Mar 30, 2023  
College Catalog 2011-2012 
College Catalog 2011-2012 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Special Programs

Study Off-Campus

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 a carefully selected variety of overseas and domestic programs of relevance to the Macalester liberal arts curriculum. A list of recommended programs and suggested matches with Macalester’s curricular program is available in the International Center or on the International Center website.

The Study Away Review Committee (SARC) evaluates all proposals for off-campus study during the regular academic year. SARC reviews the credit-worthiness of each proposal, 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.

Although there are necessarily limits on the number of students who pursue off-campus study each academic year, Macalester strives to support all qualified and well-prepared students who submit compelling off-campus study proposals. However, in semesters where the number of qualified proposals is greater than financial aid budgets can support, some students may be asked to defer their plans and preference will be given to qualified upperclass students. Beyond this, student proposals will be ranked for acceptance based on the evaluation criteria outlined in the Handbook for Off-Campus Study, copies of which are available on the International Center website.

Who May Participate?

Except as noted below, currently enrolled Macalester students who have completed one full year of study at Macalester, who have a formally declared major and who are in good academic standing are eligible to propose off-campus study. 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.

Transfer students must study on campus for two consecutive semesters before being eligible to apply for off-campus study. This restriction does not apply to January and summer programs.

The tuition benefits extended to students on the Dependent Tuition Assistance Program may not be applied to off-campus study. However, students on the Dependent Tuition Assistance Program remain eligible to participate in off-campus study, and in some circumstances, may become eligible for financial aid for one term due to having to assume the cost of off-campus study.

Non-immigrant visa and asylee status international students are eligible for participation in off-campus study, but they may not apply Macalester financial aid to off-campus study programs unless participation in such a program is required by a formally declared major or they are approved for participation in the Macalester programs “Globalization in Comparative Perspective” in the Netherlands or “Global Cities in Comparative Perspective” in London and the Twin Cities. 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 International Center.

Students who are on academic or social probation are not eligible to apply for off-campus study.

Registration, Academic Credit, Grades, and Financial Aid

Students whose proposals are approved by SARC must register at Macalester for their off-campus study programs in order to receive Macalester credit. All courses from semester and academic year off-campus study programs, including failed courses, are posted to the Macalester transcript. All grades for those courses are factored into the Macalester cumulative grade point average.

Academic credit earned for off-campus study programs meets general education requirements for graduation, but this does not guarantee that it may be applied towards departmental requirements. As part of the proposal process, students are required to have an advising meeting with IC staff and consult with the appropriate academic offices to ascertain how their off-campus study credit will apply towards their degree programs.

With the exceptions noted above, 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

Application Process

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 in the International Center website, and assistance is available at the International Center. Since careful planning is sometimes required, students are advised to start exploring their off-campus study options with the Study Abroad Coordinator or Advisor 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 most relevant to establishing the foundation skills that can lead to success in legal scholarship and practice. In addition, the college offers the legal studies program which provides students a broad liberal arts perspective on the study and practice of law. Opportunities are available each year for a few students to conduct internships in a law-related setting.

The Pre-Medical Program

Advisors: Lin Aanonsen (Chair of Health Professions Advising Committee, Biology), Devavani Chatterjea (Biology), Rebecca Hoye (Chemistry), 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 four courses in Biology (We recommend at least BIOL 260 - Genetics , BIOL 265 - Cell Biology , and BIOL 255 - Cell Biology and Genetics Lab ; PHYS 221  and PHYS 222 , or PHYS 226  and PHYS 227  and two courses in English. At the University of Minnesota Medical Schools, the “English” requirement can be satisfied by a number of literature, writing and/or speech courses, and need not be listed as an English course. This requirement varies so widely that you should consult your premedical advisor before making a decision about courses you decide to take that may satisfy this premedical requirement. BIOL 352 - Biochemistry II  is either a required or strongly recommended prerequisite at a growing number of medical schools including the University of Minnesota (Minneapolis and Duluth campuses) and the Mayo Medical School. Courses in the social sciences, humanities and mathematics are also required for admission to some medical schools.

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

Danny Kaplan (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 18 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 accommmodate 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 no credit will be awarded 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.

Honor Societies

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, but not below 3.50. 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. Consideration also is given to other evidence of intellectual achievement in liberal studies, such as outstanding honors work.

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
French— Pi Delta Phi
Geography— Gamma Theta Upsilon
German Studies— Delta Phi Alpha
Hispanic Studies— Sigma Delta Pi
History— Phi Alpha Theta
Political Science— Pi Sigma Alpha
Psychology— Psi Chi
Sociology— Alpha Kappa Delta