The material on this page is from the 1997-98 catalog and may be out of date. Please check the current year's catalog for current information.

[The Academic Program]

The College believes that its emphasis on the liberal arts and sciences is justified both in sound educational principle and by the test of long experience. Bates is convinced that the broad knowledge achieved in a liberal education gives women and men a realistic understanding of the complexity of their world and prepares them for lives satisfying to themselves and useful to others.

The Liberal Arts and Sciences
Liberal learning is fundamentally concerned with personal growth, in both its intellectual and moral dimensions. The College believes that educated persons should welcome the hard academic work that is the price of discovery; that they should be stimulated by ideas, artistic expression, good talk, and great books; and that they should avow a continuing commitment to the search for truth in the methods of the sciences, the patterns of logic and language, and the beauties of art. The College believes that the first obligation of a student is the developing of her or his own abilities of mind; it holds further that the first duty of a liberal-arts college is to develop, encourage, and direct that process.

With intellectual development should come a deepening moral awareness. A college woman or man should have the ability to lead as well as a willingness to cooperate. Comprehension of the complexities of life should lead to a sympathetic understanding of others and a generosity in response to them. One should develop a sense of social and civic responsibility. A high sense of integrity should guide the student's every action.

Bates College has always held to these traditional values of the liberal arts and sciences. In a recent report to the Faculty, its Committee on Educational Policy offered a reaffirmation. The Committee wrote: "The highest purpose of Bates College is to provide a community with sufficient challenge and sufficient support so that the able undergraduate may mature in scholarship and in capacity for critical thinking and civilized expression. The graduate is more knowledgeable, to be sure, but above all he or she is capable of a reflective understanding of the self and its relationship to prior traditions and present environments."

The curriculum establishes the expectations for learning which form the foundation of the College's commitment to the liberal arts and sciences. College committees of Faculty members and students review the educational policies and the specific curricular offerings of the College. New fields of scholarship are introduced by the Faculty, and the most recent advances in technology are incorporated into the various disciplines. The College promotes the development of excellent writing and critical-thinking skills through all its curricular offerings, from the first-year seminar to the senior thesis. The College encourages students to pursue their own primary research as an extension of their regular course work, and offers opportunities and financial support to facilitate such research during the academic year and the summer months. Recognizing the fundamental role the liberal arts play in the development of social conscience and good citizenship, the College encourages students to integrate social service into their academic work and provides opportunities for service internships and field research on social issues. The five-week Short Term held every spring has encouraged educational innovation, including the integration into the curriculum of off-campus study. The calendar arrangement also provides a three-year option whereby able students, especially those with advanced standing, can accelerate their work and graduate earlier.

The Academic Calendar
The calendar calls for two semesters and a Short Term. The first semester ends in mid-December and the second ends in mid-April. A five-week Short Term concludes at the end of May. First-year and all other new students must be present for their matriculation at New Student Orientation in September. Although new students preregister prior to their arrival, they complete their registrations during the orientation period. Sophomores, juniors, and seniors register during periods established near the end of each semester.

Short Term. The Short Term provides an unusual opportunity for a variety of educational programs, frequently off campus, that cannot be offered in the regular semesters. These include marine biological studies at stations on the coast of Maine; geology field work in the Southwest, Hawaii, Canada, and Scotland; and art, theater, and music studies in New York City and Europe. The spring term allows time for archeological investigations by students in history and anthropology, field projects for students in economics, sociology, and psychology, and social-service internships associated with academic departments and programs; it provides special opportunities, on and off campus, for those carrying out laboratory experiments in the natural sciences. The term also allows for programs in foreign countries: the study of Shakespearean drama and Renaissance culture in England; landscape painting and art history in Italy; anthropological study in Bali, Greece, and Jamaica; conservation studies in Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands, and Costa Rica; the study of women and economics in Taiwan; the history of the Cuban Revolution in Cuba; and documentary production in Croatia and Yugoslavia. Intensive study of the languages, literatures, and cultures of other countries takes place in Austria, the People's Republic of China, France, Germany, Spain, Martinique, and Québec.

Students may complete a maximum of three Short Term units, although only two are needed to fulfill the degree requirement. Students wishing to register for a third Short Term unit receive a lower registration priority than students registering for their first or second unit. An exception to this ranking is made for three-year students, who are required to complete three Short Term units. The ranking does not apply to units requiring "written permission of the instructor" to register.

Three-Year Option. The three-year option is designed for the especially able student who may benefit from an accelerated undergraduate program that allows for earlier admission to graduate school or to career placement. The accelerating student takes five courses each semester and attends every Short Term, completing the degree requirement of thirty courses, sixty quality points, and three Short Term units.

Leaves of Absence and Reinstatement. In unusual situations, students may need, for reasons of health or personal circumstances, to interrupt their study at the College after their matriculation. Accordingly, the College permits students in good standing to apply to the Dean of Students or an Associate Dean of Students for a leave of absence. If the leave of absence is approved by a dean, students must also meet with officers from the registrar's, finance, and financial aid offices. The College guarantees reinstatement to the student at the end of the specified leave period, provided a registration deposit is made by August 1 for the first semester and December 1 for the second semester.

A student in good academic standing who withdraws from the College may be reinstated at the discretion of the Dean of Students or an Associate Dean of Students, if the reinstatement is within two years of the withdrawal. A student in good standing withdrawn for more than two years, a student not in good standing, or a student who has been dismissed from the College must apply to the Faculty Committee on Academic Standing for readmission. Students not in good standing or dismissed must be separated from the College for at least one full semester and must provide evidence of serious purpose and of academic or professional involvement. Candidates for readmission for the fall semester must submit their credentials by May 15. Those seeking readmission for winter semester must submit their credentials by November 15.

General Education
Throughout the College's history, its Faculty has expected all students to pursue certain common patterns of study as well as to complete a major or concentrated focus of study. The Faculty continues to believe that there are areas of knowledge and understanding, modes of appreciation, and kinds of skills that are of general and lasting significance for the intellectual life.

In establishing these General Education requirements, the Faculty reflects its conviction that the graduating student should have a critical appreciation of scientific and social scientific knowledge and understanding. It is believed that experience with theories and methods of at least one science and at least one social science leads to awareness of both the importance of such knowledge in the modern world and its limitations. In addition, the Faculty is convinced that the graduating student should have an appreciation for the manner in which quantitative techniques can increase one's capacity to describe and analyze the natural and social worlds.

The Faculty also believes that the graduating student should understand both the possibilities and the limitations of disciplined study in the humanities and history. Such study permits a critical perspective on the ideas, values, expressions, and experiences that constitute our culture. It also encourages respect for the integrity of thought, judgment, creativity, and tradition beyond twentieth-century America. The Faculty also encourages each student to do some study in a foreign language.

The First-Year Seminar Program
The First-Year Seminars are limited-enrollment courses that may be taken only by first-year students. Topics vary from year to year, but they always represent a broad range of issues and questions addressed within the tradition of the liberal arts and sciences. The First-Year Seminars enable entering students to work with faculty and other students in the context of a small class; they provide closely supervised training in techniques of reasoning, writing, and research; and they foster an attitude of involvement and active participation in the educational process. First-Year Seminars carry full course credit toward the baccalaureate degree and are offered each fall and winter semester. A seminar may fulfill a General Education requirement in the humanities and history, and designated seminars may satisfy the quantitative requirement. First-year students are encouraged to consult the listing of seminars at the beginning of the catalog section on Courses and Units of Instruction.

Major Fields of Study
While the Faculty believes that each student should have essential familiarity with the main fields of liberal learning -- the humanities, the social sciences, and the natural sciences -- it also believes that a student must choose a field of special concentration -- a major -- to gain the advantages that come from studying one academic subject more extensively and intensively. This major field occupies a quarter to a third of the student's college work and may be related to the intended career following graduation.

Departmental Majors. Majors may be taken in fields established within the academic departments. There are twenty-four such majors: anthropology, art, biology, chemistry, Chinese, economics, English, French, geology, German, history, Japanese, mathematics, music, philosophy, physics, political science, psychology, religion, rhetoric, Russian, sociology, Spanish, and theater. The specific requirements for each major are explained in the introductory paragraphs to the department's courses and units of instruction.

Students may also register for a double major, which requires completion of all major requirements, including the comprehensive examination and/or the thesis, in two academic departments. The double major must be approved by the Chairs of both departments.

Interdisciplinary Program Majors. The Faculty has established interdisciplinary programs in which students may major. These include: African American studies, American cultural studies, biological chemistry, classical and medieval studies, East Asian studies, environmental studies, neuroscience, and women's studies. The programs are administered by committees made up of Faculty members from different departments. Requirements for these programs are indicated in the curriculum section of the Catalog.

Individual Interdisciplinary Majors. In addition to established departmental and interdisciplinary program majors, a student may propose an individual interdisciplinary major, should that student discover a well-defined intellectual interest that crosses one or more of the boundaries of the established fields of concentration. An interdisciplinary major involves a detailed program of study, with courses drawn from at least two departments but only one senior thesis and/or comprehensive examination. The thesis may be supervised, graded, and credited within one of the departments involved; or it may be sponsored by a member of the Faculty under the Interdisciplinary Major Thesis designation.

Detailed guidelines and an application for the individual interdisciplinary major are available from the Registrar. Proposals for interdisciplinary majors must be submitted to the Registrar for approval by the Committee on Curriculum and Calendar early in the junior year. Students interested in seeking approval of this kind of major should consult with the Chairs of the relevant departments and with the intended major advisor.

Detailed guidelines and an application for this kind of major are available from the Registrar. Proposals for interdisciplinary majors must be submitted to the Registrar for approval by the Committee on Curriculum and Calendar early in the junior year. Students interested in seeking approval of this kind of major should consult with the Chairs of the relevant departments and with the intended major advisor.

The Honors Program
The College's honors program gives qualified students an opportunity to do extensive independent study and research in their major fields. Interdisciplinary majors are eligible to participate through the program or department in which their theses are supervised, graded, and credited. Honors are awarded for special distinction in the major fields. Honors study usually is carried on throughout the senior year under the guidance of a faculty advisor. Students normally enter the program at the end of the junior year. Students who wish to be nominated to the honors program should apply to their major departments or programs.

The honors program consists of the writing of a substantial thesis, and an oral examination on the thesis and the major field. Some departments require a written comprehensive examination as well. In an alternative offered by some departments, eligible students elect a program consisting of a performance or a project in the creative arts; a written statement on the project, if requested by the department; a written comprehensive examination, if requested by the department; and an oral examination on the project and on courses in the major. The oral-examination committee includes the thesis advisor, members of the major department, at least one faculty member not a member of the major department, and an examiner from another college or university who specializes in the field of study.

Secondary Concentrations
In addition to completing a major, a student may elect to complete a secondary concentration in a number of disciplines. Secondary concentration requirements vary, and are detailed in the introductory paragraphs of the courses and units of instruction in the Catalog of the relevant departments or programs. Secondary concentrations are offered in French, Greek, Latin, and Spanish (Classical and Romance Languages and Literatures); Chinese, German, Japanese, and Russian (German, East Asian, and Russian Languages and Literatures); South Asian studies (Asian Studies); computer studies (Mathematics); economics; music; philosophy; and women's studies.

Requirements for the Baccalaureate Degree
The Course and Unit Credit System. A student's progress toward the baccalaureate degree is measured by course credits and unit credits. All courses offered in the fall and winter semesters carry one course credit; all curriculum offerings in the Short Term are accorded one unit credit. Each candidate for the baccalaureate degree must complete thirty-two course credits and two Short Term units, except students who elect to complete the degree in three years. Three-year students must complete thirty course credits and three Short Term units.

Entering students who have secured a satisfactory grade in a college-level course similar to any course needed to satisfy the General Education requirement may petition the Chair of the appropriate department for an exemption from such courses. Exemption from particular courses or major requirements, excluding General Education requirements, may also be achieved by satisfactory performance on the Advanced Placement tests of the College Entrance Examination Board.

Grades and Grade Reports. The Faculty of the College assesses student academic performance by assigning the following grades: A, B, C, D, F. Quality-point equivalencies for these grades are described below. A grade of "ON" is used to indicate that a course requires two semesters of work to receive one credit and that a final grade will be determined at the end of the second semester. A temporary grade of "DEF" indicates that a student has secured, through a faculty member and the Dean of Students, a formal deferral for incomplete course work. Incomplete work for which deferred grades are given must be completed in a specific period of time as determined on the deferral form. The deferred grade will become an "F" grade if the work is not completed on time. A grade of "W" is used to indicate that a student was required to withdraw from a course due to extenuating circumstances. "W" grades are granted by the Dean of Students. Faculty members may choose to use Satisfactory ("S") or Unsatisfactory ("U") grades to assess the work of all of their students in any given Short Term unit.

Grade reports are sent to students approximately four weeks after the end of each semester.

Transfer Credits After Admission to the College. Students may transfer up to eight course credits after they have enrolled at Bates. These courses must be taken at regionally accredited four-year institutions of higher learning, and they must be appropriate to a liberal-arts college and comparable in quality to those offered at Bates College. Correspondence, extension, community college, and continuing-education courses may not be transferred. Of the eight courses allowed to be transferred, no more than two may be summer-school courses. All transfer credits must be officially transferred no later than the end of the first semester of the senior year. Students must achieve a minimum grade of C- in each course offered for transfer. Grades earned in courses accepted for transfer are not computed when determining the student's grade-point average in the College. Transferred courses are equivalent to one Bates course credit and two Bates quality points. The Registrar's Office administers post-matriculation transfer credit and the Faculty Committee on Academic Standing is responsible for all decisions concerning transfer courses.

Degree Requirements. Students may pursue courses leading to the degree of either bachelor of arts or bachelor of science. When determining graduation eligibility, students are held to the curriculum and degree requirements listed in the Catalog of the year in which they matriculated at Bates College.

Each candidate for graduation must complete the following requirements:

  1. Either (a) thirty-two course credits, sixty-four quality points, and two Short Term units; or (b) thirty course credits, sixty quality points, and three Short Term units. Option (b) is available only for students who graduate in three years. The following values are used in the computation of quality points:
    A+ = 4.0   B+ = 3.3   C+ = 2.3   D+ = 1.3   F   = 0
    A  = 4.0   B  = 3.0   C  = 2.0   D  = 1.0   DEF = 0
    A- = 3.7   B- = 2.7   C- = 1.7   D- = 0.7   ON  = 0
                                                W   = 0

  2. All prescribed work in the major field, including at least eight courses.

  3. In the senior year, satisfactory achievement on a comprehensive examination in the major field, or a senior thesis, or both, as determined by the major department.

  4. Registration in each regular semester for no fewer than three or no more than five academic courses.

  5. Senior work in the major field must be completed while in residence.

  6. Satisfactory completion of four physical education activity courses. The requirement may be met through department-approved participation in intercollegiate athletics, club sports, and activity courses, or any combination. The requirement is to be completed by the end of the second year on campus.

  7. General-Education Requirements. The following four requirements must be fulfilled in addition to the requirements noted in 1-6 above:

    1. At least three courses from the curriculum in biology, chemistry, geology, or physics and astronomy. Two of the courses must be a department-designated set. Only a department-designated Short Term unit, as listed in the introduction to the department's course offerings in the Catalog, may serve as an option for the third course. A student major in one of these departments must fulfill this requirement by including at least one course or designated unit outside the major but within one of the departments noted above. This course or unit may be one required by the major department.

    2. At least three courses from the curriculum in anthropology, economics, political science, psychology, or sociology. Two of the courses must be a department-designated set. A department-designated Short Term unit may serve as an option for the third course. A student major in one of these departments must fulfill this requirement by including at least one course or designated unit outside the major but within one of the departments noted above. This course or unit may be one required by the major department.

    3. At least one course or unit in which the understanding and use of quantitative techniques are essential to satisfactory performance. Designations of these courses and units are made by the departments and cited in this catalog. Courses and units designated as satisfying requirements in the natural sciences and in the social sciences -- see a) and b) above -- also may be designated to satisfy this requirement.

    4. At least five courses from the curriculum of three of the following fields: art, English, foreign languages and literatures, music, philosophy, religion, theater, rhetoric, and history. Three of these five courses must comprise an approved cluster, which is a group of courses organized around a principle of coherence. The cluster normally must be drawn from at least two of the fields listed above. The cluster may include one course in the social or natural sciences, but not more than one. The two remaining courses need not be related to the cluster. A secondary concentration in a foreign language or music, or participation in the Bates Fall Semester Abroad Program may replace the three-course cluster.

    Lists of Faculty-approved clusters are published yearly. Before registration for the first semester of the senior year, a student may propose an alternative cluster, which must be approved by the Faculty Cluster Development Committee. Forms for making such proposals are available in the Registrar's office. In the Committee's design of clusters or in its approval of student-initiated clusters, one course from outside the humanities and history may be included. Such a designated course may fulfill both the course and field-distribution requirements.

  8. In addition, candidates for the bachelor of science degree must complete Chemistry 107-108, Mathematics 105-106, Physics 107-108, or their equivalents (Advanced Placement credit, transfer credit, or placement out of a course and substitution of a more advanced course in the department).

  9. Liberal Arts-Engineering Dual-Degree Plan. After three years of full-time study at Bates, qualified students may enroll in a two-year engineering program at Columbia University, Dartmouth College, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Case Western Reserve University, or Washington University in St. Louis. Upon completion of this five-year program, students receive both an undergraduate degree from Bates College and a bachelor of science in engineering from the engineering-school affiliate. Students who wish to pursue this line of study should consult with the faculty advisor for the Dual-Degree Plan within the first two weeks of their undergraduate careers.

  10. Academic Honors.The College recognizes academic achievement through two kinds of honors: general honors and major-field honors. (see p. 16).

There are three gradations of general honors based on the students' total achievements. Cum laude goes to those with a quality-point ratio of 3.400 to less than 3.600; magna cum laude, 3.600 to less than 3.800; summa cum laude, 3.800 or higher.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

The College is required by federal law to establish standards of satisfactory progress toward the degree and to monitor each recipient of federal aid to insure that he or she is making satisfactory progress according to the standards. The concept of satisfactory progress mandates that both grade point average and the number of credits completed be monitored. The Faculty Committee on Academic Standing is responsible for evaluation of the student's progress and evaluates the student's academic standing each semester. In addition, the Deans of Students may authorize exceptions for serious illnesses or personal emergencies. The College has established these standards:

Qualitative Standards. The academic standing of students is determined by minimum semester and cumulative grade-point averages (GPA) as established by the Faculty. Details of these standards are outlined in the Student Handbook.

Quantitative Standards. A student's progress toward the baccalaureate degree is measured by course credits and unit credits; students usually follow a four-year track, however some students complete the academic program in three years (see p. 14).

Normally students in the four-year program successfully complete eight courses by the end of their first year, sixteen courses by the end of their second year, twenty-four courses and one Short Term unit by the end of their third year, and thirty-two courses and two Short Term units by the end of their fourth year.

To comply with satisfactory progress policy, each candidate in the four-year program must successfully complete the following minimum number of course and unit credits: successful completion of no fewer than six courses by the end of the first year; successful completion of no fewer than twelve courses by the end of the second year; successful completion of no fewer than twenty courses and one Short Term unit by the end of the third year; successful completion of thirty-two courses and two Short Term units by the end of the fourth year.

Normally students in the three-year program successfully complete ten courses and one Short Term unit by the end of their first year, twenty courses and two Short Term units by the end of their second year, and thirty courses and three Short Term units by the end of their third year.

To comply with the satisfactory progress policy, each candidate in the three-year program must successfully complete the following minimum number of course and unit credits: successful completion of no fewer than eight courses and one Short Term unit by the end of the first year; successful completion of no fewer than eighteen courses and two Short Term units by the end of the second year; successful completion of no fewer than thirty courses and three Short Term units by the end of the third year.

Maximum Time Frame. Students are eligible to receive financial aid for eight full-time semesters of enrollment. Any student not meeting the standards of satisfactory progress is not eligible for federal student aid. Students are notified by the Financial Aid Office if they have not met the federal standards. Students are notified by the Dean of Students office about probation or dismissal.

Appeals. If a student is ineligible for financial aid due to lack of satisfactory progress or due to exceeding the limit of eight semesters of aid, and believes that her or his case has exceptional or extenuating circumstances which caused this ineligibility, she or he may request within one week of the start of the next semester a review by the Faculty Committee on Academic Standing.

Re-establishing Eligibility. Written notice is given to all students whose financial aid eligibility is rescinded for lack of academic progress. If denied aid because of failure to meet the satisfactory progress policy standards, students may re-establish eligibility for federal aid by subsequently meeting the standards. Students must also be re-admitted to the College by the Faculty Committee on Academic Standing. After a student has re-established eligibility, she or he may be considered for aid for upcoming periods but not for periods during which standards had not been met. The Dean of Students Office provides consultation to students seeking to rectify deficiencies in grades or earned credits.

Additional Information. Students who fail to make satisfactory academic progress do not receive the following types of financial aid: Federal Pell Grant; Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant; Federal College Work-Study; Federal Perkins Loan; Federal Stafford Loan; Federal PLUS loan; or Bates College scholarships, grants, loans, or employment. Students on probationary status are still eligible to receive financial aid; students dismissed are ineligible. Students who reduce their course load will be subject to having to repay the appropriate financial assistance. Students participating in the Federal College Work-Study Program will be subject to termination of employment. The grades of "F" and "DEF" are not considered as successful completion of a course or unit. A student who is suspended for unsatisfactory scholarship, disciplinary or financial reasons, is denied permission to continue to attend classes, to enroll in subsequent terms, to reside in college housing, to receive Bates-funded financial aid, and to participate in Bates-sponsored extracurricular activities or gain access to facilities in ways that are not also open to the general public.

Off-Campus Study Programs
The Bates Fall Semester Abroad Program. The College sponsors one or more fall semester abroad programs under the direction of members of the Faculty. In 1996 the programs were held in Temuco, Chile, and Berlin, Germany; in 1997 the programs will be in Nanjing, China, and Nantes, France. The objectives of this program include combining academic work with a cross-cultural learning experience and providing students with significant improvement in a foreign-language proficiency. Four course credits are awarded for successful completion of the program, which includes intensive language instruction and seminars in topics relevant to understanding the host country. Grades are included on the Bates transcript and figured into the student's grade-point average. Although this program is open to all students, preference is given to new matriculants. Additional information is available from the Office of Admissions and the Office of the Dean of Students.

Study Abroad. To provide opportunities for academic study, research, and cultural experiences not readily available on campus, the College supports study in universities and select academic programs outside the United States by qualified students during one or two semesters in the junior year. Bates has found that the variety of academic disciplines, the different methods of study, and the experience of living in a foreign culture often enhance a student's academic career. The College believes that it is essential for the student to be as fully integrated into the foreign university system as language skills allow, associating freely and individually with the regular students.

Under this program, students have studied in more than sixty countries. In non-English-speaking countries, students study on a wide range of American college programs selected for their academic quality, their emphasis on full immersion experiences, and their association with foreign universities. Students study throughout Europe and Russia; in China, Japan, and other Asian countries; in Israel, Egypt, and other Middle Eastern and African countries; and from Mexico to Chile in Central and South America. In English-speaking countries, students enroll directly at select host-country universities. In recent years, these universities have included Bristol, East Anglia, Edinburgh, the London School of Economics, Kings, Oxford, and University College London in Great Britain; Trinity and the University Colleges of Cork, Dublin, and Galway in Ireland; the universities of Adelaide, Melbourne, and Sydney in Australia; and the universities of Auckland and Otago in New Zealand.

To be eligible for the Junior Year Abroad or the Junior Semester Abroad, a student must have an overall 2.5 cumulative average at the time of application for study abroad. A student may become ineligible if this average drops below 2.5 at any point in the application process or after admission to the foreign institution. Registration as a four-year student, including residence during the sophomore year, is required. The student must also consult with and obtain the approval of the Chair of the major department. If other than an English-speaking university is selected, a certificate of proficiency must be secured from the Chair of the relevant foreign-language department. The Committee on Off-Campus Study also considers the student's personal maturity and character, as well as capacity for independent work, in determining eligibility. Admission to a particular university is entirely dependent upon its decision with regard to the individual applicant. The number of students who may study abroad for only the winter semester may be limited by the College. Students planning to participate in a Junior Year Abroad or a Junior Semester Abroad program must confirm their plans by March 31 of the sophomore year.

In 1997-1998 the Off-Campus Study Registration Fee is 0.75 percent of the annual comprehensive charge for study of one semester's duration and 1 percent for two semesters. In 1998-1999 and thereafter, the fee will be 1.5 percent of the annual comprehensive charge for one semester's duration and 2 percent for two semesters. All other expenses are determined by the foreign program and are the responsibility of the individual student. Additional information and applications for off-campus study programs are available through the Office of the Dean of Students.

Washington Semester Program. Bates participates in the Washington Semester Program administered by American University. Residence in the District of Columbia for the fall semester enables students to study and research firsthand the policies and processes of the federal government.

Maritime Studies. Bates is one of a small group of select colleges participating in the Williams College-Mystic Seaport Program in American Maritime Studies. In addition to taking courses in American maritime history, marine ecology, maritime literature, marine policy, and oceanography, students are introduced to navigational and shipbuilding skills. During the semester they also spend approximately two weeks at sea, sailing and conducting research.

Associated Kyoto Program. Bates is one of fifteen colleges and universities that sponsor a year-long program in Japan in association with Doshisha University. The program provides intensive Japanese language and related courses and the opportunity to live with a Japanese family. The program is set in Kyoto, an exceptional cultural setting as the historical capital of Japan as well as a modern city of more than one million inhabitants.

India. Bates is a member of the South India Term Abroad (SITA) consortium. This program provides an opportunity during the fall semester for students to study Indian language, history, culture, and related topics in Tamil Nadu. The curriculum, taught by Indian faculty and faculty of the consortium colleges, is designed to ensure broad exposure to South Asian life and culture.

Sri Lanka. Bates College has joined with other institutions to sponsor the ISLE program for study in Sri Lanka. The program, offered during the fall semester, gives qualified students the opportunity for immersion in Sri Lankan culture under the guidance of a faculty member from one of the sponsoring colleges.

Exchange Programs. Qualified sophomores and juniors may study for one semester or a year at McGill University in Montreal or at Washington and Lee University in Virginia. Exchange programs with Morehouse and Spelman colleges in Atlanta provide Bates students with the opportunity to study for a semester at a historically black men's or women's college. A minimum grade-point average and approval by the Off-Campus Study Committee are required.

Transfer Credit Opportunities. Many students choose to expand their Bates experience by attending classes at other institutions, from which they may receive transfer credit for completed courses. Usually these courses are taken at state universities and private colleges, but courses from more specialized programs, such as the Center for Northern Studies in Vermont, the Salt Center for Documentary Field Studies in Maine, a fall semester at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Massachusetts, and the New York Studio School, may also be transferred. Students interested in pursuing these opportunities should consult the guidelines for transferring credit on page 18.

College Venture Program. Bates, in cooperation with Brown, Holy Cross, Swarthmore, Vassar, and Wesleyan, offers an internship placement service for students who choose to interrupt undergraduate education by taking a leave of absence. Students who elect not to be in attendance for Short Term may also use this program to secure employment from mid-April to September. A limited number of half-year or full-year placements are available for graduating students. The student may choose employment from nearly three hundred career-entry positions in a wide variety of fields. This service is often used by students to test their interests in these various careers.

Student Research Opportunities
Bates offers students a number of opportunities to conduct directed or independent research, on or off campus, during the academic year and the summer months.

Research Internship Programs. The College encourages qualified students to earn course credit by participating in special research programs offered off campus by other educational and research institutions. Faculty of the department closely associated with the research area are familiar with these opportunities, and students should apply to them through the department Chairs. Internships are usually for one semester or a Short Term during the upperclass years. Biological research internships are available to selected students at the Bigelow Laboratory for Oceanographic Studies in Boothbay Harbor, Maine, the Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine, and other nationally recognized research laboratories in the natural sciences.

Support for Research During the Academic Year.The College encourages students to pursue research associated with regular courses and Short Term units, independent studies, and the senior thesis. Funds are available through competitive grant programs that provide financial assistance for student research, including the acquisition of books, data sets, musical scores, supplies and equipment, and travel to research facilities and scholarly conferences. Information and applications are available in the Office of the Dean of the Faculty.

Summer Research Opportunities. Bates Faculty members are actively involved in scholarly research and offer qualified students the opportunity to work with them as research apprentices during the summer months. These opportunities offer stipends rather than academic credit and are available directly from faculty researchers funded through faculty grants, or through the Office of the Dean of the Faculty, which manages a number of student summer research grant programs. Students are encouraged to explore off-campus summer research opportunities as well. Funding is available to conduct off-campus fieldwork and to support the work of a student at another research facility.

The Writing Workshop
The College values students' ability to think critically and to write clear, vigorous prose. The Writing Workshop assists in honing those skills by providing a staff of professional writers who assess each student's needs and implement individual tutorials. Generally, students establish regular, hour-long meetings with a particular writer to work on academic papers.

Students may use the Workshop to learn to analyze assignments, generate and organize ideas, revise drafts, and polish their writing. Special assistance is available for writing in science courses. Staff writers also offer informal workshops in creative writing. The program is open to all students throughout their career at Bates.

To ensure proper attention to learning to write well, the First-Year Seminars and Writing Workshop Committee of the Faculty establish standards for evaluating students' writing. Students who do not meet these standards are advised to elect a First-Year Seminar or other course that emphasizes writing, or to seek instruction at the Writing Workshop.

Academic Advising
It is the privilege and right of students to have an academic advisor during the college years and to benefit from the advice of members of the Faculty in planning a curriculum to meet their particular needs. New students are assigned academic advisors, who hold individual conferences with students during their first week on campus. The advisor continues to counsel the student until the major department assumes this responsibility upon the request of the student -- no later than the end of the second year. The student and the advisor meet during registration periods and on an informal basis whenever the student seeks advice about the curriculum, course selection, or other academic concerns. While faculty members provide academic advice, final responsibility for course selection rests with the student.

Responsibility for graduate-study and professional-study guidance is shared among the members of the student's major department, special Faculty committees, and the Office of Career Services. Each department gives a member of its faculty the responsibility for providing information and counsel in this area. Three standing committees of the Faculty also aid in this effort: The Committee on Graduate Study provides general information and supervises the selection process for various graduate fellowships and grants; students planning professional careers in legal and medical areas are aided by the Legal Studies and the Medical Studies committees. Students interested in these fields or in other graduate and professional schools are encouraged to contact these committees and the Office of Career Services' counseling staff early in their college career so that a curriculum and a series of related internships and work experiences can be planned to meet their professional goals.

Office of Career Services
Some students come to college with definite careers in mind; others are uncertain as to their career focus and need ample opportunity to explore various possibilities. The principal charge of the Office of Career Services is to help students become aware of their interests, skills, and values and how these combine and relate to the varieties of career possibilities available to them after graduation. The Office complements faculty members' academic-advising efforts by providing a variety of integrated career services. These services include confidential career counseling, computerized career-interest testing, an extensive library of occupational and professional career information, and videotaped mock-interview equipment for student training; summer, leave-of-absence, and full-time, entry-level employment listings; a 4,000-member alumni and parent career-advisory network; confidential reference service; numerous internship programs; weekly student newsletter; a series of career-oriented and job-hunting skills symposia, workshops, and conferences; on- and off-campus interviews with prospective employers and with representatives from graduate and professional schools; a résumé faxing/forwarding service for seniors and alumni; linkage to job and career information through the OCS's home page on the world wide web; and career-counseling services for alumni. Students are encouraged to utilize the services of the Office of Career Services early, in order to integrate effectively their academic, career, and personal needs and goals into a professional focus. Although the Office of Career Services does not function as a job or internship placement agency, students are encouraged to use the service early and frequently in order to learn career processes that may lead to independence and empowerment in one's future professional life.

The Library and Academic Facilities
The Library. The George and Helen Ladd Library is one of the most central and important facilities of the College, housing books, periodicals, government publications, music scores, maps, microforms, sound recordings, video recordings, access to on-line databases, material in other electronic formats, and other items essential for students and faculty to carry on their research. The Library offers a learning environment in which study and research can take place and provides easy access to information in a variety of formats. There are approximately six hundred study spaces, including individual carrels, lounge chairs, and seating at tables, work stations, listening stations, and viewing stations. A networked computer instruction room, an on-line reference area, and campus network jacks at seats and carrels are available on the main floor. Quiet study is encouraged throughout the building, except in designated areas where group studying and conversations may take place.

The central point of access for information is the on-line public access catalog (OPAC), located on terminals throughout the Library and the campus network. A joint enterprise initiated in 1989 with Bowdoin and Colby colleges, the catalog has over one million bibliographic records representing the cataloged collections of all three libraries. The system also provides information about the periodical holdings of other Maine libraries (MULS) and access to CARL UnCover databases. Many electronic resources are made available through the Library's home page on the world wide web. Reference librarians with expertise in the social sciences, the humanities, the natural sciences, and government publications offer reference services and bibliographic instruction, as well as consultation on an individual basis. The audio area on the ground floor contains both sound and video recordings, and the periodicals area provides microform readers for material in that format -- newspapers, periodicals, books, and documents.

In all, the Library owns over 620,000 volumes in print, 300,000 pieces of microform, and 45,000 recordings, and provides access to numerous sources of information on-line. The Ladd Library resources are augmented by the collections of Colby and Bowdoin colleges, which offer another 1,600,000 items. The BatesCard allows Bates students and faculty to borrow materials at either of those libraries, and interlibrary loans can be initiated at Bates. The three college libraries consider their collections to be part of the total material available to their students and faculty and encourage using the consortium's resources before searching elsewhere. Turnaround time for such lending is usually two or three days.

The College Library was founded in 1863 with fewer than 800 volumes, but had more than 20,000 when Coram Library opened in 1901. In 1883 it was designated the first depository for United States government documents in Maine; it now has over 370,000 items. The Library is also a selective depository for documents of the State of Maine. When the Ladd Library opened for the first time in September 1973, all of the branch libraries of the College were brought into the central building. The ground level of Ladd Library was completed in 1982, providing a centralized periodicals area, government documents stacks, the audio area, and art and music stacks, and freeing up space for special collections on the second floor. Recent Library renovations included the installation of movable compact shelving to house a large portion of the collection and redesigned areas for electronic services.

The Special Collections include nearly 2,000 rare books, one of the strongest collections in America of early Baptist publications (reflecting the College's origins), the Jonathan Stanton Natural History Collection, the Phelps Collection of signed first editions, the Isaac Rice collection of nineteenth-century works in French and German, publications of Maine small presses, the Marsden Hartley Collection (consisting of books owned by the early twentieth-century painter and poet, a Lewiston native), the Berent collection of Judaica, works by authors associated with Bates, both alumni and staff, and archival material related to the College and its history. It has more than 15,000 volumes in its collections and thousands of other manuscript and archival documents.

The Edmund S. Muskie Archives. Dedicated in 1985, the Archives documents alumnus Edmund S. Muskie's (1914-1996) career in public service from his first election to the Maine House of Representatives in 1946 to his appointment as U.S. secretary of state in 1980 by President Jimmy Carter, and his activities after leaving public office. It also holds a permanent collection of memorabilia from Muskie's personal and public life. The Muskie Archives represents the first such facility in Maine to be established as a separate repository at an institution of higher education. The collection--one of the largest in the nation on a non-presidential political figure--provides students from Bates and elsewhere an opportunity to gain firsthand experience in historical research using primary documentary material, complementing the College's academic programs. It is also a rich source of documentation for historians, political scientists, and other scholars studying the political and social history of Maine and the nation since World War II.

The presence of the Archives on campus underscores the College's commitment to the study and discussion of public affairs, which enrich intellectual discourse at the College. Each year the Archives sponsors lectures, symposia, and conferences on national and state politics, foreign policy and environmental issues, and other matters of public policy to which Muskie made important contributions.

Information Services. User Support Services, located in Pettigrew Hall, offers a fully integrated microcomputer network system for Macintosh and IBM-compatible personal computers, with access to the international Internet system and to several Bates computers. Dormitory rooms are fully networked, enabling students to connect most personal computers to the Bates College Network. The College recently established the Bates Campus-Wide Information System (CWIS), with world wide web connections to on-campus and Internet-wide information ( Students use a number of different types of computers, depending upon the application. Under the UNIX operating system, the Bates main academic computer, a DEC Alpha 1000, supports programming in BASIC, FORTRAN, PL1, C, and other languages. In addition to the main Treat Gallery academic facility in Pettigrew Hall, over 150 public microcomputers and terminals are clustered in Coram Library, Libbey Forum, Dana Chemistry Hall, Carnegie Science Hall, and Ladd Library. Special facilities include "interactive" classrooms with large video screens for group instruction, graphics terminals, plotters, laser printers, scanners, and a microcomputer training room. The Libbey Forum Computing Laboratory is used primarily by social-science students who analyze data in economics, political science, sociology, and anthropology using statistical-analysis packages including SPSS, MINITAB, and TSP. Bates supports a growing number of social science studies from ICPSR as well as economic time-series data.

The College's computer systems have continued to expand in response to user needs. All students may obtain an access ID which allows them access to the Bates computers and network services, including the library catalog and electronic mail. The main academic computer has 384 megabytes of memory and 15.00 gigabytes of on-line disk storage. Current machine usage is in excess of fifty thousand hours annually. Most students use the computing facilities each year for class assignments, research, writing papers, work for campus organizations, and communication via electronic mail.

Courses in computer science are offered by the Department of Mathematics, and many other departments of the College offer courses which use computing extensively. In economics, for example, integration of theoretical and empirical work requires computer use for statistical analysis and modeling. In the psychology microcomputer StatLab, data sets are generated to simulate research studies which students analyze and interpret. The music department uses microcomputers to teach composition and introduce graphics applications; in chemistry, experimental data are collected and retrieved for analysis and simulation. The foreign-languages computer laboratory offers interactive multimedia learning with CD-ROM and video-disk readers. Art and music students are experimenting with multimedia works created with computers. Currently, over eighty microcomputers and several work stations are in use in laboratory settings in the Departments of Biology, Chemistry, Foreign Languages, Geology, Mathematics, Music, Physics and Astronomy, Psychology, and Sociology.

Students may also develop their computing skills by working as assistants, consultants, or programmers for Information Services.

The Laboratories and Studios. The natural sciences are housed in the recently renovated Carnegie Science and Dana Chemistry halls. In Carnegie are laboratory facilities for biology, physics, and geology. Astronomy students and faculty use the Stephens Observatory with its 0.32-meter reflecting telescope and the Spitz A-3 planetarium projector. Experimental work in psychology is carried on in the psychology laboratories, which are located in Coram Library and Carnegie.

The Departments of Classical and Romance Languages and Literatures and of German, Russian, and East Asian Languages and Literatures make extensive use of the Language Resource Center, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and part of a consortial effort to improve foreign-language learning at Bates, Bowdoin, and Colby colleges. This new facility offers a variety of language-specific software to enhance classroom activities, word processing, and world wide web exploration. Netscape versions are available in Chinese, Japanese, French, Spanish, German, and Russian. The Center is equipped with fifteen student computers with AV screens and vhs players. The instructor's station controls a video projector for classroom displays.

The Department of Theater and Rhetoric, located in Pettigrew Hall, uses the proscenium stage of the Miriam Lavinia Schaeffer Theatre, which seats over three hundred. In addition, the Department conducts experimental and studio work in the smaller facilities of the Gannett Theater.

The Olin Arts Center. Built with a gift from the F. W. Olin Foundation of New York and Minneapolis, the Olin Arts Center opened in the fall of 1986. The Center provides art studios for painting, drawing, printmaking, photography, and ceramics. It also provides the Department of Music with music studios and individual as well as group rehearsal rooms. A three-hundred-seat concert hall is included in the building.

The Museum of Art. Within the Olin Arts Center, the Museum of Art offers students and the public opportunities to study the visual arts. It houses the College's collection of internationally significant works of art, including the Marsden Hartley Memorial Collection, and maintains an active exhibition schedule. In the upper gallery are exhibitions of contemporary and historical arts, solo and group invitationals, and an annual student exhibition. Collection highlights are on view in the lower gallery on a rotating basis. Lectures, tours, and workshops are offered as a part of the Museum's educational program.

The Bates-Morse Mountain Conservation Area. The College is the beneficiary institution of 574 acres of undeveloped barrier seacoast located about fifteen miles south of Bath, Maine, and has been entrusted with the management of this rare property. The land lies between two tidal rivers, the Morse and the Sprague, and includes over 150 acres of salt marsh, granite ledges and the woods of Morse Mountain, adjacent to the Atlantic Ocean. This property is being preserved as a forever-wild area on which geological, botanical, and zoological studies of the beach, marsh, and dunes are carried out. The principal researchers are Bates College faculty and undergraduates, as well as scientists from other educational and research institutions.

The College has recently acquired buildings and eighty acres adjacent to the Bates-Morse Mountain Conservation Area. This area, transferred to Bates by John and Linda Shortridge in honor of their daughter, Sarah Wesley Shortridge, includes woodlands, wetlands, granite escarpments, and a glacially-scoured pond. The buildings are being developed to provide laboratory and lodging space for students and faculty engaged in field research at the site.

Confidentiality of Education Records
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. They are:

  1. The right to inspect and review the student's education records within forty-five days of the day the College receives a request for access. Students should submit to the Registrar, Dean of Students, Chair of the academic department or program, or other appropriate official written requests that identify the records they wish to inspect. The College official makes arrangements for access and notifies the student of time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the College official to whom the request is submitted, the official advises the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.

  2. The right to request the amendment of the student's education records that the student believes are inaccurate or misleading. Students may ask the College to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate or misleading. They should write the College official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading. If the College decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the College notifies the student of the decision and advises the student of his or her right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures is provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.

  3. The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student's education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. One exception which permits disclosure without consent is disclosure to College officials with legitimate educational interests. A College official is a person employed by Bates in an administrative, supervisory, academic, or support staff position (including security and health center staff); a person or company with whom the College has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); a person serving on the Board of Trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as the student conduct committee, or assisting another College official in performing his or her tasks. A College official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility.

  4. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the College to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the office that administers FERPA is Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20202-4605.

Bates College reserves the right to refuse to permit a student to inspect those records excluded from the FERPA definition of education records and to deny transcripts or copies of records not required to be made available by FERPA if the student has an unpaid financial obligation to the College or if there is an unresolved disciplinary action against him or her. Fees are not assessed for search and retrieval of the records; however, there may be a charge for copying and postage.

The Registrar's Office makes available copies of the federal regulations and the institutional policy on educational records as well as additional information about the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974.

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Last modified: 09/25/97 by rlm