Educational Objectives of Pitzer College

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.

(See Guidelines for Graduation for detailed descriptions.)


1. 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.

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

3. Critical Thinking, Quantitative Reasoning, 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 mathematics, statistics, quantitative/survey research methods, and
formal logic, students acquire the ability to reason quantitatively. By writing and communicating orally, students acquire the ability to express their ideas effectively and to persuade others.

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. 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.

For more information on how to fulfill these objectives, please consult with your advisor. Further information is available at the following links:

Graduation Requirements

Major Declaration Form

Guidelines for Graduation