A unique part of the Claremont McKenna College experience, a sequence serves as a way to look at majors through an interdisciplinary lens. According to the CMC website, a sequence is officially a series of approved courses related to a subject offered at the Claremont Colleges. Rather than belonging to a specific department like minors, sequences span across multiple academic departments and, in turn, help students identify areas of interest or concentrations of study.
When asked about her experience with sequences, Elaine Wang ‘18 said, “My studies in the Asian American studies sequence have helped me develop a critical consciousness of institutional structures, especially those that influence the health of communities.”
The diversity in sequences ties in well with the varied interests of students at CMC. In addition to Asian American studies, there are currently 10 other sequences available to students: computer science, ethics, financial economics, gender and sexuality studies, human rights, genocide, and Holocaust studies, Jewish studies, leadership, legal studies, scientific modeling, and public policy.
Registrar and Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs Elizabeth Morgan stated in an email, “The purpose of a sequence is to give students an opportunity to specialize in a particular area within a major, or to branch out into a topic that cuts across disciplines within the liberal arts curriculum.”
Due to their flexible, interdisciplinary nature, sequences complement CMC majors. As courses for sequences double count for both majors and general education requirements, someone could, in theory, take all of his or her sequence classes while simultaneously fulfilling his or her major requirements.
Morgan added that in order for sequences to be added into CMC’s academic curriculum, “they must be sponsored by at least two faculty members. If approved through the CMC Curriculum Committee, they move through to the full CMC faculty for approval and inclusion in a future year’s academic catalog.”
Most recently, CMC professors Shanna Rose, Eric Helland, and Zach Courser have introduced a public policy sequence.
Rose, an associate professor of government, says this sequence is specifically designed to advance students’ quantitative, analytical, and written/oral communication skills. It also aims to prepare students for jobs in competitive public policy markets, policy consulting firms, or for admission to top public policy graduate schools.
Looking forward, there are plans to expand sequences to include a greater variety of disciplines and academic fields of interest.
Leya Aronoff ‘19 said, “It is exciting that people will have more choices in what sequence they want to pursue. Amongst my friends, there has been a want for a more diverse offering of sequences, especially because pursuing dual majors has a lot of requirements.”
Keep an eye out for an upcoming sequence in data science, which should be offered in the upcoming school year.