Academics

Case Western Reserve University is dedicated to offering educational programs that enable you to:

  • Achieve disciplinary literacy in one of more major fields;
  • Acquire educational breadth through study across the natural sciences, humanities and arts, and social sciences;
  • Learn to think critically and to communicate effectively.

We have designed our programs to foster the development of integrity, creativity, leadership and societal engagement.

For help in choosing a field of study from the approximately 60 options offered, make sure you seek advice from first-year or departmental advisors, faculty members and deans, all of whom stand ready to assist you. If your educational and career goals are better served through an individualized course of study, you may pursue academic programs of your own design through a Dean's Approved Major.

Those of you with broad educational interests and goals may pursue two or more majors. You may wish to accelerate your undergraduate and graduate or professional studies by earning the opportunity to begin advanced study toward a graduate or professional degree.

BA, BS and Beyond

Case Western Reserve offers a broad range of programs in the liberal arts and sciences, engineering, management, accountancy, and nursing leading to the Bachelor of Arts (BA), and the Bachelor of Science (BS) degrees. The BA is available in more than 40 fields in the humanities and arts, the social and behavioral sciences, and the natural sciences and mathematics. In addition, BS programs are offered in accounting, computer science, the natural sciences, mathematics, statistics, art education, music education, management, nursing and nutrition for a total of 18 programs. The BS in engineering is available in 13 major fields.

Combined Studies

If you are a highly motivated student who satisfies program prerequisites and gains early admission to a graduate or professional degree program at Case Western Reserve, you may begin work toward the advanced degree during your undergraduate career. The Integrated Graduate Studies program as well as the BS/MS and BS/MA programs enable you to count selected course work toward both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree. The Senior Year in Professional Studies enables Bachelor of Arts students admitted early to the schools of dental medicine, medicine, nursing or applied social sciences to enter a professional degree program at the beginning of their senior year and receive the BA upon successful completion of the first year of professional school studies.

Minors

You have the option of completing a minor in a discipline other than the major. A minor concentration normally requires 15 to 18 semester hours and will be indicated on your transcript.

SAGES

The Seminar Approach to General Education and Scholarship (SAGES) was initiated as a pilot program in 2002, and was fully implemented in the fall of 2005. The SAGES curriculum, comprised of thematic seminars, a writing portfolio of seminar papers, a departmental seminar and a senior capstone experience, provides a common basis for all bachelor's degrees. As a SAGES student, you begin the program in your first undergraduate year with a first seminar that focuses on critical thinking and communication. In subsequent semesters, you and the other students will enroll in two university seminars, in which specific topics selected by faculty become the focus for thinking about the natural world, the symbolic world or the social world. The seminars give special emphasis to writing skills, information literacy, quantitative reasoning, and ethical decision making. The departmental seminar(s) follows up on the skills learned in the first two years and applies them to your specific area of study. In your senior year, your capstone allows you to complete a self-designed project, usually research based, that finishes off your SAGES curriculum.

Experiential Learning

You have the opportunity to engage in experiential learning beyond campus classrooms and laboratories, in disciplines as diverse as psychology, journalism, engineering, foreign language, nursing, anthropology, history and biology. Under the guidance of faculty, you could work with hospitalized children, design engineering solutions for real-world problems, intern at a local media outlet, tutor in Cleveland's Hispanic community, gain experience in public health clinics, study history with the "city as classroom" or collect aquatic specimens from the ponds at the university's 389-acre farm. Details about all of these programs are available from the Office of Undergraduate Studies and from the individual departments.

International Experience

Qualified students may participate in programs of study or practical experience that immerse them in the culture and language of another country. Up to 36 semester hours of credit may be granted for study as an exchange student or study-abroad student at an established foreign university or an approved foreign-study program offered through an American institution.

The Global Engineering Education Exchange (GE3) program enables qualified engineering and computer science students to study at selected engineering institutions and universities in Europe, Asia, Mexico and Australia, and to have an internship experience in a foreign setting.

Bilateral exchange agreements enable students from overseas to attend Case Western Reserve as visiting students and permit our undergraduates to receive academic credit for study at a number of institutions around the globe.

Full-time undergraduate students who have earned a 3.0 grade point average are eligible to apply for the Study Abroad program. In recent years, undergraduates have studied in Argentina, Australia, Austria, Chile, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kenya, New Zealand, Russia, Scotland, South Africa and Spain.

If spending a semester or longer abroad isn’t your style, there are still opportunities to engage in foreign travel through the university. The Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences and the Department of Bioethics both offer spring, winter and summer break trips to locations including Amsterdam, Salamanca, Bangladesh, Paris, Costa Rica and Buenos Aires. These trips are all worth class credit. School of Applied Social Sciences and the Department of Bioethics both offer spring, winter and summer break trips to locations including Amsterdam, Salamanca, Bangladesh, Paris, Costa Rica and Buenos Aires. These trips are all worth class credit.

Members of the Engineers Without Borders participate on service trips to the Dominican Republic, Cameroon and Thailand, while other students have had trips sponsored by the Inamori Center for Ethics. Visit the Office of Education Abroad for a full listing of opportunities.

CCEL hosts and supports community service Alternative Spring Break trips that enable students to get involved in service beyond Cleveland. Rather than engage in typical break activities, students on Alternative Breaks engage in projects with non-profit organizations and community members in different cities and countries. In the past, CCEL has offered Alternative Spring Break trips to Nicaragua, New Orleans, and Cumberland Island, GA.

Community Service

Learning through community service, an important component of our educational programs, is facilitated by the Center for Civic Engagement and Learning. Community service is incorporated into selected courses that engage you and your fellow students in tutoring and helping to build relationships with children, adolescents and older adults in Cleveland’s diverse ethnic communities, schools and healthcare settings. If you want to be more involved, attend the CCEL Community Service Fair held the first Friday of each semester.

Career Guidance

Job hunting doesn't necessarily start only after your junior year. You can find career guidance that fits your development progress starting during your first year. The Career Center has a four-phase plan that provides guidance on internship, co-op or practicum beginning during your first year and progressing through graduation. The Career Connection Program with the Alumni Association offers you an interactive career discovery experience through shadowing an alumnus.

Cooperative Education (Co-op) is a formalized academic program that enables students to alternate classroom studies with career-based experiences in industry. It is a learning experience designed to integrate classroom theory with practical experience and professional development. The Co-op Program is available to both undergraduate and graduate students. The undergraduate Co-op Program is available to full-time students in the engineering and science disciplines.

If you are pursuing a major in the College of Arts and Sciences or in the Weatherhead School of Management, the Practicum Program allows you to include a paid workplace experience in your undergraduate program that promotes intellectual, professional and personal growth. Contact the Career Center if you are interested in adding a practicum program to your undergraduate experience.

Research and Creative Projects

In 2004, the Office of the President and the Provost established the SOURCE (Support for Undergraduate Research and Creative Endeavors) office to assist and encourage undergraduate students to participate and engage in research and creative projects, on- and off-campus. A director and small staff provide resources, funding and support for undergraduates who wish to pursue this opportunity. SOURCE also sponsors a Symposium and Poster Session in the spring to showcase undergraduate students' efforts.

Most departments offer advanced-level courses in independent study to their qualified majors. Students pursuing research under the guidance of a faculty member may register for an independent study and receive degree credit.

Research ShowCASE

Every April, hundreds of researchers, scientists, and scholars come together from all across the university to share their work in the Research ShowCASE. This two-day event features poster presentations and interactive demonstrations, and it is open to members of the university community ranging from undergraduates to tenured professors. The ShowCASE is a good opportunity to show off what you've done or to see what other members of the university are up to.

Collaborative Programs with Other Institutions

Full-time undergraduates in good academic standing may cross-register through the Northeast Ohio Council on Higher Education program at Baldwin-Wallace University, the Cleveland Institute of Art, the Cleveland Institute of Music, Cleveland State University, Cuyahoga Community College, David Myers College, Hiram College, John Carroll University, Lake Erie College, Lakeland Community College, Lorain County Community College, Notre Dame College of Ohio and Ursuline College for one course per semester.

Located in Nashville, Tenn., Fisk University has a distinguished history as a liberal arts institution. The Fisk University Exchange Program allows up to four Case Western Reserve students to spend a semester as visiting students at Fisk each year. In addition, up to four Fisk students may spend a semester at Case Western Reserve each year.

Academic Advising

Academic advising is an important component of the educational program at Case Western Reserve. Advisors assist in the exploration of academic opportunities at the university and in the selection of courses. You should initiate and maintain regular contact with your advisors. You are responsible for obtaining required permissions and approvals relating to registration, major and minor declaration, and graduation.

In your first year, your academic advisor will be your SAGES first seminar instructor, who, together with representatives from academic departments, will assist you as you plan a course of study. When formally declaring a major (and/or minor), you will visit the department chair or academic representative, who will assign a faculty departmental advisor. Meet regularly with your advisor to ensure that you are making satisfactory progress toward graduation and are aware of academic and professional opportunities in your field of study.

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