Academic Programs

Certificate programs, service learning, international focus and study abroad, faculty-student research, funded internships, career advising, fellowships

A Connecticut College education is intellectually challenging and stimulating. With an environment shaped by strong student-faculty relationships, superior teaching and peers who are similarly engaged, students learn to think in ways they’ve never imagined before.

Here's a four-year overview of the comprehensive Connecticut College academic experience.

More than 40 majors, more than 1000 courses, great teaching

Connecticut College is a leader in interdisciplinary studies: We are structured to encourage both students and faculty to explore topics using the conceptual frameworks and tools of multiple academic disciplines. This results in creative new approaches to complicated issues, and innovative programs and courses in areas as varied as environmental studies, gender and women’s studies, behavioral neuroscience and musical theater. It starts with great teaching. We offer more than 40 majors plus opportunities for self-designed study, with 1,000 courses in the arts, sciences, humanities and social sciences. View the course catalog.

Study abroad opportunities

Connecticut College has a long history of international programs that prepare students to work and live in a global society. In 2009, the College received the Senator Paul Simon Award for Campus Internationalization from NAFSA: Association of International Educators, the world's largest professional international education association.

Our faculty are deeply engaged with the world through international research, fluency in foreign languages and cultures, and teaching a global curriculum. The International Commons, a new set of programs now being introduced, integrates international and global issues into the entire curriculum. The initiatives include new ways of studying languages, re-entry seminars for students studying abroad, international aspects to existing courses, and technology to promote language learning and cross-cultural knowledge. The Language and Culture Center in Blaustein 102 is a state-of-the art new media center promoting the learning of both language and culture, and the integration of international studies into the curriculum.

The certificate program of the Toor Cummings Center for International Studies and the Liberal Arts, known on campus as CISLA, is the College's most comprehensive international experience.

Study Abroad

Fifty-five percent of students spend a semester abroad during their four years, most commonly during junior year. Students may choose from approved programs offered by other institutions or the College's own Study Away/Teach Away (SATA) programs. These programs typically have enrollment limits, prerequisites or a competitive application process. Students should indicate their interest early to their academic or program adviser. Learn more about the College's international programs, including study-away programs, SATA (Study Away, Teach Away), TRIP (Travel, Research Immersion Program) and overseas internships.

Language Study

Connecticut College has strong programs in French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, Russian, Spanish and Arabic. We also offer beginning Hebrew as well as Greek, Latin and linguistics. Classes are small and enhanced with technology. Learn more about language study.

Advising and mentoring

Our students are closely guided and mentored as they assess their own abilities and interests and incorporate them into a program of study. With an array of learning options, students confront intellectual challenges and find lifelong passions. New students are assigned a pre-major faculty adviser and a student adviser before they arrive on campus and meet with them during Orientation. In many cases, the faculty adviser for an incoming freshman will also teach the student’s first-year seminar. Once your student has selected a major, he or she is assigned a faculty adviser in that department or program.

Academic Resource Center (ARC)

One of the campus's newest additions, the Academic Resource Center (ARC) provides students with tutoring, workshops and group study sessions to help them reach their highest potential. The center offers not only academic assistance, but also helps with time management and study skills. The ARC includes the Roth Writing Center, which provides one-on-one tutoring to assist students with their writing projects; Student Accessibility Services, which provides equal educational opportunities to students with disabilities; and a new quantitative skills program, which teaches quantitative analysis techniques such as statistical reasoning, reliable measurements and moderling empirical data. The ARC is currently located in Main Street West in the Plex, but will move into Shain Library.

For an overview of advising, see the Academic Advising section and Meet the Deans. The Office of the Dean of Studies can answer your questions about academic or social issues, including any aspect of the transition to college. The dean of student life and her staff are available for questions on any aspects of the outside-the-classroom experience. The LGBTQ Center and Unity House, the College’s multicultural center, offer peer mentoring by students. Other important mentors may include staff at the Women’s Center and the international adviser.

Centers and Certificates

Connecticut College is home to five interdisciplinary academic centers, each with a different focus: international studies, the environment, arts and technology, public policy and community action, and race and ethnicity. The first four offer certificate programs that can be combined with any major. These are among the College's most challenging academic opportunities.

Certificate students complete specialized coursework, a funded internship and a challenging senior integrative project. But the impact of the centers extends far beyond the approximately 12 percent of graduates who earn certificates each year. All five centers sponsor symposia, lectures and other activities that bring together faculty and students from every department.

In addition, the College offers an interdisciplinary certificate in museum studies, and students may earn Connecticut state teaching certification in elementary or secondary education. We also offer pre-law, pre-med, pre-health and pre-business programs.

Career development

Liberal arts education is the best preparation for life and career. Research shows that liberal arts graduates achieve at exceptionally high levels, and that employers consider the essential learning outcomes of a liberal arts education to be what employees need to be successful in professional life today.

Connecticut College has been ranked 11th nationally by The Princeton Review for its career services and job placement programs. Our philosophy is to help students begin planning for their future early in their college experience. We offer a structured four-year program through which students build their own unique educational experience. They identify strengths and interests, plan coursework and activities, look for a career-related junior-year internship, explore career options and get help with their post-baccalaureate plans.

First-year students start by creating an electronic portfolio to catalogue their accomplishments. Sophomores take a series of workshops geared toward identifying their interests and skills. They also begin meeting with a counselor in our Career Enhancing Life Skills program (CELS). Juniors typically focus on finding an internship that matches their goals. Seniors evaluate what they’ve done and learned, and then map out a plan for grad school, a fellowship or a job.

Our alumni are generous in sharing their time and expertise in helping students define their interests and goals and explore different options. Visit the "Life after CC' website.

Community service, service learning

The Office of Volunteers for Community Service (OVCS) works with students, staff, faculty and local partners to increase community engagement. Through service to others, students build skills that will help them be active and effective citizens the rest of their lives. Many opportunities are available. More than 500 students participate yearly.

The College’s commitment to community service goes far beyond traditional volunteerism. Our Holleran Center for Community Action and Public Policy promotes the development of community learning courses throughout the College. Community learning takes many forms, including internships, research and courses with required service components. The common denominator is the deliberate linking of service, academic study and structured reflection. The Holleran Center offers support to faculty for the development of community learning and works with OVCS on student placements.

Community/service learning classes link course content to real-world settings. Students in community learning courses provide direct service to local nonprofits, schools and government agencies. In addition to learning with professors and in classroom settings, students in these courses learn with a wide range of community people and organizations. At the same time, students can apply their knowledge and abilities to the common good by doing policy research for city offices, teaching math and science to middle school students, organizing public housing residents to address issues of safety and affordable housing, and increasing the capacity of health clinics for uninsured residents. Students also develop skills and values connected to democratic citizenship, political effectiveness, diversity, leadership, personal interactions and social responsibility.

Funded internships, research here and abroad

Seventy-eight percent of the students in the Class of 2014 did funded internships or academic research. Seventeen percent of these internships were outside of the United States.

Connecticut College has an unusually extensive program of internships and summer research opportunities, both with funding provided by the College. Students participate in one of these programs between their junior and senior years, receiving an educational award of up to $3,000 from the College.

Internship placements may be in business, government, academia or nonprofits; 17 percent are outside the United States. Some students use the internship to explore career options. Others use it to deepen their knowledge of an issue they have studied in class or to develop a concept for honors study or a senior thesis.

An alternative to the off-campus internship is summer research work with a faculty member on campus or in the field. The Keck and Jenkins undergraduate programs offer summer research stipends for students in the sciences and mathematics. The Connecticut College Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts Research Program (ConnSSHARP) offers summer research stipends in the humanities and social sciences. The stipends are awarded on a competitive basis, and the summer research work is typically continued into the academic year.

Fellowships and scholarships

The associate dean for fellowships and scholarships and the career office (CELS) help students identify and apply for postgraduate awards that provide life-changing opportunities. With the knowledge and skills gained during their undergraduate years, our students are in a prime position to compete for these awards.

Connecticut College is consistently recognized by the Fulbright Program as one of the top recipients of Fulbright Fellowships among liberal arts colleges. See the impressive list of fellowships and scholarship winners and learn about their experiences.

Learn more about how your student may consider applying for scholarships and fellowships.