Majors, Minors, and Concentrations

Completion of a Major

Each student is expected to pursue a passion and develop expertise in at least one academic discipline or interdisciplinary area. A major is required for graduation; students may supplement this by completing a second disciplinary major or minor or by integrating courses from several disciplines.

Majors programs are designed to move from the broad to the specific through a sequence of core and elective courses. Upper-level majors courses usually delve deeply into a specific topic, and students can shape a particular emphasis within a major through their choice of upper-level courses. No matter what the discipline, all majors programs build skills in written and oral expression, information literacy, critical thinking and analysis, creative problem-solving, and independent scholarship.

Each major consists of a minimum of eight units plus cognates. The specific requirements for all major programs are documented in the Academic Programs section of this catalog. Students are required to declare a major during the winter of their sophomore year. The major program of study may be changed thereafter by filing a Change of Major form in the Registrar's office. If a double major is chosen, students must meet the requirements of both programs, including comprehensive examinations (if required). The number of units from study abroad that may count toward the major is determined by the department or program. See the Requirements for the Major for the specific departmental requirements.

  • Students may not double count a single course to meet multiple major or minor requirements (two different requirements for a single major or minor, requirements for two different majors or minors, or requirements for a major and a minor) except that requirements for the IAS major may be used to satisfy another major or minor. A single course may meet the requirements for a major and be a cognate course for another major or a minor.
  • All courses taken in the major field of study and that major's associated cognates must be at C- or better.

Transfer units may be used toward majors, minors, and concentrations at the discretion of the faculty in the associated department or program. Many departments have limits on the number of credits from outside Kalamazoo College that may count toward the program.

Minors

A minor consists of a minimum of six units within one department, all of which must be earned at a grade of C- or better. A minor is not required for graduation, but may be used by the student to strengthen a knowledge base different from or complementary to the required major program. Courses taken in a minor program may not also count toward a major or another minor.

Concentrations

A concentration consists of a minimum of six interdisciplinary units, all of which must be earned at a grade of C- or better. A concentration is not required for graduation, but may be used by the student to strengthen a knowledge base different from or complementary to the required major program. A course used for a concentration may also count for a major or a minor.