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A student's Area Of Concentration (AOC) is declared during his/her fifth semester. It is similar to a "major" in other colleges. Usually falls into one of three categories: Division of Natural Sciences, Division of Humanities, or Division of Social Sciences.

Areas Of Concentration

Division of Natural Sciences

  • Applied Mathematics
  • Biology
    • Marine Biology
    • Neurobiology
  • Chemistry
    • Biochemistry
  • Mathematics
  • Natural Sciences
  • Physics

Division of Humanities

  • Art
  • Art History
  • Chinese Language & Culture
  • Classics
  • English
  • French Language & Literature
  • German Language & Literature
  • Humanities
  • Literature
  • Music
  • Philosophy
  • Religion
  • Russian Language & Literature
  • Spanish Language & Literature
    • Spanish Language & Culture

Division of Social Sciences

  • Anthropology
  • Economics
  • History
  • International & Area Studies
    • European Studies
    • Latin American Studies
  • Political Science
  • Psychology
  • Sociology
  • Social Sciences

Interdisciplinary

  • Computational Science
  • Environmental Studies
  • Gender Studies
  • Medieval & Renaissance Studies
  • Theater

Double & Joint Areas of Concentration

It is possible to complete a Double Area of Concentration (or double major), for which you complete all the requirements for two different areas of concentration.

You can also design a Joint-Disciplinary Concentration (sometimes called a “slash major”) in which you work with faculty from two different disciplines to design a coherent course of study. Examples include political science/international and area studies, music/philosophy, English/gender studies, and chemistry/environmental studies.

Special Areas of Concentration

With the approval of faculty, you can create your own Special Program Area of Concentration in an area that is not regularly offered at New College. Examples include cultural studies, entomology, and gender and ethnic studies. Usually these special areas are modeled on similar programs offered at other colleges and universities.

Professional School Preparation

Students may prepare for professional school in the context of most Areas of Concentration offered at New College. Faculty and the Office of Career Services provide guidance for students preparing for medical or veterinary school, law or business school, and other advanced degree programs. Currently Cathy Cuthberston, Director of the Office of Career Services, serves as the pre-law advisor and also co-advises pre-med students along with Paul Scudder, Division Chair of Natural Sciences and Professor of Chemistry.

Areas Of Concentration Requirements

Below are the general course requirements that you must complete before obtaining an AOC in that field. In addition to the below requirements, you must also complete a Senior Thesis in the field that you wishes to obtain an AOC in. Talk to your advisor for more specific guidelines on what courses you should take.

Division of Natural Sciences

Applied Mathematics

Full AOC:

  1. Calculus 1, Calculus 2, and Calculus 3.
  2. Linear Algebra.
  3. Ordinary Differential Equations.
  4. Mathematical Modeling.
  5. Numerical Analysis.
  6. Partial Differential Equations.
  7. Probability/Statistics.
  8. Advanced Linear Algebra.
  9. A course in programming.
  10. A two semester introductory sequence (or two semesters of more advanced material) in either Biology, Chemistry, or Physics.
  11. Three semesters of Math Seminar.

In addition, a course in Complex Analysis is highly recommended.

Slash AOC:

  1. Calculus 1, Calculus 2, and Calculus 3.
  2. Linear Algebra.
  3. Ordinary Differential Equations.
  4. Mathematical Modeling.
  5. Numerical Analysis.

Biology

Chemistry

  1. General and Organic Chemistry sequences.
  2. Physical Chemistry I and II (with lab).
  3. Inorganic Chemistry (with lab).
  4. Biochemistry I.
  5. one additional advanced chemistry course.
  6. Calculus I, II, and III .
  7. Physics I and II (with lab).
  8. One Independent Study Project in chemistry.

Computational Science

Full AOC:

  1. Introduction to Programming
  2. Introduction to Object Oriented Programming
  3. Introduction to Applied Statistics Programming (may be replaced with upper level Probability and Statistics)
  4. Networks and Algorithms
  5. Introduction to Scientific Computing
  6. A selection of various courses/tutorials. Examples include:
  • Data Structures - required for Bioinformatics
  • Databases - required for Bioinformatics
  • Systems Biology
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Discrete Mathematics
  • Recursive Programming
  • Probability and Statistics (more advanced Calculus-based)
  • Mathematical Modeling
  • Numerical Analysis
  • Calculus 1-3
  • Linear Algebra
  • Differential Equations
  • Computational Fluids
  • Computational Partial Differential Equations
  • Computational Physics Theoretical Mechanics, Quantum Mechanics, etc... (Physics faculty approval)
  • Computational Chemistry
  • Physical Chemistry I, II, etc... (Chemistry faculty approval)
  • Bioinformatics Genomics, etc...(Biology faculty approval)
  • Informatics

Slash AOC:

  1. Introduction to Programming
  2. Introduction to Object Oriented Programming
  3. Introduction to Applied Statistics Programming (may be replaced with upper level Probability and Statistics)
  4. Networks and Algorithms
  5. Introduction to Scientific Computing

Mathematics

Full AOC:

  1. Calculus 1, Calculus 2, Calculus 3.
  2. Linear Algebra.
  3. Ordinary Differential Equations.
  4. Two semesters of modern abstract algebra.
  5. Two semesters of real analysis.
  6. Complex analysis.

In addition, students are encouraged to take courses in topology, discrete mathematics, graph theory, and number theory as well as computer science and other sciences.

Slash AOC:

  1. Calculus I and II.
  2. Differential Equations or Calculus III.
  3. Linear Algebra; two semester taken from Abstract Algebra I and II and/or Real Analysis I and II.
  4. At least one Math Seminar.

Natural Sciences

  1. At least 8 courses with the Division of Natural Sciences. These courses are to be distributed among at least three disciplines. The minimum that must be done in each is the successful completion of all the introductory sequence in that discipline.
  2. A minimum of two semester courses beyond the introductory sequence in one discipline.
  3. At least one Independent Study Project in the Natural Sciences.

Physics

Division of Humanities

Art

Art History

  1. A broad selection of courses in the discipline covering all of the major periods and emphasizing the field in which the senior thesis will be written. This involves undertaking no fewer than twelve courses or tutorials in the discipline, with two each in the Ancient/Medieval, Renaissance/Baroque, and Modern periods. Two studio courses or their equivalent are required.
  2. Breadth beyond the discipline is stressed. Courses in other disciplines (literature, history, philosophy, music, religion, psychology, the sciences, etc.) should be chosen to constitute a coherent and directed program of study. At least one course must be taken in each of the divisions outside of the humanities. The study of at least one foreign language (normally French or German) is required. Travel abroad and off-campus study are highly recommended.
  3. A student should apply to the art history faculty in the fifth semester for approval of art history as an Area of Concentration. Acceptance will depend upon a review of the student's papers and evaluations in the discipline, and on a brief statement of his or her purposes for choosing the major.

Chinese Language & Culture

Full AOC:

  1. Six semesters of Chinese language courses.
  2. One advanced reading course in classical or modern Chinese
  3. One survey course in classical or modern Chinese Literature and culture
  4. One tutorial in subjects of students’ interests
  5. One special topic course in classical or modern Chinese culture. Special topics and tutorials are interchangeable depending on course availability.
  6. Two China/East Asia-related courses in other disciplines of humanities and social sciences.

Slash AOC:

  1. Five semesters of Chinese language courses.
  2. Two courses in classical or modern Chinese culture.
  3. One China/East Asia-related course in other disciplines of humanities and social sciences.

Students are strongly encouraged to study abroad at universities in PRC or Taiwan for at least one semester since studying abroad is essential to language mastery and cultural learning.

Classics

  1. A high level of proficiency in ancient Greek or Latin. This will ordinarily be demonstrated by completion of six semester courses or the equivalent in either language, and by the equivalent of three semester courses in the other classical language as well.
  2. A good general knowledge of classical literature, history, and culture. This will normally be demonstrated by completion of advanced language courses in Greek or Latin literature and of at least four courses, tutorials, or ISPs on topics such as Greek and Roman history, art, philosophy, mythology, and literature.
  3. At least two semesters (or the equivalent) of a modern language.

English

French Language & Literature

German Language & Literature

Humanities

Literature

Music

  1. Four courses in Music History.
  2. Music Theory I & II.
  3. One language course at New College at the intermediate level or higher.
  4. Two courses or tutorials from a perspective outside of music that have implications for the study of music.
  5. Ethnomusicology: One term-length course, tutorial, or ISP that recognizes music from outside the Western Art Music tradition.
  6. Keyboard Ability: sufficient skill to play four-part chorales at sight, improvise harmony, and realize a figured bass. These skills can be acquired through enrollment in Keyboard Skills.

Philosophy

Religion

Russian Language & Literature

Spanish Language & Literature

Spanish Language & Culture

Division of Social Sciences

Anthropology

For a full AOC:

  1. Cultural Anthropology:
  • Cultural Anthropology (or equivalent introductory course)
  • History of Anthropological Theory
  • One upper level area or thematic course
  • For cultural subfield majors: Ethnography: Theory and Practice and one or more additional courses and/or tutorials in cultural anthropology or related subjects approved by advisor.
  1. Archaeology
  • Survey of Archaeology (or equivalent introductory course)
  • Method and Theory in Archaeology
  • One upper level area or thematic course
  • For archaeology subfield majors: one or more additional courses and/or tutorials in Archaeology or related subjects approved by advisor.
  1. Physical Anthropology and Linguistics: All majors are required to take an introductory course in at least one of these subfields. Students planning to attend graduate school are strongly advised to take introductory courses in both fields. Students wishing to major in these subfields should work out a plan of study with their advisor.
  2. Foreign Language Competence: Intermediate level competence, or two years of college-level instruction.
  3. Fieldwork is also strongly recommended for majors planning to attend graduate school.

For a slash AOC:

  1. Introductory courses in Cultural Anthropology and Archaeology.
  2. History of Anthropological
  3. Method and Theory in Archaeology.
  4. Two additional courses or tutorials in anthropology, and other work relating to your goals, to be chosen in consultation with your advisor in anthropology.

Economics

Required courses:

  • Introduction to Economic Analysis
  • Introductory Macroeconomics
  • Intermediate Microeconomic Theory
  • Intermediate Macroeconomics
  • Mathematical Tools for Economists (or equivalent calculus course)
  • Statistics (or equivalent)

Plus 4 additional electives courses, examples include:

  • European Economic History
  • U.S. Economic History
  • Behavioral Economics
  • Distributive Justice: Theory and Practice
  • Economics of Strategic Choices
  • International Economics and Policy
  • Introductory Game Theory
  • Issues and Developments in the Fields of Economics
  • Law and Economics I and II
  • Mathematical Economics
  • Money, Banking, and Financial Markets
  • Political Economy
  • Poverty and Public Policy
  • Leading World Economies

History

Ten courses or tutorials in history, with at least two courses in each of the four fields of history offered regularly at New College:

  • American history
  • Medieval/Renaissance European history
  • Modern European history
  • Non-Western history.

At least one of the courses taken in each area should be an advanced (reading/writing intensive) course.

Political Science

  1. At least one introductory level class.
  2. One class in at least three of the following subfields of Political Science
  • American Politics
  • Comparative Politics
  • International Relations
  • Political Theory
  1. A minimum of two advanced seminars (each in a different subfield)
  2. Craft and Rhetoric of Political Inquiry (a research design course recommended for 2nd and 3rd year students)
  3. Introduction to Statistics,

Psychology

Full AOC:

  1. Introductory Psychology: A general overview, providing students with background in the diverse areas available for study in the field. The course is a prerequisite for most other psychology courses.
  2. Statistics: provides the knowledge necessary to understand the experimental literature in psychology.
  3. Research Methods: develops the skills necessary to design, execute, and report empirical research.
  4. Four of the five following courses must be taken:
    1. Abnormal Psychology
    2. Developmental Psychology
    3. Biological Psychology
    4. Social Psychology
    5. Cognitive Psychology
  5. A laboratory course: Labs are taught in Cognitive, Development, and Social Psychology; Animal Behavior; and Sensation and Perception. Laboratories in the Natural Sciences Division are offered in conjunction with Neurobiology and Neuroanatomy.
  6. Two advanced psychology electives.
  7. Psychology Senior Seminar.

Slash AOC:

  1. Introductory Psychology
  2. Statistics
  3. Research Methods
  4. Three of the five following courses must be taken:
  • Abnormal Psychology
  • Developmental Psychology
  • Biological Psychology
  • Social Psychology
  • Cognitive Psychology
  1. One advanced-level Psychology course or tutorial (must be full term o requivalent activity)
  2. A "mini" laboratory course.

Sociology

Full AOC:

  1. Introductory Course. Must be taken before submitting AOC portfolio.
  2. Methods. Ideally, this course would be taken in the fall of the second or third year with a Sociology Professor. In special circumstances, with prior approval by Sociology faculty, we will recognize this course when taken in Psychology.
  3. Theory.
  4. Statistics.
  5. Senior Thesis Seminar.
  6. Empirical ISP. Students must complete the Methods course prior to doing this ISP, and must go through the IRB process.
  7. Five Electives (At least one from each analytical area: Social Organizations/Institutions; Change; and Persons and Society).

Slash AOC:

  1. Methods. Ideally, this course would be taken in the fall of the second or third year with a Sociology Professor. In special circumstances, with prior approval by Sociology faculty, we will recognize this course when taken in Psychology.
  2. Theory.
  3. Statistics.
  4. Empirical ISP is encouraged but not required. Students must complete the Methods course prior to doing this ISP, and must go through the IRB process.
  5. Three Electives (One from each analytical area: Social Organizations/Institutions;Change; and Persons and Society)

In order to declare a Sociology AOC, students are required to submit a portfolio. Prior to submitting a portfolio students must have satisfactorily completed four sociology courses. The portfolio must include 2-3 papers that you’ve written for sociology courses, a print-out of your unofficial transcript (you can get these reports from the Student Evaluation System at https://www.ncf.edu/nc/login.asp), the signed “Provisional Area of Concentration” form (found at http://www.ncf.edu/registrar/policies--procedures) and a plan for completing the remaining sociology requirements.

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