Courses and Programs

The Divisions

The academic departments of the college and the courses of instruction are grouped into the Social Sciences division, the Humanities and Arts division, the Basic Sciences and Mathematics division, General Studies, and Interdisciplinary Studies.

DIVISION I: Social Sciences, including the departments of Anthropology, Economics, History, Politics, Psychology, Sociology, and Sport Studies, Recreation and Athletics as well as courses in the Library. Bruce Magnusson, Chair.

DIVISION II: Humanities and Arts, including the departments of Art, Art History and Visual Culture Studies, Classics, English, Foreign Languages and Literatures, Music, Philosophy, Religion, Rhetoric Studies, Spanish, and Theatre and Dance and World Literature. Nicole Simek, Chair.

DIVISION III: Basic Sciences and Mathematics, including the departments of Astronomy, Biology, Chemistry, Geology, Mathematics, and Physics as well as courses in Science and the program in Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Molecular Biology. Mark Beck, Chair.

GENERAL STUDIES: Distribution Requirements, Encounters (The First-Year Experience), Language and Writing, Intermediate Composition, Critical Voices, The Theory and Practice of Tutoring Writing, and Advanced Composition.

INTERDISCIPLINARY STUDIES: Asian Studies, Environmental Studies, Film and Media Studies, Gender Studies, Interdisciplinary Studies, Latin American Studies, and Race and Ethnic Studies.

The Course Schedule and Descriptions

With the exception of General Studies, each department or area of course offerings is presented in the following pages in alphabetical order and not by divisions (General Studies information is found at the beginning of the section). Departmental listings begin with the names of faculty members in the department, followed by a brief summary of purpose and a description of requirements for a major and minor concentration, and, if it is unique, the honors requirement in that department. Basic information on college personnel can be found in the Directories section of this catalog.

Students registering for courses in the 2014-2015academic year should read the appropriate descriptions that follow, be familiar with the academic information that precedes this segment of the catalog, and read carefully the Registrar’s information that is provided by email prior to registration each semester.

An attempt has been made to make each course description as self-contained as possible by keeping symbols and other such devices to a minimum. The term “course” generally means a semester of academic work. Each course is numbered and titled, and on the next line the number of credits the course provides each semester appears (for example, “4, 4” indicates that the course is offered during the fall semester and repeated during the spring semester for four credits, and “x, 4” indicates that the course is not scheduled during the fall semester, but it is offered for four credits during the spring semester). To the right of this information is the name of the professor teaching the course.

Whitman College courses are numbered 100-499. The first digit of the course number indicates the general level of the course: 100, Introductory; 200 and 300, Intermediate; 400, Advanced. The second digit may be used by the department to designate types of courses or the sequence within the general level. The third digit is used by some departments to differentiate individual courses and provide information concerning sequences. For some departments, numbers ending in 1, 2, 3, 4 indicate yearlong courses in which the first semester is not a prerequisite for the second; numbers ending in 5, 6 indicate yearlong courses in which the first semester is a prerequisite for the second; courses ending in 7, 8, 9, 0 are generally one semester courses. Although Whitman College does not have an upper-division requirement, courses numbered 200 and higher have been designated as upper division for reference.

This numbering system generally applies to all departments with the following exception: sport studies, recreation and athletics activity courses are numbered consecutively at the 100 level with the exception of intermediate and advanced level activities and courses for intercollegiate athletics.

For subject areas in which the courses are sequential in nature, e.g., sciences, mathematics and languages (specifically, language courses numbered 105, 106, 205, 206, 305, 306), completing a more advanced course generally precludes subsequently earning credit in lower-level courses which are prerequisites for the advanced course. (That is, earning credit in Mathematics 225 Calculus III precludes completing any lower-level calculus course for credit.) In rare cases in foreign languages, consent from the teaching area might be obtained to allow exceptions to this policy.

Students are asked to note carefully the information on prerequisites, on course offerings that alternate annually with others, and on other special arrangements. For the most part, such items appear in italics.

The course descriptions provide general information which may be used for program planning. However, students should be aware that it may be necessary to make changes in this schedule of course offerings after the catalog has been released for distribution. The most accurate schedule information appears via the Search for Classes Web link on the Registrar’s home page.

The departmental or course information includes a statement of the number of meetings or periods per week. This is an indication of the in-class time commitment for the course in terms of the standard 50-minute class period or hour. It should be understood that courses are listed as “three lectures per week” or “three periods per week” to indicate a total meeting time of 150 minutes. These courses may be scheduled for three 50-minute meetings, two 75-minute meetings, or one 150-minute meeting per week.

Whitman College reserves the right to change the courses of instruction and the teaching personnel listed herein at any time because of changing circumstances, including withdrawing courses for which there is not sufficient registration. Such changes apply to all students — prospective students, those currently enrolled, and former students returning to the college.