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Academics & Advising

Academics in the College

As a student in the College, you’ll begin your academic studies as a “Common Year” student. During the first and second years of study, you’ll take a wide range of courses drawn from the general education curriculum (“Core” courses). These required courses introduce you to mathematics, science, the humanities, the social sciences, and the arts. The Common Core will provide you with the tools of inquiry you’ll need as you take on the College’s more focused program offerings.

In addition to general education requirements, you have the opportunity to explore your academic interests by taking elective courses in over fifty programs of study. Ordinarily in your second or third year you’ll declare a major. Once a major is declared, you’ll be guided by departmental requirements for completion of the major.

The Quarter System

The University schedules classes according to the quarter system, with three regular quarters (Fall, Winter, and Spring) and an optional Summer quarter (fewer classes are offered during Summer Quarter). Each quarter consists of 10 weeks – the last two days of 10th week are reserved for reading days, followed by an 11th week for final exams.


When you enter the College, you are assigned to an academic adviser on the staff of the Dean of Students. You’ll retain this adviser even after you declare a major. College advisers can provide you with information about the full range of educational opportunities on campus and guidance regarding careers, graduate and professional study.

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