The faculty of Reed College believes in the value of interdisciplinary approaches to problems of common intellectual concern. The humanities course required of all first-year Reed students and the 200-level humanities courses, recommended for sophomores and upper-division students, are embodiments of this conviction. Listed below are other courses and programs of study that cross departmental boundaries or that bring the disciplinary materials of two or more departments together in pursuit of insights of mutual interest.
The Reed student has the advantage of other academic choices besides the 25 single-major fields described in this catalog. A double major is possible, and there are 15 standing interdisciplinary majors that combine two or more compatible fields of study. In addition, several dual degree programs (see the following section) offer students further interdisciplinary options.
Special ad hoc programs that link two disciplines can be arranged with faculty approval. The student’s academic record, the validity of the program, and the student’s potential to complete the proposed program successfully are the essential factors considered by the advisers and departments.
Other Cross-Departmental Offerings
A number of courses are cross-listed in two departments. For example, several history, literature, and anthropology courses are included in the offerings of the classics and music departments. Some of the foreign language departments offer courses in translation or in their original texts for general literature credit.
The Double Major
Students with intense interest in two major fields may petition to carry their work through the writing of a thesis in both areas, if they think that an interdisciplinary or interdivisional single major, or a major in one and strong concentration in the other, would not serve their purposes. In such cases, subject to the approval of the student’s advisers and the departments and division(s) involved, a double major leading to a single degree may be possible. Alternatively, a student who has completed requirements for the degree with a single major may be permitted to return to complete the requirements, including the thesis, for a second major; in this case a second (identical) degree will not be conferred, but all work in the second major will become a permanent part of the student’s record.American Studies
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Comparative Race and Ethnicity Studies
International and Comparative Policy Studies