Special Courses and Programs

General Education Program

Oxford College offers a liberal arts education intentionally designed for first-year and second-year students. The first two years of Emory undergraduate education at Oxford College will equip students to thrive in their major and in the world beyond.

Students learn across a broad range of academic subjects and develop habits to become lifelong learners. The General Education Program of Oxford College helps students to satisfy the general education requirements for all Emory undergraduate academic programs, as well as offers the following types of courses unique to Oxford College:

Discovery Seminar

One Discovery Seminar course is required for all students during their first fall semester at Oxford College. Discovery Seminar courses are designated as DSC 101Q. This course will carry an academic area designation (MQR, SNT, HSC, HAP or HAL) as well as a Ways of Inquiry (Q) designation. The instructor of record for the Discovery Seminar will be assigned as the student's academic adviser.

Experiential Learning

One "Experiential Learning" course is required for all students during their Oxford career. Experiential Learning courses are designated with an "E." Experiential learning, or "learning through reflection on doing," is an intentionally designed, inquiry-driven learning opportunity (the signature experience) in which students question, create, apply, and revise conceptual understanding of course material. Students address a real-world problem or situation through the lens of their discipline by examining, asking more meaningful questions about, evaluating, reflecting, and synthesizing material. These steps are cyclical, enabling a student to reflect and revise their approach at each stage, display increasing self-reliance, and form new disciplinary knowledge and understanding while engaging substantively with a particular academic, professional, or cultural community. Examples of Experiential Learning opportunities may include Academic Internships, Advanced Student Research, Applied Arts, Global Learning, and Theory-Practice Service Learning.

Ways of Inquiry

In addition to meeting the requirements above, students need to complete a minimum of two Ways of Inquiry (INQ or simply Q) courses designed to demonstrate how different disciplines investigate the world. The Discovery Seminar course will count towards one of these courses. These courses must come from any two different academic areas.

Ways of Inquiry courses are designed to both inform and transform students as they learn the fundamental concepts and terminology of a particular academic area or discipline, as well as how to understand and question the ways that knowledge is both pursued and created going forward.

Arts At Oxford

Oxford students have many opportunities to participate in artistic presentations in music, theater, visual arts, and dance. One-, two-, and four-credit hour courses are available, depending upon the discipline. Faculty members direct the arts programs. Opportunities are open to all students regardless of potential major or whether or not they are enrolled in arts classes. Our students perform in plays, perform in and choreograph dances, sing in the Oxford Chorale, play instruments in chamber ensembles, create musical compositions, and exhibit visual arts. Many Oxford students successfully major or minor in the arts at Emory College, yet most who participate in the arts at Oxford do so to expand their total educational experience.

Learning to Lead

Learning to Lead seeks to serve as a gateway for first-year student confidence and involvement in the academic and social communities of Oxford College. By exploring individual leadership, group leadership, and community leadership, the course will provide students with information and tools that will help them along their career at Oxford College. Co-taught by a current sophomore student and a faculty or staff member, Learning to Lead will guide students through the framework of the Social Change Model to allow them opportunities to reflect on their own Oxford experience and develop as leaders.

Lyceum

The Lyceum Committee is comprised of members of the Oxford College faculty and staff. Its goal is to plan academic and artistic events for Oxford College students faculty, staff, and members of the community. Every academic year, the committee offers a series of lectures on political, social, and religious topics by renowned speakers and presents artistic performances by national and international artists. The Lyceum Committee wishes to highlight the cultural and religious diversity at Oxford College and Emory University. This diversity entails the willingness to forsake prejudice, intolerance, and xenophobia and not only encounter but also understand and embrace others in a community of learning and mutual trust.

Study Abroad and Travel Courses

Study Abroad

Oxford College encourages enrolled undergraduate students to participate in Study Abroad programs offered through Emory College's Study Abroad Office. Students must be in good academic and conduct standing to participate in any study abroad program.

There are two types of study abroad programs available through this office: summer study abroad and semester study abroad.

Summer Study Abroad

Students must consult with and receive approval from the Oxford College Advising Support Center before applying to participate. Students must have and maintain a 2.5 cumulative GPA (although some programs may require higher GPA) and be in good academic standing. Courses taken through summer study abroad programs can count towards Oxford academic credits as well as the general education program. Both first and second year students are eligible to apply for these programs if they meet program specific eligibility criteria. Sophomore students participating in spring study abroad programs must wait to apply to graduate from Oxford College in the summer. Final grades are determined after travel concludes and coursework is graded.

Student responsibilities (illustrative not exhaustive): students must satisfy all eligibility requirements. Students should meet with the Advising Support Center for consultation and approval. Students must also follow all procedures and meet all deadlines required by Emory College's Study Abroad Office.

Semester Study Abroad

Students must consult with and receive approval from the Oxford College Advising Support Center. The earliest semester that a student (at either Oxford College or Emory's Atlanta campus) can study abroad is the fourth regular semester; for most students, this means spring of the sophomore year. In addition to three completed regular semesters of academic residency (fall and spring semesters only—summer study in Atlanta does not count towards this requirement) students must also maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0, be in good academic standing, and complete all Oxford specific General Education Program requirements (tagged courses) at the end of the regular semester preceding the planned semester abroad. Students studying abroad apply academic credit from semester abroad programs to count towards the total academic credit hours required for their Oxford degree. Since many programs do not end within Oxford's spring academic calendar, all spring study abroad students will apply to graduate during summer semester following the semester abroad. Applications for Spring semester abroad are due in early October and require approval of the Advising Support Center.

Student responsibilities (illustrative not exhaustive): satisfy all eligibility requirements. Meet with the Advising Support Center for consultation and approval. Follow all procedures and meet all deadlines required by Emory College's Study Abroad Office.

Typically involved parties: ASC, Emory College Study Abroad Office

Possible outcomes (illustrative not exhaustive): acceptance for a study abroad program, or denial. Additional costs, paperwork, and tasks.Deferred graduation date.

Travel Courses

Oxford College offers short-term, faculty-led travel programs as part of the Experiential Learning Program. Students must be in good academic and conduct standing to participate in any travel course.

Travel courses can satisfy the Experiential Learning (E) requirement of the general education program. Travel courses include coursework that takes place during the regular semester (fall and spring semesters only). For the travel component, students will depart with faculty either during a designated break (for ex.Spring Break) or after regular courses conclude at the end of the semester. The travel site(s) may be domestic or international.

Spring travel courses traditionally feature travel in early May or June, especially for international trips. Since the travel component is a graded part of the course, travel courses will not officially complete until AFTER the travel has concluded. Sophomore students participating in spring travel courses will wait to apply to graduate from Oxford College in the summer. Final grades are determined after travel concludes and travel-related projects are graded.

Enrollment in travel courses requires approval. Those who lead these courses set criteria for students' enrollment that reflect the background needed to benefit from the travel experience and any relevant safety considerations. Students must pay an additional fee to cover the expenses of travel. Students who qualify for financial aid for the semester tuition may apply for additional aid to assist with the travel fee for travel programs.

Student responsibilities (illustrative not exhaustive): satisfy all eligibility requirements. Follow all procedures and meet all deadlines set by travel course faculty.

Typically involved parties: Academic Affairs, Oxford College faculty

Possible outcomes (illustrative not exhaustive): acceptance for a travel course, or denial. Additional costs, paperwork, and tasks. Deferred graduation date.

Internships

Internships provide excellent opportunities to explore professional pathways during the Oxford liberal arts education. While an internship is valuable regardless, Oxford College also offers academic credit for coursework completed in conjunction with an internship. There are two such opportunities; each carries one S/U credit. In both cases, students are responsible for securing their own internships. To be eligible, each student must meet any eligibility criteria for the internship and be in good academic and conduct standing. Enrollment is by permission only using an online application. All course components must be completed at the "satisfactory" level to earn a "satisfactory" grade in each course.

Internship courses traditionally feature experiences in the summer. Internship courses will not officially complete until AFTER the internship has concluded. Sophomore students participating in internship courses will wait to apply to graduate from Oxford College in the summer. Final grades are determined after the internship concludes and course components are graded.

The first, Introductory Internship in the Liberal Arts (typically taken in summer), offers a general pairing of work experience and reflection: utilizing a Readiness framework, this course is intended to introduce students to competencies that will be the basis for curricular and co-curricular reflection and life design throughout the first two years of undergraduate liberal arts study. If taken in summer, a tuition voucher may be provided to cover the cost of the academic credit. The second opportunity, Disciplinary Internship in the Liberal Arts (typically taken in Fall or Spring semester), may carry Experiential Learning (E) credit and offers a student the opportunity to work closely with a faculty member to pair their work experience with specific content in an academic discipline.

Student Research Opportunities

The Oxford Research Scholars (ORS) program offers selected students the opportunity to work directly with faculty members for a full academic year on disciplinary research projects or projects related to the scholarship of teaching and learning. Faculty members in the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, mathematics, and physical education have worked with dozens of students on a variety of projects.

Students chosen as Oxford Research Scholars present their work in the annual Oxford Research Scholars Spring Symposium. As program participants, students learn how research within their disciplines leads to knowledge creation, current research in their disciplines, and how research is organized and funded. Through knowledge of and direct involvement in research, students develop a different perspective on learning.

The SURE–Oxford program is an extension of Emory's Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) program. Students work with Oxford faculty for 10 weeks in the summer as a researcher on projects.

The Oxford Research Scholars and SURE-Oxford programs reflect Oxford College's recognition of the educational benefits that achieved by involving first-year and sophomore students in the research process. Participation in these programs is by invitation.

Student responsibilities (illustrative not exhaustive): satisfy all eligibility requirements. Contact a professor whose research is of interest. Follow all procedures and meet all deadlines required by the program(s).

Typically involved parties: Oxford College faculty

Possible outcomes (illustrative not exhaustive): acceptance, or denial.

Oxford Scholars Program

Each year Oxford College designates a number of its outstanding incoming first-year students as Oxford Robert W. Woodruff Scholars, selected on the basis of their scholar qualities, grades, curriculum, test scores, essays, extracurricular activities, and demonstrated interest. While enrolled at Oxford, these scholars participate in the Oxford Scholars program.

The Oxford Scholars program is dedicated to the academic enrichment of Oxford College as well as promoting a sense of community among Oxford Scholars. Oxford Scholars not only interact with other scholars but also with faculty members who volunteer their time to this program.

The program involves required events such as dinners with faculty, lectures and discussions on significant literary, historical, or artistic topics, and other events of interest. The cultural component exposes scholars to a wide range of cultural events in the local area and in Atlanta, such as plays, concerts, and other cultural activities.

Oxford Studies

Oxford Studies is a one-hour, elective, multidisciplinary course, which, through attendance, participation, and written reflection, encourages thoughtful involvement in the cultural, artistic, and educational activities available in our community beyond the confines of the traditional classroom. Students earn credit by attending lectures, panels, music, theater, and dance events and by writing critiques of events. Oxford Studies supports the college's mission by promoting engagement with liberal arts issues of shared interest. It is offered every semester and may be repeated for credit. Students can enroll in Oxford Studies during class registration each fall and spring.

Student responsibilities (illustrative not exhaustive): students should add the class to their schedule during the relevant enrollment time.

Pierce Program in Religion

The Pierce Program in Religion began in 1976 with a gift from the D. Abbott Turner family. William Turner and the other members of the Turner family endowed the Pierce Chair in Religion in honor of two of their ancestors: Dr. Lovick Pierce and Bishop George Foster Pierce. Bishop Pierce, William Turner's great-great-grandfather, was president of Emory College from 1848 to 1854.

  • Oxford College Department of Religion: The Department of Religion offers courses that fulfill general education requirements at Oxford College and Emory College as well as requirements for a religion major or minor on the university level.
  • Pierce Lecture Series: This series, which includes the Chaplain's Lecture Series, brings to campus a number of distinguished lecturers in religious studies, ethics, and related disciplines.
  • Pierce Visiting Scholar program with the University of Oxford in England: The Pierce Visiting Scholar program is a faculty exchange between the two Oxfords, Oxford College and the University of Oxford in England.
  • Emory Studies in Early Christianity and Rhetoric in Religious Antiquity: Emory Studies in Early Christianity and Rhetoric in Religious Antiquity are book series that investigate early Christian literature in the context of Mediterranean literature, religion, society, and culture.
  • Global Connections: Sponsored by the Pierce Program in Religion and housed in the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life, Global Connections is a travel experience designed to help students create meaning in their lives and connect their religious and spiritual convictions with social justice issues, including peace, poverty, human rights, and the environment.
  • The Dr. Lovick Pierce and Bishop George F. Pierce Chair of Religion David B. Gowler: David B. Gowler is the Dr. Lovick Pierce and Bishop George F. Pierce Chair of Religion; and a senior faculty fellow, the Center for Ethics, Emory University.

Religious and Spiritual Life at Oxford College

The chaplain is a resource for all members of the college community and an advocate for the religious and spiritual life groups on campus. Programs and counseling services offered through the chaplain's office support students during their time at Oxford.

Respect for all religious and spiritual traditions is important at Oxford. All are welcome here, whether or not they are part of a religious, spiritual, or faith tradition. While here, students have the opportunity to participate in service, social, and religious programs sponsored by the chaplain's office, the Interfaith Council, and the 10 chartered religious and spiritual life groups at the college. Throughout the year, many events celebrate a variety of faith traditions and their holidays.

The resources of the chaplain's office are available to all members of the college community. For more information, visit the website.

  • The Journeys Travel Program: This travel program originated at Oxford College in 1988 but is now sponsored by Emory University's Office of Spiritual and Religious Life. For more information, please contact Rev. Dr. Lyn Pace, college chaplain, at 770-784-8392.