Turn intellectual curiosity into personal accomplishment

Focus on an area of study, design your own major, or complete an interdisciplinary concentration.

New College supports students with a passion for learning and a desire to take responsibility for their own education. That’s why our professors provide narrative evaluations – rather than letter grades – to assess your work each term. During your four years here, you will be expected to fulfill seven academic contracts. Each contract is a written agreement between you and your faculty advisor regarding your educational goals, academic activities, and progress toward graduation each semester. You get to choose from more than 35 areas of concentration (majors) and over 300 courses offered annually at New College.

Each January, you will work on an independent study project that can include a lab experiment, scholarly paper, study abroad, off-campus internship, art exhibit, or musical or theatrical performance. The culmination of your New College education is the senior thesis project, in which you will produce a major research paper, body of artwork, or other highly developed presentation that reflects your area of concentration.

Humanities
Natural Sciences
Social Sciences
Interdisciplinary Studies

Special Program Concentration

A special program concentration is normally an interdisciplinary concentration that has been given a special title. The title must accurately describe the area of study. The title on the area of concentration, thesis prospectus, and other related documents must begin with the designation “Special Program.” A special program concentration requires the endorsement of two faculty. In some cases, where there are limited course offerings at New College that apply to the designated special program, appropriate off-campus work will be required.

Concomitant with the submission of any Provisional Area of Concentration or Thesis Prospectus form that is given a name not listed in the New College General Catalog, a description of the proposed program of study will be filed with the Office of the Registrar. These Area of Concentration descriptions must include a short narrative description of the program being proposed, and a specific list of all activities—coursework on or off campus or other educational activities—that should be successfully undertaken to complete the program.

These Area of Concentrations are to be produced by students in collaboration with their professors, and must be signed by the signatories of the area of concentration form. A faculty sponsor in collaboration with the student may retract an Area of Concentration Description at any time or modify it by submitting another of the same name that supersedes the first. If the Area of Concentration is similar to programs offered by other undergraduate institutions, or if it implies preparation for particular graduate or professional programs, it would be very helpful for the description to relate the proposed degree to these other programs. A copy of the narrative descriptions will be submitted to the Registrar’s Office, who in turn shares it with the Provost’s Office and Division Chairs, who will be responsible for bringing the proposed programs before their Division for discussion. A file of all special program areas of concentration will be maintained in the Registrar’s Office and made available to all students and faculty.

Here’s the list of special concentrations earned by our 2017-19 graduates:

  • Agroecology
  • Cognitive Science
  • Computational Biology
  • Digital Media and Globalization
  • Environmental Science
  • Heritage Studies
  • Interdisciplinary Studies of Language
  • Logic
  • Media and Cultural Studies
  • Operations Research
  • Publication Studies
  • Sound Studies
  • Visual and Critical Studies