2016-2017 Pitzer Catalog 
    Jun 21, 2024  
2016-2017 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; PACE, designed to provide intensive English language training for international students; 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 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.

First-year seminars challenge students to achieve the following aspirations:

  1. Regard learning to write well as a life-long pursuit, not the accomplishment of a single semester or even an entire undergraduate career.
  2. Grapple with the ambiguity and complexity found within texts, which range from the written word to film, art, performance, and beyond; respond to texts critically and thoughtfully.
  3. Engage in an ongoing process of intellectual inquiry and “conversation” through writing:
  •  Appreciate and experience the creativity, independent thinking, and intellectual risk-taking involved in effective academic writing.
  • Craft thoughtful and insightful questions worthy of investigation; raise significant problems.
  • Recognize and contend with alternative viewpoints/counter-arguments.
  • Identify research/information needs.
  • Locate appropriate scholarly and popular sources.
  • Engage with, evaluate, and draw inferences from sources.
  • Craft a clear, arguable, and compelling thesis.
  • Experience writing as a complex social interaction between writer and reader
  • Participate in an intellectual community of peers where writing and ideas are exchanged and critiqued.
  • Rethink and deepen ideas through a recursive process of discussing, drafting, receiving and giving feedback, and revising at any and every point along the way.
  • Gain awareness of audience and of voice.
  • Practice writing as a form of critical thinking, rather than merely the achievement of sentence-level correctness.

All first-year seminars meet Tuesday and Thursday, 11:00-12:15.

A student’s FYS instructor is also that student’s initial academic advisor. Because professors teaching a FYS serve as their students’ faculty adviser for the first three semesters, students in the program develop strong mentoring relationships with faculty and gain a broad understanding of how the curriculum intersects with their individual educational goals. Starting Orientation week, incoming students meet with his/her advisor/FYS instructor to select his/her Fall courses.

In addition, the Global Local Mentorship Project (GLMP) is an initiative designed to “fast-track” interested first-year students into community engagement locally and abroad. The entire first year class will be given the option to participate in the GLMP by attending additional programming in the fall. Advisers/first year seminar instructors will be providing mentorship regarding involvement with local and international community partners.  In spring 2017, GLMP participants will be given access to funds to create an “Action Research Team” connected to a local community partner and attend a free short-term study abroad program with Pitzer faculty and staff to Parma, Italy.

Anthes, Bill - “Writing About Animals”

This seminar explores the interdisciplinary field of “animal studies” and aims to build students’ confidence and skill in college-level writing. Animal studies draws from many disciplines including art, anthropology, laboratory and field biology, ecology, ethics, history, literature, and other fields. We examine how past and present societies have understood the animal and the human relationship to non-human nature. We will consider how human definitions of non-human animals express cultural norms and habits of thought, and how humans’ relations with animals matter, and to whom. In addition to being an interdisciplinary field, animal studies is also intersectional - class topics and assignments will also engage with issues of race and ethnicity, gender and sexuality, and social justice. Writing projects and other class exercises will focus on developing abilities in critical reading and discussion, the research process, drafting and revision.

Armendinger, Brent - “On Memory”

In this course, we will focus on works of literature and film that explore the emotional, creative, philosophical, and political dimensions of memory. We will consider how memory changes our understanding of time; how memory informs the imagination; how imagination informs what (and how) we remember; how interpersonal relationships are structured by memory, its variability, and its loss; what it means to “remember” an event for which we were not present; the politics of remembering and forgetting; how landscapes harbor - and sometimes erase - historical trauma and the traces of those who lived there. Students will practice composing works of analytical and creative writing in order to engage with these ideas.

Berg, Tim - “Tongue-in-cheek: Humor in Art and Visual Culture”

In this course you will develop your skills as a writer while gaining a heightened awareness and appreciation of humor. Historically humor has been vital to both modern and postmodern art movements including dada, fluxus, pop and funk art. Humor is an incredibly important vehicle for dealing with complex questions because it is one of the few forms that allows the author to communicate contradictory statements simultaneously through absurdity, irony or satire. Humor also has the ability to make something inaccessible, accessible or open up a taboo subject for discussion. In some cases humor is a political gesture; an act of defiance in the face of adversity. In this course we will examine humor through a critical interdisciplinary and intercultural lens. You will be responsible for developing written responses, critiques, oral presentations and research. Personal research into the course themes may include creating art or performance as an individual or as a part of a group.

Borowski, Tom - “Is there a Science of Dreaming?”

One of the most puzzling of psychological phenomena is the nature of dreams. Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) regarded dreams as disguised wish fulfillments, usually of a sexual nature, that lurk within the unconscious mind. According to Freud, if one wants to understand the unconscious mind then one needs to understand the content of dreams. On the other hand, J. Alan Hobson, a pioneering researcher into the neural basis of dreams, regards them as nothing more than the brain attempting to make sense of the random neural activity that occurs during sleep. Dreams are also a subjective and private experience. For the dreamer, dreams can be fantastic and illogical, filled with images of one’s life often colored with strong emotional feelings. Indeed, given that the meaning and nature of dreams is far from obvious the primary goal of this seminar is to try to determine whether the meaning and nature of dreams can be explained and understood according the principles of science and rational thought. Through readings and class discussions students will be exposed to a number of different perspectives on the nature of dreams and dreaming. We will also look at how dreams represented in our society through art, music and film and whether or not dream states can be artificially induced either through drugs or brain machine interfaces.

Harris, Laura - “Wild Seed to Earthseed: The Art of Octavia E. Butler”

Students in this course assiduously read and study the writing of Octavia Estelle Butler, a renowned author of the latter twentieth century. While closely reading and discussing Butler’s body of work students conduct library research on the historical period and global-local contexts of Butler’s artistic vision. Butler’s writing offers few ready answers and instead invites readers to raise critical questions about social and political ideologies such as environmental destruction, community values, hierarchical power relations, social constructions of sexuality, race and gender, colonization, slavery, home, displacement and immigration, detention and imprisonment, self-reliance, trans-species cooperation and trans-human hybridity, to name a few. This is a reading intensive course with weekly group work and in class presentation. It is also a Pitzer College required writing intensive course in which students organize their cumulative research into an annotated bibliography and draft a final research essay. Students are required to participate in Honnold Library training workshops and field trips to Pasadena’s Huntington Library Octavia E. Butler archival collection, as well as other First Year Seminar activities and events.

Herrold-Menzies, Melinda  - “Environmental Documentaries: Critical Analysis, Evidence and Persuasion”

This course introduces students to environmental controversies and the intercultural and social justice issues surrounding them through their documentation in film. Through class discussion and writing assignments, we will analyze the methods of persuasion and types of evidence these documentaries use to examine how films convey messages about what and who are international global environmental problems and how they incite an audience to audience to act. Readings range from excerpts from Aristotle’s Rhetoric to popular blogs on persuasive writing to scholarly materials that provide background, additional evidence, and counterarguments on the subjects of the documentaries. Major comparative topics include: environmental justice controversies over pollution surrounding the oil industry internationally and domestically (sites include: the Ecuadorian Amazon, Niger Delta, and Louisiana along the Mississippi River) and the “objectivity” vs. cultural biases in documentaries about the exploitation of whales and dolphins for food and use in exhibitions (issues include: Japanese vs. Norwegian whaling, dolphin hunting in Taiji, Japan, and orca hunting for aquariums in North America). Other topics to be studied include food production and the increasing privatization of water resources around the world.

Honma, Todd - “Fast Cars and Giant Robots: Introduction to Asian American Popular Culture”

This seminar introduces students to key concepts and theories in understanding and analyzing Asian American popular culture and the cultural politics of racial representation. We will examine how Asian Americans embrace pop culture as forms of opposition and resistance to dominant narratives and racial stereotypes (e.g., techno-orientalism, exotification, model minority, yellow peril, forever foreigner, etc.) Why cars and robots? Both cars and robots are common tropes employed in Asian American cultural production. They often symbolize increased efficiency, advancement, innovation, and future possibilities…but for whom and for what purpose? We will examine how cars and robots contribute to our understanding of racial formation, gender and sexuality, labor, migration, urban development, geopolitics, and utopian and dystopian futures. We will also critique the role of pop culture in resisting and/or reproducing ideological structures that naturalize capitalist exploitation, patriarchy, heteronormativity, and white supremacy. At stake in these investigations is a consideration of how popular culture intervenes in the ways in which we conceptualize a more just and sustainable world.

Junisbai, Azamat - “Model Minority and Perpetual Foreigner: Asians in America”

What is the contemporary Asian American experience? How does Asian America look when we take into account differences in ethnicity, class, gender, and generation? This course offers a sociological examination of what it means to be Asian American today. Topics include immigration, assimilation, demographic trends, ethnic identity, discrimination, socioeconomic mobility, gender, and relationships with other groups. By exploring the structures that shape Asian American experiences and Asian American challenges to those forces, the course encourages students to consider their own role in transforming US society.

Justus, Timothy - “The Literate Brain”

This seminar examines reading and writing through the interdisciplinary lens of cognitive science. Frameworks may include: (1) neurobiology, including the brain networks that mediate literacy, and the extent to which these regions are evolutionarily conserved, (2) cognitive archaeology, including the historical emergence of writing and its organizing effects on spoken language, (3) cognitive development, including the information processing required to map written symbols to sounds and meanings, and the emergence of this ability in children, (4) psycholinguistics, including research on sentence and discourse processing, and its application to prescriptive questions of how one ought to write, and (5) neuroaesthetics, including considering literature, among the other arts, as playing with the brain’s drive to connect form and meaning. Students will develop the ability to articulate novel positions and defend them with empirical, textual, and artistic evidence.

FYS 11
Lorenat, Jemma - “Visual Evidence”

While a picture is worth a thousand words, it can also show billions of numbers. The graphic representation of quantitative information dates back to the earliest map making and star charts. Today quantitative analysis in diverse research fields requires summarizing data and showing findings “at a glance.” This course offers a historical survey of how data visualizations have been made and applied. We will consider technologies of drawing and reproduction, processes of innovation and standardization, and consequences of collecting and applying data. Throughout the course, we will critically interrogate past and present data visualizations as practices of manufacturing perception and increasingly prevalent forces in our everyday lives.

FYS 12
Portillo Villeda, Suyapa - “The Politics of Breakfast: Commodities, Labor & Global Export Economies”

Have you ever wondered about the origins of your breakfast foods? This seminar will explore the labor, social, cultural and political history of breakfast fruits and foods as they make their way from global markets to the local breakfast table. Students will explore the history of the Latin American export economies and the countries that produce and export bananas, coffee, cacao, and sugar, among other export commodities. The class will explore: the cultural and political implications of export economies for Latin American nations, labor conditions, trade routes, and the connections between the global export chain and local consumption. Class activities will include student cooking demonstrations and tasting exercises highlighting some of these commodities.

FYS 13
Robins, Colin - “Exploring Natural Disasters”

“Civilization exists by geologic consent, subject to change without notice.” This quote by Will Durant hints at the captivating, profound, and (too often) tragic ways in which natural processes sculpt our planet and influence extinction, survival, and evolution. This seminar will survey the causes and occurrences of natural disasters including volcanoes, earthquakes, landslides, floods, droughts, bolide impacts, and more. We will simultaneously explore the science of hazard assessment, the wide-ranging temporal and spatial scales of disaster, the coverage of natural events and hazards in news and popular entertainment media, and the ramifications of disasters and hazard awareness for individuals, cultures, and nations. Emphasizing critical evaluation over sensationalism, this writing-intensive course is intended to foster new perspectives on the dynamic Earth and the resilience of society.

FYS 14
Rodriguez, Norma and Torres, Maria -“La Familia

This seminar will examine the role of la familia for Latinos living in the U.S. We will examine both commonalities and differences across conceptions and constructions of la familia. We will also examine la familia from a comparative perspective (contemporary, across different Latino groups, within families, etc.), and will pay particular attention to the psychological and sociocultural factors that contribute to the complexity and diversity of la familia. As part of the course, students will learn about cultural traditions that are maintained and practiced within and across different familias.

FYS 15
Snowiss, Sharon -“What Is Human?”

This course serves two purposes. First, it raises questions about our understanding of ourselves as Homo sapiens, distinct from other animals, machines and biological creations. Second, it emphasizes analytical reading and writing skills. The determination of what is particularly or distinctively “human” is a problem for the contemporary world and at present has no definitive or consensual answer. We will explore how peoples in other eras defined themselves and how those distinctions are being blurred by modern technology and biological research. Do computers have consciousness? Do clones have souls? Do we think with our heart? Do we have obligations to others? How do we determine human nature? Or, does man have a nature? Readings will range from works in philosophy and science to science fiction.

FYS 16
Strauss, Claudia - “American Political Cultures”

Few commentators predicted the success of Donald Trump and the popularity of Bernie Sanders in the 2016 U.S. presidential primaries. How can we understand the millions of votes they received? We will consider possible explanations that focus on problems with both the Democratic and Republican Party establishment, economic insecurity, racial resentment, and American populist traditions. What do the surprises of this election year reveal about the assumption that powerful elites control public opinion? What is good evidence for claims about political culture?

FYS 17
Ballagh, Michael - “Love and Loathing in Los Angeles”

Through readings, documentary, cinema, and selected field trips to iconic LA spaces, students will unpack the stereotypes of communities and the natural environment of Los Angeles and come to their own understanding of this enigmatic and deeply flawed city. The course will focus on communities of color within LA and the cultural and environmental “apartheid” that impacts them. Readings-both fiction and non-fiction-movies, and documentaries will reflect Los Angeles in the later part of the 20th century.

FYS 18
Wachtel, Albert - “World in a Nutshell”

This course seeks to produce a unified quest among students, faculty, libraries, librarians, internet services, and available faculty aids, administrators and facilities for significant truths with small T’s. Once they are discovered, students, with the help of their seminar mates, will undertake to convey those truths in essays driven by purpose, clarity and intensity, intending to improve human understanding, advance empathy, increase appreciation and better the world. We will usher ourselves into the realm of our search by reading, developing and writing thesis driven essays about great short stories, at least one film, and locations and people of interest, all of them metaphorically nutshells that contain worlds. We will be meeting periodically with freshman classmates in other seminars and with faculty and administrators dedicated to improving students’ abilities, advancing their knowledge about thinking and writing as well as requirements (sometimes disguised as “expectations”), the reasons that motivated their creation and ways of beneficially fulfilling them. You should step away from this seminar better thinkers, better writers and informed members of the Pitzer and Claremont Colleges community, knowing and eager to do the necessary and desirable, and able to engage the resources available to help you and your undertakings to thrive.

FYS 19
Wenzel, Anna - “Drug Development, Policy and Innovation”

This seminar provides students with an in-depth perspective into the pharmaceutical industry, particularly the process by which a drug candidate transitions from the laboratory to patient. Discussions will also focus on public policy and ethical debates surrounding the pharmaceutical industry and the commercialization of science. Topics include: the link between academic research and industry, the clinical trial process by which a molecule becomes a drug, the origin and role of the FDA in protecting the consumer, the concept of informed consent in ethical drug development, and the economics associated with orphan drug development.

FYS 20

Herman, Leah - “Diversity, Equality and Inequities”
This course will examine examples of difference in ethnicity, class, gender, and sexuality and consider how this diversity has been challenged or accepted in the United States. Students will analyze contemporary and historical issues and explore questions of social justice as they read a variety of fiction and non-fiction texts. In discussions and compositions, students will consider the ways that culture and social structures shape the Pitzer experience, as well as imagining their own roles in transforming society. This course is the designated First-Year Seminar for students in the International Scholars Program and is open to non-native English speakers only.

FYS 10
Keeley, Brian - “The Examined (College) Life”

Western Philosophy’s first hero, Socrates of Ancient Athens, is reputed to have claimed that the unexamined life is not worth living. Of course, talking about such “examination” is easier than actually doing it. In this seminar, we will conduct a Socratic examination of our own lives. In doing so, we’ll consider a number of classic and contemporary texts. In addition, the students will be called on to creatively collaborate with one another and the instructor to design their own “introduction to Pitzer College,” determining what skills and knowledge they will need to succeed in our unique environment. This course is the designated First-Year Seminar for transfer students and students in the New Resources Program and is open to those students only.

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 25 years of age or older. New Resources candidates may download the application online or request a hard copy from the Admission Office. In addition to the application for admission and a non-refundable $70 application fee, New Resources candidates must complete two essays, send official transcripts and submit two 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

Applicants for the New Resources program are required to have an on-campus interview with an Admission Counselor by May 1.

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 six-week term. All courses are taught by Claremont Colleges faculty.

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. Summer Session 2016 is tentatively scheduled to take place as shown below. Specific course listings are generally published in January.

Session I May 16 through June 24

For more information, please see the Summer Session Website at www.pitzer.edu/summer

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 nearly 85 percent of those winning such awards. Pitzer leads the nation for a school its size in the number of Fulbright awards received.

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. The College is pleased that the destinations chosen by Pitzer students are more diverse and widely distributed around the globe than the national averages with the majority of Pitzer students choosing programs outside of Western Europe and the English-speaking world. 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 who study at Universidad del Salvador will live in university accommodation. Students in Córdoba will live with host families.

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.

Pitzer Exchange in Brazil: Open to students with advanced Spanish skills, this exchange with Universida de Federal de Roraima in Boa Vista offers students an intensive Portuguese language course as part of the required course load and the opportunity to live with a Brazilian host family. Boa Vista is the capital of the state of Roraima located in the north region of Brazil. Boa Vista’s estimated population is 250,000.

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 between 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

SIT China: Language, Cultures, and Ethnic Minorities. Please refer to the Pitzer Study Abroad website for more information.

Pitzer Exchanges in Canada: Students may select from two participating institutions in Quebec. Bishop’s University in Sherbooke and Concordia University in Montreal offer classes taught in English across the curriculum. Students locate their own housing in Montreal for Concordia University. Dormitory arrangements are available for Bishop’s University.

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.

The Costa Rica program also offers a Spanish Track that emphasizes linguistic and cultural competence in Spanish, integrating appropriate disciplines in the comparative study of global/local education, health, and/or ecological issues. It uses the FCRE as a base to engage in sustained longitudinal social science research projects of benefit to communities in the surrounding District of Baru. Students who participate in the Spanish Track in the Pitzer in Costa Rica semester spend the first half of their 16-week semester at the same language institute in San Jose. They spend the second half of their semester in the Baru area near the FCRE. Students must have an intermediate proficiency level in Spanish to participate in the Spanish Track.

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 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, orelectives at Universidad San Francisco de Quitofor 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 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. The Oxford application is competitive. Students must possess a minimum GPA of 3.8

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: The 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.

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.

Exchange in Ghana through ISEP: Located on the western coast of Africa, Ghana is one of the most peaceful and politically stable countries in Africa. Students enroll in classes taught in English with local students at the University of Ghana. Fall participation is strongly advised so that students can take advantage of a required Twi language course. The most appropriate fields of study are African Studies, geography with resource development and the social sciences. One of the University’s objectives is to ensure that its students have an understanding of world affairs and the histories and cultures of African civilization. Students will live in student residences.

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 in order to cope with Hong Kong’s multilingual environment.

Pitzer 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  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 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. At least one year of Japanese language study is required to be eligible for the program. 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 live with host families.

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 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 a number of 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 National Identity and the Arts program allows students to examine and explore social, economic and political issues Senegal faces and to take a critical approach to Senegalese artistic and cultural forms. The program offers an interdisciplinary core course titled Arts, Identities, and Urban Cultures in Senegal, as well as a course on research methods and ethics in the arts 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 Singapore: Singapore Management University. Set up as Singapore’s first private university, SMU occupies a state-of-the-art city campus located in the heart of Singapore’s civic, cultural and business districts. SMU is home to more than 6,000 students and comprises six schools. Students must take Introduction to Malay or Chinese language and a course on Singapore while at SMU. Students are welcome to take any other courses from across the curriculum.

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: Botswana, South Africa and Zimbabwe: Pitzer College’s new 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 Botswana, 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.

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 Leon maintains high standards in both teaching and research in over 30 departments with particular strengths in biotechnology, natural resources and environmental sciences. Courses are taught in Spanish with regular Spanish university peers or students may enroll in a program of intensive Spanish language classes for the full semester. Students live in homestays arranged by the University.

Pitzer Exchange in Spain: Spanish Institute for Global Education (SIGE) and the University of Sevilla.This program is coordinated through SIGE, twenty minutes outside of Sevilla. The institute offers an orientation program and a three-week refresher Spanish class for students with intermediate and advanced Spanish language skills. Students are then eligible to take special courses arranged for foreigners at the University of Sevilla. The university classes cover topics related to Spanish area studies in fields such as literature, history, international relations and language. 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. Please refer to the Pitzer Study Abroad website for more information.

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 (NEW): Located in Salvador de Bahia. Please refer to the Pitzer Study Abroad website for more information.

Exchange in Vietnam through ISEP: Students will study at International University (IU), Vietnam’s premier English language university located approximately 45 minutes from downtown Ho Chi Minh City. IU offers a wide range of courses from biochemistry to international business. Exchange students typically live in guesthouses within walking distance from IU.

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 Program in Vietnam (NEW): Located in Hue. Please refer to the Pitzer Study Abroad website for more information.

Domestic Exchanges are possible with Spelman College (GA), Colby College (ME) Haverford College (PA), Sarah Lawrence College (NY), Northern Arizona University (School of Indigenous Studies), and Claremont McKenna College (Silicon Valley Program)

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 a strong academic 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. 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 Pitzer programs and exchanges.


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 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.

The opportunity to participate in a study abroad program is a privilege and the application process is competitive. 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. Ordinarily, second semester seniors are ineligible.

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 2016-17 academic year) and the College will cover the remainder of the airfare charges out of Los Angeles (or equivalent priced airport) for the first semester of study abroad. Students are responsible for the full airfare on any additional semesters of study abroad or domestic program. Students traveling on dates that differ from the program dates or departing from airports other than Los Angeles may be responsible for the additional airfare charges. Normally, the costs for tuition, housing, food and the remainder of the airfare expenses are covered in the fees that Pitzer collects from each student. In cases where the total program costs paid by Pitzer, including the College’s own direct expenses, exceed the comprehensive fee, students may be asked to pay the difference. 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 awards are transferable to semester programs approved by Pitzer College and the Study Abroad and International Programs Committee Financial aid is not available for summer programs with the exception of the Summer Program in Brazil, Summer Health Program in Costa Rica, and Summer Program in Vietnam Pitzer College does not provide financial aid for students from other colleges and universities participating on Pitzer programs and such visiting students are advised to consult their home institution for information on whether their financial aid package can be applied to a Pitzer program..


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 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 of 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 Committeeand 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 for the fall or spring semester.

Application Process

Applications for participation in study abroad programs for Fall 2017 and full-year programs are due by November 14, 2016. Applications for Spring 2018 are due on March 22, 2017. Priority is given to students meeting all Pitzer application deadlines. Students applying for non-approved programs for either the fall or spring have one application deadline, which is November 14, 2016. 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 strongly encouraged to list a Pitzer program or exchange as an alternate choice. The Study Abroad and International Programs Committee, consisting of faculty, students and staff will make final selections. In the event that 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. 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.

 English Language and American Culture Studies

Pitzer’s English Language Programs develop advanced levels of English proficiency for international students. Programs include the International Scholars program for incoming students; the International Fellows Program (IF) with the Peter F. Drucker and Masatoshi Ito Graduate School of Management at Claremont Graduate University; and English Language and American studies for incoming International Exchange Students. See also International Students section.

Community-Based Education 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 in surrounding neighborhoods 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 works in the community creating partnerships not to dispense “expert” solutions to pre-defined needs, but to identify and engage resources-both human and material-within the community. Among its core partnerships are the Pomona Day Labor Center and Fernando Pedraza Community Coalition, both programs of the Pomona Economic Opportunity Center (PEOC); Camps Afflerbaugh-Paige, a youth detention camp located in La Verne; Prototypes Women’s Center in Pomona, a recovery and rehabilitation Center for women and their children; Jumpstart, an AmeriCorps program aimed at increasing early childhood literacy and closing the achievement gap; and lastly, our Native American community cultural and educational partnerships. Through on-going engagement collaborations with these long-term community partners, a variety of concrete projects and meaningful, reciprocal relationships have been nurtured. Ongoing programs include, for example, teaching English as a second language, co-creating urban farms and gardens, facilitating writing and spoken word programming, providing tutoring, mentoring and childcare for under-resourced youth, and facilitating college pipeline programming and cultural exchanges with high school youth interested in college access.

In addition to these core partnerships, CEC works with dozens of local community organizations and schools on themes related to social, cultural, political and environmental justice and community-building. CEC endeavors to support 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 advocating 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. Contact us at cec_staff@pitzer.edu or phone 909.607.8183. For further information, visit our website at www.pitzer.edu/offices/cec or our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/CECPZ.

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 , which involves attending all of the spring 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 2016, the Center’s theme of inquiry is  “Islam: Beyond Imaginary and Ideological Narratives”. The Director for 2016-17 is Professor Ahmed Alwishah. For more information about the Center, see www.pitzer.edu/mcsi

Pitzer in Ontario Program

Pitzer in Ontario is a comprehensive, semester-long, three-course community-based education and cultural immersion program in Ontario, California, with theoretical foundations in the social sciences and a strong emphasis on experiential education. The program integrates an extensive internship with interdisciplinary coursework that provides the analytical framework from which social and urban issues can be effectively evaluated. The core course, Critical Community Studies, provides a transdisciplinary, theoretical and contextual framework for the Pitzer in Ontario program. The Social Change practicum course incorporates an intensive internship experience to provide students with a focused exposure to the roles particular agencies play in addressing urban issues and a hands-on experience in playing a proactive role in the local community. The primary goals of the Qualitative Methods course is to use the classroom itself to generate empathy toward conditions of research and to enable the creation of a mutually beneficial research project at the internship site. See here  for course descriptions. 


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.

Below is a list of all the academic programs you can apply through the 4+1 Program. Note that each program has individual requirements and procedures. Students must be recommended by their respective colleges and normally apply to the program by January of their junior year. Those accepted into the program normally begin coursework at CGU in their senior year. 

Please email a CGU program representative via the addresses listed under “CGU contact.” They will be happy to answer all of your questions, give you a tour of campus, arrange a meeting with an academic department, or even arrange for you to attend a class or meet with a faculty member. Applications are available through the CGU Office of Admission and Records, on the CGU website, as well as through the CGU academic departments. The application fee is waived for students within the Claremont Consortium.



CGU Contact

Pitzer Contact

Applied Women’s Studies


contact CGU directly

Archival Studies


contact CGU directly

Arts Management


contact CGU directly



contact an economics faculty member



contact CGU directly


Education: Teacher Ed



contact CGU directly


humanities@cgu.edu or (909) 621-8612

contact CGU directly

Financial Engineering


contact CGU directly



contact CGU directly

Information Systems


organizational studies professor,Jeff Lewis




contact CGU directly





consult with the mathematics faculty early in your undergrad career (math@pitzer.edu)


Media Studies


humanities@cgu.edu or

Eve Oishi, Associate Professor of Cultural Studies, (eve.oishi@cgu.edu)

contact a media studies faculty member

Museum Studies


contact CGU directly



contact CGU directly



contact a philosophy professor

Politics & Policy



contact a political studies, organizational studies, environmental analysis, or sociology faculty member





consult with a member of the psychology field group



Public Health




contact CGU directly



contact CGU directly

Combined Bachelor/ Medical Degree Program with Western University of Health Sciences (“Pitzer-WUCOM” linkage program)

A unique linkage program between Pitzer and Western University of Health Sciences 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. A joint Admission Committee admits a maximum of six first-year 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 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 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 3.20 in the non-science courses, a minimum of 3.30 in the science courses, and a minimum of 24 on the scored sub-tests of 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: http://www.pitzer.edu/admission/westernu/index.asp and http://www.pitzer.edu/admission/westernu/Wucom.pdf. Applications are available through the Office of Admissions.

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.


Pitzer students have access to thousands of internship opportunities in Southern California and around the world each year through Career Services (ClaremontConnect, Nationwide Internship Consortium, Liberal Arts Career Network) and the Community Engagement Center (CEC). 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 during their time at Pitzer.  In addition to the many internships that Pitzer students can find through ClaremontConnect, Career Services is always building new relationships with Pitzer alumni and parents who are looking to specifically hire Pitzer students to make significant contributions to their organizations as interns.  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 (http://www.pitzer.edu/offices/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.