The College encourages properly qualified students to engage in advanced individual study. The following plans, as supplements to the regular course offerings, are available to students upon recommendation by their advisers.
Honors Study offers students who meet the standards set by the College and by their major departments the opportunity to combine independent work with regular courses of study.
Juniors who have maintained a 3.5 grade point average in their major courses for the sophomore and junior years may, at the end of the junior year, request permission of their departments to be admitted to Honors Study. At this time, in consultation with their major department, they shall formulate a tentative plan for a senior project that has a scope of a year-long project in the student’s declared major.
Before the end of the junior year, the student will present the major department or appropriate interdisciplinary committee with a plan of study designed to replace two semester courses in the major field. When this plan has been approved, the chair and principal adviser will choose two readers. At least one of the readers and/or the adviser must be a member of the department. The student may confer at any time with the readers about the progress of the honors work.
Course 497 should be added to a student's schedule by the end of the Limited Add Period and must be added no later than September 30 (or February 28) in the first semester of the senior year. Registration for Course 498, or conversion of Course 497 to an Individual Study, should be completed by the end of the Limited Add Period and must be completed no later than February 28 (or September 30) in the second semester of the senior year. By the deadline listed in the Academic Calendar, the student will submit the thesis and the thesis submission form electronically. After the conclusion of the academic year, the library will post the thesis to Digital Commons, granting the thesis the level of access requested by the student and adviser. The department or interdisciplinary committee shall have the option of requiring the readers to administer an oral examination on the subject of the course.
Students enrolled in Course 497-498 will be given the temporary grade “In Progress” at the end of the first semester. This grade will be changed to a letter grade when the Honors Study has been completed. The final grade shall be assigned by the adviser after consultation with the readers. A grade of A or A- will denote Honors.
Any Honors Study project to be considered for the Oakes and Louise Ames Prize must be submitted to the Educational Planning Committee and must include a one-page abstract of the project.
The College awards the degree of Bachelor of Arts with Honors Study in the Major Field to students who complete their Honors Study with a grade of A or A-. Students who earn a passing grade of B+ or lower will receive credit as Individual Study as determined by the department. The College awards the degree of Bachelor of Arts with Honors Study and Distinction in the Major Field to students who complete their Honors Study with a grade of A or A-, and who have a grade point average of 3.7 in all courses that may be counted toward the major, including those taken during the first year or its equivalent.
Individual Study Courses
Individual study courses are available to properly qualified students, subject to availability of staff time for supervision. The proposal for study must be approved by the instructor supervising the project and by the department or interdisciplinary program in which the project is to be conducted.
Many departments also offer seminars in which students have the opportunity to work independently on different aspects of their major field or area of interdisciplinary study and to discuss the results of their research.
Postgraduate Study and Admission to Professional Schools
Many Connecticut College seniors choose to apply for and attend graduate or professional schools. After assisting students with the process of identifying their advanced degree goals, Career advisers refer these students to the College’s pre-professional and graduate school advisers and to discipline-specific faculty advisers.
A student who plans to undertake graduate study should examine specific requirements of particular graduate programs as early in the undergraduate years as possible. Early consultation with the major adviser and the college’s graduate school advisor is strongly recommended.
Students intending to prepare for postgraduate entrance into law, business or medical school are encouraged to register with Connecticut College pre-law, pre-business or pre-health advisers early in the first-year.
Connecticut College does not recommend a formalized pre-law program of studies because experience demonstrates that the best preparation for law school is a solid liberal arts education that trains minds to think critically, logically and creatively. Recent graduates now enrolled in law schools concentrated in a wide range of liberal arts majors.
A liberal arts education is an ideal gateway to a career in business and finance. Employers in those fields, as well as business schools, prefer applicants who have perfected their oral and written expression, analytical, problem-solving and quantitative abilities, and leadership skills. At Connecticut College, our students gain transferable skills that are key to job searches, graduate school applications and careers, including: financial literacy; interview techniques; professional presentation and communication skills; and leadership experience. Connecticut College students interested in finance, banking and investment strategies also hone their skills and experience outside the classroom through the Peggoty Investment Club, the Women in Finance Series, and the Fast Forward program. The college also has developed strong connection with prominent graduate programs in business and management.
Connecticut College does not recommend a formalized business program of studies because experience demonstrates that the best preparation for a career in business or entry to business school is a solid liberal arts education that trains minds to think critically, logically and creatively. Recent graduates now enrolled in business schools concentration in a wide range of liberal arts majors. However, a new finance minor is being introduced in the fall 2018 semester to include curriculum in accounting, finance, quantitative development, and economics. Students can receive individual career and professional school advising from the pre-business advisers.
Although medical schools require applicants to present strong academic qualifications in a number of undergraduate sciences, superior performance in a diversified program of liberal arts studies is equally important. The science requirements for medical school can be met by the following courses: biology (two semesters); general chemistry (two semesters); organic chemistry (two semesters); and physics (two semesters). Most medical schools require a year of English (although many accept Writing courses in place of courses in English) and one year of college-level mathematics. Although not required, additional courses in biology, biochemistry, statistics, psychology and sociology will prepare students for the MCAT (Medical College Admission Test) and are strongly recommended. The College pre-health advisers provide guidance in selecting a course of study, gaining relevant shadowing and co-curricular experiences, and preparing for the application process. The other health profession schools (e.g. dental, veterinary, physician assistant) have similar general prerequisites but most have discipline-specific requirements.