Departments and Courses

Departmental Information

All of the departmental information contained in this section of the Academic Catalog was accurate as of May 1, 2009. Any departmental changes made after that date will not be reflected here. Information on changes may be obtained from the respective department or from the Registrar's Office in the Ferguson Student, Technology, and Administrative Services Building.

Course Numbering System

The following lists include all courses normally offered at Albion College. However, not all courses are offered every year. When possible, courses offered in alternate years are designated. For details, students should consult the Class Schedule for each semester, available online at: The College reserves the right to add or withdraw courses without prior announcement, as conditions may require.

Unless otherwise stated, 100 level courses are intended for freshmen, 200 level for sophomores, 300 and 400 level for juniors and seniors.

A list of courses which meet the core and category requirements, organized by departments, is available online at

Further information may be obtained at the Registrar's Office in the Ferguson Student, Technology, and Administrative Services Building.

Anthropology and Sociology
Art and Art History
Communication Studies
Computer Science
Economics and Management
Ethnic Studies
Geological Sciences
International Studies
Library Services
Modern Languages and Cultures
Physical Education
Political Science
Religious Studies
Theatre and Dance
Women's and Gender Studies
Liberal Arts Core Courses
Interdisciplinary Courses
Honors Institute Courses
Interdepartmental Majors

Refund Policy During the Semester

If a student withdraws or is suspended or expelled from Albion College during a semester, then the student may be eligible for a refund of a portion of the tuition, fees, room and board paid to Albion College for that semester. If the student received financial assistance from outside of the family, then a portion of the refund will be returned to the grant, scholarship or loan source from which that assistance was received.

If a student plans to withdraw, then the student should complete the Mid-Semester Withdrawal Notification Form, available from the Student Affairs Office, to begin the withdrawal process. This procedure will enable Albion College to refund the maximum possible institutional charges.

Two formulas exist for determining the amount of the credit: Albion's refund policy and a federal formula (Return of Title IV Aid) derived from the 1998 reauthorization of the Higher Education Act. The federal formula is applicable to any student receiving federal aid other than Federal Work-Study if that student withdraws on or before completing 60 percent of the semester. These students may also receive a refund of non-federal aid through Albion's refund policy. Students not receiving federal aid will have their refund calculated using only Albion's refund policy.

Albion's refund policy is as follows: Students who withdraw from Albion College may receive a pro-rated refund of tuition and board fees, according to the following schedule:


Institutional Refund


Institutional Refund

1 75% tuition/pb* 7-14 Pro-rated board
2-6 40% tuition/pb* 15-16 No refund

*Pb=pro-rated board fees

The federal formula provides for a return of Title IV aid if the student received federal financial assistance in the form of a Pell Grant, Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, Perkins Loan, Federal Family Educational Loan Program or PLUS loan and withdrew on or before completing 60 percent of the semester. The percentage of the return is equal to the number of calendar days remaining in the semester divided by the total number of calendar days in the semester. Scheduled vacation periods of more than four days are excluded.

If any refund remains after the return of Title IV aid, the refund will be used to repay Albion College funds, state funds, other private sources and the student in proportion to the amount received from each non-federal source if there was no unpaid balance due at the time of withdrawal. If there was an unpaid balance, then all aid sources will be repaid before any money is paid to the student.

If funds were released to a student because of a credit balance on the student's account, then the student may be required to repay some of the federal grants or loans released to the student.

Students who have questions about the refund policy should contact the Financial Aid Office.


About Albion College

An independent, coeducational, residential college founded more than 170 years ago, Albion is committed to the liberal arts tradition. Historically related to the United Methodist Church, the College is dedicated to preserving the values of the past, to serving the needs of the present and to anticipating the goals of the future.

Albion College's Mission
The Purpose of the College
Albion College Diversity Statement

Albion's People and Programs

Albion's strength is the quality of its faculty and students. The stimulating atmosphere at Albion results in large measure from its faculty, who are dedicated to teaching and scholarship in the liberal arts setting. They have distinguished credentials--95 percent of the faculty have the Ph.D. or the highest appropriate professional degree in their field. Faculty are active in scholarly research and other professional endeavors, and often integrate that work into their teaching. Albion's students are also well qualified. Their combined SAT scores average 1160, and their ACT composite score averages 25; both rank Albion students well above the national average.

The faculty and administrative staff at Albion are deeply committed to the careful education of students and to their development as lifelong learners and as human beings. Accordingly, most classes are small (the average class size is 18), and students have ample opportunity for individual attention. Further, professors spend many hours outside the classroom in individual tutorials, and in academic and career advising.

Through the core requirement, Albion addresses the need for breadth of knowledge and understanding of various modes of inquiry. Through more than 30 departmental, interdepartmental and individually designed majors and minors, students also undertake intensive work in one or more fields within the humanities, natural sciences, social sciences or fine arts. This broad exposure to the liberal arts encourages students to think critically and creatively, to develop their powers of written and spoken expression, and to deepen their understanding of moral and ethical issues.

Beyond these departmental offerings, students have the opportunity to join one of Albion's six Institutes to obtain real-world experience and prepare for a career, and to participate in a variety of interdisciplinary study programs. For further exploration and analysis of topics that interest them, they may pursue original research, with support from the Foundation for Undergraduate Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity.

The core curriculum, majors and minors, Institutes, and the Foundation for Undergraduate Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity are central to Albion College's vision for a liberal arts education in the twenty-first century. Wise choices from among these educational programs enable students to acquire the special qualifications they need for gaining entry to graduate and professional schools and for entering satisfying careers in many fields.

The College also offers curricular, residential and extracurricular programs that build a sense of community and stress opportunities for developing citizenship. On campus, the network of student organizations encourages the learning of group participation skills. The same organizations have community outreach programs that give Albion students the chance to operate as citizens of the City of Albion. Internships and off-campus programs--many conducted cooperatively with other colleges in the Great Lakes Colleges Association--involve students in regional, national and world citizenship as well.

Albion's Setting

Albion College is located in a small community, rich in ethnic diversity, that was founded in 1835 at the "forks" of the Kalamazoo River. Located in the heart of the City of Albion, the College has an unusually attractive and well-maintained campus.

Around its central quadrangle, numerous well-equipped classroom buildings, libraries and laboratories support learning and teaching. Just beyond, attractive residence halls, housing cooperatives, College-owned apartments and fraternity houses provide a variety of living arrangements for both independent and affiliated students and for small and large groups. A short walk leads to the largest of several well-groomed city parks, to the College's theatre and athletic facilities, and to our scenic 144-acre Whitehouse Nature Center.

An Albion education, then, is a distinctive composite of people and programs. The members of Albion's family, extended in time over more than 170 years and in space all around the globe--its students and alumni, its faculty and administration, its trustees and friends--have long attested to the value of this special blend. The achievement of Albion's program can be measured in the success of its graduates in living richly fulfilling lives, many of them as leaders in their fields and communities.

Albion's Accreditation

Higher Learning Commission Mark of AffiliationAlbion College is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association (Web address: and telephone: 312/263-0456).


Albion College is also accredited by these nationally recognized groups:

American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education
1307 New York Avenue, N.W., Suite 300
Washington, D.C. 20005-4701
Telephone: 202/293-2450
World Wide Web:

American Chemical Society
1155 16th Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20036
Telephone: 800/227-5558
World Wide Web:

Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE)
2201 Double Creek Drive
Suite 5006
Round Rock, TX 78664
Telephone: 512/733-9700
World Wide Web:

National Association of Schools of Music
11250 Roger Bacon Drive, Suite 21
Reston, Virginia 20190
Telephone: 703/437-0700
World Wide Web:

Any current or prospective student who wishes to review the College's accreditation documents should contact the Office of the Provost.

As part of the accreditation requirements for the North Central Association, Albion College has established assessment procedures for all academic programs as well as the general education requirement. The procedures are designed to assess the academic achievement of students as a group rather than individually. All students are required to participate in all assessment activities that the College deems necessary.

Albion College is also listed as a United Methodist-affiliated institution by the University Senate of the United Methodist Church, Nashville, Tennessee. More information may be obtained at 615/340-7399 or on the World Wide Web:

Albion College's Mission


Albion College is nationally recognized for its academic excellence in the liberal arts tradition, a learning-centered commitment, and a future-oriented perspective. The College is a leader in preparing students to anticipate, solve, and prevent problems in order to improve the human and global condition. The College immerses students in the creation and processing of knowledge, and graduates skilled architects of societal change, active citizens, and future leaders.


Albion College is an undergraduate, liberal arts institution committed to academic excellence. We are learning-centered and recognize that valuable learning takes place in and outside the classroom, on and off campus. We prepare students to translate critical thought into action.


As a measure of Albion College’s commitment to our students, our public, and the liberal arts tradition, the vision espouses deeply-embedded core values.

We value:

  • An intellectually challenging and diverse community of learners, teachers, scholars, and thinkers who share and promote a passion for learning and innovation in teaching and scholarship;
  • Our passionate, loyal, and committed alumni;
  • Diversity as an expression and affirmation of the human condition and as a source of strength and celebration for all members of the community;
  • Fairness, justice, ethical development, and personal responsibility;
  • Small classes and personal attention in a residential undergraduate environment where the daily interaction of faculty, staff, and students fosters critical thinking, advances knowledge through collaborative scholarship, respects academic freedom, and inspires lifelong learning;
  • Disciplinary and interdisciplinary study;
  • Intellectual, personal, social, ethical, and spiritual development within our local and global communities that prepares graduates for productive lives and careers; a breadth and depth of opportunities and experiences; and, the drive to help each other make meaningful and educated contributions to our world;
  • Effective stewardship of all our resources—physical, intellectual, environmental, human, and financial; we strive to make decisions that are fiscally responsible;
  • Opportunities for collegiality based on shared interests for the common good that lead to rich friendships among faculty, staff, students, alumni, and the greater Albion community.

Approved by the Albion College Board of Trustees, October 24, 2008.

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