General education requirements for the Class of 2011 and beyond
A Bates Education is structured around a major, General Education requirements, and other elective courses. Some students declare two majors; many declare a major and minor.
The General Education requirements include the following types or groups of courses:
1. Two four-course concentrations
Each student successfully completes two General Education concentrations. A concentration consists of four courses chosen from a faculty-designed menu that is structured on the basis of a clearly articulated organizing principle. Some concentrations may include relevant co-curricular experiences such as significant community service, orchestra, chorus, theatrical productions, or volunteer work.
Concentrations may focus on a particular issue or topic or area of inquiry identified by several professors working across different disciplines; examples include “Environment, Place, and History” and “Public Health.”
Concentrations may also be formed within a single department or program; examples of these include “Chinese Language” and “Philosophy.”
If a student elects a second major, it counts as one of the two required concentrations. If a student elects a minor, it counts as one of the concentrations.
2. Three writing-attentive courses
Each student successfully completes three writing attentive courses, one at the first-year level [W1], one at the sophomore or junior level [W2], and one at the senior level, usually the senior thesis [W3]. W courses help students refine their writing skills as they move through their Bates career, so that they are well-prepared to undertake significant writing for a senior thesis or capstone project.
3. Three courses focused on scientific reasoning, laboratory experience, and quantitative literacy
Each student completes: a) one course that focuses on scientific reasoning [S], which may or may not have a laboratory; b) one course that includes a regularly scheduled laboratory component [L]; c) one course focused on quantitative literacy [Q]. Though many Bates courses fulfill two or three of these requirements, the requirements must be met by three distinct courses.