Macalester College has a long tradition of providing significant opportunities for students to build an international and intercultural perspective into their college education through international or domestic off-campus study.
Students may propose participation from among an ample array of overseas and domestic programs relevant to Macalester’s liberal arts curriculum. A list of recommended programs and suggested matches with Macalester’s curricular program is available on the Center of Study Away website. The college monitors student choice and program quality through mandatory off-campus study advising and faculty approval.
The Study Away Review Committee (SARC) evaluates all proposals for off-campus study during the regular academic year for credit-worthiness, the student’s preparation for the experience, and the degree to which the program promises to extend and enrich the individual student’s Macalester degree program.
Macalester charges full Macalester tuition for the off-campus study semester. In order to ensure a balance of off-campus enrollment between fall and spring semesters, the college reserves the authority to direct a student to study off-campus in fall rather than spring, regardless of his or her preference.
Who May Participate?
Currently enrolled Macalester students who have completed one full year of study at Macalester, who have declared a major (unless they study off-campus as sophomores) and who are in good academic standing may study off campus. It is important to note, however, that students must also meet the eligibility requirements of the specific off-campus programs in which they plan to participate. Students on academic or social probation must get off probation before being permitted to study off-campus. Transfer students must study on campus for two consecutive semesters before being eligible for off-campus study. This restriction does not apply to January and summer programs.
The tuition benefits extended to students on the ACTC Dependent Tuition Assistance Program (DTAP) or ACM Tuition Remission Exchange Program (TREP) may not be applied to off-campus study, except for Macalester’s own programs. However, DTAP and TREP students do receive the benefit of paying program tuition rather than Macalester tuition, and in some circumstances may become eligible for financial aid for one term due to having to assume the cost of off-campus study.
All international students are eligible to study off-campus at Macalester. Macalester financial aid can be applied to off-campus study costs for international students only in the following circumstances:
- Off-campus study if required for a formally declared major or minor (Studying at Macalester fulfills the study abroad requirement for international students majoring in International Studies. Consequently, international students may not apply financial aid to study abroad for that major.); or
- The student has been approved to study on the Macalester Perspectives on Globalization Program; or
- Effective for off-campus study in the academic year 2014-2015: The student has been approved to participate in a Macalester exchange (not all qualified students may be approved because of exchange balance requirements). Please note that this poicy is an interim measure.
All non-immigrant and asylee students who wish to study away remain eligible for low-interest student loans to support off-campus study, however, and are encouraged to seek further information from the Office of Study Away. Shelby Davis Scholarships can be used for off-campus study.
Academic Credit, Grades, and Financial Aid
All courses taken and credits earned on SARC-approved off-campus study appear on the student’s Macalester transcript, and grades for those courses are factored into the Macalester cumulative grade point average.
Academic credit earned in off-campus study programs normally applies to general education requirements for graduation, but not necessarily to the requirements of a major, minor, or concentration–this falls within the purview of the department or concentration chair.
With the exceptions noted above for international students, students whose proposals are approved by SARC may apply eligible financial aid to program costs. While the vast majority of financial aid is portable, it is important to note that certain aid programs such as work-study do not apply to off-campus study. Also, financial aid is not available for January or summer programs abroad, except in cases where the student wishes to apply for certain types of educational loans. A complete explanation of financial aid for study away is available at www.macalester.edu/financialaid.
There are two steps to applying for off-campus study: 1) proposing a program for Macalester approval, and 2) applying to the program sponsor or overseas university for admission. With rare exceptions, these two steps are independent of each other and have separate deadlines. It is the student’s responsibility to ascertain the relevant deadlines and to provide the required materials by those deadlines.
Detailed information on both steps is articulated on the Office of Study Away website, and assistance is available at the Office of Study Away. Since careful planning is sometimes required, students are advised to start exploring their off-campus study options with the Office of Study Away staff early in their sophomore year.
Pre-Professional and Professional Programs
The Pre-Law Program
Erik Larson (Co-Advisor, Sociology) and Patrick Schmidt (Co-Advisor, Political Science)
For many years, Macalester’s pre-law students have achieved a record of success at excellent law schools evidenced by the fact that the J.D. is the second most common graduate degree for Macalester alumni. The college assists students through informed counseling about their curriculum at Macalester and their later choices of law schools. Departments across the college offer a variety of courses that teach the knowledge and skills relevant to establishing the foundation that can lead to success in legal scholarship and practice. In addition, the college offers a concentration in Legal Studies that provides students a broad liberal arts perspective on the study and practice of law. Opportunities are available each year for students to conduct internships in a law-related setting.
The Pre-Medical Program
Advisors: Lin Aanonsen (Chair of the Health Professions Advising Committee, Biology), Devavani Chatterjea (Biology), Elizabeth Jansen (Taylor Summer Fellowship/Biology), and Mary Montgomery (Biology)
Students interested in premedical studies should consult one of the premedical advisors very early in their first year for academic advice and request to be included on the Health Professions mailing list.
Premedical students at Macalester may major in any discipline and concurrently complete all premedical requirements. A science major is not a prerequisite for admission to medical school. Most medical schools require the following courses: CHEM 111 - General Chemistry I: Structure and Equilibrium and CHEM 112 - General Chemistry II: Energetics and Reactivity ; CHEM 211 - Organic Chemistry I and CHEM 212 - Organic Chemistry II ; two to six courses in Biology (we recommend at least BIOL 260 - Genetics , BIOL 265 - Cell Biology , and BIOL 255 - Cell Biology and Genetics Laboratory Methods ); PHYS 226 - Principles of Physics I and PHYS 227 - Principles of Physics II or possibly, the non-calculus-based summer courses PHYS 221 and PHYS 222 ; and two courses in English. At a number of medical schools, the “English” requirement can be satisfied by various writing or literature courses and need not be listed as an English course. BIOL 351 - Biochemistry I is either a required course or is a strongly recommended prerequisite at a growing number of medical schools. Most medical schools also require a course in the behavioral sciences; we recommend either PSYC 100 - Introduction to Psychology or SOCI 110 - Introduction to Sociology . Additional courses in the humanities and mathematics (we highly recommend taking a statistics course) may also be required for admission to some medical schools. These requirements vary so you should consult your premedical advisor before making a decision about courses you decide to take that may satisfy the premedical requirements.
Premedical advisors work carefully with students throughout their preparation, both individually and in group sessions, to assist in program planning that will best meet the individual needs of students. Regular forums and seminars are presented on appropriate topics in research, ethics, admission test preparation, application procedures and interview skills. Each summer the Ruth and Vernon Taylor Foundation endowment provides stipends for approximately eight students to participate in health profession internships following their junior year. Student recipients of this competitive award may arrange to work in a clinic, hospital, or other medical facility under the direct supervision of medical personnel.
The Cooperative Program in Liberal Arts and Architecture
Stanton Sears (Advisor, Art)
Under the agreement with Washington University’s School of Architecture in St. Louis, students may complete three years at Macalester before transferring to Washington University for a senior year of accelerated architectural study, leading to a B.A. from Macalester. Three years of graduate study at Washington University then leads to a Master’s in architecture.
For further information on course work required, see the art department section of this catalog.
The Cooperative Program in Liberal Arts and Engineering
Chad Higdon Topaz (Advisor, Mathematics)
An arrangement between Macalester and both the University of Minnesota and Washington University in St. Louis makes it possible for a student to earn a B.A. degree from Macalester and a B.S. degree in engineering or applied science from either university in five years-the first three to be spent at Macalester and the latter two in the respective engineering program. Both degrees are conferred at the end of the fifth year.
While the required number of credits for the Macalester degree is reduced from 128 to 96, and the senior year residency requirement is waived, a student is otherwise expected to complete all other Macalester graduation requirements during the first three years. To accommodate credit earned prior to matriculation at Macalester or that which is accepted in transfer from summer work done at other institutions, up to 24 transfer credits may apply towards the 96 minimum. Students who enter Macalester as transfer students may receive some pro-rated accommodation in the number of semesters at Macalester, as determined by the Registrar.
There is considerable flexibility in the courses necessary to prepare for the last two years of the program, but students should expect to take calculus through differential equations, computer programming, chemistry and physics at Macalester, as well as five or more courses in the areas of social science and humanities.
Other Curricular Opportunities
Associated Colleges of the Twin Cities (ACTC)
According to an agreement among Augsburg College, Hamline University, the College of St. Catherine, the University of St. Thomas and Macalester, students may take one course per semester at any one of the other four colleges tuition free, provided that the home institution has approved the course. Macalester has approved any liberal arts course offered by the other ACTC institutions as being appropriate for cross-registration. Cross-registered courses appear on the transcript of the student’s home school. ROTC courses offered at the University of St. Thomas are available to Macalester students, however registration must be done directly at St. Thomas. Credit for ROTC is not always applicable toward the Macalester degree. The exchange does not apply to January or summer offerings for Macalester students. Students should contact the Registrar’s Office for information on registration procedures and acceptability of credits.
Minneapolis College of Art and Design
Macalester also has an agreement with the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD) whereby students may take one course per term at that college, provided that Macalester has approved the course. Macalester students should contact the Registrar’s Office for information on registration procedures and acceptability of credit.
Phi Beta Kappa
The Macalester chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, Epsilon of Minnesota, was established in 1968. This oldest national honor society recognizes outstanding scholarship and broad cultural interests in liberal studies. To be nominated, students ordinarily must have a GPA which places them in the upper 12 percent of their class. Other requirements are good character, sufficient breadth of liberal studies, and a knowledge of mathematics and a foreign language at least minimally appropriate for a liberal education.
Other National Honor Societies
The following departments sponsor national honor societies:
Biology- Beta Beta Beta
Chemistry- Iota Sigma Pi
Chemistry- Phi Lambda Upsilon
Classics- Eta Sigma Phi
Computer Science- Upsilon Pi Epsilon
Economics- Omicron Delta Epsilon
English- Alpha Rho Theta
Geography- Gamma Theta Upsilon
German Studies- Delta Phi Alpha
Hispanic Studies- Sigma Delta Pi
History- Phi Alpha Theta
Neuroscience Studies- Nu Rho Psi
Political Science- Pi Sigma Alpha
Psychology- Psi Chi
Sociology- Alpha Kappa Delta