Feel Free to Explore!

When you are choosing your fall courses, we strongly encourage you to think outside the box, try new things, and explore!

Important things to know:

  • You have the time and scheduling space to branch out and take a variety of classes. Now is the time for guilt-free academic exploration! Don’t worry: every course you take counts toward graduation.
  • Classes listed as “First-Year Friendly” are just that; they were designed with first years in mind.
  • Read the course descriptions of First-Year Friendly courses on the online course schedule in Hornet HQ. Titles are often short and don’t fully tell you what the class is about.
  • If you are a prospective pre-med, math, or science student please remember to consult the science-specific guidelines and advice.
  • The following is a sampling of fall courses, with some additional perspective from past and present Departmental Student Advisors (DSAs), who are student leaders in their departments. See the online course schedule for a full listing of available fall courses.

Selected courses to explore – Fall 2022

African Studies

“African Studies courses are a great way to expand one’s own thinking and to challenge one’s preconceived notions about the role of Africa in the global context.”

Emily Wittman, K21 DSA

Suggested Courses:
Atlantic Slave Trade (AFST/HIST-273); Civilizations of Africa (AFST/HIST-276)

Anthropology & Sociology

“[ANSO professors and classes] push your thinking outside of your previous parameters. After taking one ANSO class, you will never run out of things to talk about.”

Vivian Enriquez, K21 DSA

Suggested Course:
Intro to Society & Culture (ANSO-103)

Art & Art History

“Art courses at K encourage students to explore different artistic avenues, whether that be new mediums or alternative concepts to enrich their work with more substance and discipline. Furthermore, these new sets of skills will translate into additional endeavors in your college career.”

Jorence Quiambao, K22 DSA

Suggested Courses:
Art and Environmental Justice (ARTX-295); Clay in Community (ARTX-220); Digital Photography (ARTX-115); Global Art Exchange (ARTX-145); Painting: Traditional Practices (ARTX-128); Public Art and Its Publics (ARTX-225); Sculpture: Object Investigation (ARTX-134); Understanding Abstraction (ARTX-150)


“By studying Classics, we bring the far-off ancient world into the modern day. We learn to connect with the people who have had a profound influence on our society today by reading their words as they were written.”

Kyle Neuner, K20 DSA

Suggested Courses:
Beginning Latin (LATN-101); Pompeii (CLAS/HIST/ARTX-229); Roman Civilization (CLAS/HIST-226)

Computer Science

“Take a computer science course to gain insight into how our computer systems are created as you join our welcoming circle of coders led by kind and understanding professors. Not only will you learn or improve upon important communication and teamwork skills that are necessary in any workplace, you will also gain a community that you can always count on.”

Marissa Lewinski, K22 DSA

Suggested Courses:
Intro to Computers & Computing (COMP-101); Programming Basics: JavaScript (COMP-102); Programming Basics: Python (COMP-104)
(NOTE: COMP-101, 102, and 104 are .5 unit courses. A combination of COMP-101/102 or COMP-101/104 should be taken to equal a full 1.0 unit course)

Critical Ethnic Studies

“Being able to freely interrogate the systems and institutions in place. Asking questions that might not necessarily have a simple yes or no answer.”

Victoria Marquez-Gomez, K22 DSA

Suggested Course:
Language: Colonial/Imperial Differences (CES-240)

Economics & Business

“Economics courses are not all about math and policies! These courses provide an opportunity to explore the broader context and implications of many social issues that students at K are passionate about. Economics incorporates social, economic, and political elements into our learning.”

Caryn Hannapel, K20 DSA

Suggested Courses:
Accounting Basics (BUSN-100); Principles of Economics (ECON-101)
(NOTE: Principles of Economics is a required course for Economics or Business majors)


“English is a very useful (and fun!) area of study that is useful for more than just English majors or people who are looking to go into Pre-Law/Humanities. English allows you to explore all sorts of perspectives on life, love, humanity, and so much more, and one of the most beautiful things about studying English is that literature and writing help us understand ourselves and each other more. Literature can even help us change the world for the better. One of my favorite things about the English Department at K is that there are quite literally no wrong answers! Most of the courses are discussion based, and all the professors are open to hearing your take and perspective on a piece of literature, and it is so much fun to hear what other people think, also!”

Morgan Acord, K23 DSA

Suggested Courses:
Intro to Journalism (ENGL-105); Intro to Creative Writing (ENGL-107); Reading the World: Genre (ENGL-152); Reading the World: Identities (ENGL-155)

Film & Media Studies

“In an increasingly media-driven society, the ability to critically examine one of the most prolific forms of entertainment and communication is a necessary skill.”

Brianne VanderBilt, K22 DSA

Suggested Courses:
19th-Century Philosophy (PHIL-208); Lighting Design (THEA-210); Theatre of Illusionism (THEA-270)

First-Year Seminars

Your First-Year Seminar provides a great chance to delve into something different and exciting. Every first-year student is required to take one First-Year Seminar in the fall. The topics vary widely and no prior knowledge of or experience with the subject is required.

Think about trying one of these:
About Us: Disability (SEMN-163); All Speech is Legitimate (SEMN-129); Beyond Grimm (SEMN-120); Let Freedom Swing (SEMN-166); Migration, Community, and Self (SEMN-104); Plato to Playdoh (SEMN-108); Unraveling DNA (SEMN-121); Unscripted Intimacies (SEMN-185); Writings from the Heart (SEMN-157)


“History classes at K allow you to go more in depth about specific areas that interest you. You can learn about people and subjects that have often been left out of the histories we’re told!”

Meaghan Kelly, K23 DSA

Suggested Courses:
Atlantic Slave Trade (HIST/AFST-273); Civilizations of Africa (HIST/AFST-276); History of the US I (HIST/AMST-110); Modern Europe (HIST-102); Modern China (HIST-280); Pompeii (HIST/CLAS/ARTX-229)


Kalamazoo currently offers language courses in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Japanese, Latin, and Spanish. To allow yourself plenty of options for study abroad, don’t be afraid to start a completely new-to-you language. Remember: Proficiency in a second language through the intermediate level is a degree requirement at K.
The 101 introductory course of all languages (except Greek) is offered in fall quarter. Higher levels in many languages are also offered.
Additional Course to Consider:
Post-War Japanese Literature in Translation (JAPN-238) – taught in English!

“Pursuing German has not only taught me to think and speak in a new language, but has also exposed me to a new culture and a new life: I entered K with the intention of eventually practicing civil rights litigation in the US, but after my study abroad in Erlangen I am convinced that my future lies in Germany.”

Christian Zeitvogel, K23 DSA

“More than 1 billion people live in China, which doesn’t even include those in the Chinese diaspora outside the mainland; learning and study Chinese language and culture can help you connect with a greater proportion of the world’s population.”

Zoe Gurney, K23 DSA

“Learning a language is a good way to understand a country and a culture. Someone who might interested in Japanese movies or anime could find that those work is deeply rooted in Japanese culture, so something gets lost in translation for viewers who miss out on the sounds of Japanese in the original Japanese dialogue. Understanding the Japanese language a little better can help you better appreciate certain aspects of the film.”

Selina Ma, K22 DSA

[Take Latin or Greek because] “it’s a close knit and supportive community that encourages collaboration and personal growth.”

Emiley & Isabella, K22 DSAs

“Hebrew is a fascinating language, and it feels so rewarding when you begin to understand.” “I think students should take Hebrew because it is great to step out of your comfort zone and learn new things!” “It also brings you halfway to a Jewish Studies concentration if you complete an entire year of Hebrew.”

Hebrew students, 2021-22

“Understanding Arabic will enable students to build a bridge to communities around the world and to better understand current affairs and international diplomacy efforts. Given that less than 1 percent of US college students study Arabic, Arabic language skills will separate you from the crowd, no matter your professional field.”

Prof. Abdelaziz

“Music and sound are such integral parts of life both in the past and present and learning to better understand their relationships to people provides great cultural and social insight. Moreover, the variety of ensemble courses offered allow for experiences in many different styles of music performance!”

Mikki Wong, K23 DSA

Suggested Course:
Intro to Music (MUSC-105)
Music lessons or ensembles (taken in addition to your three other full-unit courses)


“To study philosophy is to learn more about yourself and your values, in this way it is deeply personal. Philosophy also give you a language and a space to discuss profound questions largely ignored in everyday life.”

Audrey Huizenga, K23 DSA

Suggested Courses:
19th-Century Philosophy (PHIL-208); Ecological Philosophy (PHIL-108); Ethics (PHIL-105)

Physical Education

Students are required to complete 1.0 total unit of Physical Education (PE) activities to graduate. You can find the available options on the online schedule by choosing Physical Education in the Subjects column. You can also find detailed information about potential classes in the academic catalog. Course categories include Fitness, Dance, Sport Skill, Life Skill/Health, Outdoor, Independent Study, and Varsity Sport. PE classes are completed in addition to your three full-unit courses.

“Physical activity helps develop students’ competence and confidence to pursue a healthier lifestyle. The College believes in a ‘sound mind in a sound body’ approach by requiring physical education be a part of our curriculum. There is such a variety of classes offered that everyone can find a class that suits their needs and interests. I encourage students to try something new.”

Katie Miller, PE Department Chair and Women’s Basketball Coach


“Finding new solutions to problems is always satisfying.”

Kate Roberts, K22 DSA

Suggested Course:
Sustainable Energy (PHYS-105)
(NOTE: The introductory Physics course (PHYS-150) is offered in winter. The Sustainable Energy course is designed primarily for students not majoring in the physical sciences, and is especially appropriate for those interested in the environmental studies concentration.)

Political Science

“Political Science offers a comprehensive exploration of the intersections of humanities, social science, and even empirical analysis in ways that other subjects cannot do. Whether you study theory, American politics, international politics, or comparative politics, you will gain unique and world-shaping perspectives on even the smallest human interaction.”

Thomas Lichtenberg, K23 DSA

Suggested Courses:
Congress & the Presidency (POLS-230); Intro to International Politics (POLS-107); Politics of Latin America (POLS-245)


“Psychology is more than learning about emotions and parts of the brain. Psychology offers a unique opportunity to think about how policies, trauma, economics, healthcare, school, race, culture, stress, substances, and more all interact to influence human behavior, mental health, and the physiology of the body and the brain.”

Ryley White, K23 DSA

Suggested Course:
General Psychology (PSYC-101)


“Study religion because it offers an intersectional look into how individuals and groups navigate their lives through the different lenses of their religious beliefs.”

Olivia Anderson, K22 DSA

Suggested Courses:
Hebrew Bible (RELG-160); Hindu Traditions (RELG-140); Women and Judaism (RELG/HIST-267)

Theatre Arts

“Theatre Arts courses push you to understand and faithfully represent other people’s stories. It’s a great challenge, and you might just learn a little bit about yourself along the way.”

Rebecca Chan, K22 DSA

Suggested Courses:
Fundamentals of Acting (THEA-120); Lighting Design (THEA-210); Theatre of Illusionism (THEA-270)

Women, Gender, and Sexuality

“WGS classes are great because the interdisciplinary composition of the field allows you to make connections across various subject matters.”

Steph Guyor, K22 DSA

Suggested Course:
Intro to Women, Gender & Sexuality (WGS-101)