• <a href="/live/image/gid/648/width/650/86679_DIV-A2-0313-0055.jpg" class="lw_preview_image lw_disable_preview" tabindex="-1"><picture class="lw_image lw_image86679"> <source type="image/jpeg" media="(max-width: 500px)" srcset="/live/image/gid/648/width/500/height/479/crop/1/86679_DIV-A2-0313-0055.rev.1610666790.jpg 1x"/> <source type="image/jpeg" media="(min-width: 501px)" srcset="/live/image/gid/648/width/720/height/690/crop/1/86679_DIV-A2-0313-0055.rev.1610666790.jpg 1x"/> <img src="/live/image/gid/648/width/720/height/690/crop/1/86679_DIV-A2-0313-0055.rev.1610666790.jpg" alt="Our small classes (19–25 students) are designed to help you develop the reading, writing, discussion, and analytical skills you will ne..." width="720" height="690" data-max-w="592" data-max-h="635" loading="lazy"/> </picture> </a><div class="hero-split_image_caption collapsable-caption"> Our small classes (19–25 students) are designed to help you develop the reading, writing, discussion, and analytical skills you will need to succeed in college and for life.</div>

Explore, Learn, Engage

Our general education program is designed to spark your curiosity, encourage you to take intellectual chances, and push you to participate thoughtfully and passionately in a diverse and interdependent world.

We do not take a one-size-fits-all approach to this preparation. In fact, there is no one class you will be required to take. Instead, in the true spirit of the liberal arts, you will live Lewis & Clark’s motto—  explorare, discere, sociare, or explore, learn, engage—by taking a selection of content-area courses. We give you the framework on which you build a general education curriculum that allows you to explore your interests and the relationships among them. This DIY approach allows you to choose from classes that professors have created around their academic passions, and which are designed to inspire academic passion in you.

Your general education courses—which account for approximately one-third of your total coursework—can be both a pathway to discovering your major and a complement to the specialized classes you will take within your major.

  • pie chart showing rule of thirds


    Classes are split into three categories. General education is satisfied by first-year seminars and courses in world languages, global and historical perspectives, creative arts, natural sciences, physical education and well-being, and more.

“Our new general education curriculum does a lot of things: above all, it shows how we practice the liberal arts at Lewis & Clark. Based on a vision of the skills and experiences we want every Lewis & Clark graduate to have, the curriculum trains every student in the modes of critical inquiry; invites them to explore the challenges and promises of community life in a diverse and complicated world; and invites them to reflect deeply on the role they can play in the world. It connects with every major and minor and allows them to explore questions and methods beyond their chosen majors and minors.”

—Kundai Chirindo, Associate Professor of Rhetoric and Media Studies

L&C Identity Statement

Our general education curriculum is designed to equip students to become well-rounded global citizens, ready to take on the life pursuits of their choosing. This philosophy is best summed up in the Lewis & Clark Identity Statement, which reads as follows:

Lewis & Clark is a community of creative, independent individuals who share a curiosity about the world and a desire to effect positive change. Often thinking of themselves as global citizens and environmental stewards, our students seek deeper understanding of their place upon this earth. They come to Lewis & Clark to prepare for satisfying careers, community engagement and the lifelong work of self-creation.

Lewis & Clark, in turn, aims to help them in these tasks. We broaden students’ perspectives by exposing them to the historical, cultural and scientific contexts of current issues. Challenged by the mentorship of their dedicated faculty, our students strive to become experts in their chosen fields. We push them to achieve breadth, depth, and versatility in responding to complex problems. Lewis & Clark is a place to expand and take chances: we do not shelter students but support them as they interrogate both their own assumptions and the societal contexts in which they formed. We seek to inspire them to live their lives deliberately, becoming thoughtful and passionate participants in a diverse world.

Upon graduation we would like our students to have:

  • 5

    grounded their education in local, global, and historical contexts

  • 3

    gained confidence to range across disciplines both individually and in collaboration

  • 7

    practiced habits of self-care, community, and well-being

  • 8

    reflected critically on their liberal education and its purpose in the contemporary world

  • 6

    encountered wonder and grappled with experiences that are not about seeking answers

Outside the Classroom

Lectures, free tutoring, office hours, symposia and more … Lewis & Clark is alive with ways to support your growth as a scholar outside of the classroom, some of which are directly tied to the general education curriculum. For instance:

  • Colloquia connected to the first-year seminars are offered twice per semester. Experts from our faculty and community leaders engage with students on a topic of pressing concern, such as democracy, ecology, income inequality, and the housing crisis.
  • Festival of Scholars and Artists provides an opportunity for students to present their own research and art. On this day each spring, everyone in the community participates in festival events such as performances of original compositions, exhibitions of original art, plays, and research presentations.

Meet Our Students

No one can explain the Lewis & Clark experience better than our current students and recent alumni. Read about L&C in their words.

  • My favorite class has been Network Security with Professor Jens Mache. This class challenged me, taught me about the intricacies of modern network systems, and allowed me to apply what I learned to real-world scenarios.

    Natalie Zoz BA ’23
    Lincoln, Nebraska
    More about Natalie
  • I had no idea what I wanted to study when I began college. I knew that I enjoyed critical thinking, puzzles, and understanding how people construct narratives. Naturally, this led me to English. Each text became a puzzle to unravel and reconstruct.

    Greta Burton BA ’22
    Portland, Oregon
    More about Greta
  • Something we discuss in ENVS is how people are often not ready to question their views on environmental issues and even consider their environmental beliefs to be spiritual and thus beyond critique/questioning.

    Alex Groher-Jick BA ’18
    Acton, Massachusetts
    More about Alex

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