Bryn Mawr

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2004-05 Catalog Home

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2004-05 and 2005-06

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Areas of Study

Africana Studies
Arts Program
Athletics and Physical Education
Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology
Comparative Literature
Computer Science
East Asian Studies
Environmental Studies
Feminist and Gender Studies
Film Studies
Fine Arts
French and French Studies
General Studies
German and German Studies
Greek, Latin and Classical Studies
Growth and Structure of Cities
Hebrew and Judaic Studies
Hispanic and Hispanic-American Studies
History of Art
Neural and Behavioral Sciences
Peace and Conflict Studies
Political Science
Romance Languages



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Curricular Options


A major subject must be chosen at the end of sophomore year. With the guidance of the departmental adviser, students plan an appropriate sequence of at least 10 major courses. A student with unusual interest or preparation in several areas may consider an independent major, a double major, a major with a strong minor or a concentration involving work in several departments built around one major as a core.

The following is a list of major subjects.


Growth and Structure of Cities
Astronomy (at Haverford College) History
Biology History of Art
Chemistry Italian
Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology Latin
Classical Culture and Society Mathematics
Classical Languages Music (at Haverford College)
Comparative Literature Philosophy
East Asian Studies Physics
Economics Political Science
English Psychology
Fine Arts (at Haverford College) Religion (at Haverford College)
French and French Studies Romance Languages
Geology Russian
German and German Studies Sociology
Greek Spanish

The following is a list of recent independent majors. For more information on the Independent Major Program, see

American Studies International Relations
Computer Science Linguistics
Cultural Studies Medieval Studies
Dance Peace and Conflict Studies
Feminist and Gender Studies Theater

Minors and Concentrations

The minor, which is not required for the degree, typically consists of six courses, with specific requirements determined by the department. The following is a list of subjects in which students may elect to minor. Minors in departments or programs that do not offer majors appear in italics.

Africana Studies German and German Studies
Anthropology Greek
Biology Growth and Structure of Cities
Chemistry History
Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology History of Art
Classical Culture and Society Italian
Comparative Literature Latin
Computational Methods Mathematics
Computer Science Music
Creative Writing Philosophy
Dance Physics
East Asian Studies Political Science
Economics Psychology
Education Russian
English Sociology
Film Studies Spanish
French and French Studies Theater Studies

The concentration, which is not required for the degree, is a cluster of classes that overlap the major and focus a student’s work on a specific area of interest:

  • Creative Writing (with an English major)
  • East Asian Studies
  • Environmental Studies (in an anthropology, biology, geology, or growth and structure of cities major)
  • Feminist and Gender Studies
  • Hispanic and Hispanic-American Studies
  • Neural and Behavioral Sciences (with a biology or psychology major)
  • Peace and Conflict Studies


Combined A.B./M.A. Programs

Bryn Mawr students who are exceptionally qualified may, while undergraduates, undertake graduate work leading to the M.A. degree in those departments with graduate programs. Students interested in pursuing a combined A.B./M.A. degree should file individual plans of study at the end of the sophomore year for approval by the department chair, the dean of the Undergraduate College, the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee, the dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and the Graduate Council.

The College has negotiated arrangements with the California Institute of Technology whereby a student interested in engineering and recommended by Bryn Mawr may, after completing three years of work at the College, transfer into the third year at Cal Tech to complete two full years of work there. At the end of five years she is awarded a Bachelor of Arts degree by Bryn Mawr and a Bachelor of Science degree by Cal Tech. Programs are available in many areas of specialization.

In her three years at Bryn Mawr, the student must complete the College Seminar, quantitative, foreign language and divisional requirements, as well as a prescribed science program and the basis for a Bryn Mawr major. (Students completing the program have had majors at Bryn Mawr in mathematics or physics.) Students do not register for this program in advance; rather, they complete a course of study that qualifies them for recommendation by the College for application in the spring semester of their third year at the College. Prerequisites for recommendation include completion of courses required by Bryn Mawr and a minimum of one year each of chemistry, mathematics (including multivariable calculus and differential equations) and physics. Approval of the student’s major department is necessary at the time of application and for the transfer of credit from the Cal Tech program to complete the major requirements at Bryn Mawr.

Students considering this option should consult Associate Professor of Physics Elizabeth McCormack, liaison for the 3-2 Program in Engineering and Applied Science, at the time of registration for Semester I of their first year and each semester thereafter to ensure that all requirements are being completed on a satisfactory schedule.

This arrangement with the Department of City and Regional Planning at the University of Pennsylvania allows a student to earn an A.B. degree with a major in the Growth and Structure of Cities at Bryn Mawr and a degree of Master of City Planning at the University of Pennsylvania in five years. While at Bryn Mawr the student must complete the College Seminars, quantitative, foreign-language and divisional requirements and the basis of a major in Growth and Structure of Cities. The student applies to the Master of City Planning program at Penn in her sophomore or junior year. No courses taken prior to official acceptance into the Master of City Planning program may be counted toward the master’s degree, and no more than eight courses may be double-counted toward both the A.B. and the M.C.P. after acceptance. For further information students should consult Gary McDonogh, director of the Growth and Structure of Cities Program, early in their sophomore year.

Summer Lanugage Programs

Summer language programs offer students the opportunity to spend short periods of time conducting research, studying a language and getting to know another part of the world well.

Bryn Mawr offers a six-week summer program in Avignon, France. This total-immersion program is designed for undergraduate and graduate students with a serious interest in French language, literature and culture. The faculty of the Institut is composed of professors teaching in colleges and universities in the United States and Europe. Classes are held at the Palais du Roure and other sites in Avignon; the facilities of the Médiathèque Ceccano as well as the Université d’Avignon library are available to the group. Students are encouraged to live with French families or “foyers.” A certain number of independent studios are also available.

Applicants for admission must have strong academic records and have completed a course in French at a third-year college level or the equivalent. For detailed information concerning admission, curriculum, fees, academic credit and scholarships, students should consult Professor Brigitte Mahuzier of the Department of French and/or visit the Avignon Web site at

Bryn Mawr, in conjunction with the University of Pennsylvania, offers a summer program of intensive study in Florence. Focusing on Italian language, culture, art and literature, the coeducational program is open to students from Bryn Mawr and other colleges and universities. Courses carry full, transferable credit and are taught by professors from institutions in both the United States and Europe. Applicants must have a solid academic background and a serious interest in Italian culture, but need not have previous course work in Italian; introductory classes are offered. Students can make their own travel and housing arrangements, though most choose to stay at a hotel conveniently located in the center of Florence. Information about these accommodations is available through the program. Some need-based financial aid is available. For information, contact Professor Nicholas Patruno in the Department of Italian.

The College also participates in summer programs with the American Council of Teachers of Russian (A.C.T.R.) in Moscow, St. Petersburg and other sites in Russia. For further information about the A.C.T.R. programs, students should consult the Department of Russian.

Study Abroad

Bryn Mawr encourages eligible students to consider studying abroad for a semester as a part of their undergraduate education subject to the requirements of their majors. Study abroad can enhance students’ language skills, broaden their academic preparation, introduce them to new cultures, and enhance their personal growth and independence. Each student, in consultation with her dean, her major advisor, and the study abroad advisor, Li-Chen Chin, selects the program appropriate to her academic interests and abilities.

The College has approved about 70 programs in colleges and universities in other countries. Students who study abroad include majors across the humanities, the social sciences and the natural sciences. In recent years, students have studied in Argentina, Australia, Czech Republic, Chile, China, Costa Rica, Cuba, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, New Zealand, Russia, Senegal, South Africa, Spain, Taiwan, and the United Kingdom. Applicants must have strong academic records and must meet the language requirements set forth by the overseas program where they intend to study. Most non-English speaking programs expect students to meet at least intermediate proficiency level before matriculation.

Only foreign language majors or students desiring to study with programs for which one semester is not an option may receive a full year of credit for study abroad. Requests for exceptions will be considered from students who present a compelling academic plan requiring a full year of study outside the U.S.

All students who study abroad continue to pay Bryn Mawr tuition and, for programs that include food and housing, room and board fees to Bryn Mawr. The College, in turn, pays the program fees directly to the institution abroad. Financial aid for study abroad is available for students who are eligible for assistance and have been receiving aid during their freshman and sophomore years. If the study abroad budget is not able to support all of those on aid who plan to study abroad, priority will be given to those for whom it is most appropriate academically and to those who have had the least international experience.

The Foreign Studies Committee determines a student’s eligibility by looking at a variety of factors, including the overall and major grade point averages, intellectual coherence of the study abroad experience in the academic program, and faculty recommendations.

Preparation for Careers

Although Bryn Mawr offers no formal degree in architecture or a set preprofessional path, students who wish to pursue architecture as a career may prepare for graduate study in the United States and abroad through courses offered in the Growth and Structure of Cities Program (see Students interested in architecture and urban design should pursue the studio courses (226, 228) in addition to regular introductory courses. They should also select appropriate electives in architectural history and urban design (including classes in classical and Near Eastern archaeology, East Asian studies and history of art) to gain a broad exposure to architecture over time as well as across cultural traditions. Affiliated courses in physics and calculus meet requirements of graduate programs in architecture; theses may also be planned to incorporate design projects. These students should consult as early as possible with Daniela Voith and Carola Hein in the Growth and Structure of Cities Program.

The Bryn Mawr curriculum offers courses that meet the requirements for admission to professional schools in medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine and public health. Each year a significant number of Bryn Mawr graduates enroll in these schools. The minimal requirements for most medical and dental schools are met by one year of English, one year of biology, one year of general chemistry, one year of organic chemistry and one year of physics. Schools of veterinary medicine usually require upper-level coursework in biology. Students considering careers in one of the health professions are encouraged to discuss their plans with the undergraduate health professions adviser in Canwyll House. The Office of Health Professions Advising publishes the “Guide for First- and Second-Year Students Interested in the Health Professions.” This handbook is available at the meeting for first-year students during Customs Week and at the Office of Health Professions Advising in Canwyll House.

Because a student with a strong record in any field of study can compete successfully for admission to law school, there is no prescribed program of “pre-law” courses. Students considering a career in law may explore that interest at Bryn Mawr in a variety of ways — e.g., by increasing their familiarity with U.S. history and its political process, participating in Bryn Mawr’s well established student self-government process, “shadowing” alumnae/i lawyers through the Career Development Office’s externship program and refining their knowledge about law-school programs in the Pre-Law Club. Students seeking guidance about the law-school application and admission process may consult with the College’s pre-law adviser, Jane Finkle, at the Career Development Office.

Students majoring in liberal arts fields that are taught in secondary school may, by appropriate planning early in their undergraduate career, prepare themselves to teach in the public junior and senior high schools of Pennsylvania. By reciprocal arrangement, the Pennsylvania certificate is accepted by a number of other states. A student who wishes to teach should consult her dean, the Education Program adviser and the chair of the department concerned early in her college career so that she may make appropriate curricular plans. For further information, see


Bryn Mawr students are eligible to participate in the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFROTC) through an agreement with Saint Joseph’s University. All AFROTC aerospace studies courses are held on the Saint Joseph’s campus. This program enables a Bryn Mawr student to earn a commission as an Air Force officer while concurrently satisfying her baccalaureate degree requirements.

The AFROTC program of aerospace studies at Saint Joseph’s University offers both two-year and four-year curricula leading to a commission as a second lieutenant in the Air Force. In the four-year curriculum, a student takes the General Military Course (GMC) during the freshman and sophomore years, attends a four-week summer training program, and then takes the Professional Officer Course (POC) in the junior and senior years. The student is under no contractual obligation to the Air Force until entering the POC or accepting an Air Force scholarship. In the two-year curriculum, the student attends a six-week summer training program and then enters the POC in the junior year.

The subject matter of the freshman and sophomore year is developed from a historical perspective and focuses on the scope, structure and history of military power with an emphasis on the development of air power. During the junior and senior years, the curriculum concentrates on the concepts and practices of leadership and management, and the role of national security issues in contemporary American society.

In addition to the academic portion of the curriculum, each student participates in a two-hour Leadership Laboratory each week. During this period, the day-to-day skills and working environment of the Air Force are discussed and explained. The Leadership Lab uses a student organization designed for the practice of leadership and management techniques.

The AFROTC program offers one-, one-and-a-half-, two-, two-and-a-half-, three-, and three-and-a-half-year scholarships on a competitive basis to qualified applicants. All scholarships cover tuition, lab fees, a flat-rate allowance for books and a tax-free monthly stipend. All members of the POC, regardless of scholarship status, receive the tax-free monthly stipend plus additional support for those not on scholarship.

Degree credit allowed toward the Bryn Mawr A.B. for AFROTC courses is determined on an individual basis. For further information about the AFROTC cross-enrollment program, scholarships and career opportunities, contact the Professor of Aerospace Studies, AFROTC Det. 750, Saint Joseph’s University, 5600 City Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19131, (610) 660-3190. Interested students should also consult their deans.

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Bryn Mawr College · 101 North Merion Ave · Bryn Mawr · PA · 19010-2899 · Tel 610-526-5000