Many students supplement their majors with focused study in a second major, minor or interdisciplinary area; with certification to teach in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade education; or with preparation for professional study in business, law, or health careers (described under “postgraduate options” in Planning an Academic Program). Students may also take university courses on topics of interest, pursue various options for individualized learning, and gain firsthand experience in an off-campus program in the U.S. or abroad.
Minors and interdisciplinary areas
Minors provide an opportunity for students to do focused work in a field outside the major. Some students will combine majors and minors in closely related fields—biology and chemistry, for instance, or English and history—while others will use minors to explore subjects very different from their major areas of study. Minors are offered by almost all curricular departments of the university.
Interdisciplinary areas allow students to cross departmental or disciplinary boundaries and address issues from several perspectives. Those students who satisfy the requirements of an interdisciplinary area may have the area listed on their transcripts along with their declared majors.
Majors, minors, and interdisciplinary areas are listed alphabetically under Areas of Study.
Lawrence offers certification at the elementary level (with any major), at the secondary level in most subjects (with a major in the subject area, and a major or minor for an additional area) and at the elementary and secondary level in music, art, world languages, and English as a second language. Students may student-teach during the senior year or in a 13th term (without normal tuition charges) in the fall after graduation. Those interested in teacher certification should consult with the education department faculty at their earliest opportunity.
University courses (listed with the prefix UNIC) deal with subjects of interest and importance that are outside the purview of any given department. These include courses in additional languages, academic skills, or personal development, as well as interdisciplinary courses on contemporary concerns that cross traditional academic boundaries. Students from all disciplines may enroll in university courses.
Student-initiated options for study are a long-standing feature of the Lawrence curriculum. Most often, students elect tutorials or independent study in order to pursue topics of special interest in depth. Additional opportunities for individualized learning include directed study, academic internships, and writing for credit. Non-music majors may request private music lessons by audition or interview and with an additional fee.
Lawrence University encourages students to extend their programs of study by participating in the challenging educational and cultural experiences offered through our portfolio of off-campus programs. Lawrence operates programs of its own, including the London Centre and the Francophone Seminar in Senegal, and also offers programs operated by other organizations, such as the Associated Colleges of the Midwest (ACM) and the Institute for the International Education of Students (IES). These programs have been evaluated by the faculty and approved for Lawrence affiliation.
It is best to plan ahead for off-campus study when considering options for majors and minors. Interested students should make an appointment with the director of off-campus programs as early as the freshman year to explore the range of possibilities for including off-campus study in their degree program.