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Undergraduate Programs

The Core Program for B.E. and B.S. degree students

The College of Arts & Letters (CAL) offers a broad education in the liberal arts for every Stevens student. It provides a wide range of introductory and advanced courses in traditional disciplines - literature, history, philosophy, the social sciences, art, and music. As befits the history and mission of Stevens, the College of Arts & Letters seeks to encounter the traditional humanities, social sciences, and fine arts with questions emerging from science and technology. Interdisciplinary work both across the programs at CAL and other programs at Stevens lets faculty and students realize the potential of these classical disciplines in the various fields of our knowledge-driven world.  Study of the liberal and fine arts is aimed at the development of an open and inquiring mind, and to prepare the Stevens student to confront the world both in a critical way and with empathy and imagination in respect to human concerns.  Such preparation requires cultural and historical literacy, a knowledge and appreciation of the rich intellectual, social and artistic heritage of humanity, and a thoughtful examination of its ethical and aesthetic values. A liberal education of this nature also demands the ability to reason clearly and analytically, and to write and communicate effectively. Therefore, the program emphasizes the practical exercise and development of writing and communication skills.

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The Freshman Experience

All incoming freshmen and transfer students beginning with the class entering in Fall 2011 are required to take CAL 103, Writing and Communications Colloquium, and CAL 105, CAL Colloquium: Knowledge, Nature, Culture, during their first two terms.  Students begin with one of these classes and take the other in the following semester, as placed by the Registrar.

No transfer or Advanced Placement credit is given for either CAL 103 or CAL 105.  Such credit may be applied to other CAL courses.

Students who earn a C-, D+ or D in CAL 103 must take CAL 90 - Writing Tutorial in the following semester in order to improve their writing skills; meeting twice weekly for one hour each session, this non-credit bearing course will be graded on a Pass-Fail basis.

All international freshmen are automatically enrolled in CAL 101, English Skills, during their first semester.  A language diagnostic is administered on the first day of classes.  Students who meet the requirements of the diagnostic transfer immediately to CAL 103 and do not take CAL 101.  Students who complete the CAL 101/CAL 103 sequence will take CAL 105 during the first semester of their sophomore year.  CAL 101 is a three-credit course, applicable to free elective credits (not CAL/Humanities credits).

Sophomore year and after

After completion of the Freshman Experience, students continue to complete the requirements in the College of Arts and Letters as designated by their school or program.  All Stevens undergraduate must complete or receive transfer credit for additional courses on the freshman/sophomore (100/200) and upper-division levels (300/400-level) for their respective B.E. or B.S. degrees.

The number of required additional courses beyond CAL 103/CAL 105 by discipline is:

Engineering: 4

Sciences/Math: 6

Computer Science: 5

Technology Management: 3

Beyond CAL 103/CAL 105, students may choose any humanities/social science course that qualifies for humanities credit (the former A/B distinction has been eliminated for students who enroll in or after fall 2011).  The following distribution requirements apply: At least one course must be at the 100/200-level and at least one course at the 300/400-level.  Courses must cover at least two different disciplines within CAL.  These courses may be taken in almost any order, but some upper-division classes in CAL have pre-requisites on the 100/200-level, and some programs strongly encourage students to take a 100/200-level class before undertaking upper-division classes.  Students should discuss their study plans with their CAL advisor regularly.

Note: Not all courses offered at the College of Arts and Letters fulfill general humanities requirements.  Among these are Art and Music courses, such as studio or lab classes, musical performance groups, internships, and English skills courses.  These courses may be taken as free electives in various programs.

Conversely, only classes taught at the College of Arts and Letters or classes approvable for transfer qualify for humanities credits.  CAL classes in the humanities and social sciences, and analogous classes in art, music, and theater, typically are designated as writing-intensive and include significant composition and oral communication requirements.  CAL classes also may be taken as general education electives in all disciplines as approved by advisors in students' areas of concentration.

The Minor Program at the College of Arts and Letters

Students can obtain a minor at the College of Arts and Letters.  They must submit a study plan to their CAL advisor or another faculty member at CAL.  Those completing the minor receive a certificate upon graduation.  Students have to achieve a C or better in each course of the minor.

CAL minors are based in tradition disciplines as well as in interdisciplinary programs.  Minors may be earned in:

  • History
  • Literature
  • Philosophy
  • Social Science
  • Art and Technology
  • Music and Technology
  • Theater and Technology

Interdisciplinary Minors:

  • Gender and Culture Studies
  • Pre-law and Pubic Policy
  • Science and Technology Studies
  • Science Writing
  • Turkish and Middle Eastern Studies

The minor requires a total of 9 humanities courses including the Freshman Experience (CAL 103 and CAL 105). Beyond these courses, a minimum of six courses in the minor discipline has to be taken. Depending on the discipline and with the approval of the advisor, these can be

  • one 100/200-level course and five upper-division (300/400-level) courses - OR
  • two 100/200-level courses and four upper-division (300/400-level) courses.

In addition, students must taken 1 upper division (300/400-level) course in a CAL discipline outside the minor field. All courses applied to the minor must qualify for general humanities credit (for specific requirements applying to a minor in art, music or theater please refer to the respective websites).

Summary of requirements for CAL minor:

  1. Freshman Experience: CAL 103 and CAL 105
  2. Six classes in the discipline of the minor: one (or two) 100/200-level plus five (or four) 300/400-level courses
  3. One upper division (300/400-level) class outside the minor discipline in another CAL discipline

Writing and Communications

The College of Arts and Letters offers the resources of a Writing and Communications Center (WCC) to help students with their written and oral assignments in all disciplines.  The WCC provides tutoring both on an individual basis.  Students are encouraged to take advantage of the various activities of the WCC as much as possible especially when encountering difficulties with writing and communication assignments.  Instructors in CAL can make it mandatory for students to have their assignments checked at the WCC before they are submitted for a grade.  Students also may take CAL 104, Writing and Communication II, to work more extensively on their English skills.

Advanced Placement and Transfer Credit

Working with CAL faculty, the Office of Admissions evaluates AP and transfer credit for incoming students.  After that, Stevens students are allowed to transfer credits for two lower- or upper-level humanities courses.  Courses for transfer credit must be the equivalent of courses at Stevens, including notably requirements for written and oral communication.  Credits for courses taken at community colleges will only be given for specific 100/200-level survey courses.  Students should get approval from a CAL advisor before taking a course elsewhere in hopes of transfer credit.  There is no transfer credit given for on-line courses of any kind.  Also, no transfer credit can be given for elementary foreign language courses; however, such language courses may be approved as general electives.

Cross-Registration with New York University

You may take courses in the College of Arts and Sciences at New York University through a special cross-registration program at no charge.  To have the course count towards a Stevens degree, you must be enrolled full-time in a regular Stevens degree program.  Please direct any questions to the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Academics at Stevens, (201) 216-5228.

The Single B.A. Degree Program

The College of Arts and Letters at Stevens offers a distinctive B.A. degree program in a variety of different humanistic and arts disciplines. Successful completion of the B.A. degree requires a secondary concentration in another discipline including but not limited to engineering, management, physics, chemistry, computer science, or even another humanistic discipline. This breadth of experience provides students with an opportunity to achieve significant competence in a scientific, technological, or professional field, and prepares them for a variety of careers. Moreover, the comprehensive and rigorous B.A. curricula of CAL provide the foundations and expertise necessary for graduate level work in the chosen field of study, or for professional programs in law, medicine, or management.

Students can earn a liberal arts degree by majoring in one of the following fields of study:

  • History
  • Literature
  • Philosophy
  • Social Science
  • Art and Technology
  • Music and Technology
  • Science and Technology Studies
  • Technology, Policy, and Ethics

Alternatively, an individualized inter-disciplinary program may be chosen upon approval of the CAL Curriculum Committee.

In the first two years, students study a broad core that starts with the Freshmen Experience, especially with the "CAL Colloquium: Knowledge, Nature, Culture" (CAL 105), which provides an introduction to all four humanistic disciplines taught at the College of Arts and Letters (History, Literature, Philosophy, Social Science), as well as to music and art. Students then take four 100/200-level classes, two of which have to be in the discipline of their major, and one or two additional 300/400-level classes.

Students pursue their CAL degrees while also enrolled in courses in computing, mathematics, and the sciences. During their second term, the two areas of concentration have to be identified. The major concentration must be in one of the humanistic fields. For a secondary concentration students may build on the basic courses in computing, mathematics, and science, and draw on the resources and courses available in other departments at Stevens. Secondary concentration programs are available in all the disciplines of the Institute. Alternatively, students may complete a minor in a second field within CAL. Although a limited number of electives is designated for the second concentration, the open electives can be used if greater depth is desired in the field.

In addition, students have to take CAL 301, Seminar in Writing and Research Methods. The class is taken in the second semester of the sophomore year. It provides the necessary preparation for serious academic work in the junior and senior year, as well as for the senior thesis which is required as a culmination of the major concentration. Alternatively, students can take a research methods class in their disciplines, such as HHS 301, Introduction to Historical Methods. Other discipline-specific classes may be available as well. Students also can take any other upper-division class in their major discipline and use it to fulfill special requirements in research and research writing. The advisor has discretion on which course may be used as a research methods class. A class taken as research methods class must be identified separately on the study plan and may not be declared after the fact. In addition to regular classes, research method classes can be taken either as a class by application or as tutorial.

During their last two years, students complete eight or nine 300/400-level courses at CAL. That is, in the course of four years, ten upper-division classes must be taken within CAL, eight of which have to be in the field of concentration. In addition, students have to take the following classes:

  • CAL 498, Thesis Research (first semester of senior year),
  • CAL 499, Senior Thesis (second semester of senior year)

Both classes carry three credits and require formal registration. Midterm and final grades (P/F) will be given. Students must pass CAL 498 in order to register for CAL 499. If CAL 498 has to be retaken, completion of the thesis will be postponed for one semester. The sequence of classes is necessary to insure adequate preparation for thesis writing. All CAL majors participate in CAL Senior Design Day.

Overview of required classes for single B.A. degree:

  • CAL 103 and CAL 105
  • 4 100/200-level classes (2 in the field of concentration
  • 10 upper-division (300/400-level) classes (8 in the field of concentration)
  • CAL 301
  • CAL 498 and CAL 499

There are various distribution requirements for the different majors, depending on the discipline. [List under construction.]

The B.A. Double Degree Program

In the double degree program, students can earn a B.A. degree in humanities/social science/arts while also obtaining a B.A. or B.S. degree.  Students may earn the double degree in four years at no additional cost by maintaining a 2.80 GPA and taking at least two CAL courses each semester, for a total of nineteen courses.  See the section entitled "Academic Procedures" in this catalog for more information.

Students may also complete the additional requirements within four years by taking summer or transfer courses.  They must complete the sequence and major concentration requirements for the single degree B.A. program, which also include CAL 301, Seminar in Writing and Research Methods; CAL 498, Thesis Research, and CAL 499, Senior Thesis.

The B.A. Double Major Program

One B.A. degree will be conferred on each students who earns a double major.  Transcripts will designate the two majors areas of concentration in the College of Arts and Letters.  Major disciplines include history, literature, philosophy, social sciences, art and technology, music and technology, as well as interdisciplinary majors.

The eight classes of the freshman/sophomore years are counted for both majors.  Students then have to take eight additional upper-division classes in each major area.  No upper-division course may be counted towards both majors.  For example: if the first major is in philosophy and the second in history, the two additional upper-division (300/400-level) classes that count toward the major in philosophy must be in a third discipline.  The same requirements hold for the combination with interdisciplinary majors.  All other requirements for the single major apply.  CAL 301, Seminar in Writing and Research Methods, only has to be taken in one of the major areas.

Students choose in which major to write the B.A. thesis.  The second major requires an extra tutorial course in addition to all the other requirements of the major with one of the following options in place of a second thesis:

  • research paper
  • creative project
  • portfolio
  • musical composition or curated exhibit
  • performance
  • other similar project approved and monitored by the student's faculty advisor in consultation with the student

Students may also opt for one thesis that incorporates both majors. This work must be more extensive in length and scope than the single degree thesis, and is subject to the approval of both advisors.


History Curriculum

Philosophy Curriculum

Social Sciences Curriculum

Literature Curriculum

Art and Technology Curriculum

Music and Technology Curriculum

Undergraduate Courses

Graduate Courses

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