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Ancient Civilization

Since the Ancient Civilization major requires Classical Greek, or Latin, or Hebrew for at least one semester above the introductory level, most students find it helpful to begin working on the language requirement during their first year.

As is the case throughout the University, Ancient Civilization courses with a 200-level designation are best avoided by first-year students.

Since this is a small program, Ancient Civilization faculty have been quite flexible in either accepting additional students or arranging for alternate courses to be counted towards the major.

Depending on availability, a broadly-based historical survey course in Classical culture, art and archaeology, or Jewish culture should be taken before our specialized courses.

Generally, it is best for students to approach a faculty member with whom the student has taken two or three courses and whose approach to teaching the student finds congenial. This can occur at any time after the first semester.

Art History

Students should consider taking ARTH 010, From Stone Age to Our Age (superior advance-placement performance can replace this course for the major, if desired) or any of the 100-level lecture/discussion courses. Click here to check Art History course availability. ARTH 010 runs only in the spring semester.

ARTH 010 is offered every Spring and usually has a cap of about 70 students. There is usually plenty of room, but if it fills, you will have an opportunity to take it the following year. In addition, every semester several 100-level courses are offered in the areas of Ancient Art, Renaissance and Baroque Art, Modern Art, and selected Non-Western topics. First years are especially welcome in 100-level courses.

Because of its interdisciplinary nature, students may wish to double major in art history and another discipline. In recent years, students have double in art history and: history; psychology; studio art; geography; English. The double major in art history requires 9 courses (instead of 11 for the single major), normally consisting of 8 art history courses and 1 studio art course.

Students and faculty can contact Kristina Wilson, Program Director for Art History, for more information.

Asian Studies

HIST 080, Introduction to Modern East Asia (or a first-year seminar in Asian Studies), and Beginning Chinese or Japanese (unless a student is already proficient in an Asian language). Check here for History course availability, here for Chinese course availability and here for Japanese course availability.

Generally avoid 200-level courses unless the student already has good background in the subject matter of the course.

All 100-level or lower numbered course in Asian Studies are good alternatives.

Generally some 100-level courses should be taken before students take many 200-level courses, but most 200-level courses are open to all students.

Students should approach an Asian Studies faculty member with whom they are familiar and ask that faculty member to be the student’s advisor. Generally the student should ask for an advisor whose specialty coincides with the student’s main area of interest, whether Political Science, History, Economics, Management, Asian Languages, IDCE, Geography, etc.

Students must have a faculty member with appropriate expertise who is willing to serve as the supervisor for an internship or the instructor in a directed readings course.

Asian Studies majors are required to have a minor or a second major in an established department in Social Sciences, Management, Humanities or Arts.

As there is no fifth-year program in Asian Studies, students pursuing the fifth year option will have to be sure to meet the requirements of whatever program they wish to enter.

Generally students will first take lecture/discussion courses and possibly one first-year seminar. Advanced or research seminars are generally to be taken in the Junior and Senior years, or after the student has already had some work in the subject area of the seminar.

Complementary majors or minors would include fields that combine with Asian Studies to enhance a student’s employment or graduate school prospects. Asian Studies would combine effectively with most areas in the Humanities and Social Sciences, and especially with languages and literatures, history, political science, economics, sociology, geography, and international development.

Biology

Students considering majoring in Biology should enroll in Introductory Biology in the Fall ( BIOL 101) and Spring (BIOL 102) of their first year. These courses provide a foundation in biological sciences and are prerequisites for most upper-division courses. They also fulfill the Science Perspective (SP). Students who choose Biology as their FYI should enroll in one of the BIOL 101 FYI Lab sections.

Click here to see Biology course availability.

In addition to having ten courses in Biology, majors are required to complete one year each of chemistry and math (one year of calculus, or one semester of calculus and one semester of statistics). First-year students who are strongly leaning towards a major in Biology or Biochemistry and Molecular Biology are also encouraged to enroll in Chemistry 101/102 (or Chemistry 103) during their first year. Students with strong high school backgrounds in Chemistry, Biology, and Calculus can enroll in these three courses plus an elective during their first year. Students who are exploring the biology major may wish to take Introductory Biology during their first year and begin chemistry and calculus during their sophomore year.

View requirements for the major and example curricular outlines. Click here to see Chemistry course availability and here to see Calculus course availability.

Students who received a score of 4 or 5 on the AP Biology Exam have been given credit for Biology 102, which is a spring course. By participating in the fall semester of Introductory Biology, students are given the opportunity to experience college level biology classes, evaluate their level of preparation, and meet members of the Biology department. Students who have received AP credit and feel that Biology 102 would be a more appropriate course for them should contact Professor Robert Drewell to discuss the possibility of exchanging credit for 101 and 102.

Not really. Students have always been able to enroll in BIOL 101 in their first year. If however, the course is at capacity when you try to register please contact Professor Robert Drewell.

There are few Biology courses beyond Introductory Biology that do not have 101/102 as a pre-requisite, so this is not likely to be a problem. As you move through the curriculum, courses at the 100-level tend to be suited towards sophomores and juniors, while 200-level courses are more appropriate for juniors and seniors. Prospective Biology majors should realize that Biodiversity (BIOL 84) will not count towards the major and is intended for non-majors wishing to satisfy the Science Perspective.

For those students who are not science majors we recommend Biodiversity (BIOL 084) to satisfy the SP requirement in the sophomore year or later. BIOL 101/102 carry the SP designation but these classes are intended for science majors.

Yes. You may enroll in BIOL 102 in the Spring and then BIOL 101 the following Fall. However, it is important to take these courses as early as possible.

Yes. However, planning is of the utmost importance and we encourage students considering additional majors to speak with a faculty member in the Biology department early in their career.

Contact Professor Robert Drewell, Department Chair.

Biochemistry & Molecular Biology

The BCMB major is an in-depth study of overlapping fields, and requires background in both chemistry and biology. The curriculum is highly structured, and careful planning of your course of study is required. We strongly recommend you take at least eight full-semester courses in chemistry, biology, calculus or physics during your first two years. You should also consider getting a faculty advisor in the BCMB program as soon as you know you want to be a BCMB major and no later than in your sophomore year. Good course sequencing will helps make the major manageable. See Core Course requirements.

Typical Schedule (Courses with labs are designated by *)
There are many possible paths through the BCMB major. However, it is very important to complete Introductory Chemistry in the first year, and complete the Calculus or Introductory Biology requirements. By the end of the second year, you should also have completed Organic Chemistry and either Introductory Physics or two required lower-level BCMB courses such as Genetics, Recombinant DNA or Cell Biology/Microbiology. However, please note, it is possible to major in BMCB if you have delayed some of these (especially Physics or Cell Biology/Micro-biology or Genetics).

Click here to see Chemistry course availability, here to see Calculus course availability, and here to see Biology course availability.

First Year:
Fall: Introductory Chemistry I*, Calculus I, Introductory Biology I*, Elective
Spring: Introductory Chemistry II*, Calculus II, Introductory Biology II*, Elective

Second Year:
Fall: Organic Chemistry I*, Physics I*, Recombinant DNA*(or other techniques course), Elective
Spring: Organic Chemistry II*, Physics II*, Genetics*, Elective

Third Year:
Fall: Biochemistry I*, Cell Biology* or BCMB Elective , Elective, Elective
Spring: Biochemistry II, Microbiology* or BCMB Elective, Elective, Elective

Note: if both Cell Biology and Microbiology are taken, one course can count as a BCMB elective.

Fourth Year:
Fall: BCMB elective, BCMB research (optional), Elective, Elective
Spring: Biophysical Chemistry* BCMB elective, BCMB research, Elective

We are able to accommodate all interested students in our key introductory courses (Introductory Chemistry, Introductory Biology, and Organic Chemistry).  Course availability may influence the sequencing of other courses (e.g. Calculus and Physics).  Other courses that are offered periodically may also qualify for the BCMB major. Request for approval of such courses as electives for the BCMB major should be addressed to the BCMB Program Director, Professor Deborah Robertson.

You can contact Professor Deborah Robertson, the Program Director if you have other questions.

Chemistry

The most common program is:

First Year: Introductory Chemistry (CHEM 101 and 102) or Accelerated Introductory Chemistry (CHEM 103), Calculus (MATH 120 and 121).

Second Year: Organic Chemistry (CHEM 131 and 132) or Biological Organic Chemistry (CHEM 134), Analytical Chemistry (CHEM 140), Introductory Physics (PHYS 110 or 120 and 111 or 121). Students interested in the major are strongly encouraged to take the PHYS 120 and PHYS 121 sequence.

Third Year: Physical Chemistry (CHEM 260 and 262), Biochemistry (BCMB 271)

Fourth Year: Inorganic Chemistry (CHEM 250), Directed Study (CHEM 299), Advanced Chemistry Courses. Nevertheless, many students fall behind this schedule without detriment. For example, some students take Physical Chemistry in their senior year. The main disadvantage is that it is then impossible to take advanced courses that have this course as a prerequisite.

If you do not take CHEM 101 and CHEM 102 or CHEM 103 in your first year, you can certainly still major in chemistry. A typical program would be:

Second Year: Introductory Chemistry (CHEM 101 and 102) or Accelerated Introductory Chemistry (CHEM 103), Introductory Physics (PHYS 110 or 120 and 111 or 121), Calculus (MATH 120 and 121)

Third Year: Organic Chemistry (CHEM 131 and 132), Analytical Chemistry (CHEM 140), Physical Chemistry (CHEM 260 and 262)

Fourth Year: Inorganic Chemistry (CHEM 250), Biochemistry (BCMB 271), Directed Study (CHEM 299), Advanced Electives

However, you must be careful to plan your course of action because many courses are taught only in either the fall or spring semester. You will also find that your junior and senior years are fairly chemistry-oriented. One problem is that most chemistry courses have labs and more than two labs a week can prove to be an extreme burden, both for your peace of mind and your social life. Although it is not essential to follow the suggested order, each student should follow a general plan. Organic Chemistry is almost always taken as the first advanced course. It is largely non-mathematical, so taking it early leaves time to accumulate additional math and physics background. Analytical Chemistry follows after CHEM 102 and does not require calculus. Since the laboratory component of the course concentrates on basic technique, it is a good idea to take this course as soon as possible. It is recommended that Chemistry majors take this in their sophomore year.

The order of the remaining courses is not so critical. Physical Chemistry is highly mathematical and requires calculus. Its concepts are used in many other courses, so it is advantageous to take CHEM 260 and 262 in your junior rather than your senior year. CHEM 250 can be taken at any time after CHEM 140 and after or concurrently with CHEM 260. More specialized courses are generally left until the senior year, or used to fill out a schedule. A possible exception is Directed Study, which can often be started in the second semester of the junior year.

The general principle, then, is to take your basic courses early (but not so early that you lack background for them). This has the advantage that you can use the material in later courses. It also gives you more flexibility in your senior year to choose courses that interest you, because you can be sure that you have completed the prerequisites.

The Carlson School of Chemistry and Biochemistry offers two tracks leading to a B.A. in Chemistry. The requirements for the two tracks are designed to allow students to choose their course work depending upon their ultimate career goals. The ACS-Certified track is recommended for those students with a strong interest in chemistry and a desire to continue onto a profession in the chemical sciences. It meets the entrance requirements for graduate study in chemistry. The Standard track offers more latitude in course selection and is appropriate for those students with an interest in chemistry, but who plan to continue in one of the health professions (medical, dental, veterinary school), public school teaching, technical sales, and other chemistry-related fields. The recommended courses for the two tracks are the same for the first two semesters, so students do not need to decide until the spring of their sophomore year. See the required course list for more information.

Individual courses of study will obviously vary a great deal, but it is important to plan ahead as far as possible. The following points need to be considered:

  1. Many advanced courses have other courses as prerequisites, so it is advisable to take the basic courses early.
  2. It is important to take calculus early, and certainly before CHEM 260.
  3. Students contemplating Research or Honors should complete Organic, Analytical and Physical Chemistry courses early, because most research projects involve application of the material learned in these courses.
  4. Students intending to take MCAT or GRE exams should try to complete all basic courses before sitting for the exam.

 

It is often advantageous to take additional courses, particularly in biochemistry, chemistry, mathematics or physics, depending on the area of your interest. Some computer experience is also recommended. In special cases, one of the additional courses may be replaced by advanced biology, physics, and mathematics or computer science courses. However, such a replacement course must be at an advanced level and must be approved by the Chair of the Chemistry Department, in advance.

Professor Sharon Huo, Department Chair, can be reached for more information.

Comparative Literature

Perhaps most important: students should work on their language skills! For comparative literature, you need to complete an intermediate language course. If you can enroll in an intermediate language course right away, do so. If you are starting with a new language, try to get into that course. This will have multiple benefits: you can decide if you want to pursue a language major (like French or Spanish) or go for Comparative Literature. You will also be able to check off your Language Perspective!

You may also consider CMLT 130: Studies in the National Imagination (offered Spring semester only).

Check with the professor if you are interested in a 200-level course in LLC or Comparative Literature. These usually have very heavy reading loads. Many professors are willing to offer tips to help you get through these courses, though, if the topic especially motivates you.

Just keep looking for a literature course! Remember, English courses count too!

Professor Robert Tobin, Department Chair, can be contacted for further information.

Computer Science

Computer science is a broad discipline that provides the means to solve complex challenges more efficiently and effectively than ever before. At the undergraduate level, computer science courses focus on helping students develop a good understanding of computational problem-solving principles and become skillful at effectively developing and using computational techniques. The computational knowledge and skills are broadly applicable to many disciplines and careers. Also, our introductory computer science courses are part of the program of liberal studies (PLS). We strongly encourage first year students with quantitative skills and interests to take introductory computer science courses and develop their computational expertise at Clark.

It is important to know that the introductory computer science and mathematics courses are typically offered once a year and required, directly or indirectly, for the intermediate and advanced computer science courses. Delaying any introductory computer science or mathematics course generally leads to a significant delay in the study of computer science, by a year or more, which puts students at a great disadvantage for internal and external employment, research, service, and competition opportunities. Therefore, we strongly encourage students to start their computer science study early on, preferably in their first year.

Foundational Computer Science and Data Science Courses: A typical program sequence for the students interested in studying computer science fundamentals begins with CSCI 120 (Introduction to Computing) in the fall and CSCI 121(Data Structures) in the spring. No prior experience in computer science is required for CSCI 120. Please note that due to high student demand, CSCI 120 is mainly reserved for first year students.

For students who have good analytical skills, completed one or more semesters of high school or online computer science courses, and are familiar with (programming language) Python based computational problem solving, we encourage the students to contact the computer science program about beginning with CSCI 124 (Honors Introduction to Computing, offered periodically) or CSCI 121 (Data Structures, typically offered in the spring). Starting with either of these courses will allow students to take core and advanced courses and become competitive for on-campus job opportunities and external internship applications early on. Students interested in exploring the new data science minor can also talk to the department about stating with DSCI 125 (Introduction to Data Science, typically offered in the fall).

Note that all three introductory CS courses, CSCI 120, 121, and 124 are Science Perspective (SP) courses. DSCI 125 is a Problem of Practice (POP) course.

Foundational Mathematics Courses: Three mathematics courses are required for the computer science major, including MATH 114 (Discrete Mathematics) and the one-year calculus sequence. These courses are meant to ensure that all students will have the mathematical foundation and analysis skills, which are indispensable for the study of computer science.

MATH 114 is a direct or indirect prerequisite for essentially all intermediate and advanced computer science courses, and should be taken as early as possible by any student who are interested in majoring or minoring in computer science. If it is not possible for a student to take both MATH 114 and Calculus during the first year, preference should be given to MATH 114.

The Calculus sequence (MATH 120-MATH 121), or the Honor Calculus sequence (MATH 124-MATH 125) should be taken preferably in the first year, no later than the second year. To enroll in an introductory mathematics course, students (with the exception of those with advanced-placement credit in calculus) must take the Mathematics Placement Test online before registration. Based on placement scores, students are placed into Precalculus, Calculus, or Honors Calculus. Students with a strong mathematics background who place into MATH 124 are strongly encouraged to take Honors Calculus sequence in the first year.

Please note that MATH 114 and calculus courses are Formal Analysis (FA) courses.

Most computer science courses have to be taken in a particular sequence. Students are not allowed to register for courses without fulfilling the necessary prerequisites first. For this reason, a computer science major generally needs at least three years to complete. First year students should generally steer clear of intermediate and advanced computer science courses.

Yes. CSCI 120 (Introduction to Computing) and MATH 124 (Honors Calculus I) this fall can be taken either a First-Year Intensive (FYI) course or a regular course.

The following table lists our recommended MathCS courses for students based on their interests in computer science. We are happy to work with FY students and their summer advisers on special situations.

Table:  MathCS Course Recommendation, with further clarification remarks below

Student Interest Fall 2019 Spring 2020
To explore CS and/or fulfill the SP requirement CSCI 120 (no prior comp. sci. experience is required) (consult the CS faculty)
To study CS as minor or major CSCI 120 or 124 (based on prior CS experience)

Math 120 or 124 (ok to delay)

(based on math placement)

CSCI 121 or a core CS course

MATH 114

Math 121 or 125 (ok to delay)

  • We strongly recommend all FY students interested in CS to take CS 120 or 124 this fall.
  • We strongly recommend students interested in having computer science as their only or primary major to complete the one-year calculus sequence in their first year.
  • We also recommend the calculus sequence to the students interested in studying CS as their minor or secondary major. If it is hard to fit calculus into their schedule, they can delay calculus.
  • We generally recommend MATH 114 for the spring semester. Students with strong math skills and prior CS or calculus courses can consult the MathCS faculty about taking it in the fall.
  • It is important for students to have a balanced workload during their first semester. For other courses, we generally recommend introductory PLS courses. ECON 10 (GP), MGMT 100 (VE), TA 112 (AP), IDND 101 (LP) are some of the popular PLS courses among CS students.

Students scoring 4 or 5 in their AP Computer Science Principles or AP Computer Science A can take CSCI 120 in the fall. If they have strong background in the Python programming language and computational problem solving, they may be placed out of CSCI 120.

Students or faculty are welcome to contact csAdvising@clarku.edu and/or Professor Li Han (LHan@clarku.edu), Department Chair, for further information and computer science related course selections.

Economics

Students should take ECON 010 in the fall semester, or even better, take a designated ECON 10 FYI as their First Year Intensive experience. Students should take the Math placement exam, to determine if they should enroll in either MATH 119 or MATH 120 (either meets the math requirement for the Economics major, but MATH 120 is preferred).

For spring semester, students can move on to ECON 011 and perhaps also a 100-level elective in spring, and/or ECON 160 (another required course). Click here to see ECON 010 availability.

Most courses have strict prerequisites, so students must have ECON 10 before any other course, and ECON 11 before most of the 200-level electives.

ECON 10 is the “gateway” course for all other Economics courses. The Economics Department offers many sections of the course each semester, traditionally having the course be available for all students who wish to enroll in it.

Students can contact Professor Sang Hoo Bae, Director of the Undergraduate Program or Cindy Rice, Managerial Secretary.

Education (minor only)

None. However, we advise students to take “Complexities of Urban Schools” in their second semester or second year at Clark.

We generally advise students to concentrate on PLS courses in the first year or two.

Students generally contact Andrea Allen in their first or second year for an orientation about the programs and the requirements for the Education Minor, Community Youth and Education Studies Major and the Master of Arts in Teaching fifth year program.

To earn an education minor, students simply need to complete six education courses. However, if students are interested in gaining admission to the Master of Arts in Teaching program, they do NOT need an education minor, rather they should concentrate on their content area (if they wish to be middle or high school teachers).

  • If students wish to be middle or high school teachers, they should major in the content area they wish to teach (Biology, Chemistry, English, History, Mathematics, Physics, Spanish, and Studio Art are the programs offered at Clark).
  • If students wish to be come elementary school teachers, they need to complete a liberal arts major and complete “Concepts of Elementary Math I & II” before their senior year.

All students interested in the Master of Arts in Teaching, regardless of what level they wish to teach need to take “Complexities of Urban Schools” before their senior year.

Engineering/Physics Department

Intended physics majors and 3/2 engineering students are strongly encouraged to enrolled  in the introductory physics course sequence (Physics 120 and Physics 121 during the Fall and Spring semesters respectively their first year. In addition, students should typically register for the appropriate corequisite math courses: Math 120 or Math 124 when taking Physics 120 and Math 125.

The physics course sequence structure is that of a ladder. It is important to complete introductory and intermediate physics courses in sequence before continuing to the next rung/course. For this reason, taking introductory physics courses starting in the first semester/first year is very strongly recommended. However, it is possible to finish the physics major starting in the sophomore year as well. In such a case, it is highly recommended that a student consult with a member of the physics department for recommendations in doing so since delay in beginning the introductory physics course sequence can create problems later on.

Recommendation summary: Enroll in Physics 120 in the fall of your first year, and schedule Physics 121 for the spring, if you are taking the calculus sequence this year. Otherwise, you can take this introductory sequence in your sophomore year and still complete the essential physics major courses by the end of your senior year. Click here to check Physics course availability and here to check Mathematics course availability.

Important note: 3/2 Engineering students only have three years to complete a major at Clark before transferring to an Engineering school after their junior year. They must take Introductory Physics – Part I (Physics 120) and calculus their first semester.

In addition, we suggest to students to begin taking your required Perspectives and other PLS courses right away. This will provide  students with the maximum  course flexibility in their junior and senior years, a time when students may wish to pursue more specialized or individualized courses in physics and related fields.

Students should normally take Introductory Physics 120 and Physics 121 before taking any 200 level courses. Please see the instructor if you feel that you have the background to take an upper level course without talking Introductory Physics. Also note: While it is very strongly recommended that a student begin the physics major by taking Physics 110 and 111 (introductory physics without calculus) can complete the physics major without taking Physics 120 and 121 can complete the physics major without taking Physics 120 and 121. In such a case, a student should consult with a member of the physics department for course recommendations.

We are almost always able to make room in our introductory courses. If taking 120, for some reason is impossible, a student can take 110, but should do so after a consultation with a member of the physics department.

You should contact Professor Charles Agosta, who is the advisor for that program. He should be contacted prior to registering for your first semester.

The Department offers two introductory physics sequences: Physics 110-111 is a general introduction covering the major areas of physics in sufficient depth for the needs of pre-medical students (and those planning careers in other health professions), biology majors, and others who are interested in the subject but do not expect to use physical principles in a rigorously quantitative fashion in later studies or in their careers. The mathematics used in the sequence includes algebra and trigonometry.

Physics 120-121 covers much the same material, but uses the full power of the calculus to develop a deeper quantitative sense of the interplay of theory and experiment in the physicist’s understanding of nature. Calculus is a co-requisite, and may be taken at the same time as Physics 120-121. This sequence is designed for potential physics majors, chemistry majors, mathematics majors, and 3/2 engineering program candidates, and is also the right course for others who have the math background and the desire to get the most thorough treatment of physics as a part of their university education.

Because physics is applied to understanding fundamental properties and workings of nature, both of these introductory sequences have laboratory sections as essential elements.

The Physics Department offers several courses for Science Perspective credit, including both of the introductory sequences described above. Other available courses offering SP credit are Astronomy 001 and 002, stand-alone courses that both offer an introduction to the main ideas of astronomy as they have come to us from researchers over the centuries and from current-day observations. Astronomy 001 deals a bit more with the universe at all scales, including cosmological questions and the distribution of galaxies throughout the universe; Astronomy 002 deals in somewhat more detail with our closer neighbors, the other planets of our solar system. Both courses provides well-rounded introduction to the most important aspects of astronomy, and each course has an essential observational laboratory component.

The Department offers Discovering Physics, Physics 020, for non-physics-majors who would like to gain an understanding of a few areas of physics in depth. Discovering Physics is entirely lab based, building up the students’ understanding from their own hands-on experiments.

In collaboration with the Environmental Sciences program, we also offer Technology of Renewable Energy, Physics 243, in alternate years. This course, as with our other courses is open to non-majors, assumes no background of university-level physics. This course is aimed at a detailed understanding of the physical underpinnings of one of the most crucial elements of our relationship with our environment, namely the resources, exploitation, values, and side-effects of the use of energy in our technological society.Several of our advanced courses also carry SP credit, including Oscillations, Waves, and Optics, Physics 130, Quantum Physics Laboratory, Physics 131, and Computer Simulation Laboratory, Physics 127. These courses require a good basic physics background and permission of the instructor is recommended.

The Physics Department offers a course in electronics that is appropriate for students majoring in other sciences, and a variety of advanced physics courses that may be of interest to individual students. The members of the Department would welcome students who wish to discuss any of our courses to see whether they might be suitable for their individual needs and interests.

Professor Ranjan Mukhopadhyay is the undergraduate physics major advisor. Feel free to contact him or any other member of the Physics Department for details on our program if you are assigned an adviser is in another department. We will work with you and your adviser, to help you set up a program that will be best for you. Once you declare physics to be your major, our major advisor will work directly with you to help you tailor our program to your own particular interests.

Students and faculty can contact Professor Arshad Kudrolli, Department Chair or Sujata Davis for any other questions.

English

Because written communication is so important to the study of literature, we recommend that students fulfill their VE (verbal expression) requirement as soon as possible—ideally during the first semester of the first year. For any student exploring the possibility of an English major, we recommend: First Year Intensive courses offered through the English department; English 20 (Introduction to Literary Analysis) or our historical sequence courses required for the major that also fulfill the VE requirement, such as English 180: Major American Literature I, English 141: Major British Writers II, and English 183: African American Literature II. If you have any questions regarding your writing placement, contact Jennifer Plante at the Writing Center: jplante@clarku.edu.

After completing the VE requirement—or if you are VE exempt—you can take any 100-level English course. We especially recommend our new Gateway course, English 199: The Text, the World, and the Critic: Narrative Form, which is a course for the English major. Participants in the course will develop strategies for close reading and analysis of a range of literary genres, including poetry, drama, prose narratives such as short stories. If you are unable to register for an appropriate VE course during your first semester but feel you might be ready to try a 100-level literature course, consult your summer adviser (and, ideally, the course instructor). It is always a good idea to let the instructor of a 100-level course know if you are taking your first English class at Clark. If you have any questions about the suitability of a particular course, never hesitate to contact the instructor by email.

Generally, we do not recommend that first-year students take 200-level seminars.

A balance of workload and exploration of various fields of study are important in your first year. That is why we generally encourage students to take no more than one English course per semester during their first year. You do not want to overload your schedule with too many reading/writing intensive courses at once, and you will want to explore a range of subjects, especially because the English major works extremely well in combination with double majors, minors, and concentrations in other departments. That said, students eager to begin their English major career sometimes wish to take a 100-level; course in addition to a VE course. This scenario works best when the VE course is offered in another department besides English, such as Philosophy, History, Screen Studies, Comparative Literature, etc.

English courses at the 100 level generally fulfill core requirements of the major, so you will already be getting a head start by taking at least one 100-level class in your first year. Fulfilling PLS requirements in conjunction with introductory English classes is a great way to explore different perspectives and potential secondary fields of study, all of which can only enhance the reading of literature.

The English major is well suited to interdisciplinary study. Many of our students have double majors or various combinations of minors and concentrations in other fields. Combinations within the Humanities are popular (Philosophy, History, Foreign Languages, Music, Art History, Social Sciences (especially Political Science, Sociology, and Psychology), interdisciplinary programs (such as Women and Gender Studies), and preprofessional programs (such as Education). Many students also combine their interest in literature with their pursuit of science, mathematics, and computer science. The interdisciplinary potential of the English major is well demonstrated in the Senior Capstone, in which students are encouraged to craft independent projects that pull together their main fields of study.

The same 100-level classes that fulfill core major requirements also fulfill many minor requirements. If you are unsure whether you want to major or minor in English, good choices include the historical survey classes (English 140 and 141: Major British Writers I and II, English 180 and 181: Major American Writers I and II), or English 182 and 183: African American Literature I and II, and any poetry offering (English 110 and 123); or other genre courses (English 164: The Gothic; English 135: The Short Story, and English 165: American Ethnic Writers).

We encourage students to ask a specific professor to serve as adviser when they are ready to declare the major. If a student does not have a particular professor in mind, the Department Chair is always happy to become the adviser. Because you will pursue a special area of focus within the major, we encourage you to find the professor who can best advise you as your interests evolve. That means a major should always feel free to switch advisors when appropriate to the specialization.

Please contact Department Chair Professor Lisa Kasmer.

Environmental Sciences

Students should take BIOL-101, GEOG -104, and EN-101 in their first year of study, or as early as they can. These are the three “core” courses that all students must take. In addition to fulfilling the “core” requirement, these courses introduce students to each of the three tracks within ES, so they are invaluable in helping students to choose the appropriate track within ES. Students interested in the ES major should also consider taking one or two of the other introductory required science courses during their first year (there is quite a choice among chemistry, physics, or biology).

Students should be aware that 200 or 300 level courses may not be appropriate for first year students. Students can also talk to professors for guidance if they want to defer their math or statistics requirements of their ES track until later.

BIOL-101 should always have space and GEOG-104 typically does as well. Beyond this, the answer depends on the track and the student. Each ES track requires at least two courses that integrate environment and humans (“Human-Environment Courses” in the ESS track, or the ES&P track “Environment & Society Courses”). These are usually fine for first-year students. Most other courses have prerequisites or are more suited to students in subsequent years.

In ES, getting the 3 cores done early is a good idea. After that, most advanced courses are open. This is where the advisor is critical – at Clark, a student can build a totally unique course collection.

Incoming first-year students will typically be advised by the instructor of their First Year Intensive course, but those interested in the ES major are encouraged to seek additional advice from the ES Program Director. Following the first year and upon declaration of the major, students will be pointed towards advisors within their chosen tracks as soon as their ES track choice is evident. The program director or administrative support staff can assist students with finding an advisor. Students should also feel free to approach one or more prospective faculty advisor(s) of their choosing to ask if he or she would be willing and able to serve in this way.

  • Earth System Science (ESS) Track: examines the physical and biological processes that shape environments across the globe, and explores how global environmental changes are altering natural resources and the sustainability of our planet. ESS students are prepared for a range of professional endeavors and advanced studies involving geosciences, physical geography, natural resource planning, and GIS. ESS students interested in an accelerated B.A./M.S. degree may pursue the master’s in Environmental Science and Policy.
  • Environmental Conservation Biology (E&CB) Track: explores the ways in which organisms evolve and interact with one another and their environments, ranging from molecular evolution and genomics to ecosystem level function and composition. ECB students interested in the B.A./M.S. degree may pursue the master’s degree in Biology or in Environmental Science and Policy.
  • Environmental Science and Policy (ES&P) Track: prepares students to address the complexities of environmental issues facing society today, spanning toxicity and health risks to resource management and environmental policy. Students are provide in-depth exposure to how human activity is impacting the environment and how the environment affects human health, livelihoods, and the natural resources on which we depend. ES&P students engage with both natural and social perspectives for managing and mitigating these human-environment relationships.

This is somewhat track-specific for internships and/or summer research. ES&P-track students more frequently do internships, while E&CB-track students more commonly do more formal research. Students engaging in an internship or research experience may be encouraged by their advisors to take a “299” credit as appropriate. These experiences are more common in the junior or senior years, to provide specialized thinking and experience with regard to a specific topic.

ES is a Program rather than a department. It draws courses and faculty from almost every part of the campus. This can leave students wondering about what department they “belong to”. So, let me give you some idea of how this might work out for a hypothetical student. For ES-E&CB track students, Biology will be their nominal “home”; for ES-ESS track students, Geography will be their “home”; and for ES&P track students IDCE (International Development Community and Environment) might be their home. For an ES major following the E&CB track (Environmental & Conservation Biology), many of their courses will be from Biology. Some of the more “popular” courses they would consider in other departments are the various field courses in Geography, such as Forest Ecology, Hydrology, and Landscape Ecology. Many ES majors are also finding that 1-2 courses in GIS (taught within Geography) would be appropriate for their career part, as well as Statistics.

ES majors who qualify may be accepted into a 5th year program in Biology, in ES&P, or in GIS offered by the Biology, IDCE, and Geography Departments, respectively.

No general guidelines are possible, since there are three tracks and the course mix are completely student dependent. All other factors being equal, a mix of all types of classes would be suggested.

ES students select minors across a wide range of fields, some of which are closely complementary, such as Geography, Political Science, Economics or Management, and others that are further afield, such as Art or maybe a language. Students should keep in mind that the ES major has a high credit count, requiring 17 or 18 credits, so it can be tricky to fit in a minor as well. On the other hand, the ES major is well set-up to have coursework that satisfies both the PLS and the major if students choose their courses thoughtfully. The advisor is the best person to fine-tune these kinds of things.

Students and faculty can contact:

French and Francophone Studies

Students should start at the level they place into based on their total number of years of French study (middle school plus high school). (Consult the Language Placement Guidelines here.) Depending on their experience, this can be a language class or a more advanced course in literature or film, for example. Ir is highly advisable for incoming students with French experience to take a French and Francophone Studies course in their first year in order to fully capitalize on knowledge and skills acquired in high school. Students considering majoring or minoring in French and Francophone Studies will want to make sure that they can progress to the 120-level by their sophomore year. During their first or second year students should consider CMLT 130: Studies in the National Imagination (offered Spring semester only), ideally fulfilling this requirement before studying abroad.

New students should steer clear of all 200-level courses offered in LL&C (including Comparative Literature). These are courses designed for students with advanced standing in one of the department’s majors. First year students who speak French at a near-native level and have already had extensive literature study may inquire about taking such courses.

Students taking Intermediate I or II (FREN 105 or 106) will want to progress through the sequence as quickly as possible so as to reach the 120-level by sophomore year. If students enter Clark with four or more years of previous study in a strong high school program, they should consider taking FREN 124 or 120 (Fall and Spring semester respectively), which will give them credit for the major. If a student has studied French-language literature in high school (AP Literature, International school, studying in francophone country), they should plan to take 131 or 132 (literature course), 137 or 140 (cultural studies course). All majors should progress into the 130-level no later than their third year, ideally earlier, upon completing 120 or 124.

Linguistic and cultural competences are integral to the French and Francophone Studies major, thus the immersion experience of studying abroad is a required part of the major. A full semester of Study Abroad is preferable, though a shorter, summer option is available. See programs in France (Rennes, Dijon) and Senegal (Dakar) here. Students should talk with program faculty as early as possible so that they can start mapping out their course load to include a semester aboard, especially those who are considering a double major.

The 100-level courses that fulfill the major requirements also fulfill the minor requirements (FREN 120 and above), including courses taken during Study Abroad. Six courses are needed for a minor; a semester abroad will fulfill half the courses required.

Students in F&FS often pursue a double major within the social sciences or the humanities (International Development and Social Change, Psychology, Sociology, History, etc.). Because the major requires four related courses, students who are also majoring in another discipline can often count courses that they take for their second major.

Students should see a professor of their choice when declaring a major, typically a professor whom the student knows through their coursework.

Students and faculty can contact the section coordinator, Professor Allison Fong, or the Department Chair, Professor Beth Gale, Department Chair.

*Language Placement Guidelines: https://www.clarku.edu/departments/language-literature-and-culture/undergraduate-programs/language-placement-guidelines-and-credit-transfer/

*Study Abroad programs page: https://www.clarku.edu/offices/studyabroad/

Geography

A good place to start is one of several 00- and 100-level courses in geography that have been designated as core courses in Geography that have been designated as core courses. Geography majors take four of these core courses which are designed to highlight core geographic concepts and ways of creating knowledge that will help build a framework for understanding the world as a geographer. Core courses must be selected from one of the following core areas of geographic knowledge:

  1. Human Environment (Nature and Society): Analyzes the ways that human societies have used, shaped and constructed nature; impacts of societies, economics and cultures on ecological systems; and societal and environmental consequences of the interaction. (Also referred to as Nature Society.) Examples of research and practice: environmental policy and practice, food systems, agriculture, small animal geographies, international development, natural resource extraction, water resource management, socio-environmental movements and conflicts, sustainability, land use, vulnerability, environmental change, resilience, hazards, and more.
  2. Urban Economic (Globalization, Cities and Development): Examines the ways that space and location shape economic, sociopolitical and cultural life; ways that economic, sociopolitical and cultural factors shape space and location and relationships between these processes and the dynamics of urban life. (Also referred to as Globalization, Cities and Development.) Examples of research and practice: socio-spatial dynamics of cities, economies, and industries, theories and discourses of economic development, innovation and entrepreneurship, social movements, legal geographies,  place-making processes, critical social theory, urban politics, globalization, sustainability, political ecology, and more.
  3. Earth System Science: Examines how earth system (ecosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, and lithosphere) naturally function, how these systems interact with one another, and how they are affected by human activities. Examples of research and practice: terrestrial ecosystems, global change, surface water, cold-region hydrology, terrestrial and marine biogeochemistry, polar climate change, forest ecology, glaciology, landscape and disturbance ecology, and more.
  4. Geographic Information Science: Examines the acquisition, analysis and communication of geographic information; principles and techniques important in cartography, remote sensing, geographic information systems, and spatial analysis. Examples of research and practice: conservation GIS, land change modeling, image time series analysis, image classification, decision support, system development, remote sensing of the cryosphere, remote sensing of forest ecosystems, and more.

Click here to see Geography course availability.

Students should avoid taking any 200 level courses in the department until they have taken the introductory courses and/or GEOG 141: Research Design and Methods in Geography (a required course for all Geography majors).

Visit our website and review our Program Guide to learn about the major requirements and courses that satisfy each component.

All Geography majors are required to have a faculty advisor in the department. If you do not already have a specific faculty in mind, you should contact the Program Administrator, Rachel Levitt, who will help determine a strong student-faculty advisor pairing based on your interest within the major. The Program Administrator can also assist with the major declaration process and add you to the necessary email lists and Moodle pages.

For questions about the Geography major or the Global Environmental Studies major, contact Rachel Levitt, the Program Administrator.

German

Students who are interested in doing a self-designed German major should be in touch with Professor Robert Tobin.

Global Environmental Studies

A good place to start is one of several 00- and 100-level courses in Global Environmental Studies (GES) that have been designated as core courses. GES majors take five of these core courses which are designed to introduce students to the different ways of understanding and researching society-environment relations. Students must take one core course each from the “State of the Earth” and “Natural Science” areas. The three remain core courses are selected by the student in consultation with their GES advisor:

  1. State of the Earth (one course required): What are the contemporary relations between society and environment? How do we begin to critically understand these relations?
  2. Natural Science (one course required): What are the earth’s physical, chemical, and biological processes that shape the landscapes of the planet?
  3. Politics and Economy: How does the economy impact the environment? How do different nations impact the climate? How do governments and social institutions seek to intervene and shape human-environment relations?
  4. Culture: How do we understand the environment? What landscapes are protected and why? How do we learn to appreciate and value the living world?

Completing the GES major requires you to take 12 courses that qualify for GES core, specialization and skills requirements. These courses are listed in the Program Guide, which can be found on the GES website. The major is structured so that you build foundational knowledge in your core courses, and then move on to develop knowledge in one of three areas of specialization. Your selection of classes and identification of a specialization area should be undertaken in collaboration with your GES advisor. You may also take courses from more than one specialization area, under the guidance of your advisor. Finally, you will complete two courses to develop skills in understanding, interpreting or representing human-environmental relations. Skills courses develop knowledge in areas such as spatial analysis, visualization and film, quantitative analysis, qualitative analysis, research design and communication. Given the breadth of the GES major, it is imperative that you actively construct your major, understanding why you are taking particular classes and identify specific learning outcomes for the major. You should also select your skills courses so that they correspond to your specialization.

Students are strongly encouraged to do internships within the private, public and non-for-profit sectors. Similarly, study abroad provides students with the opportunity to witness first-hand the environmental issues that arise in other parts of the world and to be a part of their analysis and problem-solving. To receive credit for study abroad, you must work with your faculty advisor and select courses that have equivalents within the GES major at Clark.

The GES Program Guide (on the GES website) should be the first place students refer to when they have a question about the major. Students and faculty can also contact the Program Administrator (TBA) or Director of the GES program (Prof. Rinku Roy Chowdhury), who can provide additional information and help you find a faculty advisor in the department. The Program Administrator can also assist with the major declaration process and add you to the necessary email lists and Moodle pages.

History

First-year students are advised to take introductory level courses, most of which are broad overviews that not only prepare students for more in-depth, upper-level courses but also introduce students to the discipline of history. All emphasize basic skills of good writing and clear thinking. Introductory courses are those that start with either a 0 (e.g. History 016) or 1 (e.g. History 118). Click here to see History course availability. As history is a discipline with connections to many other fields of study, the History Department recommends that students explore the Program of Liberal Studies during their first years. Many courses that you will take to fulfill your perspectives will prove to be valuable to your major in history.

History 120, Writing History, should ideally be taken in the sophomore year or after at least one course in the History Department. We strongly recommend that students take introductory-level courses before enrolling in 200-level courses. If you feel an exception should be made to this general rule, please consult the chair or course instructor.

Every year we set aside spaces in our introductory courses for first-years. The major requirements are reasonably flexible and history 120 is the only course that is required for all history majors. Thus, we expect that most students who want to study history in their first semester at Clark will have that opportunity.

History majors should aim to be liberally educated. That means being exposed to a variety of disciplines that provide them with a broad perspective and which will sharpen their critical thinking skills as well as their verbal and written expression.

Our majors tend to take a wide variety of courses across many departments. Among the most popular are Political Science courses (e.g. Introduction to American Government, Comparative Politics of Women, Introduction to International Relations), English courses (e.g. Major American Writers, Shakespeare); Sociology (Intro. to Sociology, Media and Society); and Foreign Languages (Spanish, French, German, Chinese, Japanese).

Once students declare a history major, they may choose an advisor in the History Department. Usually the advisor is someone the student has gotten to know through his/her coursework and teaches in the student’s area of specialization.

Students and faculty can contact Diane Fenner, the Department Assistant or Professor Nina Kushner.

International Development and Social Change

The field of international development has been one of the driving forces shaping contemporary politics and well-being in the post WWII era. In the IDSC major, students learn about vital world issues such as: global social movements, peace and conflict, race and nationalism, health disparities, social justice, education, human rights, refugees and migration, among many others. IDSC is an interdisciplinary major, which combines principles and practices from sociology, anthropology, economics, history, political science and geography. The major requires 13 credits, including five core introductory courses, a four-elective specialization that addresses a particular theme or issue in international development and social change, one methods course, two skills courses, one internship or directed research project, and a culminating senior capstone seminar. Students wishing to graduate with honors must write a thesis during the spring of their senior year, which also serves as their capstone project.

International Development and Social Change (IDSC) is a major offered by the IDCE department (International Development, Community, and Environment). The IDCE department also coordinates the Environmental Science and Policy track of the Environmental Science major, and offers Master’s degrees in Community Development and Planning (CDP), Environmental Science and Policy (ES&P), Geographic Information Science for Development and Environment (GISDE), and Health Science (MHS) as well as International Development (ID). Advanced BA students can take advantage of academic and extra-curricular opportunities associated with these graduate programs. Students who earn honors in the undergraduate major are also eligible to apply to Clark University’s Accelerated BA/MA program to earn an MA in ID.

In their first year, prospective majors should take ID 125 “Tales from the Far Side” and/or ID 121 “Culture, Health and Development” which are usually offered every year. Both of these required classes also satisfy the Global Comparative Perspective (GP) of the PLS requirements. Students seeking to major in IDSC should also take ECON 010 as early as possible. Although ECON 010 does not count towards the major, it is a prerequisite for another core class, ECON 128, which is taught only once a year. Click here to see ID course availability and here to see Economics course availability.

IDSC majors can select among a variety of interdisciplinary 100-level classes that fulfill the “Politics of Development” and the “Environmental Sustainability” requirements during their first two years of study. By the end of the sophomore and junior year, majors should be taking more advanced seminars (200 level) with core faculty in their area of specialization. IDSC majors are also encouraged to learn an additional language. Any intermediate language class can count towards the major’s two required “skills” classes. Some language courses start their intermediate language learning at the 103 number; while languages such as French and Spanish start at 105 number. Most IDSC majors choose to participate in a Study Abroad program, which often require language proficiency.

Many students do decide to double major in IDSC and a related department, usually a social science like geography, sociology, political science, history, economics, or an interdisciplinary program like women’s studies. The university allows students to count two classes towards both majors.

Many programs do offer excellent international development courses. In consultation with your advisor, you can count two academic classes and one internship towards the major.

In addition to the courses listed in the recommended sequence for the ID major, you should take the required methods course, Econ 128: Economic Development), and ID 132: Research Methods. Many students will take a regional-oriented class to fulfill their “Politics of Development” requirement. For example, someone interested in going to North Africa or Jordan might want to take Political Science 174: Middle Eastern Politics and someone wanting to go to Latin America could benefit from taking Political Science 173: Latin American Politics.

IDSC majors who meet all university requirements, maintain a 3.5 GPA in the major and successfully complete an honors thesis can apply for the fifth year MA program in ID.

Our majors typically find jobs with nonprofit organizations, international organizations, government agencies, or private contractors engaged in international development. Students also start and manage their own non-profits and increasing manage social media and fund-raising campaigns for issue-oriented organizations. In order to increase their work and field-based experience as well as take advantage of federal education and loan programs, a small number of students every year are successful apply to and are awarded positions with the US Peace Corps program, City Year and Americorps.

To learn more about the major or minor, please see our departmental web pages. Our full undergraduate handbook and major and minor checklists can be found under the under the “handbooks and forms” heading.

For any questions not answered by these materials, please contact our undergraduate coordinator, Prof. Cynthia Caron, regularly hosts group advising sessions every Fall and Spring to coincide with course registration.

Management

Management majors have eight requirements that we recommend students complete during the first and second years. It is helpful if students complete some of these foundation courses during the first year. Some Management majors may wish to immediately load up on Management courses, but we advise a blend of Management courses, and courses for the Program of Liberal Studies.

Appropriate Management courses for the first year include MGMT 100 (The Art and Science of Management), MGMT 101 (Principles of Accounting), MGMT 104 (Introduction to Management Information Systems), MGMT 110 (Quantitative Methods for Managers) and MGMT170 (Managerial Communications). ECON 010 is also recommended as a first year course and is required for the Management major.

A few Management course requirements fulfill the PLS requirements (e.g., MGMT100 – VE; ECON 010-GP; MGMT104 & MGMT110 – FA; MGMT 262 – VP; MGMT210 – DI). For those PLS perspectives not covered by the required courses for the major, the first and second years are ideal periods to explore the PLS, particularly since many required Management courses, including Management electives, are restricted to juniors and seniors.

Although an internship is not required for the major, Management majors are encouraged to complete an internship during their undergraduate years. Most of our students take part in an education-enhancing internship and can receive academic credit for their work. The Clark Career Services office is an excellent resource in both the job and internship search process, and will work with students on perfecting their resumes, interviewing techniques, and conducting a successful internship search. Students do internships in the Worcester and Boston areas during the academic year, or elsewhere in the country or abroad during the summer. Some study abroad programs available to students during an academic semester also include the option of completing an internship abroad while taking classes.

If students will be completing an internship for credit, they need to complete the internship procedures as directed by the Office of Career Services. In addition, Management majors need to get their internships and directed readings cleared by the SOM Assistant Dean, Laura Burgess. Students must also find a Management faculty supervisor to oversee their internships/directed readings, if they are doing it for credit. Internships and directed readings do not count towards Management major or minor requirements.

Unfortunately, there are no alternatives to the required courses in the Management major. If key courses are filled, students will simply have to wait until the next semester. Most students are able to take at least one required Management major course in each semester of their first year.

Students will first have their FYI professor serve as their academic adviser. The adviser may or may not be in the Management department. When a student declares his/her Management major, a faculty advisor within the Management department will be assigned at that time if needed. If students do not request a particular advisor, initial advisor assignments are made by the Assistant Dean at the time they declare their major.

If students have advising questions regarding the Management program during their first two years, they are encouraged to contact the Assistant Dean, Laura Burgess.

During the first two years, there is no preferred sequencing of courses students need to follow. However, ECON 010, MGMT 100, MGMT 101 and MGMT 110 are prerequisites for some 200 level courses that students will take.

It is important that students take the following courses by their final semester of their senior year, since they are prerequisites for Applying the Art & Science of Management (MGMT 260), a Senior year capstone course. These courses are MGMT 210, MGMT 230, MGMT 240, and MGMT 250. While it is possible for students to take some of these courses concurrently with the capstone course, it is certainly preferable for them to be completed earlier.

SOM offers many options for an accelerated degree, including the MS in Management, MS in Finance, MS in Accounting, MS in Business Analytics and MS in Marketing. Each program has different prerequisite requirements and different sophomore/cumulative GPA requirements (from a 3.4 – 3.6). Each program also has varying levels of tuition coverage available for the 5th year, from 50-100%. Students should consult the program information in the academic catalog and reach out to the SOM Assistant Dean, Laura Burgess, with questions.

Minors in Management, Marketing, and Innovation and Entrepreneurship are available in SOM. All minors require 6 units of coursework. Any major complements a minor in Management, Marketing or I&E, and is appropriate for students. Students from all majors on campus have completed these minors over the years, and the SOM minors are the most popular minors on campus.

Students should contact Laura Burgess, Assistant Dean, SOM at lburgess@clarku.edu, or 508-793-7744.

Math

Analytical, computational and technological skills have become increasingly important in many disciplines and professional careers. We encourage students to develop those skills by taking courses in Mathematics and Computer Science in their first year.

To enroll in an introductory mathematics course, students with advanced placement credit (from a successful AP Calculus exam score or prior college course in Calculus) will select a course based on that placement. A student without advanced placement credit must take the Clark University math placement test (available to every student in Moodle) and will register for the course in which the exam places them. (Details on placement are given in the document MathCS_SummerAdvise_HelpDoc_June2019.pdf.)

Two Calculus tracks are open to students: the regular track MATH 120-MATH 121, and the Honors track MATH 124-MATH 125. Both tracks start in the fall. Students who do not place into Calculus, but place into Pre-calculus (MATH 119), can start with MATH 119 this fall and continue with MATH 120 in the fall of their second year.

The regular track is the less theoretical Calculus sequence (MATH 120-MATH 121). Many of the students who take this sequence will not continue with upper level mathematics classes.

Honors Calculus (MATH 124-MATH 125) develops analytical skills and rigor; it prepares students for intermediate and upper level mathematics classes. It is therefore recommended that students with a strong mathematical background, who intend to take higher-level mathematics classes in the future, start with MATH 124-MATH 125. This course is appropriate for a student in any discipline with strong analytical abilities who enjoys math and wants to further their knowledge in it. We have had very successful students in this sequence go on to major in Physics, Computer Science, Economics, Chemistry, Biochemistry, Geography, Pre-Law, Environmental Science, Philosophy and other disciplines.

If a student does not have advanced placement (either through AP Calculus or a college Calculus course) then they will take the Clark math placement test. This test places them into one of three courses: Math 119 (Precalculus), Math 120 (Calculus 1), or Math 124 (Honors Calculus 1). The student will only be able to register the course they place into. For example, a student who places into Math 124 will not be able to register for Math 120.

Students with a sufficiently high score on the AP (AB) Calculus test receive credit for MATH 120. This credit fulfills the prerequisite for MATH 121, but not for MATH 125. It is recommended that these students start with MATH 124 (the advanced placement means they do not need to take the Clark placement test) and continue into MATH 125 if they are interested in taking higher-level mathematics classes in the future.

Students with a sufficiently high score on the AP (BC) Calculus test receive credit for MATH 121 and may take Linear Algebra MATH 130 in their first semester.

While these placements are generally efficient at placing students in the appropriate level, students are encouraged to communicate about this with their instructors prior to and during the first week of classes. Exceptions occur and we will accommodate students to ensure they are in the most appropriate class.

Most mathematics courses have to be taken in a particular sequence. Students are not allowed to register for courses without fulfilling the necessary prerequisites prior. Note that for this reason a math major cannot be completed in fewer than three years. For any student who will need upper level math (for example, a physics major) it is critical to begin math study as soon as possible, preferably in the first semester.

Yes, any student taking Honors Calculus (MATH 124-MATH 125) may take it as an FYI course. They can do this by registering for the FYI discussion section 902 (as opposed to 901, for non-FYI). There is no difference in the course coverage between these versions of the course. The FYI discussion sections may be different. Contact the instructor for more information.

Students or faculty should contact MathAdvising@clarku.edu with questions or for more information on first year registration.

Music

Students with a general interest in music can a variety of introductory courses including MUSC 010 (Introduction to Music); MUSC 012 (Pop Music in the USA); or MUSC 151 (Jazz History).

Students interested in the Music Program Major or Minor can consider taking 3 some of the Programs’ three core requirements early: MUSC 100 (Studying Music Historically and Critically); MUSC 121 (Principles of Tonal Analysis); and MUSC 141 (Computers and Music). MUSC 021 is sometimes offered as an introductory music theory class, that prepares students for our required course (for those without prior experience in reading music). All students who are possibly interested in a Major or Minor in music should take the music placement exam, which is easily found on Moodle and always available.

MUSC 121 is offered every Spring semester and students should either take MUSC 021 if offered or simply complete the music placement exam offered anytime on Moodle. Click here to check Music course availability.

Music students may concentrate in one of four areas: Performance, Composition & Theory; History & Criticism, and Music Technology. Students interested in other professional areas such as music therapy, management, ethnomusicology, or music education combine music courses with appropriate courses from other disciplines to create an individually designed major. The requirements for such pre-professional programs are jointly determined by the student and an advisory committee made up of one music faculty member and two faculty members from other disciplines.

Music majors interested in music education may take courses in the music curriculum in conjunction with courses through the education department.

Yes! Non-majors and majors may audition for a variety of organizations, which rehearse regularly and perform several yearly concerts. These groups include the Clark Concert Choir and Chamber Chorus, Instrumental Chamber Ensembles, the Sinfonia (string orchestra), Clark Concert Band and the Jazz Workshop Combos & Ensemble. At the start of each semester, look for notice of organizational meetings.

Students and faculty can contact Professor John Aylward, Program Director for Music, for more information.

Philosophy

The Philosophy major does not require any specific sequence of courses in the first year, but some choices are better than others. PHIL 141, “History of Ancient Philosophy” and PHIL 143 “History of Early Modern Philosophy are excellent choices. Every Fall semester, the department also offers several First-Year Intensives on specialized topics.

Some 100-level courses (like Medical Ethics) exclude first-year students. Almost all 200-level course will assume some familiarity with Philosophy. Check the course catalog for specific prerequisites.

If you are interested in a philosophy course that is full, contact the instructor. Depending on the circumstances, the instructors may be willing to enter an “override” and permit you to enroll over the cap. You should also watch the Registrar’s listing of courses to see if spaces become available. Some popular courses are offered every semester. Talking to the instructor may help you get into the course next semester.

We recommend that students interested in philosophy prioritize their FA and VE courses. Writing and formal analysis are fundamental to all philosophy. Other PLS courses can be distributed over the first two or three years as necessary. It’s worth noting that PHIL 110, “Symbolic Logic,” is a required course for the philosophy major and it satisfies the University’s FA (Formal Analysis) requirement.

A faculty major adviser must be selected when students declare their major. Students select their own major adviser by asking a faculty member to fill that role or by asking the department chair to assign an adviser.

Philosophy majors may take courses in any other department. Some common double majors are Psychology, Political Science, and Biology. One’s choices will depend on the student’s specific interests and post-Clark goals.

Students can contact the Department Chairperson. As of March 2020, the Chairperson is Professor Scott Hendricks. The department website will have the most up-to-date information.

Physics

Intended physics majors and 3/2 engineering students are strongly encouraged to enroll in the introductory physics course sequence (Physics 120 and Physics 121 during the Fall and Spring semesters, respectively, their first year. In addition, students should typically register for the appropriate corequisite math courses: Math 120 (or Math 124) when taking Physics 120, and Math 121 (or Math 125) when taking Physics 121.

The physics course sequence structure resembles that of a ladder. It is important to complete introductory and intermediate physics courses in sequence before continuing to the next rung/course. For this reason, taking introductory physics courses starting in the first semester/first year is very strongly recommended. However, it is possible to finish the physics major starting in the sophomore year as well. In such a case, it is highly recommended that a student consult with a member of the physics department for guidance in doing so, since a delay in beginning the introductory physics course sequence can create potential problems later on.

Recommendation summary: Enroll in Physics 120 in the fall of your first year, and schedule Physics 121 for the spring, if you are taking the calculus sequence this year. Otherwise, you can take this introductory sequence in your sophomore year and still complete the essential physics major courses by the end of your senior year. Click here to check Physics course availability and here to check Mathematics course availability.

Important note: 3/2 Engineering students only have three years to complete a major at Clark before transferring to an Engineering school after their junior year. They must take Introductory Physics – Part I (Physics 120) and calculus their first semester.

In addition, we encourage students to begin taking the required Perspectives and other PLS courses right away. This will provide students with the maximum course flexibility in their junior and senior years, a time when students may wish to pursue more specialized or individualized courses (including research) in physics and related fields.

Students should normally take Introductory Physics 120 and Physics 121 before taking any 200 level courses. Please see the instructor if you feel that you have the background to take an upper level course without taking Introductory Physics. Also note: While it is very strongly recommended that a student begin the physics major by taking Physics 120 and 121 (Introductory Physics with calculus), students can complete the physics major starting with Physics 110 and 111 (Introductory Physics without calculus). In this case, a student should consult with a member of the physics department for course recommendations.

We are almost always able to make room in our introductory courses. If taking Physics 120, for some reason is impossible, a student can take Physics 110, but should do so after a consultation with a member of the physics department.

You should contact Professor Charles Agosta, who is the advisor for that program. He should be contacted prior to registering for your first semester.

The Department offers two introductory physics sequences: Physics 110-111 is a general introduction covering the major areas of physics in sufficient depth for the needs of pre-medical students (and those planning careers in other health professions), biology majors, and others who are interested in the subject but do not expect to use physical principles in a rigorously-quantitative fashion in later studies or in their careers. The mathematics used in the sequence includes algebra and trigonometry.

Physics 120-121 covers much the same material, but uses the full power of calculus to develop a deeper quantitative sense of the interplay of theory and experiment in the physicist’s understanding of nature. Calculus is a co-requisite, and may be taken at the same time as Physics 120-121. This sequence is designed for potential physics majors, chemistry majors, mathematics majors, computer science majors, and 3/2 engineering program candidates, and is also the right course for others who have the math background and the desire to get the most thorough treatment of physics as a part of their university education.

Because physics is applied to understanding fundamental properties and workings of nature, both of these introductory sequences have laboratory sections as essential elements.

The Physics Department offers several courses for Science Perspective credit, including both of the introductory sequences (110/111 and 120/121) described above. Other available courses offering SP credit are Astronomy 001 and 002, stand-alone courses that both offer an introduction to the main ideas of astronomy as they have come to us from researchers over the centuries and from current-day observations. Astronomy 001 deals a bit more with the universe at all scales, including cosmological questions and the distribution of galaxies throughout the universe; Astronomy 002 deals in somewhat more detail with our closer neighbors, the other planets of our solar system. Both courses provide a well-rounded introduction to the most important aspects of astronomy, and each course has an essential observational laboratory component.

The Department offers Discovering Physics, Physics 020, for non-physics-majors who would like to gain an understanding of a few areas of physics in depth. Discovering Physics is entirely lab based, building up the students’ understanding from their own hands-on experiments.

In collaboration with the Environmental Sciences program, we also offer Technology of Renewable Energy, Physics 243. This course, as with our other courses open to non-majors, assumes no background of university-level physics. This course is aimed at a detailed understanding of the physical underpinnings of one of the most crucial elements of our relationship with our environment, namely the resources, exploitation, values, and side-effects of the use of energy in our technological society.

Several of our advanced courses also carry SP credit, including Oscillations, Waves, and Optics, Physics 130, Quantum Physics Laboratory, Physics 131, and Computer Simulation Laboratory, Physics 127. These courses require a good basic physics background and permission of the instructor is recommended.

The Physics Department offers a course in electronics (Physics 219) that is appropriate for students majoring in other sciences, and also offers a variety of advanced physics courses that may be of interest to individual students. The members of the Department would welcome students who wish to discuss any of our courses to see whether they might be suitable for their individual needs and interests.

Professor Ranjan Mukhopadhyay is the undergraduate physics major advisor. Feel free to contact him or any other member of the Physics Department for details on our program if you are assigned an adviser is in another department. We will work with you and your adviser, to help you set up a program that will be best for you. Once you declare physics to be your major, our major advisor will work directly with you to help you tailor our program to your own particular interests.

Students and faculty can contact Professor Michael Boyer (Department Chair) or Sujata Davis (Physics Office Manager), with any other questions, and for more additional information.

Psychology

First semester should be dedicated to PSYC 101 – General Psychology. This course provides a broad overview of the field, and is a prerequisite for all other psychology offerings. If not taken in the fall, that course should be taken in the spring of the freshman year.

In addition, it is advisable to take the following three core courses as early as possible in the undergraduate track, as they are prerequisites for all mid-level and capstone courses:

  1. PSYC 105 – Statistics:This course presents techniques of measurement and statistical analysis that are central to the vast majority of psychological work. As it is a prerequisite for PSYC 108, it should be taken as early as possible—we recommend that students try to fulfill this course by the end of the first year. It can be taken simultaneously with PSYC 109. Students will need to pass Part I of the Math Placement Exam in Moodle with a at least 50% in order to register for Psyc 105.
  2. PSYC 108 – Experimental Methods in Psychology:This course presents the principles of the scientific method and methods of experimental research in psychology. The relations between experimental design and quantitative analyses are examined. Students will participate in the design of an experimental study including a search of relevant literature, the collection of data and will submit a report of the experiment. This course is a prerequisite for most laboratory and research courses.
  3. PSYC 109 – Qualitative Methods in Psychology:This course covers the principles of engagement in qualitative inquiry—with particular emphasis on observing, interviewing, and analyzing people in interaction. Classes take the form of a mix between lecture and discussion, supplemented by an individually conducted observation project, and an interview that is carried out as a small group project.

Following the University’s criteria, the department will waive the PSYC 101 requirement for students who passed their high school AP Psychology exam with a 4 or a 5.

First Year students should concentrate on fulfilling the seven introductory (100) level courses in the psychology major and should not be taking the (200) mid-level or capstone level courses.

In psychology, there are four core introductory and methods courses (Intro-101, Statistics-105, Experimental Methods-108, and Qualitative Methods-109) that are prerequisites for most other courses that the student will want to take in the second year. Generally, there is room for all students who wish to enroll in PSYC 101, 105, 108, and 109. Since there are no alternatives to these courses and they are important prerequisites, students should aim to finish them in the first three semesters.

If a student has trouble getting into any of the core methods courses (105-109) and they have already taken 101, they should try to fulfill some of the general topic Foundation courses. Students need to take a minimum of three required Foundation courses that expose them to a broad range of topics in psychology; One Basic Processes course (PSYC 120-145), one Developmental/Cultural course (PSYC 150-159), and one Social/Clinical (PSYC 170-179) course. Ideally these should be completed by the end of sophomore year. If these courses are full, it would be wise to spend the time filling university requirements or taking courses toward the minor/concentration requirement of the Psychology major.

While there is some flexibility for fulfilling the sequence of the major requirements, one example is listed below.

First Year
Fall: 1. PSYC 101-General Psychology or AP Psychology 2. PSYC 105-Statistics if 101 has been fulfilled by AP credit
Spring:  1. PSYC 105-Statistic 2. PSYC 109-Qualitative Methods

Second Year
Fall: 1. PSYC 108 2. One Basic Processes, Developmental/Cultural, or Social/Clinical  intro-level course (PSYC 120-179)
Spring:  1. Two broad topic Foundation courses to fulfill the Basic Processes, Developmental/Cultural, or Social/Clinical course (PSYC 120-179)

Third Year
Fall: 1. A First Seminar (PSYC 236-259) and/or 2. Lab/Research
Spring: 1. Complete the mid-level Exploration requirements, A Lab or Research course (PSYC 215-235)*

*Students interested in applying to the Honors Program should try to fulfill the lab/research requirement in the fall semester. Some faculty research labs require two semesters.

Fourth Year:

  1. One Capstone course:
  2. Capstone seminar (PSYC 260-297) or
    1. Capstone research (PSYC 292) or
    2. Honors project (PSYC 297)

The Psychology Department will accept up to five transfer credits for major credit with the approval of our transfer advisor. For each course, transfer students should send the transfer advisor a syllabus and a detailed course description (Electronic files are fine.) The majority of approved courses will be at the intro level. After the transfer courses are approved, the student should try to fulfill any remaining intro level courses in their first semester at Clark.

We recommend that students declare their major as early as possible (it can always be changed), and it is required  by the end of the second year. Students wishing to declare a psychology major should email the Department Administrator, Kelly Boulay, to set up an appointment. Advisors are assigned at the time of major declaration; alternatively, if a student would like a specific advisor, they can contact that advisor, prior to declaring, for permission to be assigned to them.

Students wishing to get involved in research should have completed the seven intro-level Orientation courses. It is important to note that students who are interested in research should try to choose their general topic Foundation courses (PSYC 120-179) to coincide with any areas of potential research interest.

Faculty research courses are enrolled by permission only, so students should email the professor of the research lab that they would like to work in to see if they are currently accepting students.

Students must pass their psychology courses with a C- or better in order to receive major credit. The psychology department does not accept courses taken Pass/Fail for major credit. We accept up to one course taken through School of Professional Studies if it is open to day students and has been pre-approved by the department.

One of the requirements of the psychology major is a cluster of six courses, outside of psychology, that relate to each other and relate in some way to the field of psychology. This requirement can be automatically fulfilled by a second major, a minor, or a concentration. Alternatively, a student can customize a cluster with courses from several disciplines with the help of their advisor. Psychology majors often double-major/minor in Education, Sociology, Art, or Management.

Students can contact the Department Administrator, Kelly Boulay, or the Chair of the department, Esteban Cardemil.

They may also contact the Undergraduate Psychology Committee (UPC), or the Psi Chi International Honor Society, both of which are student-run resources for all students interested in psychology. They are very knowledgeable about the major, including the course offerings and the faculty research labs. During the school year, they host many psychology-related events. The two groups share office space in JC 325.

Political Science

The Political Science Department faculty recommends that students take at least two of our three introductory courses (Introduction to American Government, Introduction to International Relations, and Introduction to Comparative Politics) as soon as possible. Taking any one of these in the first semester is a good way to start exploring the major. These introductory courses are also offered again in the Spring Semester, so one of them can be taken then. It’s also usually fine for first year students to take any 100 level Political Science course that interests them except Research Methods. Click here to see Political Science course availability.

It’s generally advisable to wait until sophomore year to take the Research Methods course (PSCI 107) and 200 level courses in our department.

Since most of our courses have heavy reading loads, we recommend that students not take more than two Political Science courses in the same semester. We encourage students to take some PLS courses and, perhaps, an introductory course for a minor or for an interdisciplinary concentration that they may be considering pursuing along with our major. We require our majors to take a History course that’s relevant to their subfield specialization, so it’s also advisable for students to take an American History course if their subfield focus in our major is American Politics or to take a non-American History course if their subfield focus is Comparative Politics or International Relations.

Students should feel free to contact, Valerie Sperling, Chair of the Political Science Department, or any other faculty member in the department, if they have any question about our major or our courses. Another place to look for additional information and advice about our major is the Handbook for Students.

Students who major in Political Science choose one of our department members to serve as their faculty advisor. Typically their advisor specializes in the subfield the student is most interested in. However, any faculty member in our Department can serve as the advisor to any student who wants to major in Political Science.  Students can either ask a faculty member to become their advisor or ask the Chair of the Department to suggest an appropriate advisor for them.

Screen Studies

Students should plan to take four core courses: SCRN 101 Foundations of Screen Studies (to be taken as early as possible; minimum of B-minus required to begin the major), SCRN 107 Introduction to Digital Filmmaking, SCRN 108 Introduction to Screenwriting, and SCRN 231 Film Theory. You may also be interested in taking a 100-level Screen Studies course that does not have pre-requisites, such as SCRN 130 Film Genre or SCRN 121 Survey of International Film Before 1960.

Any 100-level survey History course would be a good alternative.

Because of its interdisciplinary nature, students may wish to double major in Screen Studies and another discipline, such as English, Art History, or Psychology. You may also consider a minor in Screen Studies.

Yes, many study-abroad programs offer courses that may replace major requirements. Contact the program director for approval prior to enrolling.

Students and faculty can contact Hugh Manon, Screen Studies Program Director, for more information about the program, major and minor requirements, and finding a major advisor.

Sociology

The gateway courses in Sociology are Introduction to Sociology (SOC 10) or Introduction to Sociology in a Global World (SOC 12). Click here to check Sociology course availability.

After taking SOC 10: Introduction to Sociology or its substitute SOC 12: Introduction to Sociology in a Global World, students who are interested in exploring the field may take a higher-level course, such as Sociology of Families, Race and American Society, Global Cultures and Identities, or Deviance. Although Introduction to Sociology is not a prerequisite for most of these courses, it is strongly recommended that students take it before enrolling in a higher level course. If a student intends to major or minor in Sociology, SOC 10 is typically followed by SOC 107 (Classical Sociological Theory) or the required methods course (SOC 202: Social Research Process). Either of these courses is a logical second step in the major or minor.

Students select their own major adviser based on their fields of interests and compatibility with the professor. Students may also confer with the chair of the department for help in selecting an adviser.

Questions regarding transfer credit, waivers of requirements, or other general information should be directed to the Chair, Professor Deborah Merrill, 415 Jefferson Academic Center.

Spanish

Students should start at the level they are placed into based on their previous years of Spanish (middle school plus high school/or college level if they are transfer students). Depending on their experience, this can be a language class or a more advanced course in culture, literature or film, for example. Please, access the Language Placement Guidelines here to learn more about initial placement.

It is highly advisable for students to take Spanish in their first year in order to fully capitalize on knowledge and skills acquired in high school. Students considering majoring or minoring in Spanish will want to make sure that they can progress to the 131-level by their sophomore year. Potential majors also should consider taking CMLT 130 – “The National Imagination” (offered during the Spring semester only).

New students should not enroll in 200-level courses offered in the LL&C department (including Comparative Literature). These are courses designed for students with advanced standing in one of the department’s majors. First year students who speak Spanish at a near-native level, or who scored 4 or 5 on their AP exams, should start by taking SPAN 131 or SPAN132. Only students with a native level who have already had extensive literature study may inquire about taking 200-level courses.

Students taking Intermediate Spanish I or Intermediate Spanish II (SPAN 105 or SPAN106) will want to progress through the sequence as quickly as possible so as to reach the SPAN131/SPAN132-level by sophomore year. If students enter Clark with four or more years of previous study in a strong high school program, they should consider taking SPAN 127 or SPAN131/SPAN132. Students who take SPAN 131 or SPAN132 will receive credit for the major or the minor. If a student has completed Spanish language/literature courses in high school (AP Literature, International School, studying in a Spanish-speaking country) they should plan to take SPAN131 or SPAN132 (literature course) or SPAN133 (cultural studies course). All majors should progress into the 200-level no later than their third year, ideally earlier, upon completing SPAN131 and/or SPAN132.

A full semester of Study Abroad is required for all Spanish majors, although this requirement can be waived due to special circumstances (health, finances, etc.). Our majors (and minors) can choose between programs in Spain (Madrid, Seville), Argentina, Chile, and the Dominican Republic. Some of our programs also offer the option to study abroad in the summer. Other attractive options while doing study abroad include the possibility of internships as well as community service in Spain and Latin America by taking service-learning courses that count towards the major and/or the minor. Careful planning is necessary for students who want to consider a semester of study abroad, especially for students who are double majoring. Please, meet with a member of the Spanish faculty team as early as possible in order to map your course load.

The 100-level courses that fulfill major requirements also fulfill the minor requirements (SPAN 131/SPAN132 and above), including courses taken during Study Abroad. Six courses are needed for a Spanish minor; a semester abroad would fulfill half the courses required, provide that the courses taken abroad are Spanish literature or culture courses (history, cinema, art, etc.). The courses need to be previously approved by a faculty member in the Spanish section.

It is very common for Spanish majors to pursue double majors within the social sciences or the humanities (International Development and Social Change, Psychology, Education, Music, Political Science, and Sociology, Women and Gender Studies, VAP, History, Geography, among others).

Students should contact a professor of their choice when declaring a major, typically a professor already known by the student through coursework.

Students and faculty can contact the Spanish Program Coordinator, Prof. Dolores Juan-Moreno (djuanmoreno@clarku.edu) (ext. 7725).

Guidelines for the Student-Designed Major

While most Clark students can and do complete an academic major through regularly-established departments and interdisciplinary programs, the University recognizes that some students may develop an interest in an area of study that cuts across existing majors, maintains intellectual rigor and coherence, and draws on existing faculty expertise. The Student-Designed Major (SDM) program provides flexibility for these students while ensuring rigorous academic standards.
Departments at Clark work hard to conceptualize majors that provide a high degree of structure and coherence, and that insure students will gain both depth in a single discipline, and breadth within the discipline and related disciplines. The freedom to develop an independent SDM should entail an intellectual effort comparable to that which departments experience in developing their majors. In fact, this activity—conceptualizing a major with the same intellectual rigor as any established major—is perhaps the most demanding and the most rewarding aspect of the SDM.
Because most students will fulfill their major through an existing program, the SDM should only be considered by those students who have thought deeply about an alternative area of study for a major. In addition, there are few university requirements for any student considering the SDM:

  •  A student must have a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA at the time of application, and maintain a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA throughout completion of the SDM. A student whose GPA drops below 3.00 during study towards the SDM will be required to revert to an existing departmental or interdisciplinary major to complete the bachelor’s degree. An appeal to the University’s College Board may be made for an exception to this requirement.
  • Students generally apply to the SDM during their sophomore year, and they may not apply to the SDM if they have completed 20 or more units of study, including any transfer credit.
  • The SDM may be taken in combination with an established concentration or an established minor: self-designed concentrations or minors will not be permitted.
  • The SDM may be pursued as part of a double major provided the second the second major is in established departmental or interdisciplinary major. The standard university rules regarding double-counting courses for multiple majors apply.
  • A student pursuing an SDM must complete all other university requirements for the bachelor’s degree (e.g., FYI, PLS, 32 total units, etc.).

The Student SDM does not fall within the regular supervision of a single department. As a result, it requires special effort of the part of the participating students and faculty in association with the Associate Dean for Student Academic Success to see that the students acquires a level of intellectual stimulation training, depth, and breadth comparable to what would be expected in an established major.
Because flexibility is central to the purpose of this program, there is no single formula for the development of an SDM. However, the following questions must be explicitly addressed in the intellectual rationale for an SDM:

1. What are your explicit goals in this major? How can these goals be met with existing faculty expertise at Clark (and, if appropriate, with possible use of resources in the Worcester Consortium)? Why is it impossible (or difficult) to meet these goals through a regular major?

2. What are the primary methods and modes of inquiry to be used in this major? Why is an interdisciplinary approach particularly suitable for your proposed topical focus?

3. How will this major provide you with intellectual breadth across several areas of knowledge? And how will it provide depth through an intensive intellectual exploration of one particular problem or in one particular field of knowledge? In other words, what is the structure of this major? How are your courses related to each other? And how will they improve your ability to analyze your topic at increasingly higher levels of sophistication?

4. Finally, how will this major meet your intellectual goals at Clark, and how does it relate to your career goals after Clark?

1. The SDM is intended for the student who wishes to focus on the systematic exploration of a particular problem or a particular body of knowledge that does not fall within the bounds of existing majors or departments at Clark. It should typically involve three or more disciplines, and draw upon existing Clark faculty expertise and courses offered regularly at Clark.

2. The SDM requires a detailed (1-2 pages single-spaced) description and rationale of the major and a list of required courses, to be developed by the student in consultation with a faculty advisor and two other faculty members (who together constitute the student’s SDM committee). This committee must approve the rationale and course requirements for the major no later than the end of the student’s first semester of the junior year.

3. All SDMs shall include a minimum of 12.00 course units, including four courses at the 200 level. In most cases, the SDM will include more than this minimum. These courses should be carefully planned by the student and the SDM committee to include courses from three or more disciplines, and to progress from introductory courses to more advanced levels of sophistication by the senior year.

4. In the senior year (usually the second semester), the student will complete a capstone requirement intended to draw on and integrate earlier course work, and to include an independent research component, either through a senior research thesis, a supervised internship experience (that includes research), or a creative independent project.

5. The administration of SDMs is handled by Phil Robakiewicz, Associate Dean for Student Academic Success (phone x7462), who is available to advise all students interested in this program.

1. Initial Consultation: A student who wishes to consider developing a SDM should first read the SDM guidelines (i.e., this document) and consult Dean Robakiewicz, concerning the SDM requirements and procedures. If it is mutually agreed that the student’s interest and abilities and Clark faculty resources seem appropriate for an SDM, the student should proceed as outlined below.

2. Initiating the Process: All students who plan to complete an SDM must meet with Dean Robakiewicz to discuss the process and to receive an electronic application form.

3. The SDM Committee: The most important step in the program is the selection of a faculty committee chair and two other faculty members to serve on the student’s SDM committee. These faculty members should (in most cases) be in three different departments. The SDM committee will be responsible for overseeing the academic content of the major, for monitoring the student’s progress through the program, and for ensuring the fulfillment of the guidelines for the student-designed major.

4. SDM Rationale: Before an SDM will be approved, the student must develop the statement of intellectual rationale for the major, recruit the three members of the faculty supervisory committee, meet together with the committee and secure unanimous committee approval of the rationale and the course requirements for the proposed major.

5. SDM Committee Approval: After unanimous approval by the faculty committee, the written proposal for the major—consisting of the cover page, statement of intellectual rationale, any documentary support (e.g., reference to existing programs to be used at other institutions in the Worcester Consortium), and the list of required courses—must be submitted to Dean Robakiewicz. The proposal will then be reviewed for conformity with the SDM Guidelines. If problems are identified, the student may be asked to clarify or elaborate on the proposal in person, or to submit a written modification of the proposal. Copies of the approved proposal will be circulated to the student, to all members of the faculty committee, and to relevant department chairs. Materials for the SDM will be archived by office of the Associate Dean for Student Academic Success.

6. Honors for the SDM: In order for students to receive honors in an SDM, they must have a cumulative GPA of 3.25 or above, and they must develop an honors project proposal by the end of their junior year. This normally will consist of an honors thesis based on two or more directed-research courses. The SDM committee will function also as the honors thesis committee, and upon completion of the thesis, the student will have a one-hour oral defense of the thesis with the faculty committee. The committee will evaluate the research, writing, and oral defense of the thesis, and recommend whether or not the work merits the distinction of honors and what level of honors (Honors, High Honors, or Highest Honors). If the committee judges a thesis as not worthy of honors, the student will receive credit for the work completed, but will not receive honors.

7. Changes in the SDM: After initial approval of an SDM, subsequent changes in the student’s program may be approved by the SDM committee, with the committee chair advising the Associate Dean for Student Academic Success. These changes are recorded on an electronic form submitted by to Dean Robakiewicz and subsequently shared with the Registrar’s Office. These changes are archived with the initial application.

8. Completion of the SDM: Upon final completion of all requirements, the committee chair must certify that student’s final completion of the major, and the level of honors, if any, to the Dean of the College and the Associate Dean for Student Academic Success, and the Registrar’s Office.

Studio Art

Students can take ARTH 010: The Western Survey Art History – a required course. ARTS100: Visual Design: 2D Design and ARTS102: Drawing Eye, Mind, Hand are studio foundations designed to introduce students to the nature of visual language and the creative process while encouraging the development of visual expression. At least one of these courses is required of majors and is strongly recommended for non-majors as preparation for additional work in studio art. In addition to these foundation courses, a number of other introductory level courses in various media (painting, sculpture, printmaking and graphic design) satisfy the aesthetic perspective requirement. Click here to check Art History course availability and here to check Studio Art course availability.

After exploring various media, students may choose to concentrate in one area and often seek out particular faculty members for personal mentoring. Full-time faculty members are available to serve as academic advisors.

If a student chooses to double major, eight studio art courses and two art history courses are required, one of which must be ARTH010. As a double major, at least two of the eight studio art courses must be 200-level.

Students and faculty can contact Toby Sisson (tsisson@clarku.edu) Program Director for Studio Art, for more information.

Theater Arts

There are five core courses required for Theatre Arts Major, and students should plan to take them as early as possible. These five are: TA 112: The Creative Actor, TA 120: Basic Technical Theater, TA 153: Modern Drama, TA 144: Drama of the Western Tradition, and TA 212: Actor as Thinker. Creative Actor is a course limited to first and second year students, so many students start there. Click here to check Theatre Arts course availability.

Majors may specialize in acting, directing, technical theater, dramatic criticism and playwriting, as well student-initiated areas of study and focus. Related Visual & Performing Arts courses are to be chosen in consultation with an adviser.

Students and faculty can contact Gino DiIorio, Program Director for Theater Arts, for more information.

Undeclared Major

Are you undecided about your major? You have lots of company. Many college students express their uncertainty by making statement such as “I have no idea what I’m interested in”; “I used to know what I wanted to do, but now I’m not sure”; or “I like lots of things and I don’t know which to choose.” In this section, we will offer you strategies to help you move toward resolving these uncertainties.

Most importantly, do not worry! You will find your way to a field of study that suits you. Furthermore, your college major does not necessarily define the rest of your life. The crucial purpose of a liberal education is to develop the core abilities of critical thinking, asking good questions, writing cogently and effectively, and having a broad knowledge of the world. Your major can help you cultivate these abilities, but once you have them, they will be transferable into new fields and situations.

Make sure that you choose an academic field that matches your interests. Your family and best friend do not have to sit through that psychology, physics or literature exam—you do. All their hopes and wishes for your future are not going to make you a good accountant, if accounting is not something that speaks to you. On the other hand, if you are set on a particular career, there are many ways in which you can prepare. Keep your goals in mind, but be flexible about how you get to that goal. Do not focus too narrowly on one aim. Follow your passions and give yourself space. Choose the major that best fits your interests and academic abilities, but leave some room to play.

Here are some specific strategies to help you hone in on what makes sense for you:

1. Take courses that will help you clarify what your major should be.

  • If you have several interests and cannot decide among them, take introductory courses in each area and use those experiences to help you choose.
  • If you really have no idea which way to go, take a range of courses that interest you. See what sticks!

2. Talk to lots of people.

  • Ask other students what they are studying and why they like it. Listening to others talk about what is working for them may spark ideas for you.
  • Talk with your academic adviser, or another faculty member. Faculty may be able to ask a clarifying question or suggest an approach that helps you find your way.
  • Visit Career Services in the LEEP Center. Make an appointment with one of the staff to talk about your interests, values, strengths and weaknesses. Or, try one of their standardized interest inventories to help you clarify your interests. Learn how these correspond to various career paths.
  • Visit the Academic Advising Center, Student Engagement and Alumni Center, 1st Fl., Room 112.. The Advising staff are happy to help you assess your interests.

3. Learn more about possible career paths.

  • The Career Resource Library (Alumni and Student Engagement Center, 2nd Floor) has a wealth of information on careers and majors. Their print and computer resources can give you an idea of career possibilities associated with each major. They can also provide specific job titles, certification information, advanced study requirements, and earnings and growth projections.
  • Another way to learn how your choice of major can lead to a given career is to talk to people employed in various fields. Career Services maintains an Alumni Contact Database listing alumni who are willing to serve as career contacts to Clark students. Career Services can help you begin the process of networking which will ultimately land you an internship or a job.

4. Take a chance on something out of the box.

You may find that a field you had never considered (like Geographic Information Science, Painting, or Asian Studies) is exactly what you wanted to pursue

5. Consider a student-designed major.

If your interests just does not seem to fit within a particular Clark major, then a student-designed major may be the best way to resolve your dilemma. For information on how to design your own major, contact Associate Dean for Student Success Phil Robakiewicz (x7462).

As you are considering possible majors, remember to pay attention to the number of courses these majors require, and the order in which you need to take required courses. Some majors need to be started right away and others can be entered later. You need to consider these factors as well.

Selecting your eventual major is one of the important decisions you will make in college. However, it does not have to be a painful process. Know the resources that are available to you and take advantage of them!

Women's and Gender Studies

Students should take WGS 100 (Introduction to Women’s and Gender Studies) and WGS 200 (Topics in Feminist Theory), as well as an additional 100-level WGS course (in addition to WGS 100, students are required to take three 100-level courses, from three different departments). Click here to check Women’s and Gender Studies course availability.

Students should not take 200-level courses (besides WGS 200, as it’s an introduction to Feminist Theory) until at least their second year. Students should also wait until their second year to take the methods/skills course that is required for the major.

Students can take 100-level courses that are listed with WGS.

After taking WGS 100 and 200, students should start taking their three 100-level courses and begin to think about their specialization, as their three 200-level courses and their capstone course must relate to the specialization.

Students choose their own advisers, usually faculty who match their specialization. For example, if a student is interested in women and history, she/he would choose a professor from the History Department.

Internships and directed readings should be related to the WGS specialization.

Students are required to have a minor (a second major is encouraged), as well as a specialization within the WGS major (e.g., gender & sexuality; gender & politics). That specialization is often but not necessarily related to the minor/second major, so courses in those departments become the ones that students take.

WGS should consider a minor or double major in a department in which there is an Accelerated Degree option. For example, a student wanting to pursue the fifth year program in International Development should double major in WGS and IDSC.

There is no preferred mix. Students are required to take lecture/discussion courses as well as a capstone seminar.

A minor should be related to the WGS specialization, thereby complementing the WGS major.

Students can go to the WGS website, and/or contact the WGS director, Professor Abbie Goldberg.

Contact Information

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