2020-2021 Course Catalog
You are currently viewing the 2020-2021 Wellesley College Course Catalog.
The information contained within is accurate as of April 15, 2020
Wellesley College reserves the right to make changes at its discretion.
To assist students in their course selections, we offer this link to the Wellesley College Bookstore.
A semester course that carries one unit of credit requires approximately 12 hours of work each week spent partly in class and partly in preparation. The amount of time scheduled for classes varies with the subject from two periods each week in many courses in the humanities and social sciences to three, four, or five scheduled periods in certain courses in foreign languages, in art and music, and in the sciences. A 0.5 unit course requires approximately 6 hours of work each week, including scheduled class time and preparation. A semester course that carries 1.25 units of credit includes at least 300 minutes per week of scheduled class time as well as significant work outside of class. Classes are scheduled from Monday morning through late Friday afternoon.
Honors in the Major Field
Students who have shown marked excellence in their major filed may earn honors in the major. The usual route to honors, offered by all departments and programs, involves writing an honors thesis and successfully passing an oral examination by a thesis committee. To be admitted to the thesis program, a student must have a grade point average of at least 3.5 in all work in the major field above the 100 level. Some departments and programs require a higher average. Departments may petition on behalf of exceptional students whose averages fall between 3.0 and 3.5. Students enroll in Senior thesis research (360) in the first semester and carry out independent work under the supervision of a faculty member if sufficient progress is made, students continue with Senior Thesis (370) in the second semester. Specific requirements vary with department and programs: see the relevant sections of the catalog for details. Some departments and programs offer other routes to honors in the major; these are described in their Directions for Elections.
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Distribution and Other Degree Requirement Abbreviations
ARS=Arts, Music, Theatre, Film, Video distribution attribute
EC=Epistemology and Cognition distribution attribute
HS=Historical Studies distribution attribute
LL=Language and Literature distribution attribute
MM=Mathematical Modeling distribution attribute
NPS=Natural and Physical Science distribution attribute
QRB=Fulfills the basic skills component of the Quantitative Reasoning requirement
QRF=Fulfills the course overlay component of the Quantitative Reasoning requirement
REP=Religion, Ethics, and Moral Philosophy
SBA=Social and Behavioral Analysis distribution attribute
W=First-Year Writing requirement
Course Number Suffix Codes
H=0.5 unit course
R=Research methods course
S=Pre-College summer program course (limited to pre-college program participants)
W=Immersion language course taught during Wintersession (when follows course number)
Y = First Year Seminar course (limited to first year students)