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Academic Life

Academic Exploration

Your first year at DePauw is a time to explore your academic interests, your personal values, and your career and life goals. It is a time to begin building a solid foundation of skills, methodologies, and approaches that extend across several intellectual disciplines. This is the purpose of the Distribution Requirements for graduation. An investment in versatility and broad-mindedness will always yield dividends no matter the twists and turns of your life and work. Take every class seriously, but also play with the possibilities each brings; take every class as an opportunity to learn new things and make new connections.

The liberal-arts approach asks you to build mental bridges between points of information and experience so that your capacity to learn is constantly expanded. As an explorer, you cannot know too much, and you must constantly adapt to the discoveries you make. If you cannot even conceive of something, your journey stalls and your world remains small. Begin to make your world bigger and everyone’s world better. We encourage you to integrate your education and experiences into a meaningful whole that will allow you to move forward with knowledge, sensitivity, and the necessary skills and confidence to meet the challenges of the future. You have earned the rare opportunity to dedicate four years of your life to learning at a world-class institution. What will you do with that opportunity? Who will you become? What difference will you make in the world?

Where to Find Information

The pages in the menu on the left and the links in the lower left will help you with general and field specific advising. Be sure to read the Four-Year Advising Guide for an overview of how your college career might take shape. The link to the University Catalog will take you to the Graduation Requirements section. There have been some important changes in the graduation requirements for students entering in Fall 2012. Most of these are in the Writing Program. So take some time to read through this section carefully. The other sections of the University Catalog have complete descriptions of majors, course offerings, and many of the programs at DePauw.