Academic Programs

MAJOR

The requirements for graduation are determined at the time students officially declare their first major. The catalog and policies in place at the time (the current official catalog) determine the student's requirements.

A student is welcome to declare a major at any point during the first year, and is required to do so by the end of the sophomore year. Only under exceptional circumstances may a major be changed after the end of the junior year and only by special petition to the Student Progress Committee. Students must complete those major requirements in effect the year they declare the major.

Unless different regulations are specified under the departmental requirements for graduation, a student who fails to attain a 2.0 grade point average in introductory and intermediate courses within the major will not be accepted by that department as a major.

The minimum number of units for a major is prescribed by the individual departments. The maximum units that may be required by a department is 48, but a student who wishes to do so may take more than the required number of units in the major subject. At least 64 units of coursework counting toward the A.B. degree, however, must be taken outside the major department. In any single semester, students are strongly discouraged from taking more than 12 units in a single department.

Each department requires senior students in the major to complete a comprehensive examination, the evaluation of which becomes a part of each student’s permanent record and transcript.

It is possible to double major. A student must complete all requirements for the major in each of two separate departments. Students must complete separate comprehensive examinations.

Occidental College currently offers the following majors:

History

Independent Pattern of Study (major only)

MINOR

A student is allowed to declare an academic minor, consisting of at least 20 units chosen from a list determined by each department. A minor is not required to earn the Bachelor of Arts degree. Students should consult the appropriate department for a list of courses acceptable for the minor. Students who wish to declare minors must do so no later than the fall semester of the senior year.

In addition to the programs listed above (unless otherwise, designated), the following minors are also available to students:

Classical Studies

Education

Food Studies

Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies

German

Interdisciplinary Writing

Linguistics

Neuroscience 

Public Health 

Russian