Tidbits of Advice for Scripps Majors

The following is advice given by Department Chairs.

American Studies

  • American Studies 103cc (Introduction to American Cultures) is given in the spring semester. American Studies 180cc (American Studies Seminar) is given in the fall semester. Students should plan on taking 103cc BEFORE taking 180cc. Students take 180cc either in the junior or senior year.
  • Senior Thesis: All students are required to write a senior thesis. Students will enroll in American Studies 190, (Senior Seminar) in the fall ; in the spring semester, students will enroll in American Studies 191 and complete the thesis under the direction of their thesis adviser. Dual or double majors should consult with the American Studies coordinator, Professor Delmont, to discuss arrangements for thesis registration.


  • Students interested in the Sociocultural track should take Anth 2 (Introduction to Cultural Anthropology) as early in their academic career as possible.
  • Students interested in the Human Evolution, Prehistory, and Material Culture track should take both Anth 1 (Introduction to Archaeology and Biological Anthropology) as well as Anth 2.
  • Anthropology is a joint program with Pitzer. Therefore Anthropology courses taken at Pitzer do not count as cross-registration.
  • Anthropology majors may count up to two courses from study abroad as electives towards their major, with Anthropology adviser approval.
  • Anthropology majors may take up to three electives toward their major at Pomona.
  • Anthropology majors are strongly encouraged to take Anth 11 as early as possible because it is a prerequisite for the required Theory course (Anth 153).
  • Anth 153 should be taken in the junior or senior year.


  • Students interested in majoring in art should start with Art 100 A and then Art 100 B in order to have a solid foundation in other Scripps art classes. For majors, these two classes should be completed before junior year.
  • Art majors should complete their art theory and contemporary art history requirements before senior year
  • Students who want to study abroad may do so in either fall or spring term of junior year but some highly competitive programs (Design or Documentary Photography in London) require that a student do her entire junior year abroad. Students are encouraged to start working with Off-Campus Study and their academic advisor in art as soon as possible if they are planning to do study abroad.
  • All students majoring in art should have an academic advisor who is a regular studio art faculty member before junior year, earlier if possible.
  • Any studio art course offered at Pomona or Pitzer Colleges may count as an elective in the major for Scripps Ar t majors.
  • Students in interested in majoring in the production track of Media Studies (5 college program major) should consult as soon as possible with Art Professors Nancy Macko or Tran, T. Kim-Trang.

Art History

  • Art History is a joint program with Pitzer and Pomona, so art history courses offered at these colleges count towards the Scripps major (and are not considered as cross-registration at the otherinstitution)
  • All art history majors should ideally take ARHI 51c, offered each semester, by the end of their sophomore year. If they intend to study abroad in Europe, students should ideally also take either ARHI 51a or ARHI 51b, which are offered in alternate years, by the end of their sophomore year.
  • Some upper division European and American art history courses have ARHI 51c as a prerequisite.
  • Students interested in off-campus study during their Junior Year should arrange to meet with a member of the Art History faculty by the fall of their sophomore year to discuss their options and plan their course of study abroad.
  • Some lower division courses cross-listed as art history (ex. ARHI 67 CH) do not count toward the Scripps College art history requirements for the major. Check with your advisor before enrolling.

Asian American Studies

  • A self-designed interdisciplinary Asian American studies major consists of eight upper-division courses chosen from the Intercollegiate Department of Asian American Studies (IDAAS) curriculum plus a senior thesis in consultation with a faculty member affiliated with IDAAS. Appropriate courses in ethnic studies and Asian studies are recommended to provide further perspective.


  • Classics is a cooperative program with Pomona and Pitzer. Classes taken in the departments at those colleges do not count as cross-registration.

Computer Science

  • Scripps students taking Computer Science (CS) as an off-campus major may take coursework at both Pomona College and Harvey Mudd College. HMC has an excellent website for off-campus students: www.cs.hmc.edu/major/offcampus.html. Also consult with one of the math faculty or Professor James Higdon in the W.M. Keck Science Department: james.higdon@kecksci.claremont.edu (x18402)
  • Students must complete Discrete Mathematics and Calculus 1 before enrolling in CS courses.
  • Students must continue taking Calculus II and III and Linear Algebra while taking the CS courses. Some of this math may be covered in the Pomona courses. Math is not covered in the HMC courses but it is expected to be taken concurrently with the CS courses.
  • Normally a student will write her senior thesis under the direction of a Pomona faculty member. The senior experience at HMC is focused on the Clinic Project, which normally will not count as a thesis. Professor Higdon and Professor Michael Erlinger at HMC have been able to work with Scripps students in past years to meet the thesis requirement.


  • Students interested in dance should introduce themselves to the dance faculty as soon as possible (even if not interested in the major/minor) and sign up for DancerAlert e-mail.
  • Auditions for performing in the fall concert are typically scheduled the first Friday afternoon of the Fall semester. Dancers of all levels and styles are encouraged to come. No preparation is necessary.
  • There are no auditions for technique classes. Experienced dancers should talk to the department about waiving prerequisites or attend the first class for instructor’s permission.
  • Ideally students take most technique classes for full-credit on first enrollment and half-credit on subsequent enrollments. However instructors are often willing to make exceptions if a student really wants to be dancing and full-credit is a problem. Only a full credit class can be used to meet the Scripps G.E. requirement.
  • Students interested in a dance major should have completed or been waived from all lower division courses prerequisite to the major by the end of the sophomore year.
  • Dance majors whose track (Choreography/Performance or Theoretical Studies) requires Dance Composition I – DAN 159 should complete it by the end of first semester of the junior year, or preferably earlier. This is critical for students wanting to go abroad. Also, students are not allowed to choreograph for concerts until they have taken or are enrolled in Dance Composition I.
  • Dance majors are expected to enroll in at least one modern, ballet or jazz technique class each semester — if not for credit, at least as an auditor. Although most technique classes should be taken for full credit on the student’s first enrollment, they may be repeated for 1/2 credit. Because dance majors need to keep dancing regularly and are required to take separate courses in dance history, the department sometimes is willing to waive the requirement that a technique course be taken for full credit the first time.
  • Dance majors are expected to participate in a minimum of 4 Scripps Dance concerts as dancers, choreographers and/or production staff.
  • It is important that students considering dance majors talk with the Dance Department chair as soon as possible regarding design and scheduling of their major. Many theory courses that are required for the major are offered on an alternating year basis.
  • Although Pomona dance classes may sometimes be substituted for equivalent Scripps dance classes, there is no formal agreement between Pomona and Scripps Dance and Scripps Dance cannot guarantee the availability of any Pomona class. Also, students should remember that at least half of their major or minor courses must be taken at Scripps.
  • Students and advisors should be aware that although Theatre is a 5-College Program, the Pomona Dance program is not — even though Pomona Dance is housed in the Pomona Theatre Department. Therefore, Scripps Dance majors must understand that they need to fulfill the requirements of the Scripps Dance major.


  • Either Economics 51 (macroeconomics) or 52 (microeconomics) may be taken first; their order is not important.
  • Economics 51 must be taken before 102 (intermediate macroeconomic theory). Economics 52 and Calculus I must be taken before 101 sequence.
  • Majors normally complete Economics 101 and 102 prior to any study abroad program.
  • Majors should take Econometrics no later than Fall of their senior year.


  • Students considering grad school in English should take the Honors major.


  • First-year students who are continuing French after high school should do so immediately in the first semester at Scripps.
  • First-year students beginning French in college also should start in the first semester so that they may have a chance to study abroad in their junior year.
  • To ensure better success, students should take the French classes that satisfy their language requirement as a continuous sequence without skipping a semester.
  • Students interested in studying in France or a Francophone country during their junior year should arrange to meet with a member of the French department by the fall of their sophomore year to discuss their options and plan their course of study abroad and at Scripps. Advance planning is especially important for students who are thinking of graduating with a double or a dual major in French and another discipline.
  • Students can use only one Studio Art course taken abroad as part of their French major.
  • Students interested and eligible for French Honors should apply by the end of their Junior Year.

German Studies

  • Since German is a cooperative program with Pomona College, classes taken off-campus do not count as cross-registration.
  • First year students who wish to continue German after high school should do so in their first semester at Scripps. It is also advisable to take the classes that satisfy the language requirement in a continuous sequence.
  • Students who wish to begin German in college should start in their first semester so that they have the language proficiency to study abroad in their junior year. Students who arrive at Scripps with language proficiency should consider taking additional courses so that they can graduate with a dual or double major or a German minor.
  • Students interested in studying in Germany during their Junior Year should arrange to meet with a member of the German department by the fall of their sophomore year to discuss their options and plan their course of study abroad.
  • Students eligible for German Honors should apply at the end of their Junior Year.


  • History majors should take introductory, survey-level courses early on in their academic careers in order to lay the foundation for more advanced work. The surveys (in European, Latin American, and U.S. History) are offered during the fall and spring semesters, either annually or on a rotating basis.
  • Students also should take seminar-level classes. These more advanced courses prepare students to write a senior thesis.
  • Students intending to study abroad during the junior year should take introductory and some seminar-level work at Scripps beforehand.
  • The history major requirement to write at least one research paper before the senior thesis should be completed prior to departure for study abroad.
  • Students should make sure that their course work prepares them for writing a thesis on the particular topic they select. They also should select a thesis advisor at Scripps with whom they have taken classes in the past.


  • A student wishing to take the Humanities Major must first meet with the Chair of the Board of the Humanities Major (Professor Andrew Aisenberg).
  • It is advisable to take the pre-requisites for the major as soon as possible in the sophomore or junior year. The pre-requisite courses in Theory and Method are Humanities 123: Introduction to the History and Philosophy of Culture; Humanities 130: Schools of Cultural Criticism: Culture and Critique;Â and one additional course in Theory and Method to be determined in consultation with the Chair of the Board of the Humanities Major.


  • Italian majors will normally find it necessary to fulfill some upper-division requirements abroad.
  • Students must take a minimum of 2 upper-division courses at Scripps.
  • Students who wish to study in Italy must fulfill a two-semester requirement of elementary Italian.


  • The math prerequisite sequence consists of Calculus I, II, and III (Math 30, Math 31, Math 32). This is usually followed by Math 60 (Linear Algebra). Students considering a math major should begin their math sequence as soon as possible.
  • All Scripps College students must take the Math Placement Exam during orientation. Students who place into Transcendental Functions (Math 23) and need to fulfill their Scripps Math GE requirement are encouraged to take Math 23 as early in their college career as possible.

Media Studies

  • Students interested in majoring in Media Studies should take one of the following Introductory courses: MS 49: Intro to Media Studies, MS 50: Language of Films, and MS 51: Intro to New Media in their first year. These serve as the requisite course to all others in the Intercollegiate Media Studies program.
  • After completing an introductory production class, majors should select one of three tracks in which to pursue their course of study before the Junior year: Film/Video, Critical Studies, or Digital/Electronic.
  • Students who want to study abroad may do so in the fall, spring, or both terms of her Junior year. Students are encouraged to work with Off-Campus Study and their academic advisor as soon as possible if they plan to study abroad.
  • No more than two courses from abroad are accepted for the major and these need prior faculty approval.
  • All students majoring in Media Studies should have an academic advisor who is a Core or Associated faculty of the Intercollegiate Media Studies program before Junior year, earlier if possible.


  • Students considering a major in music should start the Music Theory sequence (starting with MUS 101) as soon as possible, preferably in their first semester, but no later than the Fall semester of their sophomore year. The prerequisite for Music Theory I is Fundamentals of Music (MUS 3), but students with extensive musical experience may get permission to enroll directly into Music Theory I from the professor of the course.
  • Music majors normally write a senior thesis to fulfill their senior requirement. Students who wish to give a Senior Performance Recital to fulfill their senior thesis requirement must be approved by the music faculty through a formal audition by the end of the sophomore year.
  • Juniors who plan to give a Senior Recital are required to give a half-hour Junior Recital in preparation for the senior recital. Students should speak with their performance professor to plan for this.
  • Students majoring in music are encouraged to study piano and participate in performance ensembles throughout their years in college. Two semesters of each are required for the major.


  • It is a good idea, but not required, to start with an Introduction to Philosophy course.
  • Logic (Phil 144 or 145) fulfills the Scripps math requirement.
  • The Philosophy Department requires a two semester thesis.
  • It is advisable, before your senior year, to take a course in the area in which you want to write your thesis.


  • Scripps students may not major in Government at CMC, Political Studies at Pitzer, or Politics at Pomona. These are equivalent to the Scripps Politics major.
  • Politics and International Relations is a single major. There is no separate major in International Relations.
  • Politics majors must take four breadth courses out of the following five options: Intro American, Intro IR, Intro Comparative, Intro Political Theory, and Intro Pol Econ. All four breadth courses must be taken at Scripps: substitutes from other 5-C campuses are not acceptable.
  • Politics majors who have not tested out of the Math Requirement should take a statistics course to meet the math requirement.
  • Politics majors planning to study abroad should complete the required breadth courses early so that they may take one or two more advanced courses in their intended area of specialization prior to departure.
  • Politics majors who select a particular world region as their specialization are encouraged to study abroad in that region.
  • Courses from abroad that students wish to count towards the major must receive prior approval from a member of the Politics Department.


  • Psychology majors should take Introduction to Psychology in their first year.
  • Psychology majors MUST complete both Statistics and Research Methods with Laboratory prior to the fall of the senior year when they enroll in Senior Thesis. Statistics is a prerequisite for Research Methods.
  • Psychology majors should take their second laboratory course prior to the fall semester of their senior year.

Religious Studies

  • Students should begin taking at religious studies courses in their first year to leave time for developing a major area of interest
  • RLST 180, Interpreting Religious Worlds, is usually offered only in spring semester; students planning to study abroad during that semester should try to take it during their sophomore year
  • Students should begin consulting on possible major and minor fields of interest with the major adviser during junior year, with an eye toward possible thesis topics in senior year.
  • Students wishing to pursue honors in religious studies should consult with the major advise in spring of their junior year.

Keck Science Department

If you are considering becoming a science major or pursuing a career in the health professions, please talk to a Keck Science faculty member before enrolling in your first-semester courses. Science faculty can help ensure that you are enrolled in classes appropriate to your previous experience and can assist with the advanced planning that is often necessary to navigate through the prerequisites required for many upper-division courses. (Please note that if you will be taking science courses this year and you currently do not have an advisor in the Keck Science Department, you may ask your Registrar to assign you one.) General information on appropriate first-year science courses is also given below.

For the majors listed below, the Keck Science faculty indicated are available for consultation:

You may also contact Velda Ross (Room 110, Keck Science Center), the department’s program administrator, with any questions.

The standard pre-health science requirements include: “Basic Principles of Chemistry” (14L and 15L), “Organic Chemistry” (116L and 117L), “Introductory Biology” (43L and 44L), “General Physics” (30L and 31L) or “Principles of Physics” (33L and 34L), and Math through “Calculus I” (30).

  • Students who intend to pursue a career in the health professions should attend the session on “Success in the Sciences and Pre-Health Professions”. This session will be moderated by Jennifer Armstrong (x79716), Professor of Human Biology.

The following are guidelines for first-year students beginning study in Biology.

  • Option 1: appropriate for students with strong high school backgrounds in science and who place into “Calculus I” (30) or higher: Take both “Basic Principles of Chemistry” (14L and 15L) and “Introductory Biology” (43L and 44L) in your first year. You then will have fulfilled the prerequisites to take “Organic Chemistry” (116L and 117L) and upper-division Biology courses as a sophomore.
  • Option 2: appropriate for students who have had less science preparation in high school but who have placed into “Calculus I” (30) or above: Take “Basic Principles of Chemistry” (14L and 15L) in your first year and “Introductory Biology” (43L and 44L) and “Organic Chemistry” (116L and 117L) as a sophomore.
  • Option 3: appropriate for students with math SAT scores lower than 600 and/or students who do not place into “Calculus I” (30) or above: Take “Introductory Biology” (43L and 44L) in your first year, “Basic Principles of Chemistry” (14L and 15L) in your second year, and “Organic Chemistry” (116L and 117L) in your third year.

The following are guidelines for first-year students beginning study in Chemistry.

  • Students who received a 4 or 5 on the AP Chemistry exam and who pass a placement test may be admitted to “Accelerated General Chemistry” (Chemistry 29L), which is taught in the fall semester. Students should contact Nancy Williams (x71603) immediately for further information.
  • Students who have had poor high school preparation in chemistry and/or mathematics are advised to enroll in Section 1 of “Basic Principles of Chemistry” (14L, TTh, 8:10-9:25 and W 8-8:50). This section of our introductory course uses the same textbook and covers the same material as the other sections of Chemistry 14L, but the enrollment is capped at 24 and the class has an additional hour of problem solving each week to provide students with more one-on-one help and practice doing calculations.
  • All other students should enroll in “Basic Principles of Chemistry” (14L), Sections 2, 3, 4, or 5.

The following are guidelines for first-year students intending to major in Physics, Astronomy, and Engineering.

Students should take “Principles of Physics” (33L) in their first semester. Engineering students must consult with Professor James Higdon (x18402); all other inquiries may be directed to Professor Adam Landsberg (x78016).