Jul 24, 2024  
2021-2022 Pitzer Catalog 
2021-2022 Pitzer Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Academic Opportunities at Pitzer

Pitzer has developed a variety of special courses, seminars and programs beyond the regular course offerings. Among these are the First-Year Seminar program; the New Resources Program, designed for students who are regularly enrolled students of post-college-age; International Scholars Program, designed to help international students develop the sophisticated level of English needed to succeed at Pitzer; Internships; Independent Study; and Study Abroad programs in the U.S. and abroad.

These opportunities are described below. For further information, please contact the persons listed in the sections below or the Dean of Faculty’s office.

First-Year Seminars

Pitzer’s first-year seminar (FYS) program, launched in 1973, is designed to help students become more literate people who think, read, write, and speak both critically and competently. Each seminar’s topic and selected readings reflect the professor’s area of expertise and passion.  All focus on close textual analysis, broadly conceived, and effective writing strategies for diverse audiences and purposes.

Reaffirming the FYS mission originally formulated in the 1973-74 Pitzer Catalog, first-year seminars are distinguished from many other courses offered at an introductory level not only by their small class size but also by their pursuit of a theme or problem rather than the intent to introduce students to a specific discipline or field.  In this spirit, the seminars are meant to pique students’ intellectual curiosity and encourage them to pursue a focused interest in depth. Many incorporate activities outside the classroom, such as fieldtrips, engaging in discussion over a meal, and watching films or plays.

Required of all first-year students, FYSs are writing-intensive courses that fulfill the college’s Written Expression educational objective. During the course of the semester, students are expected to write upwards of 25 pages, including formal assignments and polished essays, in-class writing, and informal writing exercises outside of class. Drafting, peer review, and revising are central to the process-oriented view of writing that the seminars seek to foster. In response to feedback from the professor and/or their peers in the class, students will have the opportunity to revise at least 10 pages of their written work. Students are also encouraged to visit the Writing Center for additional feedback.

Near the end of the fall semester, the FYS professor will provide an assessment of the students’ competence in writing. The evaluation, which will be sent to the students’ advisers, will state whether they have met the writing objective. Students who do not meet the writing objective through a first-year seminar will be required to successfully complete an appropriate writing-intensive course (i.e., an academic writing course or some other course designated as writing-intensive) before they graduate.

See The First-Year Seminar (FYS) Program  for the list of courses and more information.

New Resources Program

Pitzer College established the New Resources program in 1974 to bring the small, liberal arts college experience to students of non-traditional college age. The program was founded with the conviction that a truly diverse campus is one eager to encounter the added dimension brought by students of a range of ages as well as backgrounds and interests.

To be considered for admission, applicants must be in good standing at the last institution attended and be 23 years of age or older. New Resources candidates may apply online via the Common Application website. In addition to the application for admission and a non-refundable $70 application fee, New Resources candidates must complete one essays, send official transcripts and submit one references from professors or employers.

New Resources students can transfer a maximum of 64 semester units or 96 quarter units from a community college. An additional 32 semester units or 48 quarter units may be transferred from an accredited four-year institution.  Transfer credit does not calculate into a student’s Pitzer GPA.

Further information about the program may be obtained from the Office of Admission by calling 909.621.8129.

Summer Session

Summer Session at Pitzer provides an opportunity for students to continue and enrich their education in a rigorous academic atmosphere distinct from the traditional school year. Students may choose from a slate of undergraduate courses offered across the curriculum during an intensive two-week or six-week term. All courses are taught by Claremont Colleges faculty or faculty with an established relationship with the Claremont Colleges.

Courses are regular, full-credit offerings of Pitzer College. Students earn one full-course credit (4 semester units) per course completed. Summer courses are open to students of The Claremont Colleges as well as students in good standing at other four-year colleges and universities. Housing and board options are available. Financial Aid is also available for those who qualify. Specific course listings are generally published in February, with registration open between February and the end of April.

For more information - and specific dates and deadlines – please see the Summer Session Website.

Pitzer College Study Abroad for the Liberal Arts and Sciences

Pitzer College embraces a unique set of educational objectives that encourage students from all majors to think about the world in ways that expand their understanding of other cultures while working to translate that knowledge into action that will benefit the communities they become a part of here and abroad. This type of learning is fostered by the Pitzer curriculum in Claremont and at our study abroad sites around the world.

Pitzer has carefully developed its own study abroad programs and cultivated exchanges with overseas universities that support responsible exploration of the world and sustained engagement with its diverse communities. Pitzer programs employ a nationally recognized cultural immersion model integrating intensive language instruction, family stays, a core course on the host culture and the opportunity to pursue an independent study project. The same model informs our Pitzer exchange programs, which require students to navigate a different educational system, often in another language, at selected institutions abroad while bringing international students and their diversity of linguistic and cultural perspectives to the classrooms and residence halls in Claremont. Pitzer is a member of an organization called ISEP (International Student Exchange Programs) to provide additional options for study locations.

A semester of study abroad is not an experience that is considered separate from the rest of a Pitzer education. Students are expected to complete coursework prior to going abroad that will facilitate a sustained engagement with another culture. Ongoing critical reflection is expected of all study abroad participants through a portfolio of writing and opportunities for independent research projects. Having a study abroad program fully integrated into a Pitzer education is a key factor contributing to the record-breaking number of prestigious post graduate grants and fellowships like the Fulbright, Watson, Rotary and Coro awarded to Pitzer students. Students who study abroad comprise the majority of  those winning such awards.  

A semester of study abroad is a demanding academic experience that may not be for everyone. Seen not as a “break from college” but as a key component of Pitzer’s challenging liberal arts and sciences curriculum, Pitzer Study Abroad has strong support from faculty. Over half of the graduating class will have completed a study abroad program during their undergraduate career at Pitzer. Nationally less than 2 percent of U.S. college students study abroad and only 40 percent of those do so for a semester or longer. In comparison, nearly 90 percent of Pitzer students who study abroad are on full semester or year-long programs. The remaining students participate on Pitzer’s own six-week summer programs that are particularly demanding due to the intensive program structure. Pitzer College encourages students to stretch beyond their comfort zone to become engaged, thoughtful, and critically reflective citizens both of their own country and the contemporary world.

Pitzer Study Abroad Options

Note: Program options and availability may change without notice. Please consult with a study abroad adviser or the study abroad website for up-to-date information.

  • Exchange in Argentina through ISEP: The culture of this vibrant nation blends European and South American traditions to form a unique heritage all its own. Students must have completed four semesters of Spanish prior to participation. Students may select from a broad range of courses at either Universidad del Salvador in Buenos Aires or Universidad Católica de Córdoba. All coursework is conducted in Spanish.  Students are housed in private student residences and apartments or family stay (based upon availability).
  • Pitzer Exchange in Australia: University of Adelaide: With more than 2,000 international students from 70 countries, the University of Adelaide has produced two Nobel Prize winning graduates and nearly 100 Rhodes Scholars. The University of Adelaide has major strengths in biological sciences, physical sciences, environmental sciences, and social sciences. Students live in university housing with Australian students and other international students.
  • Pitzer Exchange in Bhutan: Based at Royal Thimphu College (RTC), Pitzer’s exchange allows students to study in a unique Himalayan kingdom located between China and India. Pitzer students will live with Bhutanese students, study Dzongkha language, carry out an internship and select two additional courses from the RTC curriculum. This exchange is ideally suited for majors in Environmental Analysis or Sociology.
  • Exchange in Chile through ISEP: This volcanic land of “Fire and Ice” has some of the most diverse landscapes in the world. Students with four semesters of Spanish prior to participation may choose Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso, one of the most prestigious institutions in Chile and located in the cultural and legislative capital and main commercial harbor in Chile.
  • Pitzer College in Costa Rica: Pitzer in Costa Rica immerses students in two communities in Costa Rica while taking intensive Spanish and studying tropical and human ecology at the College’s own Firestone Center for Restoration Ecology (FCRE) on the Pacific Coast. Language skills improve while living with one host family near San Jose and completing an intensive Spanish course. In the second home stay in a community near the Firestone Center, families serve as important resources for students’ understanding of the regional ecological issues that will be studied in an independent research project. The courses in tropical ecology and human ecology are taught at the Firestone Center by faculty from The Claremont Colleges.
  • Pitzer Exchange with Sarah Lawrence in Cuba offers students the opportunity to be exposed to a culturally and politically unique society. Students may take courses in the humanities, social sciences and the arts at the University of Havana alongside Cuban classmates. Students may also take film history at either the University of Havana or at the Fundación del Nuevo Cine Latinoamericano, and performing and visual arts at the Instituto Superior de Arte. All courses are taught in Spanish. Students will be housed in a “casa particular”, which is part of a Cuban home for rent. The “casa particular” is similar to a homestay, and students will share a room with another student.
  • Exchange in Denmark through ISEP: Aalborg University is Denmark’s youngest, most innovative and internationalized university with an interdisciplinary approach to teaching. Courses available in English include international cultural studies, psychology, economics, philosophy and political science. Students will live in student dormitories or local residences, arranged through ISEP.
  • Pitzer College in Ecuador: The program is located in Quito, one of the most spectacular cities in South America. Structured to deeply involve students in Ecuadorian life and culture, the program offers a core course on Ecuador, intensive Spanish language courses at Academia Latinoamericana, a premier language institution, core electives at Universidad San Francisco de Quito for those who have advanced Spanish language skills, and an independent study project. Students live with Ecuadorian families in the suburbs of Quito, providing a unique opportunity to improve their conversational Spanish while exploring the richness and complexity of urban life. A second, rural home stay experience with a highland, Quichua speaking family allows students to participate in indigenous life and culture.
  • Pitzer Exchange in England: University of Birmingham. The University of Birmingham is a leading research university in one of the most vibrant and cosmopolitan cities in Europe. At the heart of England’s industrial belt, the University of Birmingham offers a wide selection of courses in languages, literature, history, multidisciplinary programs, social sciences, government and politics, engineering, and health sciences. Accommodation is available in university-arranged housing.
  • Pitzer Exchange in England: University of Bristol. The University of Bristol declares its priorities to be learning, discovery, enterprise-teaching excellence, internationally distinguished research and scholarship and effective knowledge transfer. Bristol’s track record in all three accounts for its position in the first rank of UK universities and its excellent reputation in Europe and the wider world. Located less than two hours west of London by train, Bristol offers a wide range of coursework. University-arranged, off-campus accommodations are available to exchange students.
  • Pitzer Exchange in England: University of Essex. The University of Essex is the United Kingdom’s most internationally diverse campus university with students from 130 countries included in the current enrollment of 8,000 students. Academic departments span the humanities, social sciences, science and engineering and law and management. Students are typically accommodated in residences near the campus.
  • Pitzer Exchange with Sarah Lawrence College in London: London Theatre Program. This program sponsored by Sarah Lawrence College and the British American Drama Academy (BADA) is designed for students who are passionate and serious about acting. Students will take acting classes, master classes, and workshops from leading artists from the British stage, which are complemented by individual teachers and tutorials.
  • Pitzer Exchange with Sarah Lawrence College in Oxford.  Sarah Lawrence College in Oxford offers students a year-long experience at one of the oldest and most recognized universities in the world. Known as the City of Dreaming Spires, Oxford blends English past and international present, natural beauty, and urban energy. Students on the program will participate in two academic tutorials each term. Tutorials may range from History of Economic Thought to Existential Philosophy and Literature. Students are housed in flats in Merifield, Wadham College student housing. 
  • Exchange in Finland through ISEP: Founded in 1640, the University of Helsinki is the oldest and largest university in Finland. The University of Helsinki is bilingual with instruction and services offered in both Finnish and Swedish, though a number of seminars and lectures are offered in English. Courses taught in English are available across many fields, including art, biology, environmental science and social science. When instruction is not available in English, it is usually possible to complete courses through independent study. Students are housed in dormitories or residence halls.
  • Pitzer Exchange in France: Sciences Po. Sciences Po, with campuses in Paris, Dijon, Le Havre, Menton, Nancy, Poitiers and Reims is the prestigious university at which many of France’s political leaders have studies. Like Pitzer, it has a very explicit commitment to diversity. Classes are available In French and English in the following fields of study: Economics, International Relations, Law, History, Political Science and Sociology. Students with less than four semesters of previous French language study enroll in an intensive French language and culture studies program with French as a foreign language and can take social science courses taught in English. Each of the regional campuses has different foci. Students in Paris are housed with host families. Students enrolled at one of Science Po’s regional campuses reside in student residence halls.
  • Pitzer Exchange in France: University of Nantes. The city of Nantes is two hours from Paris by train and is located close to the Atlantic, at the western end of the Loire river valley with approximately one million people living in the greater Nantes area. The University of Nantes is a large, well-known university with proportionately few foreign students among the 40,000 French students. Classes in the fields of languages, literature, history, geography, sociology, political science, economics, and psychology are taught in French and are open to students whose competence in the French language is up to the challenge. International students are housed in university residences and integrated with local French students.
  • Pitzer Exchange with Sarah Lawrence College in Paris. Sarah Lawrence College in Paris offers students exceptional opportunities to pursue their studies in the humanities, the social sciences and the arts. The breadth of these choices combined with Sara Lawrence’s highly personalized approach to education, makes this program a unique opportunity. Sarah Lawrence has partnerships with a number of French institutions. Students may select courses at any one of these schools, as long as they have the required proficiency In French and appropriate academic background. Pitzer students will live with host families.
  • Exchange in Germany through ISEP: Students will study at Justus-Liebig-Universität Giessen, located in the town of Giessen, approximately 40 miles north of Frankfurt. Students can choose from a wide range of courses in German and English. Students may study business and economics, psychology, sports, natural sciences and law. Students are usually housed in residence halls. In some cases, shared apartments or private rooms might be options.
  • Pitzer Exchange with Bard in Berlin: Students spend a semester exploring and studying in one of the most exciting experimental spaces. Students have two options with Bard in Berlin; Arts and Society in Berlin or LAB: Liberal Arts Berlin. The Arts and Society program is based in artistic practice whereas LAB is focused on humanities based curriculum. Bard Abroad in Berlin students live in shared double rooms in apartments on campus.
  • Pitzer Exchange with Leuphana University of Lüneburg: Located approximately 30 minutes by direct train from Hamburg, Leuphana University of Lüneburg offers English-taught courses in media studies, environmental sustainability, economics and politics. Both academic and social life takes place on a spacious, nearly car-free campus. Prior to the semester, students will participate in a pre-sessional intensive German language course.SIT Ghana: Globalization, Cultural Legacies, and Afro-Chic: The program center is based in the capital city of Accra…  Students will experience Afropolitanism and Afro-Chic through fashion, music, and cuisine. In addition, students will learn about the continuities and discontinuities between Africa and the African Diaspora. Some key topics of study include changing gender relations and the status of women, new and emerging technologies in Ghana and how they are impacting Ghana’s social landscape, changes in class structure and processes driving change, and how Africa is represented in mainstream media discourse. Students will also learn to speak Asante Twi, a language spoken by more than 2 million people, and conduct independent research or participant in an internship.
  • Pitzer Exchange in Hong Kong: Lingnan University. A major objective of Lingnan’s liberal arts education is to provide students with international exposure and whole-person development, particularly through bilateral cultural exchange. This is achieved by sending students abroad to experience different cultures, and by admitting non-local students for exchange or degree studies, so that they can experience Lingnan University’s liberal arts environment as well as enrich it. Lingnan University seeks to equip students with language and communication skills to cope with Hong Kong’s multilingual environment.
  • Semester in Israel: University of Haifa. Through the International School, students may choose from a variety of courses taught in English, participate in an internship program, and take Hebrew and Arabic language courses. Students will also participate in a pre-semester intensive Hebrew Ulpan that is one of the most effective language learning programs in Israel.
  • Pitzer College in Italy: Pitzer in Italy places students in the heart of the Emilia-Romagna region in the city of Parma. Home to Verdi, Toscanini, the country’s oldest university and Europe’s finest Romanesque cathedral, Parma offers a vital, friendly and authentic Italian setting off the tourist track yet within access of Milan and Florence. The program allows students to rapidly develop their language skills and arrive at a more profound understanding of Italian culture through an interdisciplinary core course and a half-credit course on Italian Renaissance Art while pursuing a community-based service-learning project (independent study). According to interests, students are assigned to a volunteer organization in Parma (health, education, immigrant assistance, environmental, etc.) for a full immersion experience that combines Italian language, socio-anthropological training and field work. Students with sufficient Italian language skills have the option of a studio art community-based service-learning project at the Paolo Toschi Art Institute in drawing and painting (oil, tempera, watercolor), TV/film direction, graphic and computer design, sculpture, or theater (acting and/or directing).
    • Pitzer in Italy Courses: ITAL101A PZ: Continuity and Change in Italy, ITAL104 PZ: Community-Based Service Learning, ITAL109 PZ: Survey of Italian Renaissance 1400-1550.
  • Pitzer Exchange in Japan: Kwansei Gakuin University. This university was founded in 1889 and relocated to the current campus in Nishinomiya, Japan, outside of Kobe, in 1929 Courses in Japanese and Korean language and culture are available to exchange students, as well as environmental studies courses at the Sanda campus. Students with sufficient Japanese language skills may select from any of the regular courses taught at the university. Students will live in international dormitories provided by KGU or with a host family, depending on availability.
  • Exchange in Korea through ISEP: Students may select from one of three institutions in the capital city, Seoul: Korea University, Ewha Woman’s University or Yonsei University. No previous study of Korean language is required and a limited selection of course options is possible in English. Housing arrangements vary depending on the campus selected.
  • Pitzer Exchange with Bard Abroad in Bishkek. Located at American University of Central Asia (AUCA), students who are intellectually adventurous have the opportunity to study side by side, in English, with peers from 25 different countries. Students with particular interest in Anthropology, Central Asian Studies, Political Science, or Soviet Studies will find an exciting and rigorous curriculum at AUCA.  Students will also explore the region’s history and culture through excursions, homestays, as well as take language courses in Kyrgyz or Russian.
  • Pitzer Exchange in Mexico: Autonomous University of the Yucatan. The Autonomous University of the Yucatan, located in Mérida, offers a wide range of coursework in Spanish with Mexican students, giving occasion for a high level of cross-cultural interaction and collaborative work. Pitzer students need to be fluent in Spanish to qualify (minimum of four semesters of Spanish or its advanced equivalent). University-arranged homestays are available at or near the Yucatan campus.
  • Pitzer Exchange in Morocco: Al Akhawayn University. Set in the Atlas mountain region, Ifrane has been around for centuries with the earliest permanent settlement dating from the 16th century. The fall semester begins with an Arabic language course taught in Fes (or Fez), the third largest city in Morocco and an UNESCO World Heritage site. Students then relocate to the campus of Al Akhawayn University with classes in a broad range of liberal arts subjects. Courses are taught in English. Exchange students are expected to continue their Arabic language studies in addition to the other courses selected. Students live with Moroccan students in campus dormitories.
  • Exchange in the Netherlands with ISEP: Established in 1927, Tilburg University is located approximately 60 miles from Amsterdam in the city of Tilburg. Students may select from several courses taught in English across the curriculum. Tilburg is especially strong in the fields of economics, social sciences and humanities. Students are housed in student apartments.
  • Pitzer College in Nepal:  Pitzer in Nepal is the College’s longest-running program and has gained recognition for its highly effective approach to language and cultural training. An intellectually and physically demanding schedule blends family stays, language classes, lectures, field trips, community projects and independent study. A trek and family stay in a Himalayan village, allow participants to learn first-hand about a surprising wealth of cultures and climates. The integrated curriculum enables students to interact more closely with the people and cultures of Nepal.
  • SIT Senegal: Based in Dakar, SIT’s Global Security and Religious Pluralism program allows students to examine competing narratives and causes of global insecurity and how Senegal’s fascinating mix of religions forges peaceful coexistence and inclusive politics. The program offers an interdisciplinary core course titled Colonialism, the State and Society, as well as a course on research methods that prepares students for their required independent study project. Students are also required to take either French or Wolof. Students will have three homestay experiences, which include a six-week homestay in Dakar and two shorter homestays in rural areas of Senegal.
  • Pitzer Exchange in Scotland: University of Aberdeen. The University of Aberdeen is the fifth oldest university in the English-speaking world and was named one of the top ten most beautiful historic universities in the UK. The University is known for its strong instruction in Humanities, Law, Energy, Health Sciences and Environmental Studies. Students have the opportunity to choose from across 70 disciplines and tailor their selection to satisfy individual requirements.
  • Pitzer Exchange in South Africa: University of KwaZulu Natal. Located in Durban, near the Indian Ocean, the University of KwaZulu Natal provides instruction in English across the curriculum. Special courses are available in Zulu language, cultural studies and media studies. The University of KwaZulu Natal offers a unique slice of the diversity of South Africa for a student of culture. Within a square mile one is likely to meet South African Indians, Afrikaners, Xhosas, Zulus, San, Sothos, Ndebeles and English-speaking peoples. University dormitory accommodation is offered.
  • Pitzer College in Southern Africa: Tanzania, South Africa and Zimbabwe: Pitzer College’s  tri-country program model of study abroad is designed to expose students to important issues, cultures and peoples of the Southern Africa region. The model focuses on Tanzania, South Africa and Zimbabwe.  Students spend significant time in each of these countries where they live with host families, study culture and language, and work with local scholars and experts. The program provides students with an opportunity to learn about the multiple ways both governments, NGOs and local communities in the Southern Africa region choose to approach issues that are common across borders, such as big game conservation, ecology and tourism, HIV-AIDS and health care, education, poverty, the colonial legacy, development, race, power, human rights and reconciliation.  Roughly one month is spent in each country. During the fourth month of the program, students will pick one topic to pursue in depth for an independent study project, which will be conducted in any of the three countries, if conditions allow.
  • Pitzer Exchange in Spain: University of León. The city of León is one of the most historic sections of Old Castile with a bustling market area and ample historic buildings to view. The University of León maintains high standards in both teaching and research in over 30 departments with particular strengths in biotechnology, natural resources and environmental sciences. Students with advanced Spanish language proficiency may enroll in regular university courses taught in Spanish with regular Spanish university peers. Students who are learning Spanish may enroll in an intensive Spanish language and culture program for the full semester. Students live in homestays arranged by the University.
  •  Direct-Enroll Programs in Spain: Pitzer students may choose one of three options in Spain coordinated by the Spanish Institute for Global Education (SIGE). The institute offers an orientation course and a language seminar as well as provides support for an independent research project for all Pitzer students. With SIGE’s assistance, students are eligible to enroll at either the University of Sevilla, Universidad Pablo de Olavide, or EUSA Centro Universitario. At the University of Sevilla students will take special courses arranged for foreign students that include topics such as Spanish cinema, literature, history, and language. The Universidad Pablo Olavide offers courses in history of art and cinema, biology, chemistry, economics, history, political science, psychology, etc. Through the EUSA Centro Universitario, students can take courses in audiovisual communication, journalism, advertising, public relations, and tourism. Students live in homestays throughout the area and commute by bus to classes each day.Exchange in Sweden through ISEP: Pitzer students have three options in Sweden: Karlstad University, Mälardalen University and Södertörn University. Each university offers a wide range of courses taught in English as well as the opportunity to study Swedish. Course offerings vary at each institution, but include biology, economics, psychology and environmental science. Students are housed in university accommodation.
  • SIT Rwanda: Post-Genocide Restoration and Peacebuilding. On this program, students will examine the 1994 genocide in Rwanda and the country’s efforts to foster peace, unity and reconciliation. Students will study root causes of the Rwandan genocide and the civil war in northern Uganda. In addition to the core program seminars and Kinyarwanda language course, students will conduct independent research or intern with a community organization.
  • Pitzer Exchange in Turkey: Middle East Technical University (METU). Based in Ankara, the capital of Turkey with a population approaching 5 million people, students on the METU exchange can select from a wide range of courses taught in English that they attend together with their Turkish peers. The university has strong offerings in the sciences, sociology, political studies and economics. While appropriate for students in any major, METU is an ideal choice for natural science students who want to explore a new culture while maintaining a competitive standing in their major. Combined with Pitzer’s cultural immersion model, through which students can study Turkish language and culture and live with a local family for the first few weeks of the program and then in METU residence halls with Turkish students, participants get the best of all possible worlds: a rich investigation of a fascinating culture at the crossroads of European and Middle Eastern civilization as well as a first-rate education.
  • Pitzer Summer Program in Brazil:  In collaboration with the Instituto Cultural Steve Biko, the Brazil Summer Program takes place over six weeks in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil. Salvador, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and capital of Bahia State in Northeast Brazil is the first colonial capital of Brazil, and the center of Afro-Brazilian culture. The Instituto Cultural Steve Biko’s mission is to promote the political-social growth of the Black population through education. Led by the Instituto, the program offers a core course that provides an overview of history, culture, and society in Brazil in the Bahian context with a particular focus on the racial relations. In addition to the core course, students will take a Portuguese language course, intern with a local NGO, and live with a host family in Salvador.
  • Pitzer Summer Program in Vietnam: Organized by Pitzer College in collaboration with Hue University in Central Vietnam, the Pitzer in Vietnam Summer Program begins in Claremont during the spring semester where students participate in an intensive introduction to Vietnamese course, which includes a brief introduction to culture and society in 21st century Vietnam. The program moves to Hue, Vietnam for six weeks in the early summer. Through intensive Vietnamese language courses, a seminar on key topics in Vietnamese, internships, and family stays, students will explore this dynamic country while furthering their Vietnamese language skills and gaining an understanding of the life and culture of Vietnam. A study trip to Hanoi and Halong Bay will provide a comparative perspective in [former] North Vietnam.
  • Pitzer Summer Health Program in Costa Rica: Pitzer Summer Health Program in Costa Rica provides participants with an opportunity for a Spanish-speaking, cultural immersion experience and a first-hand look at health care in Latin America. The integrated curriculum combines intensive Spanish language study and family stays with health-related internships in San Jose, the Costa Rican capital city and a core course focused on health issues. Students accepted to the program must be enrolled in courses on campus in the prior spring semester to attend lectures and orientation during the spring semester. Several excursions help students gain a broader perspective on health and environmental issues.
  • Pitzer Summer Exchange with Kwansei Gakuin University: Located in Nishinomiya, this six-week summer program with KGU offers students the opportunity to improve their Japanese language ability and gain a deeper understanding of Japan and East Asia in general. In addition to Japanese language courses, the program provides courses taught in English, which cover topics including culture, society, international relations, politics, business and economics in the context of Japan and East Asia.
  • Domestic Exchanges are possible with Colby College (ME) Haverford College (PA), Sarah Lawrence College (NY), Bard BGIA, and Northern Arizona University (School of Indigenous Studies)

Non-Approved Programs

In addition to the choices offered above, a small number of students may be approved to attend programs administered by other institutions and organizations. To be eligible for a non-approved program, students must demonstrate a significant level of appropriate academic preparation for the specific program selected and that the program meets an essential educational need that cannot be fulfilled on one of the already approved options listed above. Students participating as sophomores are not eligible to apply to a non-approved program. Non-approved programs are limited to one semester of participation. The Study Abroad and International Programs Committee will give preference to applicants for programs that focus on intercultural and language education and offer a strong fit with Pitzer’s graduation guidelines. Depending on the number of applications, approval for a non-approved program is highly competitive so students should select an alternate option from the approved list of study abroad options.


Students are encouraged to plan well in advance and are required to consult with their faculty advisers early in their academic career. Some programs have specific prerequisites, including the completion of courses related to a particular language, region, culture, or issue. In cooperation with the other Claremont Colleges, Pitzer offers a rich selection of appropriate courses in international, intercultural and language education. The Office of Study Abroad & International Programs can provide interested students with advice on their program choices and help students make the most of what is almost always a life-changing educational experience.

Students typically participate on study abroad programs in their junior year or the first semester of their senior year and those students are given priority. Students may participate as sophomores if appropriate to the student’s academic plan and space is available on the chosen Pitzer program or exchange. Sophomores are not eligible for non-approved programs.

Students typically begin the application process by consulting early with their faculty adviser about their plans and attending an information session in the fall of their sophomore year. Priority is given to students who follow the advising procedures and meet all application deadlines.


For students participating in study abroad, cost is the same comprehensive fee (inclusive of tuition, fees, double room charge and full board) as a semester at Pitzer College. Students make a contribution to the cost of the airfare ($550 for the 2021-22 academic year) and the College will cover the remainder of the airfare charges out of the closest international airport nearest the student’s home in the US.  For students who do not permanently reside in the US, the maximum airfare is based upon the cost of a round-trip flight from Los Angeles. Students traveling on dates that differ from the program dates or departing from airports other than their approved airport may be responsible for the additional airfare charges. All fees, charges and expenses are payable in U.S. dollars in Claremont, California. There are other costs associated with overseas study that students should plan for in their budget. Students are advised to consult with a study abroad adviser early in the process about any additional expenses.

Financial Aid

Financial aid for students who wish to participate in a Study Abroad program is granted only for semester and summer programs sponsored by Pitzer College and approved by the Study Abroad and International Programs Committee.


Academic credit for the Pitzer programs in Costa Rica, Ecuador, Italy, Nepal, and Southern Africa is treated as any other grades received in Claremont. Credit for all other exchange programs and pre-approved non-Pitzer programs will appear on a student’s transcript but will not be calculated into the GPA.  Students must check carefully to ensure that the course load abroad is the equivalent of four course credits or a full semester load at Pitzer College allowing for normal progress toward graduation. Students are required to study the host language in any non-English speaking destination unless already fluent in that language. In addition, students are required to take at least one area studies course and may receive credit for one or two other courses in any discipline as available at their chosen program. Please consult the Office of Study Abroad & International Programs and the Registrar about the amount of credit typically awarded for each program. Field groups in conjunction with the Registrar will determine whether courses taken abroad can be used to fulfill requirements for a major or a minor. The coursework completed on a study abroad program may be used toward the residency requirement of 16 courses completed while registered at Pitzer.

No Pitzer College credit will be granted to Pitzer students for programs abroad during the academic year without prior approval of the Study Abroad and International Programs Committee and payment of the regular Pitzer College comprehensive fee and airfare contribution. This applies to any course work taken outside of the United States or outside the campus of another U.S. institution during the regular academic year. This policy does not apply to summer programs or to courses enrolled in or completed by students prior to their admission to Pitzer College.

Transfer of study abroad credits is NOT allowed for coursework taken outside the US while on a leave of absence during the fall or spring semester.

Application Process

Applications for participation in approved study abroad programs for Fall 2022 and full-year programs are due by November 15, 2021. Applications for Spring 2023 are due on April 30, 2022. Priority is given to students meeting all Pitzer application deadlines. Summer program due dates to be determined. Students applying for non-approved programs for either the fall or spring have one application deadline, which is November 15, 2021. Late applications for non-approved programs will not be considered.

Selection Process

Selection for any particular program is based on a student’s college record, the strength of the application essays, academic preparation and suitability of the chosen program to the College’s goal of intercultural understanding. The competitiveness of the applications will vary based on the number of applicants, the limited availability of some exchanges or the allotment of limited spaces on non-Pitzer programs. All applicants are strongly encouraged to list another approved option  as an alternate choice. If the number of qualified applicants exceeds the number of spaces available for studying abroad, priority for programs with limited spaces will be based on class standing and the strength of the application. Some qualified students may be asked to delay their participation to another semester or to select an alternate program. Students on academic or disciplinary probation or with outstanding debts to the College are ineligible for participation in study abroad.

Further information on study abroad is available through the Office of Study Abroad & International Programs. Students are encouraged to drop in or contact the office by e-mail at studyabroad@pitzer.edu or visit the Pitzer College Study Abroad Website at www.pitzer.edu/studyabroad.

International Scholars/Foreign Language Pedagogy/Culture Studies

Courses in International Scholars Program focus on English language and culture to help international students develop the sophisticated level of English needed to actively participate in the challenging liberal arts education at Pitzer and The Claremont Colleges. The program provides ongoing support to students as they move into increasingly demanding courses across the college curriculum.  Students admitted to the program must complete four International Scholars courses, all of which earn full credit and count toward graduation requirements.  For international exchange students, the program may serve as an intensive language and culture program equivalent to that which Pitzer students take during their own study abroad experiences.

Courses in International Scholars Program (for non-native speakers of English):
MLLC 111 PZ -Public Speaking  
MLLC 122 PZ -Critical Analysis Through Literature  
MLLC 144 PZ -Advanced Speech and Rhetoric: Debate  
MLLC 155 PZ -Writing Across the Curriculum.  

Foreign language pedagogy courses provide theoretical and practical training in communicative and content-based language teaching that embodies the spirit of critical pedagogy.  Students learn about second language acquisition and pedagogical theory while teaching ESL in the multilingual communities that surround the Claremont Colleges or Language Residents may study the theory and practice of teaching a foreign language.

Courses in Foreign Language Pedagogy:
MLLC 100 PZ -Language and Community: Principles and Practice of Teaching ESL  
MLLC 150 PZ -Foreign Language Pedagogy  

The field group also offers courses in culture studies enabling students who are studying outside their native countries to reflect on their experiences, deepen their cultural knowledge of the countries in which they are studying, and develop the skills to become agents of intercultural understanding.

Courses in Culture Studies:
MLLC 110 PZ -Intercultural Learning Portfolio  
MLLC 166 PZ -Directed Research in American Culture

MLLC 188 PZ -Social Justice in the U.S.

For English and other world literature in translation, see English and World Literature.

Pitzer Adviser:  Leah Herman

Community-Based Programs Community Engagement Center (CEC)

The Community Engagement Center (CEC) is the hub for social justice praxis at Pitzer College (connecting theoretical frameworks with experiential learning/applied research and continuous critical reflection). CEC supports Pitzer faculty, students, staff and community partners in forwarding social responsibility, social justice and community engagement across the world through research, advocacy, collaboration, and action. The CEC is particularly suited to assist students and faculty with community engagement classes related to the “social responsibility praxis,” “social justice theory” and/ or “intercultural understanding” graduation requirements (in addition to non-class related/volunteer engagement interests).

CEC supports research and education that contributes to the understanding of critical community issues and enhances the resources of community organizations. CEC supports community- based research projects and encourages experiential pedagogy through community-based partnerships. CEC offers a number of student internship opportunities, faculty fellowships, student and faculty awards, programming/ event support, and more.. CEC nurtures and supports community-based work with partners organized across five thematic clusters: Health and Environment; Immigration and Labor; Education and Mentoring; Arts and Culture; Incarceration, Re-Entry, and Recovery. Through engagement with  community partners, a variety of concrete projects and meaningful, reciprocal relationships have been nurtured. Programs include, for example, English language learning (ELL); urban farming and community gardens;  letter writing campaigns and civic actions; tutoring, mentoring, literacy, and childcare; and facilitating college access programming through campus tours, letter writing, and events.

CEC works with dozens of local organizations and schools on themes related to social, cultural, political and environmental justice, and community-building. CEC supports faculty and students with the logistics of community engagement (travel, funding, and programmatic resources) as well as pedagogical and methodological tools related to research and service. Through on-going relationship-building with community partners and advocacy of community-based learning and teaching within the college culture and curriculum, CEC advances Pitzer’s learning objectives related to social responsibility, social justice, environmental sustainability, and intercultural understanding.

CEC recognizes and honors the students, staff, faculty, and community members (past and present) who founded each of Pitzer College’s community engagement programs and give thanks to all those who sustain these partnerships day after day. CEC invites all new faculty, staff and students to join us in existing and new community engagement collaborations!

CEC is located on the first floor of Scott Hall (108). Contact us at cec_staff@pitzer.edu or phone 909.607.8183. For further information, visit our website at www.pitzer.edu/cec/, our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/CECPZ and our Instagram page at https://www.instagram.com/pitzercec/.

Munroe Center for Social Inquiry

The Munroe Center for Social Inquiry at Pitzer College promotes interdisciplinary research and public discussion of important issues concerning society, cultures and public policy. Each year the Center sponsors a themed series of events, including lectures, seminars, panel discussions, exhibitions, screenings, and performances. Students of the Claremont Colleges can apply to be Student Fellows of the Center for each spring semester. MCSI Student Fellows enroll in MCSI 195 PZ Conspiracy Theory and Fact, which involves attending all of the semester’s events of the Center, small group meetings with the Center’s visiting speakers, and the preparation of a semester long research paper or media presentation. The position of Student Fellow in the Center is limited to 18 students. Applications are available on the Center’s website. In the fall 2018, the Center’s theme of inquiry is “Perception in a social world: Sensing others and seeing ourselves”. The Director for 2018-2019 is Professor Brian L. Keeley. (The Director for 2019-2020 will be Professor Ahmed Alwishah.) For more information about the Center, see www.pitzer.edu/mcsi

Critical Action & Social Advocacy: Community Engagement and Cultural Immersion Program

Critical Action & Social Advocacy (CASA, formerly known as Pitzer in Ontario) is a justice-oriented, interdisciplinary, community engagement and cultural immersion program focused on community-based research. With theoretical foundations in the social sciences and a strong emphasis on experiential education, the program engages theories, strategies and research praxis tools for social change and community-building. These efforts are informed by community engagement practicums with community organizations, city agencies, and non-profits in order to identify and address pressing community issues. The CASA Pitzer academic program engages students, staff, faculty and community partners in collaborative projects and community-based participatory research on regional equity and justice pertaining to issues of incarceration, immigration, education, environment, labor, art, culture and health. All classes and many of the internships are held at CASA Pitzer, our storefront community hub located six miles from the Pitzer campus, which houses many of our partner organizations, hosts many community events and trainings, and is equipped as a community-based smart classroom. Students must take the two core CASA courses simultaneously: ONT 101 PZ -Critical Community Studies  and ONT 105 PZ -Research Methods for Community Change . Due to the intensive 125-hour internships, fieldtrips and writing components of this program, students earn three credits for these two courses. CASA program core courses count toward majors in Sociology, Environmental Analysis, Organizational Studies, American Studies, and International/Intercultural Studies and fulfill the Intercultural Understanding-Domestic educational objective as well as the Social Justice Theory and Social Responsibility Praxis educational objectives.


Accelerated (“4+1”) Degree Programs with Claremont Graduate University

Claremont Graduate University (CGU) offers superior undergraduate students at The Claremont Colleges the opportunity to work simultaneously toward the completion of their undergraduate degree requirements and a master’s degree in selected academic fields.  Depending on the students’ qualifications, these programs will involve some shortening of the time normally required to complete an undergraduate and a master’s degree. The tuition and time savings are calculated on a case-by-case basis, but on average students save a semester of graduate study in time and tuition costs. For more information, visit: http://www.cgu.edu/pages/623.asp.

Combined Bachelor/ Medical Degree Program with Western University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific (“Pitzer-WUCOMP” linkage program)

A unique linkage program between Pitzer and Western University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific (WUCOMP) in nearby Pomona, California, allows students to complete the BA degree from Pitzer and the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) degree in seven years.

Admission to this program is highly selective and a joint Admission Committee admits roughly 8-10 students into the program each year. The Admission Committee expects that applicants have taken some of the most challenging courses offered at their high school, including Honor/AP/IB biology, Honor/AP/IB chemistry, Honor/AP/IB physics and Honor/AP/IB calculus. In addition, we expect to see community involvement in health care and motivation for a career in primary care medicine. Finalists are required to come for a day-long personal interview with the Admission Committee at Pitzer and Western University in late February or early March. Interview dates change from year to year, so we advise you to check our website for the most up-to-date information.

Admitted students will study at Pitzer for three years, fulfilling the Education Objectives and premedical requirements, interacting with Western University clinics and physicians, and undertaking medically related internships. Upon completion of their third year at Pitzer and having maintained a minimum overall GPA of 3.50 in the science, a minimum overall score of 505 on the Medical College Admission Test, and demonstrated personal dedication and traits suitable for health professions and career development, students will be admitted to Western University of Health Sciences where they will pursue the four-year course of study for the DO degree. This is followed by internship and residency. For further information, visit: https://www.pitzer.edu/admission/joint-medical-program/ Applications are available through the Common Application.

Combined BA/BSE in Management Engineering

A five-year program, offered in conjunction with other institutions, allows students to receive both a bachelor of arts Degree in Management Engineering from Pitzer and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Engineering from the second institution. The first three years of study are undertaken on the Pitzer campus. After this, students enroll in the engineering programs at other institutions. Upon completion of the two-year engineering program, graduates simultaneously receive an engineering degree from the second institution and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Pitzer. Although a formal program exists with Columbia University, students can transfer to other engineering programs. It is essential for students to plan courses carefully and early in the program. Details of specific course requirements, recommendations, and general program expectations may be obtained from Keck Science Department Professor Jim Higdon (jhigdon@kecksci.claremont.edu) or and by visiting: http://www.jsd.claremont.edu/majors/managementengineering.asp.


Internships during the academic year and over the summer are incredibly important experiential learning opportunities that can have a substantial impact on a student’s ability to achieve their post-graduation goals. Pitzer students should strive to have at least one, and preferably two or three substantive internships or other career-related experiential learning opportunities during their time at Pitzer. Pitzer Career Services provides students with the techniques and resources to seek after internship opportunities. Pitzer students have access to thousands of internship opportunities in Southern California and around the world each year through Career Services (Handshake) and the Community Engagement Center (CEC). Due to the generosity of many alumni and parent donors, Career Services also awards a limited number of stipends to students each year to support substantive summer internships through the Pitzer Internship Fund. 

Independent Study

Independent Study is a creative option for students wanting to explore an area in more depth. The provisions for Independent Study are intended by the faculty to foster students’ intellectual development. It is hoped that students will develop the capacity to plan and execute projects of their own conception and will acquire a competence in original research and writing beyond that required by the regular courses of instruction. For more information see the section on Independent Studies .

Teacher Education

As preparation for teaching all subjects in an elementary school classroom, students must pass the MSAT (Multiple Subjects Assessment for Teachers) of the PRAXIS Series and the California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST) which they are strongly encouraged to take before their senior year. Interested students should see Professor Mita Banerjee (mita_banerjee@pitzer.edu) or Professor Maya Federman (maya_federman@pitzer.edu) and should contact Career Services for information regarding teaching as a career. The Office of Teacher Education at Claremont Graduate University (http://www.cgu.edu/pages/1642.asp) also has specific information regarding its Internship Program.