Embrace diversity. Think creatively. Lead ethically.
Our undergraduate academic programs connect classroom theory with applied learning in the field, offering opportunities to actually get involved with the work. These hands-on experiences, required in every program, assure that you will develop practical career skills as well as an intellectually-intense educational experience. The typical Wells classroom is small and discussion-based, much like a graduate school. Your educational journey will also be supported by rich mentorship and advising as you work one-on-one with faculty throughout your course of study—and beyond. To broaden your academic opportunities even more, we also have close affiliations and articulation programs with nearby institutions such as Cornell University, the University of Rochester, and Columbia University that offer a variety of accelerated academic tracks.
As a field of inquiry, Africana studies analyzes the experiences of people of African descent wherever they live or have lived. It is inherently comparative, international, and multidisciplinary in approach. At Wells, the Africana minor allows students to delve into history, examine social context, and observe the current worlds that make up the continent of Africa and the worldwide diaspora.
Africana Studies is available as a minor.
Anthropology is the study of humankind, which encompasses such topics as the origin and development of human society; the nature of human diversity in the past and present; ethnocentrism, world view and the roots of culture; and the differing ways in which peoples have adapted to environments and to other human groups.
Anthropology is available as a minor.
Learn about different cultures and epochs of the past while gaining a deeper understanding of today's world through the study of art history. In addition to the required art history courses in the major, you should take two courses from history and/or religion. Students planning to pursue graduate study should also consider gaining a reading knowledge of French and German.
Art History is available as a concentration within the Visual Arts major or as a minor.
Explore areas which are at the interface of biology and chemistry. Conduct and present your own research, and pursue hands-on learning experiences based on your interests and career goals. You'll also get to work closely with top science professors who will challenge you to expand your horizons and support you as you apply what you have learned to new situations.
The Biochemistry and Molecular Biology major leads to a Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts degree.
In the Biological and Chemical Sciences bachelor's degree program, you will learn by doing, with opportunities to participate in discovery labs, exciting internships in the New York area and across the country, paid research opportunities, and study abroad programs that enable you to take your study of biology and chemistry around the world. At the same time, you'll benefit from the personal guidance and close mentorship of top faculty at a small, private liberal arts college that encourages and empowers you to create your own projects and discover new interests.
The Biological and Chemical Sciences leads to a Bachelor of Arts degree.
At Wells College, Cayuga Lake and surrounding areas are your classrooms! Study the science of life at Wells' scenic lakeside campus amid the wild natural areas of Aurora, New York. Hike through the surrounding woods for botany or dissect specimens for zoology. Voyage on Cayuga Lake on the interactive Floating Classroom. Work closely with top professors who are not only exceptional researchers in diverse fields of biology, but dedicated mentors who provide the encouragement to create your own projects and discover new interests.
The Biology major leads to a Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts degree and is also offered as a minor.
Learn first-hand the traditions and history of the book through courses in printing, bookbinding, calligraphy, and other topics. In the Book Arts program, you will work with skilled instructors on campus and through internships at prestigious institutions, preparing you for graduate programs in book arts and conservation. The senior capstone course culminates in a show of your work and a gala reception.
Book Arts is available as a concentration within the Visual Arts major or as a minor.
Prepare for a career in business in a hands-on bachelor's degree program that offers valuable learning experiences inside and outside the classroom. At Wells, you will have opportunities to work with area businesses to solve real-world business challenges, and even design your own business, empowering you and your fellow business students with the skills to build successful careers as business managers and entrepreneurs. At the same time, you'll have the experience of a small, private liberal arts college, working closely with top professors who bring real-world business experience to the classroom.
The Business major leads to a Bachelor of Science degree and is also offered as a minor.
Chemistry majors at Wells College are active participants in both the classroom and the laboratory, exploring and discovering how nature works at the atomic and molecular level. Modern equipment and engaging experimentation are a part of every class, with a focus on research and hands-on learning. We also offer cross-registration at Cornell University, giving you the opportunity to experience a variety of learning strategies and broaden your study of chemistry off-campus.
The Chemistry major at Wells College leads to a Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts degree and is also offered as a minor.
This interdisciplinary minor provides a focused study of the cognitive products of biological and nonbiological computational systems (e.g., humans and computers) including perception, attention, learning, memory, language, reasoning, decision making, problem solving, creativity, and action, as well as the instantiation of these functions in neural ‘hardware.’ Coursework across the disciplines allows for an examination and exploration of these issues at different levels of analysis and explanation (concrete to abstract).
Cognitive and Brain Sciences is available as a minor.
As a computer science major at Wells, you will work with modern computing systems and software, learning how to process and create code and apply the laws of technical systems to practical situations. The undergraduate program offers a variety of real-world learning experiences, including exciting internship and study abroad opportunities, a Business Idea Competition, and the chance to participate in professional research conferences.
The Computer Science major leads to a Bachelor of Arts degree and is also offered as a minor.
Why do people break laws, and what happens when they do? In the Criminal Justice bachelor's degree program at Wells College, you will connect and compare justice systems around the world, analyzing each through the critical lens of race, class, and gender to understand who benefits and who suffers and why. You can choose courses in the Criminal Justice program based on your interests and career goals, adding specialization and focusing your expertise in a specific area.
The Criminal Justice major leads to a Bachelor of Arts degree and is also offered as a minor.
Creative Writing is available as a concentration within the English major or as a minor.
The goal of the economics and management major is to provide students with thorough knowledge of basic principles, methods of inquiry and awareness of contemporary issues in economics and business. Individual and business decision-making is presented in a domestic and global context aimed at developing students’ intellectual curiosity, and analytical and critical capabilities. The curriculum includes core theory courses, cognates emphasizing quantitative skills, and electives in specific fields of the discipline with the conviction that a basic knowledge of economic and business decision-making is essential for numerous purposes. The major is multidisciplinary by nature, serving the needs of other majors including international studies, environmental science, and mathematical and physical sciences.
Students can choose a concentration in either economics or management as part of this program. The Economics and Management major leads to a Bachelor of Arts degree.
Economics is available as a concentration within the Economics and Management major or as a minor.
Students who major in Inclusive Childhood Education will be able to teach in both general and special education classrooms, grades 1-6, after successfully completing the required courses and student teaching and passing the required New York State certification exams. This major provides a strong base in current, effective pedagogy rooted in field-based methods courses that develop Wells students into reflective, knowledgeable educators.
The Inclusive Childhood Education major leads to a Bachelor of Science degree.
Students seeking certification in Adolescence Education choose a liberal arts major that will foster and support their own intellectual development and curiosity, and that aligns with the subject they wish to teach. Graduates will earn New York State certification to teach in a specific subject area for grades 7-12. Certification in biology, chemistry, English, history, mathematics, physics, social studies, and Spanish is available.
Students who are interested in education but either do not wish to or do not have time to complete the certification program may minor in education. Students completing the minor alone will have a strong foundation in education but will NOT be eligible for certification. They may, however, use this course work as a basis for graduate school in MAT programs.
Education is available as a minor.
English as a major includes the investigation of texts from British and American literature for their cultural and historical importance, for the manner in which they embody and express literary types and values, and for the ways in which they relate to the lives of those who experience them. The study of literature in all its forms enhances a student’s ability to think critically and observe closely. English students practice writing in different forms, including expository, critical, and imaginative. The ability to write clearly and effectively is essential for success in communication with others and in advancing in a field or career. Both literature and writing are a source of lifelong satisfaction which enables students to continue to discover and explore their selves and their place in the world, and thereby lead a richer, fuller, more examined life.
The English program offers concentrations in both Literature and Creative Writing, and leads to a Bachelor of Arts degree. English is also offered as a minor.
The major in environmental science guides students in examination and analysis of the earth and human-environment interaction, and develops the technical and scientific skills necessary to build a career related to the environment. Required courses in the major examine the following types of questions:
As a graduate of the program, not only will you develop a strong scientific understanding of environmental issues you can apply directly to a wide range of careers, you will also gain a deeper appreciation of nature's awesome beauty and its impact upon the human experience.
The Environmental Science major leads to a Bachelor of Arts degree and is also offered as a minor.
The title of the minor, First Nations and indigenous studies, indicates a primary focus on the peoples of North and South America while being inclusive of connections with indigenous peoples in other parts of the world such as Hawaii, Aotearoa (New Zealand), and Australia. The minor is multidisciplinary and reflects a wide range of academic viewpoints originating from psychology, history, anthropology, women’s and gender studies, and sociology, among others. Emphasized areas include histories, contemporary issues, environmental justice, social justice, oral and written literature, art, and law.
The First Nations and Indigenous Studies program is available as a minor.
The Global and International Studies Minor examines the complexity of global forces, factors and values, and the structures of the international world. The program focuses on the issues of the interconnections among individuals, societies, nation-states and non-governmental organizations and their systems, subsystems and the mechanisms in cultural, social, economic and political processes. As a result, students who choose this minor grow to understand the depth and importance of these connections through nuanced class discussions, cooperative hands-on work with their peers, and internship opportunities in professional organizations.
In courses tying together anthropology, political science, history, psychology, and other related topics, students build a framework for examining international events or organizations and forming their own analysis. They graduate with the ability to express this broad knowledge, prepared for a variety of careers in international politics or fieldwork.
The Health Care Management program is offered as a minor and is designed to supplement the major in Biological Sciences: Health Sciences.
History is the study of human societies, their changes and continuities. It attempts to make sense of the human experience, its complexities and ironies. History is truly interdisciplinary in its enquiry and, of necessity, in the nature of the tools used to understand people in the past. Historians do not merely compile data to tell a sequential tale. To be informed as well as is possible is the prerequisite to the equally important task of interpretation. The goal of historians is thus multifaceted.
Students who choose to major in history receive the training to develop skills in a number of areas. Some of them are how to research effectively; how to write on a complex topic in a way that is generally understandable, not mystifying; how to state one’s case orally as well as in written form; to discuss and defend one’s point of view drawing from evidence to substantiate and strengthen the argument; how to sift through large bodies of evidence to discover which is of more, which of lesser, importance to making sense of the topic; to develop the immensely valuable faculty of thinking historically, of seeing the fluidity and evolution over time of women, men, their attitudes and values, and the societies they have created and which contain them.
The History program leads to a Bachelor of Arts degree and is also available as a minor.
The minor in Holistic Health Studies prepares students for careers in both mainstream and alternative health professions within the context of a liberal arts education. Through intensive hands-on practice, theoretical analysis and research, reflective writing, and internship(s), students focus on sustainable, life-long health, developing self-awareness and engagement with community while learning marketable skills. Students completing the Holistic Health Studies minor will build a foundation for further study, working toward such careers as: physical therapist, personal trainer, massage therapist, dance/yoga instructor, athletic coach, nutritionist, or wellness coach.
Holistic Health Studies is available as a minor.
Set your own path with an individualized bachelor’s degree program designed based on your goals and interests! Students may propose a self-designed individualized major if they have an educational objective that would be better served than by pursuing one of the established majors at Wells College or by pursuing an established major and minor. Each individualized major is expected to meet the philosophical and educational goals of Wells College and to afford the student maximum exposure to the breadth and depth of a liberal education as well as an opportunity to undertake advanced work in an area of special interest. The individualized major must have a clear focus, and at least two disciplines must by substantially represented.
You will work with knowledgeable, dedicated faculty and staff to refine your degree plan, choosing a selection of focused courses and independent study projects in fields that relate to your career goals while building your knowledge and experience.
The major in international studies introduces students to contemporary international systems, the complex political, economic, environmental and cultural factors that affect relations among nation-states and peoples globally. Students majoring in international studies will acquire a knowledge of particular global and international issues and paradigms, as well as the ability to work effectively, innovatively, and creatively, in at least two geo-political and cultural areas of the world. Familiarity with a language other than ones native tongue and a balanced cultural knowledge are important components of this major. The major is designed to prepare Wells students to assume professional roles in our complex global environment.
The International Studies program leads to a Bachelor of Arts degree and is also available as a minor.
Literature is available as a concentration within the English major or as a minor.
Management is available as a concentration within the Economics and Management program or as a minor.
The marketing program is an interdisciplinary course of study for students who are interested in, or preparing for, a career in marketing (management, marketing and sales, accounting, media and advertising, branding and consumer behavior). Students who major in business may not minor in marketing.
The study of math teaches you more than a specific skill set: math teaches you how to think and imparts analytical and problem-solving skills you can apply to all kinds of careers and in day-to-day life. In the Mathematics bachelor's degree program at Wells College, you'll get to explore the many practical applications of math while gaining a well-rounded, liberal arts education that will position you for success in the job market or prepare you for advanced study in graduate school.
The mathematics program leads to a Bachelor of Arts and is also available as a minor.
This interdisciplinary program provides an exploration of theoretical, historical, and applied knowledge pertaining to museum management and programming. Museum Studies trains students in the technical practice of museum curation, including subjects such as business, visual organization and design, archaeology, and arts management. Given the broad relevance of Museum Studies skills, students may approach the minor from a variety of disciplines, with particular parallels with social and physical sciences, history, and art. In combining this specialized type of organizational knowledge with a major in a specific fields, students gain a foothold in the area of their own choosing.
Students combine this specialization in a field with hands-on work in Wells' discussion-based classes; internships on one of many local arts, history, or regional interest museums; and even opportunities to get involved in the College's own art collection and archive or String Room Gallery. As a result, they graduate with a familiarity and proficiency needed to pursue a career in museum work.
Museum Studies is available as a minor.
The major in philosophy focuses on developing rigorously critical and creative thinking across a wide range of issues, from the purely theoretical to the specific and practical, from such questions as the nature of objectivity to whether meat-eating is morally permissible. It emphasizes problem-solving, methods for resolving conflicting positions, and cultivation of the moral imagination and expansion of human sympathies. It also advances understanding and appreciation of relationships between the various disciplines and fields of study. It accomplishes these goals by means of a combination of historical, analytical, and synthesizing studies. This kind of philosophical work prepares students for a variety of positions that call for clear, rigorous, creative, and humane analysis and judgment.
The Philosophy program leads to a Bachelor of Arts degree.
The minor in philosophy and religion is an integrated selection of courses designed to underscore the importance of free inquiry, critical reflection, and reasoned discourse in the interchange of ideas and issues between these areas.
Philosophy and Religion is availabe as a minor.
Explore everything from the largest galaxies to the smallest particles as a physics major at Wells College. You'll study the fundamental laws of nature through investigation and mathematical formulation and examine the roles of computers in the sciences. You'll also learn how physics interconnects with other sciences through an interdisciplinary, liberal arts program that will enable you to bring a broad perspective to any problem. Hands-on learning opportunities in the New York region and beyond enable you to apply your learning to real-world challenges, discover your interests, and prepare for career success.
The Physics program leads to a Bachelor of Arts degree and is also available as a minor.
At the heart of political science analysis is the question of the struggle for power. Thus, the major exposes students to changing paradigms and schools of thought centered on how institutional and individual power is gained, organized, used, lost or abused. The major introduces students to the various methods, concerns, and analytical issues in the basic subfields of the discipline: American politics, comparative politics, international relations, and political theory.
In this major, students will acquire broad skills regarding the analysis of, and critical knowledge about: the agencies, functions and structures of the institutions of power; the nature of political behavior; and the principles and processes of governance. It prepares students for careers in government, law, development, non-governmental organizations, educational institutions, and research areas.
The Political Science program leads to a Bachelor of Arts degree and is also available as a minor.
The field of psychology addresses the questions of how humans act, know, develop, and interact. We focus on the scientific study and understanding of human behavior and the mind with an emphasis on developmental, social, cognitive, educational, and clinical aspects. Internships and service learning give students opportunities to learn experientially how to bridge theory and practice. Cross-cultural approaches are included in many courses and students are encouraged to experience another culture through offcampus study or study abroad. Psychology is a diverse discipline and thus provides a solid background for graduate studies at the master’s and doctoral levels in a variety of fields, such as social work, law, teaching, medicine, forensics, and clinical and counseling psychology.
The Psychology program leads to a Bachelor of Arts degree and is also available as a minor.
Religious Studies is available as a minor and requires coursework exploring religious civilizations, cultures, and traditions across the world.
This minor provides students with an interdisciplinary perspective on issues pertaining to health, health care and health administration in our society. It develops a base of scientific and philosophical knowledge as well as opportunity for direct experience with health care settings and issues.
Science, Health, and Values is available as a minor.
Anthropology and Sociology examine humanity from global systems to inter-personal interaction. These sister disciplines help us to understand social structures and individual roles within them, the effects of colonialism on colonies and colonial powers, oppression and privilege, imperialism and self-determination and local responses to global conditions. The sociological imagination and the anthropological perspective together help us to understand how we both affect and are affected by the social and physical world around us. This major provides students with an understanding of the dynamics of culture, cultural survival, ethnicity, race, gender, class, sexuality, etc., and the foundations for conducting research so they will be able to participate in the creation of a more equitable and sustainable world.
The Sociology and Anthroplogy program leads to a Bachelor of Arts degree. Students can also choose to minor in Anthropology or Sociology.
Spanish program at Wells links the study of languages, literatures, and cultures with a required semester of off-campus study, teaching you how to communicate, work creatively, and appreciate life in a pluralistic world. Spanish majors gain new respect for the unique contributions and identities of diverse interconnected cultures and societies, while working in the supportive learning community of a small, private liberal arts college. At the same time, you will prepare to enter a growing array of professional careers that reward foreign language competence, cross-cultural experiences, and international perspectives.
The Spanish major leads to a Bachelor of Arts degree and is also available as a minor. At least one semester of study in a Spanish-speaking country is required.
The sport management minor engages students in various sports industry management theories and issues facing modern sport and athletics. Courses encompass varying levels of modern sport including professional, intercollegiate, interscholastic, youth and recreational.
Sport Management is available as a minor.
Produce your own work and receive individualized instruction in painting, drawing, two and three-dimensional design, sculpture, photography, ceramics, and other areas of visual expression in the Studio Art concentration. As a graduating senior, you’ll exhibit your art in the String Room Gallery as the capstone to your academic work.
Studio Art is available as a concentration within the Visual Arts major or as a minor.
The Sustainability major recognizes the environment as a physical, social, cultural, and psychological entity that is threatened by many forms of human activity. It further recognizes that humanity can make a difference by developing multifaceted solutions that will help us to exist as a species, create a just and equitable society, and maintain a healthy planet.
The Sustainability program leads to a Bachelor of Arts degree and is also available as a minor.
We all eat. But what we eat—and where we get what we eat—significantly impacts our world. The sustainable food systems program enables you to investigate the challenges of the current global food system by exploring the cultural meanings of food and the social and physical conditions under which we grow and consume foods. You will also acquire the skills needed to help build a more sustainable world—skills that easily translate to complement any major. Internships are available at area organic farms and farmers' markets, as well as organizations abroad.
Sustainable Food Systems is available as a minor.
The theatre major provides a program of study that prepares students for a wide range of careers in the performing arts, including acting, design, stage management, arts management, producing, directing, teaching and technical theatre. Students will gain experience in peer leadership and the creative process. Hands-on learning is supported and enriched by the study of history and theory, which informs the interpretive technique of the theatre artist and fosters intellectual curiosity and cross-cultural awareness. The theatre major serves students with strong problem-solving skills and a sense of discipline and personal responsibility.
The Theatre program leads to a Bachelor of Arts degree and is also available as a minor.
The visual arts as a major area of study offers students the opportunity to develop:
The Visual Arts program leads to a Bachelor of Arts degree.
Students will gain experience in print and web design, introducing them to skills needed for careers in fields such as communications, advertising, or publishing. The minor will combine coursework in Visual Arts and Business, with options to further intensify skills in related content areas.
Visual Communications is available as a minor.
The objectives of the women’s and gender studies major are: to acquaint students with historical and cultural perspectives on gender roles, particularly as experienced by women, in order to facilitate understanding of complex, interconnected systems of oppression; to investigate and explore the formation of gender/ed identities and the relationships between variously gendered persons within local communities and crossculturally; to familiarize students with the ways in which women’s and gender studies has incorporated questions of power and gender into the practice of academic scholarship; to inquire about and contribute to the on-going transformations of scholarly methods and approaches; to interrogate the neglect of women by traditional academic disciplines and to advocate for continual interdisciplinary change; and to analyze social and political issues as they pertain to the social construction of difference. The goal of these objectives is to prepare students to become active, affective, and effective agents in the world.
The Women's and Gender Studies program leads to a Bachelor of Arts degree and is also available as a minor.
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