Educational Objectives

As a liberal arts college with a strong curriculum in the social and behavioral sciences, Pitzer presents a unique opportunity for self-exploration and for exploration of the world. The College expects students to take an active part in planning their course of study, bring a spirit of inquiry and adventure to planning that course of study, and to work hard to meet the intellectual goals of a Pitzer education. To guide students and their advisers, the College has six educational objectives.

Pitzer CollegeStudents meet with workers at the Pomona Day Labor Center

Breadth of Knowledge. The human experience is the center of a Pitzer education. By exploring broadly the programs in humanities and fine arts, natural sciences and mathematics, and social and behavioral sciences, students develop an understanding of the nature of human experience-its complexity, its diversity of expression, its continuities and discontinuities over space and time, and the conditions which limit and liberate it.

Understanding in Depth. By studying a particular subject in depth, students develop the ability to make informed, independent judgments.

Critical Thinking, Formal Analysis, and Effective Expression. By comparing and evaluating the ideas of others and by participating in various styles of research, students develop their capacities for critical judgment. By exploring mathematical and other formal systems, students acquire the ability to think in abstract, symbolic ways. By writing and communicating orally, students acquire the ability to express their ideas effectively and to persuade others.

Interdisciplinary Perspective. By integrating the perspectives of several disciplines, students gain an understanding of the powers and limits of each field and of the kind of contribution each can make; students learn how to understand phenomena as a complex whole.

Intercultural Understanding. By learning about their own culture and placing it in comparative perspective, students appreciate their own and other cultures, and recognize how their own thoughts and actions are influenced by their culture and history.

Concern with Social Responsibility and the Ethical Implications of Knowledge and Action. By undertaking social responsibility and by examining the ethical implications of knowledge, students learn to evaluate the effects of actions and social policies and to take responsibility for making the world we live in a better place.

Pitzer College encourages students to pursue these educational objectives during their undergraduate years and throughout their lives.

Satisfying the Objectives

Prior to midterm of the first semester of the junior year, students will complete, in cooperation with their advisers, the Major/Educational Objectives form identifying the courses or other work through which students have met or intend to meet each of the guidelines stated above. Students should begin discussion of these Educational Objectives in their first year at Pitzer as they plan their course schedules.

Copies of the completed Major/Educational Objectives form will be kept by the Registrar's Office, the students, and the advisers. The list of courses or work may be revised upon discussion and with the agreement of the advisers at any time. It is hoped that the formulation and later revisions of the statement will provide contexts for mutual, creative interaction between students and advisers in shaping a program that meets the Educational Objectives of the College and of the individual student.

Students and advisers will review the Major/Educational Objectives form at the beginning of the first semester of the senior year to assure that students have satisfied and/or are making satisfactory progress toward completion of the guidelines stated above.

At the beginning of the students' final semester, the advisers will verify with the Registrar that the students will have met all the guidelines by the end of the semester (when the academic program is completed as proposed). Students will have to satisfy each of the guidelines in order to graduate. In the case of disputes between students and advisers, appeals can be made to the Academic Standards Committee.