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Academic Bulletin The Curriculum - 2011-12

Currently viewing 2011-12 bulletin


The following requirements must be met for graduation:
1. Freshman Requirement:
a. Freshman Tutorial.
One course credit. In the fall semester, every freshman must complete a tutorial. Freshman Tutorials cannot be taken after the freshman year. Tutorials are designed to insure the first-year student's participation in small group discussions that will challenge him intellectually and suggest the kind and quality of experience characteristic of the liberal arts. Instructors select topics of critical importance to them, judged to be pertinent to student concerns. The student need not have had previous experience in the particular field in order to participate—and his participation is important. Each tutorial encourages students to practice both written and oral self-expression. Reading, speaking, and writing assignments will, of course, vary with individual topics and instructors, but the goals of every tutorial remain the same: to read texts with sensitivity, to think with clarity, and to express one's thoughts with conviction and persuasion—all in terms of each tutorial's particular object. Freshman Tutorials count as a college requirement, but do not count for distribution credit. The tutorials are listed under NON DIVISIONAL COURSES.
b. Enduring Questions
One course credit. Enduring Questions is a required freshman colloquium offered during the spring semester. It is devoted to engaging students with fundamental questions of humanity from multiple perspectives and fostering a sense of community. Each section of the course includes a small group (approximately 15) of students who consider together classic and contemporary works from multiple disciplines. In so doing, students confront what it means to be human and how we understand ourselves, our relationships, and our world.
The daily activity of the course most often involves discussion, and students complete multiple writing assignments for the course. As such, assessment of student performance emphasizes written and oral expression of ideas. In addition to regular class sessions, students are expected to attend affiliated speakers and programs both on and off-campus.
Students are assigned randomly to a section of the course. Students may not withdraw from the course. All students must pass the course to graduate from Wabash.
Students entering prior to the fall of 2010, who were not able to meet the Sophomore Requirement, Culture & Traditions, must petition the Curriculum Appeals Committee to either use the new Enduring Questions requirement or substitute other coursework to satisfy the old requirement.
2. Language Studies:
a. Proficiency in English: All students are required to demonstrate proficiency in writing. On the basis of the SAT Writing Test, SAT composite score, and other data, the English Department requires that some students take a course in Composition (English 101). This course is designed to improve a student's writing, particularly his organizational skills, but does not necessarily insure continued proficiency throughout a student's career at the College, nor does it count toward requirement 3a.
Students who are not placed into English 101 but wish to study composition may request support from the English Department. All students will gain writing experience from their Freshman Tutorial classes and from visits to the Writing Center, where they will receive personalized attention from peer tutors. At any time during his Wabash career, a student with writing difficulties may be referred by an instructor to the Writing Center. In these cases, it is assumed that the student will attain proficiency through regular work at the Center. If the student does not make satisfactory progress, the Writing Center Director will notify the referring instructor(s) and the student's advisor, who will then officially refer the student to the English Department. Students who are concerned about writing problems are urged to discuss them with their instructor, the Writing Center staff, and the English Department.
b. Proficiency in a Foreign Language: The Wabash curriculum requires that all students demonstrate proficiency in a foreign language. Students may fulfill this requirement in the following ways: 
  • Earn a passing grade for the elementary sequence (101 and 102, or Spanish 103) of any language that we offer (Chinese, French, German, Greek, Latin, or Spanish).
  • Earn a passing grade for any single course beyond 102 (e.g. German 201 or French 301)
 Students may also fulfill this requirement by passing a proficiency exam with written and oral components. Other language sequences may also be used to meet the requirement. Students interested in pursuing these options should contact the appropriate department chair prior to mid-semester break in the fall of their freshman year. Advanced Placement (AP) exams do not fulfill this requirement.
Placement: Students who wish to continue at Wabash with a language studied in high school must enroll at the level determined by departmental placement policies. Students who have taken at least two years of French, German, or Spanish in high school will begin at the 201 level or higher. Placement beyond the 201 level in these languages is determined by the Computerized Adaptive Placement Exam with reference to high school transcripts. Student placement in Greek and Latin will generally be determined by departmental examinations.
3. Distribution Courses No more than one transfer course credit may be used per distribution area to meet the requirement. With respect to this requirement, credit earned in approved off-campus study or by Wabash examination will be counted as Wabash course credit.
a. One course in Language Studies Each student must complete one course credit in Language Studies from the following list: Rhetoric 101, 143, 145, 201, 220, 387; English 110, 121, 122, 150, 190, 201, 202, 210, 211, 212, 213, 221, 290, 311, 312, 313, 410, 411,; Spanish 311 and French 311 (if taught as a linguistics course).
b. Three courses in Literature and Fine Arts—This group includes courses in Art, Music, and Theater, as well as courses in literature offered by the Classics, Modern Languages, English, and Rhetoric departments. The work must be done in at least two departments (See the course descriptions of these departments for lists of courses that satisfy this requirement).
c. Three courses in Behavioral Science—Economics, Political Science, Psychology. The courses must be taken in at least two departments. Division III 252 and Psychology 104 do NOT count toward this requirement.
d. Three courses in Natural Science and Mathematics—Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Mathematics, Physics. These courses must be taken in at least two departments. At least two of these course credits must be in a laboratory science, normally any two of the following: Biology 101, 111, 178 (neither 101 nor 178 can be taken as a second course if Biology 111 is taken as the first course), 112; Physics 101, 102, 105, 111, 112; Chemistry 101 or 111, 211, and 221. The two lab courses need not be taken in the same department. Mathematics 010 does not count toward distribution. Computer Science 111 does not count towards the laboratory science requirement. Psychology 104 and Physics 104 may be used toward the three credits, but do not count towards the laboratory science portion of the requirement.
Students planning to take advanced work in the biological sciences should take Biology 111, 112 in the freshman year. Students planning to take advanced work in physics should take Physics 111, 113 in the freshman year. Students planning to take advanced work in chemistry should take Chemistry 111 and 211 in the freshman year.
e. One course in Quantitative Skills—Each student must complete one course credit from the following list or another course of similar nature approved before enrollment by the Chair of Division I. A course used to satisfy the Quantitative Skills Requirements will not count toward other distribution requirements.  
From Division I: Computer Science 101, 111; Mathematics 106, 103, 104, 108, 110, 111, 112, 178, 253, 254 or a course in the Mathematics Department which has Mathematics 112 as a prerequisite.
From Division II: Philosophy 270
From Division III: Division III 252 (1/2 course credit); Economics 251 (1/2 course credit); Political Science 261; Psychology 201
f. Two course credits in History, Philosophy, or Religion Education 201 may also be used to fulfill this requirement.
4. Major
Eleven course credits in the major are the maximum which may be counted toward the 34 required for graduation, but no department may require more than nine courses in the major (i.e., a student completing 12 credits in the major, will be required to complete a total of 35 course credits for graduation; 13 credits in the major, require completion of 36 course credits, etc.). In departments of foreign languages and literatures, courses numbered 101 and 102 shall not be included in the 11-course limit on the major.
A student will normally declare his departmental major during the sophomore year, but he may make changes by advising the Registrar's Office as late as mid-semester of the fall semester of his senior year. Changes after that time may be made only by petition to the Curriculum Appeals Committee.
5. Minor or Area Concentration
The usual program consists of a departmental major and a departmental minor. An area of concentration may be substituted for the departmental minor.
a. Minor
A departmental minor shall consist of five courses in any department of the College. Departments may choose to specify particular courses or distributions of courses.
A student will normally declare his departmental minor during his sophomore year, but he may make changes by advising the Registrar's Office as late as mid-semester of the fall semester of his senior year. Changes after that time may be made only by petition to the Curriculum Appeals Committee.
b. Area of Concentration
The area of concentration consists of five to eight course credits (in at least two departments), all outside the major (and minor if a student has both a minor and an area of concentration). Courses in the major or minor might relate to the concentration but cannot be counted toward the requirement. Unless otherwise specified, these courses may be used for distribution. Areas of concentration may be overseen by either an individualized or a standing committee. For an area of concentration, a student will discuss his plan with his advisor and work in consultation with a committee whose members have expertise in the proposed area. He will write a rationale for his concentration and develop a course plan. Both must be approved by his committee and reported to the Registrar. Working with the committee, he will also create a proposal for assessing his work in the area of concentration. (The proposed assessment might be based on such elements as a relevant capstone course where available, a portfolio of his work, an independent study project at an advanced level, a reflective essay that brings together the diverse parts of his area of concentration, etc.). The committee will oversee this assessment. A member of his committee may serve as secondary field examiner on his senior oral examination.
Committees for Areas of Concentration: Several standing committees of the faculty oversee areas of concentration. These include committees for Areas of Concentration in Gender Studies, International Studies, Multicultural American Studies, and Teacher Education (see Area of Concentration). Where appropriate, these standing committees may seek expertise outside their membership to assist in the evaluation of proposals and to serve as oral examiners. A student seeking to arrange a concentration in an area not represented by a standing committee will assemble an ad hoc committee of at least three faculties from two departments.
A student will normally declare his area of concentration during his sophomore year. The deadline for declaring an area of concentration overseen by a standing committee is set by that committee and may be as early as the fall of the sophomore year (see Area of Concentration). The deadline for declaring an area of concentration overseen by an individualized committee is mid semester of the fall semester of the junior year. With the approval of his committee, changes within a declared area of concentration may be made by filing a change of Area Concentration Form with the Registrars Office as late as mid semester of the fall semester of the senior year. Changes after that time may be made only by petition to the Curriculum Appeals Committee
6. Minimum of 34 Semester Courses and a 2.00 G.P.A.
For graduation, students must pass a minimum of 34 semester course credits and earn at least a 2.00 cumulative grade point average in all courses taken for grade at Wabash College, other than physical education. At least 24 of these credits must have been successfully completed at Wabash College. Credit earned in approved off-campus study or by Wabash examination will be counted as Wabash course credits. (See Senior Requirements section).
7. Comprehensive Examination
Senior Written Examination 
Every student must pass a written comprehensive examination in his major field.
Senior Oral Examination
Every student must pass the senior oral examination. The examination committee will consist of one instructor from his major department, one from his minor department or area of concentration, and one from neither. The examination will be no more than one hour in length and must be passed by the mid-semester of the second semester of the senior year.
A student who fails his comprehensive examination may retake the failed work once in the spring term. Should he fail in that effort, he may retake the comprehensive exam once in each subsequent academic year at the time of the regularly scheduled comprehensive exam. If a student fails the College-wide oral examination but passes the departmental examination, then he is required to retake only the College-wide oral examination, and vice versa. Departments will make and evaluate all departmental examinations. A student retaking an exam can not receive a final grade higher than pass.