“No matter which continent is chosen, the experience abroad can enrich a student's musical and cultural consciousness.”
Dr. Susan Pickett, Catharine Chism Professor of Music

Off-Campus Studies Mission Statement

Off-Campus Studies at Whitman College aims to develop in our students intercultural skills and global understanding for a lifetime of leadership.  We endeavor to achieve this goal by:

  • Providing off-campus study opportunities worldwide that offer high-quality academic content, instruction and evaluation.
  • Expanding learning opportunities for students and integrating the learning off-campus into their academic program to the fullest extent possible.
  • Promoting programs that increase a student’s foreign language and intercultural fluency.
  • Offering programs that foster an ability to question assumptions and think critically in the context of other worldviews.
  • Ensuring that programs are well integrated into the host community and encourage immersion of the student into the host culture. 
  • Developing the means by which returning students can actively contribute to international awareness and programming on campus, as well as in the Walla Walla community.

Off-Campus Studies can help Music students…

  • Improve and acquire foreign language skills
  • Gain awareness of the major discipline from a different scholarly tradition
  • Develop primary research skills from field studies or work with primary sources
  • Hear great music performed in wonderful venues in the cultural context in which they were produced
  • Develop a global perspective
  • Gain exposure to native musical traditions and instruments 

What are the types of OCS programs recommended by the Music department?

  • Direct enrollment in a foreign university with host-country students
  • Conservatory-style programs with U.S. and/or local students
  • Programs that offer private lessons, study with local musicians and opportunities to perform with local ensembles
  • Programs that offer access to archives for senior research
  • For students interested in ethnomusicology, field-based programs provide an opportunity to do field work and conduct interviews with local musicians

How does a semester or year of OCS help students in Music prepare for graduate school or various career opportunities? 

  • It primarily helps students acquire foreign language skills, which are required for graduate work in music
  • Heightens awareness of music’s role in different social and cultural contexts

Which requirements can Music majors fulfill while off campus?

  • Elective major credit
  • Music history as approved by major adviser (music history is required for ALL MUSIC MAJOR TRACKS)
  • Research that can be used for Senior Thesis
  • General Studies distribution credit
  • General degree credit

Planning Tips

As a general rule of thumb, the Music Department recommends the following for students who wish to study off campus.

  • First-year students should take both the required MUS 126 Music Theory and MUS 127 Aural Skills I in the fall semester.
  • All students must take MUS 298 History II: Classical and Romantic Periods BEFORE the senior year. This class is offered every spring on the Whitman campus; if a student intends to be abroad during the spring semester, then MUS 298 should be taken in the spring of either the first-year or sophomore year.  Ideally, students should have taken all three core music history courses (297, 298, 299) BEFORE the senior year begins.

Credit Limitations

The maximum number of credits that can be applied to the music major from off campus studies (including credits from other U.S. institutions) is 12 credits with the approval of your major adviser.

Which Partner Programs are recommended by the Music department?

  • IES Vienna:  Music (Austria)
  • IES Milan (Italy)
  • University of East Anglia (Norwich, England)
  • SIT Ghana:  Social Transformation and Cultural Expression for students interested in ethnomusicology (Accra)
  • Other Partner Programs as deemed appropriate by the student’s major adviser

Advising Support

Students interested in Off-Campus Studies should take MUS 125 Introduction to Music Theory their first year and attend an OCS First Step meeting in the fall of their second year.  In addition, they should discuss their interests with their major adviser and schedule an appointment with an OCS adviser.