A major is a commitment to engage deeply in the study of a particular academic field – an opportunity and a decision to become an expert. We are excited that you have chosen the Classical Mediterranean and Middle East as a field in which you will take up this challenge at Macalester. Welcome to the Classics Department!
The process of declaring your major is not complicated, but it does have a few steps. These are designed to ensure that you, your advisor and the department chair are on the same page in terms of your choices within the flexible curriculum and how these choices further your goals at Macalester and beyond. You will need to choose between three major tracks – Archaeology, Civilization and Languages. To learn more about the requirements in each and how you might meet them, consult our pages on Majors & Minors and on Designing a Major. You will also want to think about where you would like to study away and when. If you intend to study away for a semester, be sure to keep in mind the College deadlines set by the Center for Study Away.
With these requirements and our suggestions in mind, draft a one to two page Statement of Intent to Declare a Major. This is an opportunity to reflect on how you have come to your decision and where you hope to go from here. The Statement should address the following questions: 1) Why do you wish to declare a major in the Classical Mediterranean and Middle East? 2) How do you envision this major fitting into your career at Macalester? 3) How might your major contribute to or enrich your experiences (professional, personal, or both) after Macalester? If you are declaring your Classics major at a later point in your time at Macalester, what led to you declaring a major in the Classical Mediterranean and Middle East at this point?
You are now ready to meet with a major advisor within the department. Any faculty member may advise your major – with whom have you worked well in class? Studied abroad? Who has a good working relationship with your friends and colleagues in the department? Whose research specialties are closest to your own? These are all good ways of choosing an advisor, and you may change your advisor at any time, as well. Make an appointment with whomever you have selected, and send them a copy of your Statement of Intent before the meeting. Together you will discuss your interests and goals and how these may be realized within a set of courses that form a major. Your conversation will result in a Major Plan and a revised version of your Statement of Intent. These should be signed by you and your advisor before you make an appointment to meet with the department chair. If you would like to have your major advisor in the Classical Mediterranean and Middle East become your primary academic advisor, you will need to complete a Change of Advisor Form and submit it to Academic Programs.
The department chair will review and file your Major Plan and Revised Statement of Intent within your portfolio in the departmental archive. You will receive a department travel mug and we will take your picture so that we can all brag about your tie to the Classical Mediterranean and Middle East! The chair will also declare your major with the Registrar through DegreeWorks. A few days after your meeting you should be able to see your new major and the requirements you have already fulfilled on DegreeWorks in the web portal at 1600grand. If a course or experience has not been recorded properly, please send a note to the chair so that it can be adjusted as soon as possible. It’s official – you are now a major in the Classical Mediterranean and Middle East!
As you progress through the major, your interests will change and new opportunities will arise. Don’t worry – the Major Plan is not signed in blood! It is just a preliminary guide. You will be meeting with your advisor every term to register for courses, and you can decide together what deviations you’d like to take. As you complete various requirements, be sure they register as such on DegreeWorks. You’ll also file with your major advisor the research paper from the course you use for your Research Experience requirement, as well as your capstone project from the Senior Seminar. During your last semester at Macalester, you’ll need to file a Revised Major Plan with the department chair to clarify in retrospect how you actually fulfilled your major requirements.
Classical Mediterranean and Middle East Major Advising Portfolio Checklist
A handy guide for you and your advisor as to what needs to be done that also forms the cover page for your portfolio within the department.