To assist students in their explorations of majors, departments and programs have provided these guidelines for helping students get an appropriate introduction to their concentrations.

Students interested in majoring in Africana Studies should aim to take AFRST 101 in their first year, and AFRST 201 as early as possible. These courses fill up quickly, so if you are interested in concentrating in Africana Studies you should express this interest to the instructor as soon as possible.

Contact the department chair or another faculty member in the department if you are thinking of majoring or double majoring.

Chair: Nigel Westmaas, 315-859-4299
Afro-Latin Cultural Center 204
Africana Studies website

At the center of the American Studies curriculum are an introductory course (AMST 201) and an intensive seminar, taken in the junior or senior year (300-level or higher). Students also take selected courses in U.S. literature (two at the 200-level or higher) and history (two at the 200-level or higher, with approval from the program director). From this base, students work closely with their faculty mentors to chart their own academic paths. Contact the program chair for more information.

Director: Seth Schermerhorn, 315-859-4960
Kirner Johnson 148
American Studies Website

To get started in a cultural anthropology concentration, students should take one of the introductory courses in anthropology. Eventually, you should take one course each within three areas. The areas include cultural anthropology (Anthropology 113), linguistic anthropology (Anthropology 201), and archaeology (Archaeology 106).

Chair: Julie Starr, 315-859-4109
Kirner Johnson 244
Anthropology website

To get started in an archaeology concentration, students should take one of the introductory courses in anthropology. Eventually, you should take one course each within two areas: archaeology (Archaeology 106) and cultural and linguistic anthropology (Anthropology 113).

Chair: Julie Starr, 315-859-4080
Kirner Johnson 244
Anthropology website

Students may begin an art concentration with an introductory class in any of the following areas: Animation, Ceramics, Drawing, Figure Drawing, Painting, Photography, Sculpture, or Video.

Students interested in concentrating should see the chair of the department as early as possible. The department maintains a pre-registration policy to ensure art concentrators get a seat in their required studio courses. Some advanced courses are only offered once a year so require careful study abroad and/or double concentration planning.

Introductory courses fill quickly. Students who are not registered for a class but are interested in art should express their interest to the professor and sign up for the wait list.

Contact: Robert Knight, 315-859-4266
Kennedy Center for Theatre and Studio Arts 107
Art website

The Department offers several introductory courses (100-level) that expose students to the diverse array of subjects, media, and approaches that make up the discipline of Art History. Two 100-level courses are required for a concentration in Art History. We recommend students begin their studies by enrolling in a 100-level course.

Students who have received a 4 or 5 on the Art History AP examination will receive 1 credit toward general graduation requirements upon completion of a 100-level Art History course with a minimum grade of B.

If students are considering Art History as a concentration, they should arrange to speak with an Art History professor or the Chair of the Department as soon as possible, especially if they plan to study off campus or abroad.

Chair: Onno Oerlemans, 315-859-4378
List Center 114B
Art History website

Students interested in concentrating in Asian studies can select one of three study tracks: China studies, Japan studies, or India studies. All majors must: (1) study an Asian language to the level of 140; (2) take AS180; and (3) take Asian culture and society courses in at least three of the following departments—Anthropology, Art History, East Asian Languages and Literatures (e.g., linguistics, language acquisition, literature, and film courses), English, Government, History, Religious Studies, and Theatre. Students are strongly encouraged to begin taking a language course in their first semester at Hamilton, unless they test out of this requirement through prior preparation. Students should take AS180, ideally by the end of their sophomore year.

Director: Abhishek Amar, 315-859-4816
Kirner-Johnson 145
Asian Studies website

The departments of biology and chemistry offer an interdisciplinary concentration in biochemistry/molecular biology. The concentration is administered by a committee consisting of representatives of the two departments. To begin a concentration in biochemistry and molecular biology, introductory biology and chemistry courses should be taken in the respective departments. See biology and chemistry.

Program director: Max Majireck, 315-859-4742
Taylor Science Center 1073
Biochemistry website

All students begin the study of Biology by taking one of the many topical sections of Biology 100 and completing the associated common laboratory. Following successful completion of Bio 100, students are eligible to enroll in 200 level Biology courses. After completion of Bio 100, Pre-med students will need to take at least one 200-level biology course with a laboratory to complete the two semester laboratory biology requirement. Students having obtained a 5 on the Biology AP exam may receive 1 college credit after completion of Bio 100 with a minimum grade of B or better (AP credit may not be applied to the concentration requirements).

Biology Chair: Andrea Townsend, 315-859-4828
Taylor Science Center 2037
Biology website

The Chemical Physics concentration combines courses in Chemistry and Physics and is an ideal choice for students who aspire to become high school science teachers, pursue careers in the health professions, or have other career goals. You have the flexibility to start in the Fall with either Chemistry or Physics, or both. For more information, please refer to the entries for Chemistry and Physics.

Program Director: Gordon Jones, 315-859-4697
Taylor Science Center G502
Chemical Physics Website

Students interested in concentrating in Chemistry, Biochemistry/Molecular Biology or Chemical Physics and/or students interested in medical school or other health professions are strongly encouraged to begin their study of Chemistry at Hamilton in their first semester. Because 100- and 200-level chemistry courses must be taken in a defined sequence, students will have more flexibility to study abroad and/or complete a double concentration if they begin chemistry in their first year. In addition, we typically have 8-10 summer research opportunities available for rising sophomores who have completed a year of college chemistry.

Principles of Chemistry 120 is offered both in the fall and spring semesters. This course provides an appropriate foundation for subsequent work in chemistry and for students intending to pursue a pre-health curriculum. Lecture sections of Chem 120 will contain approximately forty students and will provide a broad overview of the central principles and theories of chemistry. The Chem 120 lab meets weekly with students doing an experiment and attending a student-led tutorial session in alternating weeks. The experiments are intended to explore specific chemical concepts and to familiarize students with a range of standard laboratory techniques, while the tutorials focus on teaching a particular analytical or presentation skill in each session. Chem 120 is open to all students.

For students with excellent high school preparation and who have obtained a 5 on the AP exam or 6/7 on the IB exam and who, through their performance on the chemistry placement exam, place into Chemistry 190 will receive 1 credit upon completion of Chemistry 190 as their first course in Chemistry with a minimum grade of C–. If a student places into Chemistry 120 through the placement exam, no credit will be given.

Most students who elect Chem 120 in the fall of their first year then elect Chem 190 (Organic Chemistry I). This course is offered only in the spring semester, so students who do not enroll in chemistry in the fall semester must wait until their sophomore year to enroll in organic chemistry. After the first semester of organic chemistry, students then typically enroll in Chem 255 (Organic Chemistry II) in the fall semester of their sophomore year.

It is possible to start chemistry in your second year at Hamilton and complete a Chemistry, Biochemistry/Molecular Biology or Chemical Physics concentration or complete coursework in chemistry for other concentrations or for pre-health requirements, but it requires careful planning.

Chair: Ian Rosenstein, 315-859-4726
Taylor Science Center 1074
Chemistry website

Students who are interested in Chinese should start their Chinese language courses (Chinese 110 for beginners) and ideally take one Chinese culture course (taught in English) in their first year at Hamilton. For students who had no background of learning Chinese, these courses are prerequisites for advanced Chinese courses and study abroad opportunities. Students with prior study in Chinese should take a placement exam.

Chair, East Asian Languages and Literatures: Zhuoyi Wang, 315-859-4866
Christian A. Johnson 402
Chinese website

Students should start with CMS 120. After that, one course on media or cinema theory or genre: CMS 125, 201, 290, 301 or 300; and/or one course in production: ART 113, ART 116, ART 213, MUS 277, THT 130 or THR 213.

Director: Pavitra Sundar, 315-859-4218
List Center 242
Cinema and Media Studies website

The department of Classics offers language courses in Latin (catalog label LATIN) and Ancient Greek (catalog label GREEK), as well as a wide variety of courses about the ancient Mediterranean world which are taught entirely in English and require no knowledge of the ancient languages (catalog label CLASC). Thanks to generous donors over the course of Hamilton’s 200-year history, the department offers a number of prizes and scholarships for students who excel in the study of Ancient Greek or Latin language, along with a limited number for students who excel in CLASC courses. 

We offer a major and a minor in Classics, the details of which can be found on our website. The major requires at least three semesters of language (Ancient Greek and/or Latin) and the minor requires at least one semester. Students interested in graduate studies in Classics should take a minimum of four semesters of each language. Students interested in studying abroad at a Classics-focused program must take at least one of the two languages before departure. 

Ancient Greek and Roman History and Culture: Our 100- and 200- level CLASC courses have no prerequisites, and any of them would be an excellent starting point for an entering first-year student. Our CLASC courses often fill quickly, with long waitlists. Prospective majors who are unable to get a seat in a CLASC course in their first semester are encouraged to start in Latin 110 and contact the department during the Fall semester so that we can pre-register you for an entry-level CLASC course in the Spring.

Latin: Students wishing to begin study of Latin in college are encouraged to enroll in Latin 110 in the Fall. Students with prior knowledge of Latin are encouraged to take our Placement Exam to determine which course is most suitable (110, 210, or 3xx). We offer Latin 110 and Latin 210 every Fall, and we offer a 300-level Latin course every semester.

Ancient Greek: Students wishing to begin study of Ancient Greek should enroll in Greek 110, which is offered every spring. While you wait, we encourage you to enroll in a CLASC course. Students with prior knowledge of Ancient Greek should contact the department chair to determine placement.

Chair: Jesse Weiner, 315-859-4872
Couper Hall 202
Classics website

Students considering concentrating in computer science should start by taking Computer Science 101. If starting in the fall, the first three semesters generally would look like:

Fall: 101
Spring: 102
Fall: 230 and 240

If starting in the spring, the first three semesters would be:

Spring: 101
Fall: 102
Spring: 220

Acting Chair: Thomas Helmuth, 315-859-4507
Taylor Science Center 3004
Computer Science website

Students planning to take creative writing workshops must first take a literature course in the department. Students commonly take either a writing-intensive 100-level Literature course or LIT 204W (Poetry and Poetics) in their first semester to serve as their prerequisite for the introductory workshop (CRWR 215). Prospective concentrators in creative writing are not required to take a workshop in the first year; however, they must take CRWR 215 by the end of their sophomore year (earlier if they have plans to do a semester off-campus). Please note that the fall section of CRWR 215 is NOT open to first-year students. Students may not use AP scores to place directly into CRWR 215.

Concentrators in creative writing must complete the department’s language requirement.

Chair: Margie Thickstun, 315-859-4466
List Hall 241
Literature & Creative Writing website

Students interested in a dance and movement studies concentration should take a technique course (Contemporary, Martial Arts and Dance or Ballet) during the first year. It is highly recommended that concentrators enroll in a technique class each semester to advance their skill level. Since the senior projects involve original student choreography, it is important for the students to take a dance composition/choreography course during their second year.

Students interested in dance are invited to meet informally with department faculty during the first few weeks of the semester, whether or not they plan to become concentrators or to enroll in a class.

Because some required courses can only be offered once a year or every two years, students are encouraged to plan their course of study carefully, particularly if they plan to study abroad or pursue a double concentration.

Acting Chair: Heather Buchman, 315-859-4353
List Center 233
Dance and Movement Studies website

The economics major starts with Econ 100 followed by Econ 166. Both courses are offered every semester. If you are considering majoring, it is a good idea to take these in the first year.

Students who are considering majoring or minoring in economics should be aware that Math 113 (Calculus I) or its equivalent is a prerequisite for Economics 275 (Microeconomic Theory), one of the courses required for the major and the minor. (Concentrators are required to complete Econ 275 by the end of their junior year; this course must be taken at Hamilton.) Students who are placed into Math 116 (Calculus II) by the math department will have fulfilled the calculus prerequisite for Economics 275. Thus, prospective majors or minors in economics should take one of the math placement exams.

Economics is an applied discipline and makes use of statistical analysis in many courses.  Students are encouraged to take statistics classes offered by other departments as well as in the economics curriculum. However, students should note that if they take a statistics course in the Math Department (MATH 152/252/253/254/352) that they cannot subsequently enroll in ECON166 Theory and Evidence, a required course for the economics major. Economics majors who take statistics in the Math Department prior to completing ECON166 will need to consult the Economics Department chair to select an alternative economics course and an additional course taken outside the Department to meet major requirements. Students wishing to take statistics in both the math and economics curriculum may take Math254 after taking ECON166.

Econ100 assumes no prior knowledge of economics. Students who have a strong background in high school economics based on AP or IB economics (both microeconomics and macroeconomics) should consider enrolling in 166. The Economics Department AP policy is listed in the Catalogue. Students who are unsure which course to enroll in should contact the department chair.

Chair: Emily Conover, 315-859-4254
Kirner-Johnson 211
Economics website

Environmental studies is an interdisciplinary concentration, and there is no specific course that all majors must take. However, you must choose six foundational courses distributed between the concentration’s two tracks, natural sciences and social sciences/humanities. The foundational courses must include two lab science courses: one in geosciences and one in biology, chemistry, or physics. First-years often take one of the lab science courses, ES 150: Environmental Science and Society, and/or ES 250: Interpreting the American Environment. Also, Religious Studies 118: Religion and Environmentalism, is open only to first-years. When declaring an environmental studies major, you will need to choose either of the concentration’s two tracks. This decision, and your eventual thesis topic, will help determine the foundational and other courses you take toward your ES concentration. The ES concentration consists of a total of 13 courses, so if you are contemplating majoring in ES, you should begin your coursework in your first semester.

Director: Nathan Goodale, 315-859-4389
Taylor Science Center 2009
Environmental Studies website

Students considering a major in French and Francophone Studies should continue the study of the language each semester and, if possible, avoid skipping a semester. First-year and transfer students should take the placement exam in French and enroll in the course level indicated by the Department.  If, once the course begins, the level does not seem appropriate, speak to the professor immediately. Study abroad is highly recommended and allows a student to earn multiple credits toward the major and fulfills the requirement for French 250, 260, or 285.  The Hamilton in France program requires the attainment of French 140 (intermediate French) or its equivalent.

Chair: Cheryl Morgan, 315-859-4775
Christian A. Johnson 202B
French and Francophone Studies website

The geosciences curriculum is quite flexible and broad and serves students in several majors. All students intending to concentrate in geoscience, environmental studies, or geoarchaeology must take one 100-level geoscience course. The department normally offers two different 100-level courses each semester. A student cannot receive credit for more than one 100-level course - a second course in geoscience must be at the 200-level. Students interested in concentrating should take an introductory course no later than fall semester of sophomore year - earlier if he/she also intends to study abroad.

Chair: Mike McCormick, 315-859-4832
Taylor Science Center 2032
Geosciences website

German studies is an interdisciplinary concentration focusing on the language, literature, culture, historical development, and politics of German-speaking countries. The German program also offers beginning German language (110, 120), but only courses numbered 130 or above count toward the concentration. Students wishing to take advanced courses should see the departmental advisor for placement. Courses in the department that are available to first-year students include German language and/or literature courses (110, 130, 186, 200) and History 117.

Chair: John Eldevik, 315-859-4495
Kirner-Johnson 227
German Studies website

Students interested in concentrating in government should take Gov. 116, 117 and either 112 or 114, all of which are required for the concentration. They are all offered every semester and can be taken in any sequence. Concentrators should take at least one of them as a writing-intensive course. Gov 117 is also required for the world politics major and is not required, but counts for the public policy major as well. Both Gov. 112 and 114 are required for the world politics major (see further details below).

Chair: Rob Martin, 315-859-4273
Kirner-Johnson 113
Government website

Hispanic studies is an interdisciplinary concentration focusing on the language, literature, culture, historical development, and politics of Spanish-speaking countries, and U.S. Latinx. Students who are interested in Hispanic Studies should start their Spanish language courses in their first year at Hamilton. Students interested in majoring or in going abroad during their junior year should take Spanish starting in their first semester and avoid “gaps” in their study. Studying abroad helps enormously with the required number of courses for the major. 

All students planning on taking courses in Hispanic Studies must take the Spanish language placement exam prior to course selection to determine the appropriate course for their level. This includes students who have previously studied Spanish, native or heritage speakers, and students who have never studied Spanish. (Please follow the instructions on the placement exam, available online through Blackboard, blackboard.hamilton.edu)

Please note that Hamilton’s introductory course in Spanish, HSPST 115, is intensive. It meets 5 days a week and counts as 2 credits. Students enrolling in HSPST 115 should only enroll in 3 courses total, in order to have 4 semester credits. 

The Hamilton program in Madrid (HCAYS) requires the completion of HSPST 200 prior to the program.

Chair: Jessica Burke, 315-859-4588
Christian A. Johnson Hall 217
Hispanic Studies website

There are many ways to begin a history major. Students with a general interest in history may begin with any 100-level course or with an historical survey course taught at the 200-level. Non-writing intensive courses at the 100- and 200-levels are designed to create a foundation for further study by providing exposure to major themes in a broad chronological manner. Students more committed to the study of history should begin with a writing-intensive 100-level course. These courses are designed to stretch over broad time periods and beyond the history of a single nation-state often emphasizing a critical theme in historical debate. Writing-intensive 100-level courses will teach you how to think historically, how to identify and make use of primary sources, how to synthesize information, and how to write. They are particularly appropriate for first- and second-year students seeking to fulfill their College writing-intensive requirements.

Chair: Shoshana Keller, 315-859-4358
Kirner-Johnson 134
History website

Students who are interested in Japanese are strongly encouraged to start their Japanese language courses (Japanese 110 for beginners) and Japanese non-language courses in their first year at Hamilton. These courses are prerequisites for advanced Japanese courses and Japanese study abroad programs. Students with prior study in Japanese should take a placement exam.

Chair, East Asian Languages and Literatures: Zhuoyi Wang, 315-859-4866
Christian A. Johnson 402
Japanese website

The Literature concentration is extremely expansive and flexible, a sort of open curriculum within Hamilton’s open curriculum. It allows students to study literature, film, and media across centuries and national boundaries, while also paying dedicated attention to fostering writing and analytical skills. Coursework in four “exploratory” categories (History, Theory, Genre, and Intermedia) introduces different approaches in literary and cultural studies. Students also choose from a range of SSIH courses, which examine social stratification stemming from constructs like gender, race, class, sexuality, religion, and disability. The “creative practice” and language requirements foster an appreciation of the constraints, challenges, and possibilities inherent in composing original work and in navigating linguistic boundaries. As they advance in their studies, Literature concentrators pursue their own interests by designing an individualized area of specialization in consultation with their advisers. The intellectual breadth that the Literature concentration encourages is coupled with a depth of knowledge in this “focus” section. (For information on the Creative Writing concentration, follow the relevant link above.)

Students interested in literary study are encouraged to take a writing-intensive course in Literature or a related department during their first year. To enable comparatist and interdisciplinary work, the department allows writing-intensive courses in literature in other languages—such as German 200W, French 200W, or Hispanic Studies 200W—as well as writing-intensive courses in literature in translation or in relation to other media—such as Japanese 160W or Russian Studies 225W—to serve as prerequisites to upper-level Literature courses. These and other courses offered outside the department may count toward a concentration in Literature, with advisor approval.

Students who have scored a 4 or 5 in either AP Literature or Language have the option of going straight into either LIT 204W or LIT 222W. LIT 204W is offered in the fall and spring.

Potential concentrators considering graduate study in literature should note that most doctoral programs require proficiency in at least one foreign language.

Chair: Margie Thickstun, 315-859-4466
List Hall 241
Literature and Creative Writing website

If you are planning to take mathematics at Hamilton, you must complete the Calculus Placement Exam and Placement Survey (students who have not taken Calculus in high school can skip the Placement Exam and just complete the Placement Survey). Our general recommendations for calculus registration are as follows:

  • Math 113 if you have had no calculus or less than a year of calculus. (For students with some calculus, completion of the Placement Exam and Placement Survey are required before registering for Math 113. For students with no calculus, only the Placement Survey is required.)
  • Math 116 if you have had a year of calculus and an AB 4 or 5.
  • Math 216 if you have had a year of calculus and a BC 4 or 5 or IB 6 or 7 on Math SL or Math HL.

Students who place higher than Math 216 will be contacted individually.

*Note: If you have received a placement in Math, it may change once the Department reviews your AP score.

If you still have questions, email mathematics@hamilton.edu.

If you want to take a statistics course, we recommend the following:

  • Take Math 152 if you have had no statistics or less than a year of statistics. 
  • Take Math 254 if you have had a year of statistics and 4 or 5 on AP Stats.

You should be aware that if you take Math 152 or Math 254, you cannot subsequently take Econ 166, a required course for the economics concentration and minor.  Students may take Math 254 after they take Econ 166.

Chair: Michelle LeMasurier, 315-859-4418
Christian A. Johnson 118
Mathematics website

Students considering a major in music should take music theory their first term (either 210 or 211, depending on results from the music theory placement exam). Note that 210/211 are not offered in the spring. If the student does not place into 210 or 211, they should take Intro to Music Theory (110) their first term. The department strongly recommends that students enroll in 180 and/or 181 (basic aural skills/basic keyboard skills, each .25 credit) when they begin music theory classes. Students should seriously consider taking Music 100 in their first or second term and pursuing Music 220 or 221 after taking music theory. Potential concentrators should participate in a department ensemble if possible. Students will audition for ensembles during Orientation (bring your instrument). Registration for private lessons will begin around the second week of August and continue through Orientation. Some studios fill quickly, so register as soon as possible. Contact Kim Carroll (kmcarrol@hamilton.edu) for info about lessons.

Acting Chair: Lydia Hamessley, 315-859-4353
List Arts Center 204
Music website
Music department-maintained website

Students intending to major in neuroscience should plan to complete their introductory biology, chemistry, psychology, neuroscience and statistics courses during their first two years. These courses are Introduction to Psychology (Psych 101), Explorations of Biology (Bio 100) Principles of Chemistry (Chem 120), Statistics/Research Methods (Psych 201 or Neuro 201), and either 204 Fundamentals of Human Neuroscience (Neuro 204 or Psych 204) or Fundamentals of Neurobiology (Neuro 205 or Psych 205). Thus, a reasonable approach for the first semester is to enroll in two of the following three courses: Biology 100, Psychology 101, Chemistry 120.  Please see individual departments' course descriptions for appropriate placement, including recommendations concerning AP preparation.

Director: Siobhan Robinson, 315-859-4165
Taylor Science Center 3065
Neuroscience website

Students can start their studies in philosophy in various ways. Any 100-level course is useful, but not essential. Some 200-level courses have no prerequisites. Check the course descriptions for more information.

The philosophy concentration has as its core a history sequence and a logic requirement that should be fulfilled as early as possible. Potential concentrators should plan to take 201 (Ancient, offered in the fall); 203 (Modern, offered in the spring); and one of 100 (Critical Thinking), 200 (Critical Reasoning), or 240 (Symbolic Logic, offered in the fall) by the end of sophomore year, if possible. No more than one 100-level course may be counted toward the concentration.

Chair: Russell Marcus, 315-859-4056
202 College Hill Road, Room 210
Philosophy website

Students interested in physics or in pre-engineering studies should begin studying physics in the fall semester of the first year. The year-long introductory physics courses begin in the fall at Hamilton; it is not possible to take the first course in the spring.

Most students who are interested in majoring or minoring in physics, or in completing the pre-engineering track, take Physics 190 in their first semester. (Information for students with advanced placement is in the next paragraph.) Physics 190 students should concurrently sign up for a class in mathematics; the math department offers placement advice based on the results of an exam. Calculus I (Math 113) is a co-requisite for Physics 190; any student who elects Physics 190 and places into Math 113 must take both. We recommend that students who enroll in 190 also enroll in a math course during the first semester.

Entering students with advanced high school work in physics may also choose to enroll in 190, but can consider other possibilities. Students with a score of 5 in AP Physics C (mechanics) can skip 190 and enroll in Physics 195, which follows 190 in the spring term. Students with scores of 5 in both parts of Physics C (mechanics and E&M) are eligible to begin with Physics 290 (Quantum Physics, offered in the fall semester). Similarly, students who arrive with high scores on A-levels or Higher IB - 6 or 7 - may place into classes beyond the first physics course, and should contact the Department Chair for advice about placement. Normally, we recommend that students who place into 195 or 290 elect to take math during the first semester. For more information see the AP credit policies.

The department offers a collection of classes that are ideal for students who place into 195, but who want to begin studying physics right away. These classes include Physics 160 (Introduction to Astronomy), Physics 175 (Physics of Musical Sound), Physics 120 (How Things Work), Physics 135 (Spacetime and the Quantum World) and Physics 136 (Physics and Art). At least one of these will be offered every fall semester.

First year students interested in taking one year of physics to support a premed, or life-sciences program should begin with Physics 100. Physics 100 (fall) followed by Physics 105 (spring) does not require calculus. Another two-semester survey sequence, Physics 200 (fall) followed by Physics 205 (spring), requires Calculus II (Math 116) as a prerequisite and is normally taken after the first year by some pre-med students and by students who major in other physical sciences.

Chair: Gordon Jones, 315-859-4697
Taylor Science Center G502
Physics website

Students intending to major in Psychology are encouraged to take Introductory Psychology (PSYCH 101) in the fall of their first year, as there are fewer sections in the spring. Students may opt out of PSYCH 101 if they have earned a 5 on the Psychology AP exam, or if they have earned an IB diploma and have scored either a 6 or 7 on the Standard Level Psychology IB test or a 5, 6, or 7 on the Higher Level Psychology IB test. Such students then have the option to take either their required Neuroscience course (PSYCH 204 or 205) or Statistics and Research Methods (PSYCH/NEURO 20). Because PSYCH/NEURO 201 is a prerequisite for all courses at the 300-level and above, students are encouraged to take this course in either their first year or sophomore fall. Students planning to be abroad for their entire junior year should plan to take their laboratory course in their sophomore year.

Chair: Tara McKee, 315-859-4216
Taylor Science Center 3033
Psychology website

The public policy concentration requires a long list of courses, so it is best to get started early. First-year students interested in a public policy concentration should take Economics 100, Government 116, and either Government 117, or another course in ethics approved by the program director. Public Policy 251 and Government 230 should be taken by the fall of the sophomore year. Students interested in the concentration should consult as early as possible with the program’s director, Professor Frank Anechiarico (Government).  

Director: Frank Anechiarico, 315-859-4342
Kirner-Johnson 107
Public Policy website

You may begin a Religious Studies concentration in many ways. Any 100-level course is useful, but none are required; many 200-level courses are also open to first-year students. Check the course descriptions for more information. The best first step is to take a course that intrigues you.

It's also a good idea to talk with the department chair or another Religious Studies faculty member about the concentration if you think you might pursue it. Only two courses are required of all Religious Studies concentrators: 291 (Imagining Religions), which you should plan to take in the spring of your sophomore year; and 498 (Senior Project Seminar), which you will take in the fall of your senior year. You may only count two 100-level courses toward the concentration.

Chair: Quincy Newell, 315-859-4240
Benedict Hall 206
Religious Studies website

To begin a concentration in Russian studies, students should take First-Term Russian (RUSSN 110) unless they have studied Russian earlier, in which case contact the chair of Russian studies. Other options that count toward the major are Introduction to Russian Studies (RSNST 100), or Early Russian History (RSNST/HIST 221). You are encouraged to talk with the chair of Russian studies in your first semester.

Chair: Sharon Rivera, 315-859-4223
Kirner-Johnson 115
Russian Studies website

The sociology concentration has relatively few "core" course requirements: a 100-level course, Social Theory, Research Methods, and a year-long senior project. If you are interested in concentrating in sociology, you should take a 100-level course in sociology (either Introduction to Sociology (Soc 101) or American Society (Soc 110)) in your first or second year. These courses are very often oversubscribed, but at least one or two sections of a 100-level course in sociology usually are offered every semester. If you are unable to register for a section of 101 or 110, contact the instructor to be placed on a waiting list for the course. Many (though not all) students will find a spot if they contact the professor and show up to class during the first week of the semester. If you are still unable to find a place in a section, please try again the following semester. If you are considering studying abroad during your junior year, you may wish to speak with a member of the Sociology Department faculty to discuss options for how you might structure your program.

Chair: Matt Grace, 315-859-4739
Kirner-Johnson 238
Sociology website

Students interested in any aspect of theatre should begin with Theatre 100. This course introduces students to all aspects of theatre art and offers opportunities to develop both theoretical and practical knowledge in various areas of theatre making. Theatre 100 is a prerequisite for many 100-and 200-level theatre courses. Students interested in the theatre concentration (or minor) should do their best to register for Theatre 100 in their first semester. If both sections are full, students should express interest in the course to one of the theatre faculty members and attend the first class meeting to see if a seat opens. The Theatre Department encourages all students interested in theatre to meet with department faculty members informally during the first few weeks of classes, whether or not they choose to enroll in a course or major.

Chair: Mark Cryer, 315-859-4916
Kennedy Center 224
Theatre website

Students intending to major in women’s and gender studies should take WMNST 101 and 201 early in their career. The 101 course is popular and fills quickly. Students should contact the professor to express interest if they are not preregistered for it. The department offers 6 sections of 101 throughout the year, so there are many opportunities.

Chair: Margaret Gentry, 315-859-4285
Root Hall 318
Women's and Gender Studies website

Students interested in concentrating in world politics should start with Gov. 112, 114, or 117, all of which are required for the concentration. They are all offered every semester and can be taken in any sequence. Concentrators should take at least one of them as a WI course. (Note: Gov 117 is also required for the government major and is not required but counts for the Public Policy major as well.) Either Gov. 240 or 290 and either Gov. 226 or 291 are also required for the major. Each concentrator develops his/her own focus within the major. Students are encouraged to speak with a faculty member in the concentration about that as early as possible.

Chair: Robert Martin, 315-859-4273
Kirner-Johnson 113
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