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Getting Started in a Major or Minor

Majors offer students the opportunity to study an area in depth, explore key scholarly questions, and contribute to critical conversations in the field. Students must complete one major to graduate. Students declare a major after earning 45 credits (including credits earned from IB, AP, or transfer institutions).

In addition to a major, students may select a minor. A minor can be a limited version of a major, a more specialized subset of a particular field of study, or a structured opportunity to explore areas of study that are interdisciplinary in scope. Minors are optional.

Requirements for majors/minors are listed in the Undergraduate College Catalog.

Most departments and programs offer introductory courses, appropriate for first-year students, to the major and minor (100-level or 200-level courses with an F).

Note: Refer to the Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) equivalency charts to see if credits may be applied to a major or minor. 

Art (Studio)

Course of Study: Major

Visit the Art Department website

Recommended first course: Try taking a course in a medium you might specialize in, such as:
ART 112: Digital Media I
ART 113: Sculpture I
ART 115: Drawing I
ART 116: Ceramics I
ART 117A: Painting Fundamentals
ART 120: Photography I

Note: If all courses in a medium you might specialize in are full, any studio art course is recommended.

Art History

Course of Study: Major

Visit the Art Department website

Recommended first course:
ART 100: Key Monuments

Other courses to consider:
ART 151: Early East Asian Art
PHIL 203-F1: Philosophy of Art and Beauty

Art and Art History (minor only)

Course of Study: Minor

Visit the Department of Art website

Recommended first course:
ART 100: Key Monuments
Any 100-level studio art course

Other courses to consider:
ART 151: Early East Asian Art
PHIL 203-F1: Philosophy of Art and Beauty 

Asian Studies

Course of Study: Major, Minor

Visit the Asian Studies website

Recommended first course:
If interested in China or Japan Concentration, take CHIN 101: Beginning Chinese I or JAPN 101: Beginning Japanese I in fall (or higher level based on placement exam results).

Other courses to consider:
ART 151: Early East Asian Art
CHIN 230-F1: Introduction to Chinese Literature in Translation: The Classic Novels
CHIN 231-F1: Introduction to Chinese Literature in Translation 
HIST 110: Early East Asian History
RELS 243-F1: Buddhism: Theory, Culture, and Practice
SOAN 110: Introduction to Cultural Anthropology 

Note: AS 100: Introduction to Asian Studies is also recommended and is offered in the spring semester. 

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Course of Study: Major

Visit the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology website

Recommended first course:
CHEM 110: General Chemistry I
MATH 131: Calculus I

Other courses to consider:
MATH 132: Calculus II

Note: Please consult advice for Prospective Math, Science, and Environmental Studies Majors for further guidance. 

Biology

Course of Study: Major

Visit the Biology website


Recommended first course:
BIO 141: Investigations in Ecology and Environmental Science
CHEM 110: General Chemistry I 

Other courses to consider:
CS 171: Computer Science I
MATH 115: Elementary Functions (recommended if a student is not prepared to start Math at the level of MATH 131: Calculus I or Math 123: Calculus and Statistics for Modelling the Life Sciences)
MATH 123: Calculus and Statistics for Modelling the Life Sciences
MATH 131: Calculus I 

Note: It is possible to postpone BIO 141 or CHEM 110 until the sophomore year, but taking both in the first year provides maximum flexibility in terms of planning for overseas study, senior research, and preparation for graduate and professional school. If you DO postpone one of these, then consider enrolling in CS 171, MATH 115, MATH 123, or MATH 131.  

Please consult advice for Prospective Math, Science, and Environmental Studies Majors for further guidance. 

Chemistry

Course of Study: Major, minor

Visit the Chemistry website

Recommended first course:
CHEM 110: General Chemistry I

Other courses to consider:
MATH 131: Calculus I
MATH 132: Calculus II

Note: 
Please consult advice for Prospective Math, Science, and Environmental Studies for further guidance.

Chinese (minor only)

Course of Study: Minor

Visit the Chinese website

Recommended first course:
CHIN 101: Beginning Chinese or CHIN 201-F1: Intermediate Chinese I (based on placement exam results)

Other courses to consider:
CHIN 230-F1: Introduction to Chinese Literature in Translation: The Classic Novels 

Note: Only language courses beyond CHIN 202: Intermediate Chinese II apply to the Chinese minor.

Classics

Course of Study: Major, Minor

Visit the Classics Department website

Recommended first course:
GRK 101: Classical Greek I (if student has had no prior Ancient Greek language instruction)
LATN 201-F1: Intermediate Latin (based on placement exam results)

Other courses to consider:
CLAS 201-F1: Introduction to Ancient Greek Thought and Culture (either this course or CLAS 202: Introduction to Roman Thought and Culture, offered in fall 2019, is required for all Classics majors and minors).

Note: All incoming students who have taken Ancient Greek or Latin in high school should contact Gordon Kelly, chair of the Classics Department (gkelly@lclark.edu), in order to take the appropriate placement exam. The results of the exam will determine which level of Greek or Latin the student should take. 

Computer Science

Course of Study: Major, Minor

Visit the Computer Science website

Recommended first course:
CS 171: Computer Science I

Other recommended courses: 
MATH 115: Elementary Functions (recommended if a student is not prepared to start at the level of MATH 131: Calculus I)
MATH 131: Calculus I

Computer Science and Mathematics

Course of Study: Major

Visit Computer Science and Mathematics website

Recommended first course:
MATH 131: Calculus I (or higher level based on AP or IB HL exam results)
CS 171: Computer Science I (or higher level based on AP or IB HL exam results)

Other courses to consider: 
MATH 115: Elementary Functions (recommended if a student is not prepared to start Math at the level of MATH 131: Calculus I)
MATH 215-F1: Discrete Mathematics
MATH 225-F1: Linear Algebra
MATH 233-F1: Calculus III
MATH 235-F1: Differential Equations

Note:
 Please consult advice for Prospective Math, Science, and Environmental Studies Majors for further guidance.  

Dance (minor only)

Course of Study: Minor

Visit the Dance website

Recommended first course:
TH 106: Fundamentals of Movement 

Other courses to consider:
TH 107: Ballet I
TH 113: Acting I: Fundamentals
TH 201-F1: Contact Improvisation 

Economics

Course of Study: Major, Minor

Visit the Economics Department website

Recommended first course:
ECON 100: Principles of Economics

Other recommended courses:
ECON 103: Statistics (PSY 200-F1 or MATH 105 may be used in place of ECON 103)
MATH 115: Elementary Functions (recommended if a student is not prepared to start Math at the level of MATH 131: Calculus I)
MATH 131: Calculus I 

Note: Students who earn a 4 or 5 on the AP Statistics Exam, and receive credit for their exam, are not eligible to also earn credit for MATH 105: Perspectives in Statistics, ECON 103: Statistics, or PSY 200: Statistics I. 

English

Course of Study: Major, Minor

Visit the English Department website

Recommended first course:
ENG 100-01: Topic: Adventure! 
ENG 100-02: Topic: Films Adapting Fictions 
ENG 200-F1 or F2: Fiction Writing I
ENG 201-F1: Introduction to Poetry and Poetry Writing
ENG 209-F1: Introduction to American Literature
ENG 240-F1: The Brontes

Other courses to consider:
The following courses are open to first-year students, but are more commonly taken in the sophomore year:
ENG 205-F1: Major Periods and Issues in English Literature
ENG 206-F1: Major Periods and Issues in English Literature

Environmental Studies

Course of Study: Major, Minor

Visit the Environmental Studies website

Recommended first course:
ENVS 160: Introduction to Environmental Studies (this course is offered in both fall and spring, and can be taken either semester of first year)

Other courses to consider:
BIO 141: Investigations in Ecology and Environmental Science
CHEM 110: General Chemistry I
ECON 100: Principles in Economics
GEO 150: Environmental Geology
GEO 170: Climate Science
HIST 261-F1: Global Environmental History
IA 100: Introduction to International Relations
SOAN 100: Introduction to Sociology or SOAN 110: Introduction to Cultural Anthropology

Note: Please consult advice for Prospective Math, Science, and Environmental Studies Majors for further guidance.

Ethnic Studies (minor only)

Course of Study: Minor

Visit the Ethnic Studies website

Courses to consider:
HIST 135: United States: Empire to Superpower 
HIST 141: Colonial Latin American History
MUS 142: Music and Social Justice

Note: Students may also considering enrolling in IA 100: Introduction to International Relations, RHMS 100: Introduction to Rhetoric and Media Studies, SOAN 100: Introduction to Sociology, or SOAN 110: Introduction to Cultural Anthropology. Completing one of these prerequisite classes will allow students maximum flexibility to enroll in subsequent course in the minor.

French Studies

Course of Study: Major, Minor

Visit the French Studies website

Recommended first course:
For those with no prior experience: FREN 101: Beginning French I 
For those with prior experience: begin with course recommended by the French Placement Exam  
 
Note:
 Only language courses beyond FREN 202: Intermediate French II apply to the French Studies major or minor.

Gender Studies (minor only)

Course of Study: Minor

Visit the Gender Studies website

Recommended first course:
GEND 200-F1: Genders and Sexuality in U.S. Society
GEND 231-F1: Genders and Sexuality in Global Perspective

Other courses to consider:
ENG 240-F1: The Brontes
PSY 260-F1: Social Psychology
PSY 230-F1 and F2: Infant and Child Development
TH 106: Fundamentals of Movement

Note: PSY 230-F1, PSY 260-F1 and F2 are only open to students who have satisfied the PSY 100: Introduction to Psychology prerequisite. 

German Studies

Course of Study: Major

Visit the German Studies website

Recommended first course:
For those with no prior experience: GERM 101: Beginning German I 
For those with prior experience: begin with course recommended by the German Placement Exam
 
Other courses to consider:
HIST 120: Early European History

Note:
Only language courses beyond GERM 202: Intermediate German II apply to the German Studies major.

Hispanic Studies

Course of Study: Major

Visit the Hispanic Studies website

Recommended first course:
For those with no prior experience: SPAN 101: Beginning Spanish I 
For those with prior experience: begin with course recommended by the Spanish Placement Exam 

Other courses to consider:
HIST 141: Colonial Latin American History
SPAN 302: Spanish Composition and Conversation for Heritage Speakers (this class is intended for native speakers who have been educated in English, and registration is dependent upon Spanish Placement Exam results and the permission of the instructor in WebAdvisor)

Note: Only language courses beyond Span 202: Intermediate Spanish II apply to the Hispanic Studies major.

History

Course of Study: Major, Minor

Visit the History Department website

Recommended first course:
HIST 110: Early East Asian History
HIST 120: Early European History
HIST 135: US Empire to Superpower
HIST 141: Colonial Latin American History 

Other courses to consider:
HIST 223-F1: War and Society Premodern Europe
HIST 261-F1: Global Environmental History
HIST 297-01: 20th-Century Caribbean
HIST 297-02: Building Transatlantic World

Note: Both sections of HIST 297 require the permission of the instructor in WebAdvisor for first-year students to register.   

International Affairs

Course of Study: Major

Visit the International Studies website

Recommended first course:
IA 100: Introduction to International Relations

Other courses to consider:
ECON 100: Principles of Economics
ECON 103: Statistics or MATH 105: Perspectives in Statistics
POLS 102: Introduction to Comparative Politics or POLS 103: Introduction to American Politics

Note: Students who earn a 4 or 5 on the AP Statistics Exam, and receive LC credit for their exam, are not eligible to also earn credit for Math 105: Perspectives in Statistics, Econ 103: Statistics, or Psy 200: Statistics I.  

Japanese (minor only)

Course of Study: Minor

Visit the Japanese website

Recommended first course:
For those with no prior experience: JAPN 101: Beginning Japanese I 
For those with prior experience: begin with course recommended by the Japanese Placement Exam 

Note: Only language courses beyond JAPN 202: Intermediate Japanese II apply to the Japanese minor. 

Latin American Studies (minor only)

Course of Study: Minor

Visit the Latin American Studies website

Recommended first course:
Hist 141: Colonial Latin America History

Other courses to consider:
IA 100: Introduction to International Relations
SOAN 100: Introduction to Sociology or SOAN 110: Introduction to Cultural Anthropology

Mathematics

Course of Study: Major, Minor

Visit the Mathematical Sciences website

Recommended first course:
Math 131: Calculus I or Math 132: Calculus II (depending upon ALEKS placement, AP, or IB HL exam results)

Other courses to consider:
CS 171: Computer Science I
MATH 115: Elementary Functions (recommended if a student is not prepared to start Math at the level of MATH 131: Calculus I)
MATH 215-F1: Discrete Mathematics
MATH 225-F1: Linear Algebra
MATH 233-F1: Calculus III
MATH 235-F1: Differential Equations 

Note: Please consult advice for Prospective Math, Science, and Environmental Studies Majors for further guidance. 

Middle East and North African Studies (minor only)

Course of Study: Minor

Visit the Middle East and North African Studies website

Recommended first course:
Arb 101: Beginning Arabic I (if student has had no prior Arabic language instruction) or Arb 201: Intermediate Arabic I (fulfills core requirement in minor; enrollment based on Arabic Language placement results)

Other courses to consider:
Rels 274-F1: Islam in the Modern World 

Note: Students may considering enrolling in IA 100: Introduction to International Relations, SOAN 100: Introduction to Sociology, or SOAN 110: Introduction to Cultural Anthropology. Completing one of these prerequisite classes will allow students maximum flexibility to enroll in subsequent courses in the minor. 

Music

Course of Study: Major, Minor

Visit the Music Department website

Recommended first course:
MUS 100: Pre-Theory or MUS 150: Music Theory I (depending upon Music Theory Placement Exam results)

Other courses to consider:
MUS 102: Jazz Appreciation 
MUS 142: Music and Social Justice 
MUS 162: History of Western Music I
Music Performance Ensemble(s)
Music Applied Lessons or Performance Classes 

Note: Please consult the Music Department’s Registration Information for New Students for further guidance.

Neuroscience (minor only)

Course of Study: Minor

Visit the Neuroscience website

Recommended first course:
CHEM 110: General Chemistry I
PSY 100: Introduction to Psychology

Other courses to consider:
CS 171: Computer Science I
MATH 105: Perspectives in Statistics
MATH 115: Elementary Functions (recommended if a student is not prepared to start Math at the level of MATH 131: Calculus I)
MATH 123: Calculus and Statistics for Modelling the Life Sciences
MATH 131: Calculus I
PHIL 101: Logic
PHIL 102: Introduction to Philosophy
PSY 200-F1 or F2: Statistics I
Psy 220-F1: Thinking, Memory, and Problem Solving 
Psy 280-F1: Brain and Behaviour

Notes: Please consult advice for Prospective Math, Science, and Environmental Studies Majors for further guidance. 

Students who earn and receive credit for a 4 or 5 on the AP Statistics Exam are not eligible to also earn credit for MATH 105: Perspectives in Statistics, ECON 103: Statistics, or PSY 200: Statistics I.  

Philosophy

Course of Study: Major, Minor

Visit the Philosophy Department website

Recommended first course:
PHIL 102: Introduction to Philosophy or PHIL 103: Ethics

Other courses to consider:
PHIL 101: Logic 
PHIL 201-F1: Philosophy of Religion
PHIL 203-F1: Philosophy of Art and Beauty 
PHIL 207-F1: Indian Philosophy 
PHIL 217-F1: Topics: Law & Social Justice 

Physics

Course of Study: Major, Minor

Visit the Physics Department website

Recommended first course:
PHYS 151: Physics I: Motion (Mechanics)
MATH 131: Calculus I (may be taken concurrently with PHYS 151: Physics I: Motion) 

Other courses to consider:
MATH 115: Elementary Functions (recommended if a student is not prepared to start Math at the level of MATH 131: Calculus I) 
MATH 132: Calculus II 
MATH 225-F1: Linear Algebra 
MATH 233-F1: Calculus III  
MATH 235-F1: Differential Equations

Note: Please consult advice for Prospective Math, Science, or Environmental Studies Majors for further guidance.

Political Economy (minor only)

Course of Study: Minor

Visit the Political Economy website

Recommended first course:
ECON 100: Principles of Economics
IA 100: Introduction to International Relations
SOAN 100: Introduction to Sociology or SOAN 110: Introduction to Cultural Anthropology

Political Science

Course of Study: Major, Minor

Visit the Political Science website

Recommended first course:
POLS 102: Introduction to Comparative Politics
POLS 103: Introduction to American Politics

Other courses to consider:
ECON 100: Principles of Economics or IA 100: Introduction to International Relations

Psychology

Course of Study: Major

Visit the Psychology Department website

Recommended first course:
PSY 100: Introduction to Psychology
PSY 200-F1 or F2: Statistics I

Other courses to consider:
PSY 220-F1:Thinking, Memory, and Problem Solving 
PSY 230-F1 or F2: Infant and Child Development
PSY 240-F1: Abnormal Psychology 
PSY 260-F1 or F2: Social Psychology
PSY 280-F1: Brain and Behavior 

Note: AP Psychology exam scores of 4 or 5, and IB HL Psychology exam scores of 5, 6, or 7, are equivalent to Psy 100: Introduction to Psychology.

Students who earn and receive credit for a 4 or 5 on the AP Statistics exam are not eligible to also earn credit for MATH 105: Perspectives in Statistics, ECON 103: Statistics, or PSY 200: Statistics I. 

Religious Studies

Course of Study: Major, Minor

Visit the Religious Studies website

Recommended first course:
RELS 105: Apocalyptic Imagination 
 

Other courses to consider:
RELS 201-F1: History and Theory 
RELS 243-F1: Buddhism: Theory, Culture, and Practice 
RELS 254-F1: Religion in Modern America, 1865 to Present 
RELS 274-F1: Islam in the Modern World     

Rhetoric and Media Studies

Course of Study: Major, Minor

Visit the Rhetoric and Media Studies website

Recommended first course:
RHMS 100: Introduction to Rhetoric and Media Studies 

Other courses to consider:
RHMS 211-F1: Professional Discourse
RHMS 270-F1: Interpersonal Media

Russian (minor only)

Course of Study: Minor

Visit the Russia website

Recommended first course:
For those with no prior experience: RUSS 101: Beginning Russian I 
For those with prior experience: begin with course recommended by the Russian Placement Exam

Other courses to consider:
RUSS 290-F1: Religion, Art & Politics in Russia and China since 1990   

Note: Only language courses beyond Rus 202: Intermediate Russian II apply to the Russian minor. 

Sociology and Anthropology

Course of Study: Major

Visit the Sociology and Anthropology Department website

Recommended first course:
SOAN 100: Introduction to Sociology or SOAN 110: Introduction to Cultural Anthropology

Student-Designed Major

Course of Study: Major

Learn more about the Student-Designed Major.

First-year students are encouraged to explore coursework and get to know faculty in their general areas of interest. Development of a student-designed major involves selection of and consultation with a three-member faculty advisory committee, and submission of a formal proposal to the Curriculum Subcommittee on Petitions, Appeals, and Student-Designed Majors (SPAS). Students are urged to begin constructing a proposal prior to the start of sophomore year, as they must submit the proposal no later than the fifth week of the second semester of the sophomore year. To learn more about the student-designed major, please consult the with your Faculty and College Advisors, as well as the College Catalog for information about proposal criteria.

Theatre

Course of Study: Major, Minor

Visit the Theatre Department’s website

Recommended first course:
TH 106: Fundamentals of Movement
TH 107: Ballet I
TH 113: Acting I: Fundamentals 
 

Other courses to consider:
TH 201-F1: Contact Improvisation
TH 214-F1: Dance in Context: History and Criticism  
TH 275-F1: Introduction to Playwriting 
TH 280-F1: Theatre and Society 

World Languages and Literature

Course of Study: Major

Visit the World Language and Literature (formerly Foreign Languages) website

Recommended first course:
Any two of the following languages: Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Russian, and Spanish at the 101: Beginning I level.

Preferably, students will begin the student of their primary language at the 200-level or higher, based in placement exam results.

Other courses to consider:
RUSS 290-F1: Religion, Art & Politics in Russia and China since 1990 (students pursuing the study of Russian as part of their World Language major may apply this course to major requirements)

Note: Only language courses beyond the 202: Intermediate II level apply to the World Language and Literature Major.

 

Pre-Professional Offerings
Business and Management

Lewis & Clark offers management courses in entrepreneurship, finance, and fiscal policy to help students develop technical knowledge in addition to the broad skills gained from a liberal arts education. For your first semester, explore possible majors based on your developing interests. Further information is available at the Guide to Students Interested in Business School/MBA Offerings.

Education

Lewis & Clark offers several courses, and a Teachers Pathways program, for undergraduates who wish to explore the field of education. Students who are interested in becoming educators can start by taking ED 205-F1 or F2: Education in a Complex World. All education courses are taught by faculty members in the Lewis & Clark Graduate School of Education and Counseling and may incorporate off-campus experiences in elementary, middle, and/or high school classrooms in Portland Public Schools. These courses also provide a strong introduction to educational theory and practice that are necessary for further study in this field.  Further information is available at the Guide to Students Interested in Education.

Pre-Engineering

For students seeking a traditional engineering background leading to certification, Lewis & Clark has joined several nationally recognized engineering schools to offer a cooperative program that provides students with the advantages of a liberal arts education as a complement to rigorous studies in engineering. This engineering program, commonly referred to as the “3-2 Program,” enables a student to complete three years of study at Lewis & Clark, followed by two years at the engineering school. The student earns a degree from each school. Further information available at the Guide to Students Interested in Engineering.

Pre-Law

Law schools do not require, and Lewis & Clark does not prescribe, a single course of study as pre-law preparation. In fact, students have gone to law school after majoring in every field. Your plans should be based on your interests and objectives in studying law. Further information available at the Guide to Students Interested in Law School.

Pre-Medicine/Pre-Health

While Lewis & Clark does not offer a Pre-Health Major, many courses required for admission to health-professional schools are sequential, so careful planning is essential. Students can begin to prepare for medical school by taking Chem 110: General Chemistry I and a math course (such as Math 115: Elementary Functions, Math 131: Calculus I, or Math 132: Calculus II) in your first semester. Further information available at the Guide to Students Interested in the Health Professions.