(1) Five colloquia designed to acquaint students with works of predominantly European literature, history, and philosophy in (respectively)
The 20th century: fall of sophomore year
The ancient world: fall of junior year
The Middle Ages and Renaissance: spring of junior year
The early modern period (16th-18th centuries): fall of senior year
The 19th century: spring of senior year
These colloquia are co-taught which means that you have two instructors instead
of one at the same time in the classroom. Both instructors guide class discussions.
Since instructors usually come from different disciplines, chances are their interpretations of the texts will differ and so will the contextualization they provide. Your papers for colloquia will also receive two separate evaluations.
(2) Four seminars: one in history, one in philosophy, one in literature, one upper level foreign language literature. These specialized seminars allow COL majors to shape their major around a particular interest. Of note:
- Seminars may be offered by COL faculty or not,
- Seminars pre-approved by COL are found on Wes Maps under COL courses and are cross-listed with COL,
- Seminars that are not pre-approved by COL may be petitioned for with the COL director.
(3) SOPHOMORE SPRING: One semester abroad in Western or Eastern Europe, Israel, or, if successfully petitioned and justified, in a few other countries. Study abroad takes place in the spring of your sophomore year. Exceptions granted for athletes who can study abroad in the summer. The purpose of the semester abroad is not merely to enhance language proficiency, but also to enhance the understanding of a foreign culture and to give the student a new perspective on his/her own culture. For more on the topic, click here
(4) JUNIOR SPRING: Comprehensive exams in April (written part) and May (oral part) of your junior year. COL majors must complete 3 colloquia (sophomore and both junior colloquia) to be eligible to take the Junior comprehensive examination that is based largely on the material studied in the colloquia but allows students to draw on the work they have done in the college to that point. The examination is given and evaluated by two examiners from other universities and is intended to encourage students to integrate the work they have done up until that time.
(5) SENIOR YEAR: One thesis or essay, which, along with the specialized seminars, allows COL seniors to further shape their major along their own interests. Each COL senior is required to complete an honors thesis or essay under the guidance of a COL or non-COL tutor.
A thesis is a 2-credit project and may deal with critical, literary, historical, or philosophical subjects, or be creative projects in literature or the arts. They are eligible for Honors and High Honors.
An essay is a one-credit project. Any student electing to present an essay rather than a thesis will need one additional seminar credit to complete the major requirements.
For information about advisers, evaluations (there are no grades in COL), Gen-Ed expectations, and COL Transcripts, see the MAJOR REGULATIONS section.
For information about your COL mailbox, the COL library, the COL Socials (House Tax and Alcohol policy), see the LIFE in the COL section.