Introduction & Curriculum Overview
At the heart of the Albion Experience is an intellectually stimulating commitment to the liberal arts. Albion's core curriculum is a program of learning that is initiated with the First-Year Seminar and culminates with the conferring of the bachelor's degree. Students begin their academic careers in a First-Year Seminar designed to familiarize them with the liberal arts tradition in an intimate classroom environment that fosters open communication, nurtures critical thinking, and promotes improvement in writing and speaking. Albion is committed to having students complete their undergraduate education with an experience that brings continuity, coherence and focus to their academic course work and that involves the students themselves, soon-to-be graduates, as teachers, facilitators and presenters.
Between the First-Year Seminar and graduation, students complete other core courses: five Modes of Inquiry courses and four category requirements. These courses provide analytic tools for understanding the world, offer rich and complex accounts of social life, encourage examination of these accounts, and contribute to a profound understanding of the interconnectedness of learning and living in a global community. In addition, courses are distributed across the four divisions of the College: fine arts, humanities, natural sciences and mathematics, and social sciences. The liberal arts core serves as the impetus and context for lifelong learning, preparing students for the phase after college when they must themselves provide education and expertise as well as continue to learn, collaborate, and facilitate at home, at work, and in a local and global community.
In addition to the core curriculum, all students are required to complete a major, which provides a depth of intellectual study that prepares students for graduate and professional school, as well as for a rich diversity of careers and life experiences. These majors may be a conventional departmental major, a not-so-conventional interdepartmental major or the unconventional individually designed major. A commitment to academic excellence within all academic departments ensures every student that fulfilling the requirements of the major will be a comprehensive and challenging scholarly experience. Other opportunities for in-depth exploration and clustering of courses include minors and concentrations.
Choice characterizes the general education requirements as well as the major. Each Albion student is an adult, capable of making sensible decisions about his or her personal future. But inherent in the right to make decisions is the potential to make mistakes. So Albion College provides assistance to students in planning their education. During their first year at Albion College, academic advisers are assigned to all students to monitor academic progress and help each student begin fulfilling his or her graduation requirements. After the first year, students are free to choose a faculty adviser who will help develop a program of study based on the student's goals. Students who do not meet with their adviser during each semester's academic advising period will not be allowed to register until they have proof of advising.
It is ultimately the student's responsibility to be aware of and fulfill all graduation requirements. To assist students in this endeavor, the Registrar's Office prepares and maintains an audit for each student at the end of the sophomore year. These reports indicate progress toward completing graduation requirements. Students are provided with updated audits prior to each fall semester. Audits are available from the student's adviser or directly through the Registrar's Office.
The primary responsibility for meeting the College's academic requirements rests with each student. This chart serves as a guide to the required and elective courses that fulfill the units needed for graduation. They are explained in greater detail on the following pages. The complete requirements for graduation are outlined in the Academic Regulations section of this catalog.
I. Liberal Arts 101 (First-Year Seminar; 1 unit)
II. Modes of Inquiry (1 unit in each)
Artistic Creation and Analysis
Historical and Cultural Analysis
Modeling and Analysis
III. Category Requirements (1 unit in each)
The Brown Honors Program core requirements are found in the Programs of Study section.
Units for Core: 10
Among the 32 units required for graduation, the following distribution of courses must also be fulfilled. These courses can count toward modes, categories, majors, minors and/or concentrations.
- Two units in humanities (can be from same department): English, Modern Languages and Cultures, Philosophy, Religious Studies, Honors
- Two units in mathematics or natural sciences (can be from same department): Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Geological Sciences, Mathematics, Physics, Honors
- Two units in social science (can be from same department): Anthropology and Sociology, Communication Studies, Economics and Management, History, Political Science, Psychology, Honors
- One unit in fine arts: Art and Art History, Music (including up to four 1/4-unit music ensembles), Theatre, Honors
Major Requirement: All students are required to complete an approved major.
- Anthropology and Sociology
- Art (Studio Art)
- Art History
- Athletic Training
- Business and Organizations
- Communication Studies
- Earth Science
- Economics and Management
- Environmental Science
- Environmental Studies
- Ethnic Studies
- Exercise Science
- Geological Sciences
- Individually Designed Major
- International Studies
- Political Science
- Public Policy
- Religious Studies
- Sustainability Studies
- Women's and Gender Studies
Units for Major: 8-10
Minors: Students may choose to complete a minor.
Departmental and Interdisciplinary Minors
- Art, Art History
- Cell and Molecular Biology
- Environmental Biology
- Business and Organizations
- Communication Studies
- Computer Science
- Economics and Management
- Accounting—Corporate Track,
- Economics, Finance, Management
- Educational Studies
- Foreign Language
- French, German,
- Gender Studies
- Geological Sciences
- Geology, Environmental
- Geology, Geographic
- Information Systems,
- Applied Mathematics,
- Computer Science
- Philosophy, History of
- Philosophy, Philosophy
- of Mind, Value Theory
- Political Science
- Religious Studies
- Women's Studies
Concentrations: Students may also choose to complete a concentration designed to prepare them for specific careers. Some of these concentrations are linked to the College's Institutes and Centers, and, in these cases, students must be admitted to the respective Institute or Center to participate fully in its curriculum. The available concentrations are listed below.
Law, Justice, and Society
Public Policy and Service
Institutes, Centers, Programs
Prentiss M. Brown Honors Program
Center for Sustainability and the Environment
Gerald R. Ford Institute for Leadership in Public Policy and Service
Carl A. Gerstacker Institute for Business and Management
Institute for Healthcare Professions
Fritz Shurmur Center for Teacher Development
General Electives: Electives are courses that do not count toward a specific program (such as a major) but contribute toward the total units needed for graduation.
Units for Electives: 12-14
Writing Competency Examination: All students must also pass the writing competence requirement before they graduate.
Total Units for Graduation: 32
The academic record of each student is reviewed at the close of the fall and spring semesters by the Committee on Academic Status and Petitions. Specific attention is given to the student's progress both in completing units of credit and in maintaining the minimum 2.0 cumulative grade point average which are required for graduation from the College. Students who fail to demonstrate satisfactory progress toward graduation may be suspended from the College. The committee determines academic status and is guided in its decisions by the following standards:
Good Standing—A student whose semester and cumulative grade point averages are 2.0 or above is considered to be in good standing.
Semester Probation—A student who has a semester grade point average below 2.0 for one semester and has a cumulative grade point average above 2.0 will be placed on semester probation.
Academic Probation—A student is placed on academic probation whenever his/her cumulative grade point average falls below the 2.0 level, or when the semester average falls below a 2.0 for two consecutive semesters, even though the cumulative average remains a 2.0 or above.
Terminal Academic Probation—Some students, because of their extremely low grade point averages, are classified under terminal academic probation and given a specific grade point average to obtain for their work during the following semester. Students on terminal academic probation for the first time are also required to successfully complete IDY 100: Academic Success during that semester. Students are subject to suspension if they fail to meet the requirements of terminal academic probation.
Academic Suspension—A student is subject to academic suspension if his or her academic progress does not meet either of the following minimums at the end of the semester listed:
1.00 with a minimum of 3 units completed at the end of the first semester of attendance;
1.62 with a minimum of 6 units completed at the end of the second semester of attendance;
1.75 with a minimum of 9 units completed at the end of the third semester of attendance;
1.81 with a minimum of 13 units completed at the end of the fourth semester of attendance;
1.90 with a minimum of 17 units completed at the end of the fifth semester of attendance;
2.00 with a minimum of 21 units completed at the end of the sixth semester of attendance;
2.00 with a minimum of 25 units completed at the end of the seventh semester of attendance.
A student is also subject to academic suspension if he or she fails to obtain a minimum semester grade point average of 2.0 for work in three consecutive semesters, or meet the requirements of terminal academic probation. In cases where a student has not made sufficient progress toward a degree, he or she may be suspended without having been on terminal academic probation in the preceding semester.
Other Policies on Academic Status
Insufficient Progress toward Degree and Registration Holds—The College reserves the right to deny access to classes for students who make insufficient progress toward a degree. Students who are declared in a major, minor or concentration but make insufficient progress may be removed from that major, minor and/or concentration. Students who fail to declare a major by the end of their sophomore year will not be permitted to register. Normally, students complete degree requirements within eight semesters. If students have not completed graduation requirements within eight graded semesters, they must petition the Committee on Academic Status and Petitions for permission to continue enrollment for each additional semester needed to complete requirements.
Veteran's Requirements—A veteran or eligible person receiving VA benefits cannot be certified by Albion College as a student making satisfactory progress towards a degree if this student is on academic probation longer than two semesters. VA benefits will cease after two semesters of probation. The Veteran's Administration will be notified of any veteran who fails a course or who is not making satisfactory progress. In order to be recertified for veteran's benefits the student must remove all quality point deficiencies and earn a cumulative grade point average of 2.0.
Leave of Absence—Leave of absence is a privilege that may be requested for those who desire to interrupt, but not to discontinue permanently, their enrollment at Albion for one or two semesters. Applications must be made in writing to the vice president for student affairs prior to the semester in which the student is requesting the leave of absence. A student who is granted a leave of absence may normally participate in enrollment procedures of regularly enrolled students for such considerations as registration, room lottery and applications for financial assistance. The student is expected to return to Albion following leave.
Voluntary Withdrawal from College—Students who wish to withdraw from the College during the semester (i.e., withdrawing after enrollment has been completed at the beginning of a semester and before the completion of final exams) should initiate the withdrawal process by contacting the Student Affairs Office and submitting a Mid-Semester Withdrawal Notification Form.
Readmission—Graduates or former students may apply for readmission to the College at the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs. Applications for readmission are to be submitted at least one month prior to the beginning of the semester in which the student wishes to return. Students are charged a readmission fee of $60.
Nondegree Status (Special Student Status)—Applies to students enrolled for special programs designed to fill particular needs but not usually leading toward graduation. This status normally applies only to students at the freshman or sophomore level. Re-enrollment as a nondegree student is dependent upon the maintenance of a minimum grade of 2.0 in each course in which the student is enrolled. A nondegree student must submit appropriate credentials to the Admission Office one month in advance of registration. Nondegree students who wish to become candidates for the bachelor of arts degree must formally apply for admission to the College.
Effective for the 2014-15 board year.
Kevin F. Asher, partner assurance services, Ernst and Young, LLP, San Jose, California (2016 T).
Joseph S. Calvaruso, executive director, Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation, Grand Rapids, Michigan (2015 T).
Diane S. Carr, attorney (retired), Brookover and Carr, and Schaberg P.C., Okemos, Michigan (2016 A). *Chair of the Committee on Trusteeship.
Stephen M.G. Charnley, pastor, First United Methodist Church, Kalamazoo, Michigan (2016 WM).
George S. Chavel, president and CEO, Sodexo, Gaithersburg, Maryland (2015 T).
Mauri A. Ditzler, president, Albion College, Albion, Michigan.
Faith E. Fowler, executive director, Cass Community Social Services, Detroit, MI (2016 D).
Stephen I. Greenhalgh, attorney, Bodman, L.L.P., Detroit, Michigan (2017 A).
Michael J. Harrington, senior vice president and general counsel, Eli Lilly and Company, Indianapolis, Indiana (2015 T). *Chair of the Committee for Institutional Advancement.
Robert B. Hetler, partner (retired), PricewaterhouseCoopers, L.L.P., Suttons Bay, Michigan (2015 T). *Chair of the Audit and Compliance Committee.
Deborah L. Kiesey, bishop, Michigan Area, United Methodist Church, Okemos, Michigan (2015).
Thomas L. Ludington, judge, U.S. District Court, Bay City, Michigan (2017 T). *Chair of the Committee on Finance and Business Affairs.
Robert D. Musser III, president, Grand Hotel, Mackinac Island, Michigan (2016 A).
Mark E. Newell, J.D., vice chairman (retired), Latham & Watkins, L.L.P., McLean, Virginia (2016 T). *Chair of the Committee for Enrollment and Marketing.
Jeffrey A. Ott, attorney, Warner Norcross & Judd, LLP, Grand Rapids, Michigan (2015 T)
Jeffrey C. Petherick, portfolio manager, Northpointe Capital, Troy, Michigan (2014 T).
Lawrence B. Schook, vice president for research, University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois (2015 T). *Chair of the Committee on Academic and Student Affairs.
William Schuette, attorney general, State of Michigan, Lansing, Michigan (2016 T).
Samuel J. Shaheen, surgeon, Saginaw, Michigan (2014 T). *Chair of the Committee on Infrastructure.
J. Donald Sheets, chief financial officer, Dow Corning Corp., Midland, Michigan (2015 T). *Chair of the Board.
Donald W. Strite, ’14, staff auditor, Ernst and Young, Detroit, Michigan (2016 R)
Paul D. Tobias, chairman and chief executive officer, Mackinac Financial Corporation & mBank, Birmingham, Michigan (2017 T).
Dennis W. Wahr, president and CEO, Holaira, Inc., Plymouth, Minnesota (2016 T).
Jeffrey D. Weedman, CEO/CBW, Cintrifuse, Cincinnati, Ohio (2017 T).
Hollis M. Williams, '13, teacher, Chesterton High School, Valparaiso, Indiana (2015 R).
James M. Wilson, professor and director, Gene Therapy Program, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (2017 T).
The year in parentheses after each name indicates the date the individual's term on the Board of Trustees expires. T—elected by the Board of Trustees; A—elected by the Albion College Alumni Association; D—elected by the Detroit Conference of the United Methodist Church; WM—elected by the West Michigan Conference of the United Methodist Church. R—recent graduate trustee .
*Indicates officer of the Board of Trustees.
Richard L. Baird, partner, Global ABAS Operations (retired), PricewaterhouseCoopers, Palatine, Illinois.
David M. Barrett, chief executive officer (retired), Lahey Clinic, Burlington, Massachusetts.
Prentiss M. Brown, Jr., partner, Brown & Brown attorneys, St. Ignace, Michigan.
Chris T. Christ, attorney, Battle Creek, Michigan.
William C. Ferguson, Verizon Communications, Armonk, New York.
Janet M. Goudie, fashion consultant, Doncaster, Rochester, Michigan
Todd W. Herrick, president and chief executive officer (retired), Tecumseh Products Company, Petoskey, Michigan.
Edmund L. Jenkins, chairman (retired), Financial Accounting Standards Board, Tucson, Arizona.
James A. Klungness, president (retired), Cable Constructors, Inc., Florence, Wisconsin.
Bruce A. Kresge, physician (retired), Lake Angelus, Michigan.
Arnold G. Langbo, chairman (retired), Kellogg Company, Stowe, Vermont.
Alan W. Ott, chairman of the board (retired), Chemical Financial Corporation,
Judy Dow Rumelhart, vocalist, director, producer, Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Andrew G. Sharf, cardiovascular surgeon, Santa Ynez, California.
Justin L. Sleight, ophthalmologist (retired), Byron Center, Michigan.
Wendell B. Will, president, Capital Ideas, Glendale, California.
Jess Womack, interim general counsel, Los Angeles Unified School District, Los Angeles, California.