Requirements for the Degree
Course of Study 2013-2014
NOTE: While faculty members and administrators stand ready to counsel students about degree requirements, the final responsibility for meeting the requirements rests with each student.
Students must fulfill the following requirements in order to earn a bachelor of arts degree at Kenyon.
- 1. Major
- 2. Credits
- 3. Residency
- 4. Grade point average
- 5. Credits outside the major
- 6. Distribution
- 7. Second language
- 8. Quantitative reasoning
The student must earn 1 Kenyon unit in at least four departments that together cover all four academic divisions of the College. Thus, by the time he or she graduates, the student will have completed at least 1 unit, within at least one department, in each of the four divisions.
In fulfilling this requirement, students should pay careful attention to the relationships among disciplines, departments, and divisions. For example, .5 unit in MUSC (music) and .5 unit in ARTS (studio art) will not together satisfy a distribution requirement, because these two disciplines, though in the same division, are in separate departments. The charts summarize the distinctions among disciplines, departments, and divisions.
Students may earn 1 unit in a division by combining a course from an interdisciplinary program with an appropriate departmental course—but only if the interdisciplinary course is "cross-listed" in a department in this catalog. For example, ENVS 112, Introduction to Environmental Studies, is listed not only in the environmental studies section of the catalog but also in the biology section; thus, ENVS 112 may be paired with any biology course to satisfy the natural-science requirement. Note: Two such courses may be paired only if the interdisciplinary course is cross-listed in the catalog during the year it was undertaken. Thus, following the same example, if for some reason ENVS 112 is not cross-listed in biology during the year a student takes it, then that student may not combine it with a biology course to meet the requirement.
Kenyon considers achievement of language proficiency important for many reasons, among them:
- Language study forms part of the traditional foundation to the liberal arts because it leads to the rigorous study of texts in the original across many disciplines.
- Language study increases understanding of one's native language and of language in general.
- Language study provides insight into other cultures and cultural differences.
- Language study enables students to function in a global context.
- Knowledge of a foreign language increases one's desirability as a job candidate, particularly for leadership positions.
- Foreign language study requires structured learning and can therefore improve study skills.
Students must demonstrate a level of proficiency in a second language equivalent to one full year of college study. They may meet this requirement in any of the following ways: (a) by achieving a satisfactory score on a placement exam administered during Orientation; (b) by completing an introductory-level modern or classical language course at Kenyon; (c) by completing a language course elsewhere that is equivalent to an introductory-level Kenyon course, earning a satisfactory grade, and transferring the credit; (d) by earning language credit in a course in the Kenyon Academic Partnership program; (e) by earning a score of 3 or better on the College Board Advanced Placement test in a second language or literature; (f) in the case of Latin, by earning a score of 4 or 5 on any Latin Advanced Placement examination; or (g) by earning a score of 540 or higher on an SAT II modern language test. If the student seeks to meet the requirement through study of a language that is not offered at Kenyon, the student is responsible for providing documentation that is satisfactory to the registrar or to the chair of the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures. Likewise, if a student seeks to meet the requirement through an off-campus study (study-abroad) program other than one of the Kenyon-approved programs, the student must provide documentation that is satisfactory to the registrar or to the chair of the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures. Because Kenyon's introductory modern languages courses are taught as a single, year-long curriculum, it is not possible to take one semester of a language at another institution and complete the requirement by taking a second semester at Kenyon.
The student must earn a minimum of .5 Kenyon unit of credit in a course, or courses, designated as meeting the quantitative-reasoning requirement. These courses are marked "QR" in the course catalog. Advanced Placement courses will not satisfy this requirement.
In order to transfer credit to fulfill the QR requirement, a student must present to the Kenyon registrar evidence that the proposed transfer course is equivalent to a specific Kenyon QR course (a list of and descriptions of which are available on the registrar's Web page). For any proposed transfer course that does not correspond directly to a Kenyon equivalent, the student must supply explicit evidence that the course meets the specific criteria established for QR courses at Kenyon (e.g. it teaches students "to use statistical methods to analyze and interpret data," "to make inferences and decisions based on quantitative data," "to design experiments, and learn and apply data-collection methods," etc.) as a continuing theme in the course. In turn, the registrar will consult with the chair of the relevant department(s) to evaluate whether the proposed course is in fact equivalent to a Kenyon QR course or whether it adequately meets QR quidelines. The registrar, acting on behalf of the Curriculum Policy Committee, reserves the right to deny the transfer of QR credit. In every instance, the burden of proof falls to the student to present evidence that the QR criteria have been met; this evidence should take the form of course descriptions, syllabi, copies of assignments, and examinations. Whenever possible, students are urged to present transfer courses for the registrar's evaluation before enrolling in them.
Note: A course will satisfy the quantitative-reasoning requirement only if it is designated a QR course for the semester in which it has been taken. Students should be aware that a particular course may change in character from one year to the next, so that it may count as a QR course during one semester but not during another.
Quantitative-reasoning courses may focus on the organization, analysis, and implementation of numerical and graphical data; or they may involve learning mathematical ideas, understanding their application to the world, and employing them to solve problems. In QR courses, students will learn some or all of the following:
- To use statistical methods to analyze and interpret data.
- To make inferences and decisions based on quantitative data--for example, by developing and testing hypotheses.
- To critically assess quantitative information--for example, by reading and critiquing journal articles with quantitative information and analysis.
- To design experiments, and learn and apply data-collection methods--for example, by developing data in laboratory exercises.
- To use mathematical reasoning and the axiomatic method--for example, by using systems of symbolic logic.
- To develop and use mathematical models--for example, to predict the behavior of physical, economic, or biological systems.
- To learn and apply the basic ideas of probability, chance, and uncertainty.
- To understand and apply concepts in algorithms and computer programming.
- To communicate quantitative information and mathematical ideas--for example, by constructing and interpreting graphical displays.
A given QR course probably will not include all of these abilities, but every QR course will engage students in some of them. In courses identified with the QR tag, the use of quantitative reasoning is a major and continuing theme. Although the subject matter of QR courses will vary by department and discipline, the quantitative knowledge and skills developed will be applicable in a wide variety of settings.