It used to be that students sat in classrooms listening to professors explain the course material. Not so anymore. More often, faculty members engage you as an active partner in the learning process, providing a context for you to acquire and apply new knowledge. Don’t be surprised if your classes include some podcasts or international video conferencing along the way.
In 2013 our faculty approved exciting changes to the general education curriculum, scheduled for introduction in fall 2015. The overall goal remains the same: to provide you with a superb liberal arts education. In the current curriculum your Freshman seminar starts that process by introducing essential skills. Through your General Education Requirements and elective courses you’ll begin to integrate the breadth of knowledge that characterizes an educated person. A few other basic requirements apply generally and to whichever major you declare.
Students usually find themselves gravitating toward a specific academic area by the end of the sophomore year. Once you declare your major (or double major, or additional minor) the curriculum will guide you toward in-depth specialization in that body of knowledge and skills. You can propose an independent study to look more closely at a specific topic within your major. Or propose a set of classes to create an interdisciplinary major you design yourself.
Most classes take place during the fall and spring academic sessions on the main campus. Some students like the compressed schedule of our two summer sessions offered in Williamsburg and Washington, D.C.; some gain an international perspective through study abroad or other programs coordinated through the Reves Center.
Increasingly, our classes fold in opportunities for undergraduate research (Charles Center) and community scholarship and engagement (Sharpe Programs). Through their own research, our faculty will join you in bringing hands-on, real-world results back to the classroom. The most current knowledge, grounded and shaped by the academic disciplines – it makes for an invigorating classroom experience.