finally, anyone with experience in Latin who intends to pursue Classics more broadly while at Macalester is strongly encouraged to begin their study of ancient Greek during their first year.
We look forward to seeing you around the Classics department!
Community and Global Health
The concentration in Community and Global Health provides students with an array of analytical frameworks for understanding the complexities of population health and offers opportunities to integrate and apply these frameworks within the context of course work, civic engagement, and independent research. 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 human and animal health at the population level.
For additional information, please consult our website, macalester.edu/cgh.
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.
Of the five courses required for the concentration, at least three (3) courses must come from the list of Core Courses; up to two (2) may be chosen from the list of electives. No more than twelve (12) of the twenty-four (24) credits counted toward the concentration may be taken in any single department. All courses and the activity in which the student will produce the major research paper should be chosen with the assistance of the program advisor.
The major research paper must focus primarily on Critical Theory and must be completed in the senior year or after the student has taken four CT courses—whichever comes first. Students may fulfill this requirement by completing:
- a departmental senior seminar that requires a major paper engaging with Critical Theory;
- a departmental Honors project focused on Critical Theory; or
- an equivalent research paper or project approved in advance by the program coordinator (e.g. an independent study with a participating faculty member; a Keck summer research project).
Projects should be selected and developed as part of a coherent plan in consultation with an advisor from the steering committee, and must be approved by the director of the program. A copy of the final project should also be supplied to the program director.
Students are encouraged to take courses on Critical Theory during their study abroad. Up to one course may be counted toward the completion of the concentration with the advance approval of the program director.
Principles of Economics (Economics 119) is a prerequisite to most other courses in the department and is intended for majors and non-majors alike. Once students complete Econ 119, the next step is to take a “200s level” course in which economic principles are applied to specific areas of interest, such as international economics, environmental economics, or economics of gender. Thus, a student who believes he/she has already completed the equivalent of Econ 119 should register instead for a course in the 200s level – but should check with the department chair soon after arrival on campus to be sure this is the right choice. (If in doubt, students intending an economics major should register for Econ 119. Subsequent courses will build on this foundation, and it’s important that the foundation be solid!)
Students who have a more general interest in economics, may want to take one of the department’s introductory courses for non-majors.
Students considering an economics major should also take as much math as possible. Economics majors are required to take statistics and calculus. In most instances Math 155 (Introduction to Statistical Modeling) and Math 237 (Multivariate Calculus) are the most appropriate choices for fulfilling these requirements. For students who are not comfortable with math, Math 135 (Applied Calculus) is an acceptable alternative to Math 237.
The department website offers a variety of information about the department, including information on career preparation, internships, and student opportunities in the department.
MAJORS AND MINORS IN 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.
First-year students considering an English major should begin with a course numbered between 105 and 194. Except for 150, all of these courses are a prerequisite for literature courses numbered 300 and above. All of the 100’s courses and most of the 200’s are recommended for non-majors as well.
Students considering an English major emphasizing creative writing should also begin their work in creative writing sometime during the first year. English 150, Introduction to Creative Writing, must be completed at Macalester before undertaking intermediate, advanced or independent work in creative writing.
Credits for Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate exams are determined as follows:
1. Students who score a 4 or 5 on the English Language/Composition test will be awarded a grade of “S” for English 101, College Writing.
2. Students who score a 4 or 5 on the English Literature/Composition test will be awarded a grade of “S” for English 125, Studies in Literature.
3. Students who score 5 or higher on the higher level International Baccalaureate English exam receive credit for English 125, Studies in Literature, with a grade of “S.”
4. Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate credit may not be included in the minimum number of courses for a major or minor in English. The Registrar understands that students given credit for English 125 through AP or IB may also take an actual 125 course for credit.
See the Catalog for descriptions of major and minor plans.
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 though core courses and a required off-campus internship. Students may major or minor in environmental studies.
Requirements for the major:
All ES majors are required to take--
Three introductory ES courses:
ENVI 133 Environmental Science (offered Spring 2014) or ENVI 140 The Earth’s Climate System (offered Fall 2013)
ENVI 215 Environmental Politics and Policy (take in the first or second year)
ENVI 234 American Environmental History (take in the first or second year)
Other required core courses:
ENVI 280 Environmental Classics (take in second year)
ENVI 489 Environmental Leadership Practicum and ENVI 490 Environmental Studies Leadership Seminar (take in junior year), and ENVI 488 Senior Seminar
In addition, ES majors are required to take (sometime during their four years) a natural science course, a social science course, and a humanities course with an environmental focus, chosen from an approved list or with prior approval of the department chair.
Finally, to assure depth as well as breadth, ES majors are required to complete a seven-course focus in an approved department or interdisciplinary emphasis (one of these courses is a methods course). Pre-approved departments are anthropology, biology, chemistry, economics, educational studies, geography, geology, history, mathematics and computer science, philosophy, physics, political science and religious studies. Pre-approved interdisciplinary emphases include climate science and policy, community and global health, environmental economics and policy, environmental justice, environmental science, environmental thoughts and values and international environment and development.
Requirements for the minor:
Five courses (20 credits) are required for a minor in environmental studies: two from the introductory sequence (Environmental Studies 133, 215, or 234) and three additional environmental studies courses selected in consultation with a department faculty member and approved by the department chair.
Courses to consider for Fall 2013:
Because of the interdisciplinary nature of ES, there are many ways for first-year students to begin the major. One of the required course for the ES major is offered this fall - ENVI 140 The Earth’s Climate System. There are also a variety of 100-level courses you could choose including ENVI 144 Lakes, Streams and Rivers and ENVI 150 Climate and Society. Another good choice for those interested in Environmental Studies and Biology would be ENVI 285 Ecology.
AP Credit in Environmental Science
If you took AP Environmental Science and received a 4 or 5 on the exam you are not required to take one of the two introductory science courses (ENVI 133 Environmental Science or ENVI 140 The Earth’s Climate System). You are, however, still required as an ES major to take two environmentally-related science courses from the list that can be found on the Environmental Studies Website – macalester.edu/academics/environmentalstudies/majorsminors/.
There are a number of environmental groups on campus you may wish to join as you become a part of the Macalester community.
French and Francophone Studies
The Department of French and Francophone Studies welcomes all students of French and offers them the possibility of studying French at all levels (French 101, 111, 102, 203, 204, 305, or 306) in the fall term. Students may enter the sequence at the appropriate level by demonstrating their proficiency in the language. This proficiency is verified by the score obtained on the French foreign language subject test (SAT II with listening) which may have been taken as part of the SAT in high school, or by the score attained on the Macalester language placement test (refer to second language proficiency section).
As a general rule one year of high school French is in many cases equivalent to one semester of college French. The following guidelines will help you in your choice of level:
-French 101 (first semester elementary) assumes that students have had no French in their background.
-French 111 (accelerated French I-II) is designed for students who have had some French prior to enrolling at Macalester and who want to review basic structures.
-French 102 (second semester) is designed for students who have had one or two years of French in high school, and have an SAT II score of 410-470 (SAT II with listening).
-French 203 (third semester or intermediate I) is for students who have had two or three years of high school French and have been introduced to all of the major structures of French. They should score between 480 and 580 on the SAT II test with listening. French 203 reviews all of the major structures.
-French 204 (Text, Film and Media, fourth semester or intermediate II) builds the skills of speaking, listening comprehension, reading and writing through the use of materials from literature written in French, the French press, videos, films, etc. Students with three or four years of high school French and an SAT II score of 590-610 (SAT II with listening) should enroll in this course.
-French 305 (Advanced Expression), French 306 (Introduction to Literary Analysis) and French 307 (Culture française contemporaine). Students with four or five years of high school French AND an SAT II score of 620 or above should enroll in these courses. They are of equal difficulty, the difference being that French 305 emphasizes speaking, phonetics and structures important in oral expression, French 306 emphasizes introduction to literature and writing about literature, and French 307 addresses issues in modern and contemporary France. These courses may be taken in any order; they are the first courses that count toward a French major or minor. French 306 is required for a French major, and is a prerequisite for some of the 400 level courses in the department.
See the Catalog for full description of the courses listed above.
ADVANCED PLACEMENT – A score of 4 or 5 on the Advanced Placement Language Test gives credit for French 204.
INTERNATIONAL BACCALAUREATE – Students should consult with the department chair about credit. Credits are only awarded for the higher level exams.
The French and Francophone Studies department welcomes students who are native or near native speakers of French to enroll in our advanced classes and to apply to work in the French department if they have financial aid.
To fulfill the language requirement in French a student must attain proficiency at the level reached at the completion of French 204. Students who choose to fulfill their language requirement in French may do so:
1) by achieving a score of 620 on the SAT II test with listening, or a score of 700 on the SAT II test without listening;
2) by taking French courses through French 204; or
3) with an appropriate score on the advanced placement or higher level International Baccalaureate exam in French.
Policy on French Language Grades
All language courses, beginning with Elementary French, include an additional weekly session in which a small group of students works intensively with a graduate assistant from France. In order to be accepted into the next higher French language course in the sequence, a student must have received a grade of C- or higher in the previous course.
a) 306 and either 305 or 307 or the equivalent
b) seven advanced courses (300 and 400 level courses) beyond 306 and 305 or 307 or the equivalent, including:
at least one 412, 413, 414 or 415 course in a period preceding the 20th-century
at least one 407 course on any francophone region
at least one culture course beyond 307 (408, 409, 410, 411 or 416)
c) a Senior capstone project or an Honors Project
d) an appropriate study abroad program as approved by the department
A minor concentration in French consists of five courses beyond French 204, to include at least two courses at the 300 level and three additional French courses at the 300–400 levels.
Jean-Pierre Karegeye (available May 15-June 15)
Joëlle Vitello (available June 15-June 30)
Andrew Billing (available July 1- July 31)
Juliette Rogers (available August 1-25)
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.
World Regional Geography (Geography 194-02) and Human Geography of Global Issues (Geography 111) are gateway courses which introduce students to issues of human settlements, land use and political order. Additionally, courses at the 200 level without prerequisites are open to incoming students, such as Geography of Africa (Geography 243), Urban Geography (Geography 241), Geography of US and Canada (Geography 242) or Medical Geography (Geography 256). 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.
The introductory courses in geology are designed to serve students interested in the geosciences and environmental sciences, as well as students looking to fulfill a general distribution requirement. 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 distribution requirements in the Science/Math category. Many of our courses also satisfy part of the quantitative thinking requirement at Macalester. All of our courses include at least one field trip during the semester.
WHY LEARN GERMAN?
Because Germany is the political and economic motor of the European Union.
Because really reading Nitezsche, Marx, Freud, or Kafka means reading them in German.
Because Germany's social welfare and green energy are way ahead of the U.S., and yet they live better than we do.
Because Germany and Austria pour tons of money into fellowships and internships.
Because of our terriffic 6-month Study Away program in Berlin and Vienna.
Because God made Berlin and Fritz Lang made "M".
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 film screenings and Kaffeestunde; eat lunch at the German-language Stammtisch in Café Mac. 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. Very 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.
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. 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 have lived in or studied in a Portuguese-speaking country. If in doubt about Portuguese placement, please contact Professor Ernesto Ortiz-Díaz: email@example.com.
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 #3 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 Lusophone Culture (Portuguese 331).
Hispanic Studies Major
The Hispanic Studies major requires 10 courses beginning with 305, Introduction to Hispanic Studies, and includes 307; either 308 or 309; one 400-level course from each of the four areas of the curriculum; one Portuguese language course; and the senior seminar. Up to two courses (or 8 credit hours) from study away may be counted toward the major with prior approval from the Chair. Find out more about the Department of Hispanic and Latin American Studies at our website: macalester.edu/hispanic
Majors in Hispanic Studies go on to work in such important roles as teachers, community organizers, public health professionals, medical and legal translators, advocates, historians, lawyers, writers, travel guides and as specialists in linguistics, literature or culture.
Hispanic Studies Minor
The Hispanic Studies minor requires 5 courses beginning with 305, Introduction to Hispanic Studies, and includes either 307 or 308 or 309, and 3 courses at the 400-level. Up to two courses (or 8 credit hours) from study away may be counted toward the minor with prior approval from the Chair.
A student may choose to pursue a Hispanic Studies minor with an emphasis on Portuguese by taking 305, Introduction to Hispanic Studies, Portuguese courses 111 and 331, and two advanced courses taken abroad in a Portuguese-speaking country with prior approval from the Chair.
The discipline of history investigates events and cultures of the past by focusing on specific historical eras, particular geographic areas, and/or 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 also 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.
History courses numbered 100-199 are designed for beginning history students. These courses survey the general history of a region or introduce important thematic or theoretical approaches to historical analysis. In any of these courses, students have the opportunity to develop skills essential for the successful study of the past, including engagement with primary sources and exposure to multiple schools of historical study, such as social history, cultural history, the history of gender and so forth. They thus serve as a methodological introduction to any mid-level history course, even one dealing with a different world region or thematic emphasis. Although we recommend that beginning students start with one of these introductory courses, History courses numbered 200-299 are also open to new students and may be especially appropriate for students that have previously taken Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate courses in History. While these courses do not presuppose extended knowledge of the subject, they tend to be more specialized thematically, temporally, or geographically than survey courses and do require some familiarity with historical methods and independent research. Courses numbered 300 or above generally are not recommended for first-year students as they require advanced research skills; however, they can occasionally be taken with the professor’s permission.
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) a familiarity with major developments in the history of human rights and humanitarianism; (b) an understanding of the institutional frameworks governing human rights and humanitarianism, including international law, international organizations, civil society movements, etc.; (c) an understanding of the theoretical and philosophical debates about the meanings of human rights and humanitarianism; (d) 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; (e) 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.
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 and 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.
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. In addition to our first-year course (Mediterranean, Baltic, Black: Seas, Identities and History), 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 new students with some prior familiarity with, and/or very keen interest in, their specific subject matters.
Latin American Studies Program
Students with an interest in Latin American Studies (LAS) should consider the following steps:
1) Send a brief email to LAS Director Paul Dosh (firstname.lastname@example.org; 651-696-6776), 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 an introductory course (100-level).
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 307 (required for a Latin American Studies major) or consider enrolling in Portuguese or French.
4) Consider enrolling in a 200-level LATI course if the introductory LATI courses are full or if scheduling conflicts make them unavailable.
5) Visit the LAS website to learn more: macalester.edu/las
Legal Studies Program
The legal studies concentration is available to students in any major. The curriculum brings together perspectives from the humanities and social sciences, including philosophy, sociology, political science, and history, among others. Rather than studying law as doctrine (a set of rules to learn and use), the curriculum examines law as a phenomenon in a variety of contexts. It is designed to give students a broad, yet structured, academic grounding in interdisciplinary approaches, within the liberal arts, to the study of law.
Incoming students interested in the Legal Studies concentration may register for Poli 206: US Constitutional Law and Thought, Soci 230: Affirmative Action Policy, or Phil 125: Ethics.
If you are interested in languages – whether as productions of the human mind, or as vehicles for culture – you might consider majoring in linguistics. Linguistics 100 (Introduction to Linguistics) and Linguistics 104 (Sounds of Language) are accessible to students with no formal background in the field; they are required of all majors. The linguistics major also requires three years of a foreign language (one year beyond the college requirement).
Mathematics, Statistics, and Computer Science
APPROPRIATE ENTRY LEVEL COURSES
Since much of the secondary mathematics curriculum is designed to prepare students for calculus, it is natural for students to see the calculus sequence as the next step in their study of mathematics. We, however, feel that there are several ways to get involved in our courses. In choosing a first course, you can ask yourself a number of questions:
What math, statistics, or computer science do I need to take?
- Do I need a math, statistics, or computer science course for my planned major at Macalester? Many other departments require one or more courses in our department for their major (including economics, biology, chemistry, physics, geology). Check individual departmental requirements. We strongly recommend taking these courses early in your college career. Your math preparation from high school will still be fresh, and you will be able to use the math, statistics, or computer science in later courses. If you are planning to take a statistics course, see the section below on statistics.
- Do I plan to major in theoretical mathematics or computer science? We recommend that you start with Math 136, Discrete Mathematics, because it gives a good overview of a number of ideas and skills needed for math and computer science.
- Do I plan to major in applied math and statistics? Note that while Math 136 counts toward the majors in Mathematics and Computer Science, it does not count for Applied Mathematics and Statistics. If you are interested in Applied Mathematics and Statistics, complete the calculus sequence, and take first courses in statistics and computer science.
What if I don’t know what I want to major in and want to take math, statistics or computer science?
Most students start in discrete math (Math 136); an introductory computer science course (Comp 120, 121 or 123); the calculus sequence (Math 135, 137, 237); or in statistics (Math 155). Math & Society (Math 116) is another course to consider. Math 116 is a course designed for non-majors, focusing on a central theme. Topics change, and offerings may include Math of Elections and Voting, Climate Modeling, Game Theory, and Sports Statistics. Full descriptions are available in advance of registration in the semesters when this course is offered.
If you have taken either AP or IB courses, see macalester.edu/academics/mscs/wheredoistart/apibpolicy/ for credit and placement.
Math and Statistics Course Options:
This course, Math 136, is highly recommended as a starting point for students interested in studying (theoretical) mathematics and/or computer science, and is required for both majors. (Math 136 is not required for the applied math and statistics major.) It doesn’t matter whether or not you have had any calculus – the subject matter is quite different. Topics include combinatorics, number theory, probability, logic, and graph theory. If you are interested in computer science, this might be the best mathematics course with which to start.
THE CALCULUS SEQUENCE
Calculus is the place many students start in their study of college mathematics. It is considered one of the great intellectual accomplishments of human thought. At Macalester, calculus is required for all mathematics majors and for several other majors (economics and physics, for example). It is also useful and recommended for majors and minors in certain other fields. Our sequence consists of three courses: Applied Calculus (Math 135), Single Variable Calculus (Math 137), and Multivariable Calculus (Math 237). Depending on your calculus preparation, you may be ready to enter this sequence in any one of these three courses.
Macalester has introduced an innovative first course in calculus that gives students an early exposure to mathematics topics – functions of multiple variables, dynamics, the geometry of high-dimensional spaces – that are extremely useful in applications throughout science. If you are thinking of being a natural science or economics major or minor, you should consider Applied Calculus regardless of whether you have already studied some calculus in high school. Students who have never taken calculus will find the topics quite accessible; students who have taken calculus will find that most of the topics are new to them. However, if you have good preparation in high-school calculus, AND you plan to take additional college math courses through the level of Linear Algebra (Math 236) or Multivariable Calculus (Math 237) – typically students planning to major or minor in physics, chemistry, or mathematics – you may want to register for Math 137 or 237, whichever is most appropriate given your background.
Math 237, Multivariable Calculus, takes the ideas of differentiation and integration and extends them to higher dimensions. You must have a solid background in one-dimensional calculus to take this course.
Statistics is one of the most popular subjects at Macalester, an indispensable subject for careers in science, government, industry, and commerce. Our introductory statistics course, Math 155, Introduction to Statistical Modeling, is one of the most heavily subscribed courses at Macalester, required by many majors such as economics, math, and biology. If you are planning to take Applied Calculus (Math 135), you are strongly encouraged to plan on taking Math 155 after taking Math 135.
Computer Science Course Options:
Students planning to major or minor in Computer Science, or who simply want to take an individual course, have a number of options. If they have had little or no prior computer science class work, there are three entry-level courses with no prerequisites.
Computing & Society (Comp 120) is a topics course that introduces students to the field of computing by way of a central theme. Topics vary; offerings include Internet Communities, Robots in the World, and Web Development. Full descriptions are available in advance of registration each semester. This course is suitable for students with little or no experience with computing, but it can serve as a starting point for the Computer Science major.
Introduction to Scientific Programming (Comp 121) focuses on programming and problem solving for numeric and scientific problems. This course or Comp 123 is required for all Math programs and is recommended for students majoring or minoring in the physical and natural sciences or economics. This is also an excellent first course if students are combining a computer science major/minor with a second program in the sciences.
Core Concepts in Computer Science (Comp 123) is recommended for those who think they may be computer science majors or minors; it or Comp 121 is required for all Math programs. It investigates key ideas that underlie computer science, in the context of multimedia (image, sound, and text) processing and programming robots. Central concepts include the design of algorithms, and the representation of data within a computer.
All three classes (120, 121, 123) may serve as the first course for programs in computer science. Students who have taken the Advanced Placement Computer Science Exam and received a score of 3 or above (or who have had prior programming experience) can immediately register for the second course – Comp 124, Object-Oriented Programming and Data Structures.
Media and Cultural Studies
Thinking of majoring in Media and Cultural Studies?
The new 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 and the social sciences. The department offers an innovative ten-course major that includes opportunities for students to combine analysis, criticism, and production.
The major provides a working knowledge of the methods of historians and critics of culture and the media, including new media, as well as traditional media such as film, newspapers, radio, and television; an ability to explicate a specific body of culture or type of media in depth; and 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. The course emphasizes instruction in argumentative writing, and for students enrolling after their first semester, counts toward the college “W” requirement.
- 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.
Thinking of minoring in Media Studies?
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: macalester.edu/mcs.
Especially recommended courses for new students, Fall 2013:
- MCST 114 News Reporting and Writing. This course, taught by a senior editor at the Twin Cities Star Tribune, provides an introduction to and experience in professional-level journalism, traditional and online.
- MCST 126 Local News Media Institutions. This course, which meets a requirement for the major and minor, directly introduces students to community and mainstream news media institutions in the Twin Cities, and includes a civic engagement component. The course also provides an essential foundation in theories of the political economy of media: how economic and political power shape the production and distribution of news.
- MCST 128 Film Analysis and Visual Culture. This course on film aesthetics is being taught by Morgan Adamson, a new faculty member and documentary filmmaker.
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.
All student musicians are welcome in the Music Department, which offers courses, ensembles, and lessons in a variety of musical traditions, including Western art music, jazz, African Music, Chinese music, Scottish piping, and many others. General students should consider the basic music theory courses (Music Theory I or Basic Musicianship), Music Appreciation, World Music, African Music and topics courses. Students should feel free to ask the faculty about the musical background required for other courses in the music department.
Students considering the major or minor programs should 1) register for Theory I (Theory I is a prerequisite for most other music major and minor courses), 2) consult the Catalog regarding departmental prerequisites, and 3) arrange an appointment with one of the full-time music faculty for advising. Note: Theory I is taught only in the fall semester, and serves as an ideal introduction to both the music major and minor, and to the College. If you already have a strong theory and ear-training background you may be able to consider beginning the theory sequence at an advanced level (after consultation with a theory faculty member.)
All ensembles and private music lessons (for an extra fee) are available to all students at the college. Ensembles audition at the beginning of each semester. Registrations for ensembles and for private lessons are made at the beginning of the semester. Ensembles – Credit will be applied after the completion of 2 consecutive semesters of the same studio instruction and/or ensemble participation. Please refer to the college catalog for more detailed information on lessons and ensembles, and the award of credit for participation in:
Mac Jazz Band
Students interested in majoring in Neuroscience Studies must complete a number of introductory level courses in biology, chemistry and psychology before they can take 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) and/or Psychology 100 (Introduction to Psychology).
Introduction to Philosophy and Ethics 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, two sections of Introduction to Philosophy, one of which is offered as First-Year Course, have an emphasis on film.
Introduction to Symbolic Logic and Critical Thinking 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. Owing to their focus they are less effective as an introduction to the subject matter of philosophy. However, they provide students with important tools that can be useful in all of their coursework, both in and out of philosophy. Introduction to Symbolic Logic is also required for a major in philosophy.
Finally, 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, Ethics and the Internet, Environmental 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).
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.
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. Some activity classes may incur a participation fee.
001 Swimming I
011 Swimming II
021 Swim for Fitness
031 Scuba Diving
041 Lifeguard Training
051 Aqua Aerobics
002 Tennis I
003 Beginning Social Dance
004 Karate I
005 Fencing I
006 Yoga I
007 Personal Health and Wellness
008 Step Aerobics
010 Racquetball I
012 Tennis II
013 Intermediate Social Dance
014 Karate II
015 Fencing II
016 Yoga II
020 Weight Training
023 Competitive Sport Dance
026 Tai Chi
028 Pilates II
033 Salsa Dance I
043 Salsa Dance II
050 Tai Kwon Do
Principles of Physics I and II and Modern Physics provide a solid foundation for careers in all science fields and are prerequisites for most advanced physics courses. Students who are contemplating a science-related career should build a strong foundation by taking mathematics early in their college years. Note that concurrent registration in Calculus I (Math 135) is the minimum math background for Principles of Physics I, concurrent registration in Calculus II (Math 137) is the minimum math background for Principles of Physics II, and prior completion of Calculus II is the minimum prerequisite for Modern Physics. Prospective physics majors should consult the department website, which presents a typical schedule for the first two years of study in the section Majors and Minors. Students with Advanced Placement scores of 5 or 4 on both Physics C exams may want to start their college physics with the Modern Physics course. Students considering advanced placement should consult with a department advisor to discuss their special circumstances.
Contemporary Concepts for Physics, Modern Astronomy, Astronomical Techniques, and Science of Renewable Energy are offered for the general student audience and have no prerequisites. These courses are open to incoming students, but they may be elected at any point in a student’s Macalester career.
Tonnis ter Veldhuis
While students often begin their study of politics with a Foundations course – POLI 100 (US Politics), POLI 120 (International Politics), POLI 140 (Comparative Politics), and POLI 160 (Political Theory) – they can also enter the major by taking a 200-level course that does not have a prerequisite. Incoming students entering with advanced placement credits or college-level transfer courses in Political Science may need to consult the department chair when they arrive on campus in the fall about which Foundations courses would be appropriate.
For those of you interested in medical 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 (BIOL260) and Cell Biology (BIOL265). If you are considering taking a biology course your first semester, you should take Genetics (BIOL260) or Biodiversity & Evolution (BIOL270) or one of the first-year courses. Cell Biology is generally taken in the sophomore year due to the prerequisite of Chemistry 112 or 115.
If you are interested in any premedical area (medicine, nursing, dentistry, public health, etc.) you should consult one of the health professions advisors (Professor Lin Aanonsen, Director of the Health Professions Advising Committee/Biology; Professor Devavani Chatterjea/Biology, Professor Rebecca Hoye/Chemistry; or Professor Mary Montgomery/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 (email@example.com). For information on health professions advising at Macalester go to: macalester.edu/hpa.
Lin Aanonsen, Director of the Health Professions Advising Committee
We offer two ways for you to start your studies in Psychology. If you have a general interest in the field or are contemplating an academic concentration in the discipline, we recommend Psychology 100, Introduction to Psychology. It provides a broad survey of the field and is appropriate for anyone who’d like to know more about psychology. It is also a prerequisite for more advanced courses in the department and is required for the major.
If you received a 4 or 5 on the Advanced Placement (AP) Psychology exam or a 5 or above on the IB Higher Level exam, you will receive credit for Psychology 100 and can proceed to one of the department’s intermediate classes: PSYC 180 (Brain, Mind and Behavior), PSYC 220 (Educational Psychology), PSYC 256 (Personality Psychology), PSYC 264 (Psychology of Gender), and PSYC 270 (Psychology of Sustainable Behavior).
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.
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. Seminars may take up an issue or theme and allow for a concentrated reading and pursuit of focused critical questions and issues. 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. Courses are offered in specific traditions (e.g. Buddhism, Christianity, Islam) as well as geographic areas (e.g. Religions of India) and in comparative and theoretical areas of analysis.
The major concentration in Religious Studies consists of eight courses in religion, and two supplementary courses, approved by the advisor, in a field that provides sustainable skills or theoretical tools for the study of religion. For example, for students with a primary interest in Biblical studies, a reading course in Hebrew or Greek would count toward the major. Courses in philosophy, anthropology, sociology, women's, gender and sexuality studies might strengthen a student's grasp of theoretical issues in the study of religion. Courses in history and literature may also provide valuable substantive knowledge that compliments the student's work in Religious Studies. In order to encourage breadth of understanding, students majoring in Religious Studies file major plans, approved by advisors and the chair, which demonstrate diversity in subject matter (traditions) and approach (method). Reading proficiency in at least one foreign language is advised for students contemplating graduate study in religion. Majors are required to take the disciplinary seminar Theory and Method in the Study of Religion and, preferably in their senior year, Approaches to the Study of Religion, which is offered annually. A “senior dialogue” with the members of the department is also required for all majors.
The minor in religious studies consists of a minimum of five courses in religious studies taken in consultation with the department. To assure diversity, students minoring in religious studies are required to take a course in at least two religious traditions.
Russia and the other members of the former Soviet Union are dynamic and complex nations with rapidly growing economies. Because of their vast natural resources, technological expertise, and proud heritage, their influence is felt across the globe. At the same time, the region has produced some of the most enduring and beautiful works of literature, art, and music. At Macalester, we provide many pathways into discovering this region, its people, and its contributions to world culture.
The Russian Studies program offers students an opportunity to access and understand Russia, Central and Eastern Europe, and Central Asia through coursework in language, literature, culture, history, political science, international studies, economics, critical theory, and translation. Our culture courses explore Russia’s folklore, mass culture, visual arts, theater, music, and cinema. All of our courses on literature and culture are taught in English, and students at various levels of preparation are welcome.
Russian Literature and Culture Courses
In the Fall of 2103, new students may take RUSS 261: Russian Cinema (cross-listed with History); and RUSS 294: The Cold War Gets Hot (cross-listed with American Studies and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies).
In the Spring of 2014, new students may enroll in RUSS 246: Comparative Democratization (cross-listed with Latin American Studies and Political Science); RUSS 256: Mass Culture Under Communism; RUSS 272: The Post-Soviet Sphere (cross-listed with International Studies); RUSS 294: Slavic Critical Theory; and RUSS 366: Nabokov (cross-listed with English).
Russian Language Courses
Russian language courses are taught at the elementary, intermediate, advanced, and fourth-year levels. Students with no background in Russian should register for RUSS 101: Elementary Russian I. We encourage students with prior background in the study of Russian to meet with one of the Russian faculty members, who will help them to select the language course that best suits their needs. As a general guideline, one year of high-school Russian is roughly equivalent to a college semester. The fourth-year course (RUSS 488) is taught by different faculty with topics that vary from year to year; thus, students may take the course several times in order to improve their command of Russian. Students taking Russian may apply to live in the Russian House starting in their sophomore year.
To fulfill the language requirement in Russian, a student must attain proficiency at the level reached at the completion of Intermediate Russian II (RUSS 204). Students who choose to fulfill their language requirement in Russian may do so by taking Russian language courses through Russian 204.
Russian Beyond the Classroom
Macalester students majoring in Russian Studies, as well as those in other majors (in recent years these have included Art History, Anthropology, and Theater and Dance), go on study abroad programs in Moscow, St. Petersburg, and other Russian cities. These programs cater to students at various levels of linguistic preparation, including absolute beginners (in which case students receive language training on-site). Closer to home, our students also have many opportunities to engage with the local Russian-speaking community.
Studying Russian will give you a command of a language widely spoken around the world as well as develop your understanding of other cultures and your skills in interpreting varied cultural texts. Students typically major in Russian in preparation for a wide range of careers, including international relations, law, journalism, business, public health, ecology, translation, teaching, and graduate work in the humanities or social sciences.
For detailed information about the Russian Studies faculty, course offerings, the structure of the major and minor, study abroad, and opportunities to get involved with the Russian-speaking community in the Twin Cities, see the department website at macalester.edu/russian
The Sociology department offers courses that serve students with diverse interests. By examining how power, culture, and institutions influence the lives of people and activities of organizations, sociology provides a valuable perspective for students during and beyond their academic career. For Fall 2013, the department has reserved seats for new students in Sociology 110: Introduction to Sociology (which introduces students to concepts and perspectives to understand social inequalities), Sociology 205: Public Schooling in America (which focuses on the changing nature of the link between mass schooling and democracy in the United States), Sociology 220: Sociology of Race/Ethnicity (which studies the social forces that have shaped racial and ethnic groups in the United States), and Sociology 230: Affirmative Action Policy (which examines the origins and evolution of policies seeking to foster diversity in education and employment). The department is also offering a First-Year Course, The Medical Industry. Any of these offerings provide an excellent introduction to the department and the way it approaches society.
Theatre and Dance
Welcome to the world onstage at Macalester! Whether you’re an experienced performer or a curious newcomer, we are glad to work with you in our productions and courses. Taking a class in theatre and dance is a great way to meet other students who are experienced in or curious about performance; it’s also an excellent way to meet faculty and guest artists, and to see professional performances in the Twin Cities, since all of our courses bring students to local theatre and dance performances.
If you are new to theatre or dance, and know that you probably won’t major but would like to fulfill your fine arts requirement in this department, then “ Theatre and Performance in the Twin Cities” (offered as a First-Year Course in the fall) is a good option. Those considering the major or minor are invited to consider taking “Acting Theory and Performance I”, “Introduction to Theatre Studies” or “Technical Theatre” in the fall. All of them are paths into the Theatre and Dance major, all are appropriate for incoming students and all provide fine arts credit with the “Technical Theatre” course giving QT credit.
Theatre and Dance Audition Information
Auditions for every main stage and every student production are open to all students at Macalester, regardless of major affiliation. It is usual for new studentsto audition for and get roles in main stage productions and to be in dance concerts. Auditions are held early in the fall of each year for the first major theatre production of the fall and for the fall dance concert. Please look for announcements of auditions! Non-majors do not have to have a prepared monologue for auditions; instructions for preparation are always given.
Urban Studies Interdepartmental Program
The urban studies concentration is directed towards students who are interested in urbanization and interdisciplinary perspectives on city life. The program combines a sound theoretical and experiential base complemented by a broad range of technical competencies. The 7-course urban studies concentration is divided into two parts: a curricular portion which will provide students with a theoretical and methodological base, and an experiential portion which will give students first-hand contact with aspects of the city new to them. Geography 112 is the appropriate intro-level course to the urban studies program.
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. The program at Macalester offers a wide variety of courses - from histories of national and international feminism to theories of gender and sexuality to the link between theory and practice. WGSS intersects with numerous academic disciplines and is represented through cross-listed courses in many departments at Macalester College including American Studies, Anthropology, Art & Art History, Asian Languages & Culture, Biology, Classics, History, Economics, Latin American Studies, Music, Political Science, Psychology, Religious Studies, Russian Studies, Sociology, and Theater & Dance.
If you are interested in WGSS, there are a number of courses that you could take in your first semester. These include, “Gender & Sport” (WGSS 102), “Transnational Perspectives on Gender, Race, Class, and Sexuality” (WGSS 105) or “Icons, Ideas, Instruments: Feminist Re-constructions” [WGSS 220, which is also cross-listed with English (ENGL 220)]. 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.
Please do not hesitate to contact us, if you have any questions.
Lin Aanonsen, chair WGSS and OT Walter Professor Biology