Jun 12, 2024  
Course Catalog 2023-2024 
Course Catalog 2023-2024 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

College of Arts and Sciences

Liberal arts education stands at the center of undergraduate work in the College of Arts and Sciences, and is the basis of the Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree. In order to earn a BA degree or pursue a major in Arts and Sciences, a student must be enrolled in the College of Arts and Sciences.

The faculty of the College of Arts and Sciences are dedicated to the liberal arts model of excellent teaching combined with ongoing engagement in scholarship and creative work. The Oberlin curriculum is notable for its extensive involvement with inherited and evolving forms of knowledge, including interdisciplinary approaches to knowledge.

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Relation to the Conservatory of Music

The College of Arts and Sciences and the Conservatory of Music share the same campus. Students who are enrolled in the college may only pursue a major administered solely by the conservatory if they are also enrolled in the conservatory as a double-degree student; however, there are many opportunities for college students to engage with the conservatory and with musical study in general.

The college offers a major in musical studies as well as a minor in music which may be of particular interest to students who wish to major in music at Oberlin without the professional orientation of a conservatory major; as well, there are a few conservatory minors and a number of interdivisional minors and integrative concentrations open to college students.

In addition, many courses offered by the conservatory are open to students enrolled in the college, such as in applied studies and ensemble performance. However, because enrollment priority in conservatory courses and in the schedules of applied music teachers is given to conservatory students or to students who have declared a related interdivisional minor or integrative concentration, opportunities for college students to enroll in their preferred conservatory courses are limited. College students interested in a conservatory course should contact the associated department regarding the possibility of enrollment.

arrow See more information about the Double Degree Program.  

arrow See a list of areas of study available to Bachelor of Arts students.  

Learning Goals and Outcomes for Students Enrolled in the College of Arts and Sciences

The College of Arts and Sciences seeks to cultivate in our students the knowledge, skills, and dispositions that will guide and motivate them at college and throughout their lives. Deeply committed to academic excellence, the College of Arts and Sciences offers a rich and balanced curriculum in the humanities, creative arts, social sciences, natural sciences, and mathematics. Within that framework, students work closely with faculty, advisors, and the instructional staff to design an educational program appropriate to their specific interests, needs, and long-term goals.

Students who pursue study in the College of Arts and Sciences will:

  • Deepen their understanding of specific fields while building their capacity to create new knowledge, approaches, or creative work in those areas.
  • Broaden their knowledge of and appreciation for the variety of ways that knowledge is and has been constructed, including but not limited to the scientific, humanistic, aesthetic, and behavioral fields of study.
  • Analyze arguments on the basis of evidence and an understanding of the context in which evidence is produced.
  • Develop skills to understand, appreciate and participate in the creative process. 
  • Develop skills to communicate with diverse audiences, employing a variety of approaches, media, and languages.
  • Develop a critical understanding of the historical and cultural factors that underlie difference and inequality in U.S. and global societies.
  • Collaborate to solve problems, generate fresh questions, create new knowledge and advance community goals.
  • Develop an enduring commitment to acting in the world to further social justice, deepen democracy, and build a sustainable future.
  • Cultivate those habits that support healthy and sustainable living, responsible and empathetic interactions with others, and a capacity for self-reflection and contemplation.

Degrees Conferred