The Academic Program

General Education Requirements at New College

Students use their contracts, fashioned in collaboration with the contract sponsor, to develop goals and educational activities that have personal value, while at the same time fulfilling the College’s expectations for breadth and depth, critical thinking, communication skills, and working with others as responsible and self-disciplined participants in the community. Within each disciplinary concentration, the specific mix of courses, tutorials, internships, fieldwork, study abroad, and other academic activities may vary from student to student.

To demonstrate breadth, students must complete at least ten courses designated as Chart Your Course (CYC), New College’s Liberal Arts Curriculum, including one from each of the three academic divisions and at least one course that addresses issues of race, class, gender, and/or religious difference. In addition, a student must demonstrate basic competence in mathematics and advanced proficiency in written and oral English language.

New College also values the acquisition of a depth of knowledge in an Area of Concentration (AOC) that supports the development of a senior thesis project by each student. The Area of Concentration at New College may take one of several forms. It may be divisional (Humanities, Natural Sciences, Social Sciences); disciplinary (e.g. art history, physics, sociology); interdisciplinary (e.g. Urban Studies, Environmental Studies, Gender Studies, Medieval/Renaissance Studies); joint disciplinary (e.g. music/anthropology); or a special program or topic of the student’s design (e.g. environmental science, Latin American studies). Each division and discipline’s requirements for the AOC address content, critical thinking, and communication skills. The Thesis Prospectus describes plans for the senior thesis, and outlines the courses, tutorials, and other educational activities that the student and thesis sponsor have agreed will provide the requisite quantitative and communication skills as well as depth of knowledge in the chosen area. The senior thesis project and oral baccalaureate exam serve as the evidence as to whether or not a student has acquired proficiency in writing and oral communication, as well as critical thinking, and whether the student may be capable of making an original contribution to his or her area of interest and expertise.