College: Majors, Minors, & Courses


Although much of the learning at Oberlin happens outside the classroom, the meat & potatoes (or tofu & spinach) of an Oberlin education are its classes. Students here enjoy small classes taught by faculty, not grad students.

Oberlin has distribution requirements rather than general education requirements, which make students explore outside their comfort zone - whether English or Neuroscience - and study something unfamiliar and new. To graduate, you'll need to earn nine credits in each of the three divisions (Social Sciences, Humanities, and Natural Sciences & Math), and a minimum of 9 credits designated as Cultural Diversity. The latter requirement ensures that all Obies graduate with some understanding of cultures beyond mainstream America - by taking classes in languages, history, English, and many other departments.

These distribution requirements shape the breadth of studies that will contribute to your degree; you must also dig deep into one subject - your major. Most students decide on their major sometime in their second year. Although you may have some idea of what your major will be, you'll be surprised by how many things will draw you in. Every student should take a class or two in each of the three major divisions before making assumptions about what "the right fit" will be - you never know when a class will change your mind and derail all your plans... for the better.

One last note for new students: the First Year Seminar Program provides first-years and transfer students with an intimate seminar experience, focused on one of many creative topics. These classes are among our most popular!

Departments & Majors

Blog Entries Related To This Topic:

In Which I Gush about Academia

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Studying Here, Studying Away

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Do I speak English?

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A CLASSic Post

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Declaring a Major in Comparative American Studies

posted by Kira Findling '19 | Whenever I tell someone outside of Oberlin that I'm a Comparative American Studies major, they have no idea what it is. I like to describe it as the study of how one's experience in the United States differs based on the many facets of their identity.

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The Last Semester

posted by Karalyn Grimes '16 | Most semesters I've told y'all about my course schedule so you can go back and see all the different classes I've been in. This one is special because it's the very last one of my undergraduate career. So let's dig in!

Re-Learning to Raise My Hand, with Guidance from Shia LaBeouf

posted by Jules Greene '19 | In the very beginning of the semester, I barely raised my elbow off the table when I had something to say, and when I realized my professors weren't calling on me probably because they couldn't see my hand, I adopted a new philosophy for class participation.

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Write As You Are

posted by Alexandria Cunningham '16 | We are all made up of stories, but what is the introductory story we give continually rotating audiences who attempt to be guests at our theater of life?

A Major Declaration - The Story of Me and Computer Science

posted by Teague Harvey '19 | I may have declared my CS Major, but I remain committed to the broad liberal arts education that Oberlin is all about.

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posted by Teague Harvey '19 | Somehow, it's already almost time to register my courses for next semester. Third time's the charm, right?

Halfway Through Semester Two

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My Spring Semester Classes

posted by Jules Greene '19 | I would say my class choices for this semester are indicative of my decision to go the liberal arts route rather than the undergraduate film school route.

An Even Simpler Declaration

posted by Kameron Dunbar '19 | Rhetoric and Composition is a small department here at Oberlin, so I figured I'd give it some love!

My Classes, Spring 2016

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Start of the Second Semester

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When One Door Closes, Another Opens

posted by Kira Findling '19 | In a way, I'm glad I didn't get what I wanted right away last semester. I ended up getting to see more of Oberlin outside of my "expected" path.

Notes On Add/Drop

posted by Karalyn Grimes '16 | It's been awhile since I walked you through a day or a week in the life. So let's do that! This is a particularly bustling one as the first weeks back are full of things to do, people to see, and the dreaded Add/Drop.

Major Overcommitment

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Tips for Taking a Language

posted by Calley Pierce '19 | If you plan on taking a language in college with the goal of at least conversational proficiency, congratulations!

So I have this major...

posted by El Wilson '18 | The post in which I reveal that I have no idea why I'm a psych major.

A Simple Declaration

posted by Kameron Dunbar '19 | To some, declaring their major is a huge ordeal. For me, it was just signing a form.

Let's Get Political

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Worker Bees: Oberlin and Kunming

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Two Months In

posted by Kameron Dunbar '19 | These past two months have really flown by--I think it's appropriate to offer a bit of reflection.

Is a Liberal Arts Education Relevant?

posted by Brendan Nuse '17 and Frances Casey '17 | We look at our courses and try to figure out if we're living in the "real world."

Second Semester Seniordom

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So I Heard You Like Music...

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Fears and Frustrations Turn Into Winter Term Dreams

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posted by Esther Espeland '17 | How to survive the madness (kinda).

One Major Down

posted by Alexandria Cunningham '16 | For anyone who has ever debated what college major to choose or wants to know what it feels like to find "home" in ALL of the work that you do... you should read this.

Finals, Round 5

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Notes from King 235

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My Semester in Books, 2nd Edition

posted by Emily Wilkerson '15 | The stand-out books I was assigned this semester.

Words and the World

posted by McKinley Glasser '18 | In which I write about writing.

Change of Plans

posted by Ben Reid '16 | I want to help people solve their problems, not corporations.

Stats: From Putting to Politics

posted by Grant Goehring '18 | An exploration into statistics and its academic versatility.

Classic Classes Post

posted by Karalyn Grimes '16 | Well, midterms have blown by and finals are rushing towards us. Why don't I take a break from my frenzied studying and tell you about what classes I'm taking this semester?

Ousting Grade Gloom

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Classic Underclassman: Classy or Unclassifiable?

posted by McKinley Glasser '18 | Because what's classier than classifying an unclassifiable underclassman's classes through classical music?

Election Day!

posted by Grant Goehring '18 | Thoughts on an eventful election Tuesday.

We Talk About Classes With Class

posted by Brendan Nuse '17 and Frances Casey '17 | Posts about classes are always the best posts.

Back to Basics

posted by Simbarashe Runyowa '15 | Gather around, everyone, it's story time. Uncle Simba has a confession to make.


posted by Emily Wilkerson '15 | On re-entering the Oberlin bubble.

Location, Location, Location

posted by Alexandria Cunningham '16 | What does it mean to be able to locate yourself within academic work? Can you see yourself in the very spaces and fields that you learn about or is formalized learning an isolated process for you?

Registration Wars: The Return of the Jedi

posted by Ma'ayan Plaut '10 | Everything I learned about course registration (plus some additional advice from Obies who have been there, done that).

50 Pearls of Wisdom: Part Two

posted by Alexandria Cunningham '16 | An extended second edition of words to the wise about life, college and some useful takeaways for Oberlin and beyond.

Summer Classes?!

posted by Emily Wilkerson '15 | Now that I've jumped the hurdle that is finals week and gotten a little bit of distance from my classes, I figured I'd finally write about them.

Present and Represent

posted by Alexandria Cunningham '16 | Tupac once said, "I'm a reflection of the community," and this is how I apply that mentality to my Mellon research.

Where My Ladies at?

posted by Emily Wilkerson '15 | One of my biggest frustrations over the course of my time at Oberlin is that male authors have dominated my reading lists. This may come as a surprise to some; Oberlin is a progressive institution so you'd think that I'd be reading works by people of all genders. Not so.

50 Pearls of Wisdom: Part One

posted by Alexandria Cunningham '16 | College can be hard and since there is a new class of incoming students, I wanted to share some major advice, love and answers with you all before you come into Oberlin officially.

The Mellon Dive: Part II

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Brain Soup, Part Two

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Oberlin Voices: Georgia

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Why You Shouldn't Trust My Psych Project

posted by Ben Reid '16 | Here are some forms of academic support I take for granted every day as an Obie.

Talk That Talk To Me

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Sick, Groggy, & Still Thinking About Math

posted by Andrea Allen '17 | The joys of Pi Day, and how all of my classes are one and the same, and also a get-well-soon wish for anyone still down with the plague...

Redefining Value In a College Major

posted by Alexandria Cunningham '16 | What is the value of a liberal arts degree? What does my Oberlin degree say about me post-graduation? Am I the only one thinking about these things?! Let's talk about what it means to find value in your college major on your own terms.

Winter Has Come

posted by Griff Radulski '14 | I hope you were ready. My animals were!

Summer Registration

posted by Andres Cuervo '17 | Some wisdom for first years on the not-so-scary process of summer registration.

The Study Abroad Series: Speaking Denglisch and Studying German

posted by Emily Wilkerson '15 | Studying abroad isn't all fun and games. At the end of the day (or in my case, the beginning of it) I do have to go to class, do homework, and make it all happen auf Deutsch. Here's what I'm learning about.

Brain Soup, Part One

posted by Ida Hoequist '14 | What subjects I'm putting into my head this semester.

Declaration Trumpet

posted by Alexandria Cunningham '16 | I am center stage with my declaration trumpet, playing passionate rifts of commitment to my interests, scores of love for the fields, and songs of confidence stemming from my assurance of choosing the right path.

How to use an advisor

posted by Prof. Erik Inglis '89 | Building a better Polonius.

Some Courses

posted by Ben Reid '16 | Detailed analyses of four random courses--or, more specifically, the four courses that I took last semester!

Spring Semester in Review

posted by Emily Wilkerson '15 | I took good classes, ended the semester on a high note, and held off on my urge to be cheesy until the last few sentences.

Theory and Practice

posted by Ma'ayan Plaut '10 | Did I do my major right? I don't know! I hope so? I think so.

The Oberlin Translation Symposium and Why You Should've Been There

posted by Emily Wilkerson '15 | Robert Frost said, "poetry is what gets lost in translation." Let me tell you why I disagree.

My Semester in Books

posted by Emily Wilkerson '15 | All of the books I read during fall semester

A Conversation With Myself

posted by Ben Reid '16 | Freshman Ben answers Prospie Ben's questions about life at Oberlin.

Greek Tragedy, Economics, Gender Studies, and Chem

posted by Ben Reid '16 | A review of my first semester courses.

How a Practicum in Sociology Helped Me Pick a Career

posted by Tess Yanisch '13 | The reading part of the course served as an introduction to American social support systems, while volunteering at Oberlin Community Services gave me an idea of what it might be like to be in a social services profession.

And the Major Is...

posted by Emily Wilkerson '15 | Comparative literature!

Soundtrack for Finals Week

posted by Tess Yanisch '13 | The blog post of inspiring study music, also known as the "please don't sue me" post. Includes Sci-Fi Hall singing a Squidmas carol.

Oberlin's Best Classes*

posted by Tess Yanisch '13 | *of the ones I've taken and think would also be fun for non-psychology majors.

Oberlin: Where the Bathrooms Aren't Gendered but the Food Is

posted by Dara Lehrer '16 | If you're still following my train of logic here, which I can imagine some of you aren't, then you are probably thinking to yourself: okay, I get that. Hardly anyone has the genetic background from only one race, and I've seen people who change their sexual orientation. Fine. But gender? Can't you only really be one or the other?

Many Thanks

posted by Ben Reid '16 | There are many things I am thankful for this Thanksgiving. Here are just a few of them.

A Foreign Language Revelation

posted by Emily Wilkerson '15 | It turns out that 140 characters isn't enough to say everything that I want to say about learning a foreign language. Whoda thunk it?

CS vs My Brain

posted by Ida Hoequist '14 | Why this term is not as easy as I meant for it to be, featuring: a llama in a party hat, yours truly on a metaphorical balcony, and a quick historical linguistics lesson (among other things).

The week before midterms in Intermediate Spanish class

posted by Barbara Sawhill | What do you do in the last week before the midterm break, when everyone is tired, sick, and overwhelmed? Bring in Lego®, of course.

Why are you here and what do you want to learn?

posted by Barbara Sawhill | A question I ask of all my students.

Obie Yogi

posted by Dara Lehrer '16 | So there I was, happy to be a part of such a legendary class. The teacher, Eric, was great. Such a funny and intelligent man, and quite the stereotypical yogi as well (except during a few momentary lapses when he cursed in class, which was absolutely hilarious).

Learning and Labor: My Classes

posted by Tess Yanisch '13 | My semesters usually end up organizing themselves around a few different themes or shared ideas. This semester, the themes seem to be bodies/physicality, communities, and, to a somewhat lesser degree, stories.

A Major Conundrum

posted by Simbarashe Runyowa '15 | What to study, what to study at Oberlin College?

Different Names for the Same Thing

posted by Emily Wilkerson '15 | Better known as my course load.

How (Not) to Declare a Major

posted by Eleanor Bronder-Major '15 | It's a necessary step! I handled mine really badly! This is why!

one week in...

posted by Chinwe Okona '13 | ...and we're swamped. happy first week of class!

Second Year 'Nerves', or Life Without 9am

posted by Ruby Turok-Squire '16 | Random summer nonsense.


posted by Ida Hoequist '14 | As of this morning, I have been approved for a double major!


posted by Ma'ayan Plaut '10 | For those of you who got here by googling "Oberlin Super Smash major" you're at the right place. Read on.


posted by Ida Hoequist '14 | The joy my German Studies major brings me is as contagious as its colloquial abbreviation sounds.

It Might As Well Be Spring

posted by Emily Wilkerson '15 | ... spring semester that is!

Semester in Review, 2.2: More Poets and Pictures

posted by Tess Yanisch '13 | The only one of Blake's poems that I knew going into this class was "The Tyger." It was, in fact, the first "real" poem I ever learned. I remember standing on my bed, three or four years old, and asking Mom what "fearful symmetry" meant.

Semester in Review, II: Something Romantic

posted by Tess Yanisch '13 | After much dithering, I settled on a course on Romantic literature. By the end of the semester, I'd learned a about the general political and social climate of the time, become acquainted with quirky intellectuals, read the works of the man my brother is named after, developed sympathy for Felicia Hemans, rolled my eyes at Byron and Shelley, and fallen a little bit in love with Keats.

Semester in Review, I: Politics

posted by Tess Yanisch '13 | Why metacoverage makes The Daily Show an exceptional source of news. Also, student-made campaign ads!

Class Act

posted by Chinwe Okona '13 | Have you ever noticed that only thing people ask you for the first two weeks of the semester is what classes you're taking?

Ways of Being

posted by Eleanor Bronder-Major '15 | Surviving my first add/drop period.

The Plan

posted by Joe Dawson '12 | I wondered what literally burying my head in the sand would get me.

Sciences and humanities, comparatively

posted by Chinwe Okona '13 | I took a Comparative American Studies class last semester and all I got was this lousy t-shirt. Just kidding, it was pretty neat.

The Allen's Greatest Hits, 2011 edition (part 2 of 3)

posted by Prof. Erik Inglis '89 | The 1910s win.

Let's hear you echo, 2011

posted by Sophia Chen '12 | Beer brewing, apocalyptic prophecies, Creed covers, Picassos, lasers, and of course, the Punch Brothers. A summary of my fall semester. Also, I apologize for the gross R. Kelly reference in the title. I don't know any better.

Finals week in a nutshell.

posted by Sophia Chen '12 | boy you got my heartbeat runnin' away, beatin like a drum and it's comin your way, can't you hear that boom badoom boom boom badoom boom boom badoom boom bass, boom badoom boom boom badoom boom he got that super bass

When I'm Home, Everything Seems to Feel Right

posted by Emily Wilkerson '15 | In order to give myself a break from sitting at my computer, paralyzed by my probably needless anxiety, I will write about a simpler time, a time when finals were a distant specter and winter break was eons away - last week.

My last first semester

posted by Sophia Chen '12 | Why do I feel like a crazy person? I am a senior now. Oberlin, even with the all-nighters, the snowy Aprils, the death icicles looming on my roof, mouthfuls of saltless co-op lentils, has been nurturing me this whole time with arms wide open. Oberlin and I have been spooning for three and a half years, and I'm about to be kicked out of bed into a pair of knobbly hobbit-shoes.

The GREs Are: A) Stupid and Dumb, B) Dumb and Stupid, or C) All of the Above

posted by EJ Dickson '11 | If you have not woken up at 6:00 a.m. to take a standardized test in an industrial suburb of Cleveland before, I do not recommend doing so. It's like waking up at 6:00 a.m. to take a standardized test in an industrial suburb of Cleveland.

Word of the day: ipsilateral

posted by Prof. Erik Inglis '89 | One of teaching's satisfactions is learning new things from students.

Countdown to Commencement?

posted by Helena Thompson '11.5 | And then, all of a sudden, I was a fifth-year. Here we go again!

Secondary music lessons

posted by Sophia Chen '12 | To those of you non-Conservatory students who love music--secondary lessons beckon you!

FYS136: Ways of Seeing, Ways of Knowing

posted by Ida Hoequist '14 | A great big lesson in Hi My Name Is College Now Stop Slacking. Alternatively, a great big welcome to Oberlin.

Holy FYSP!

posted by Chinwe Okona '13 | It feels like just yesterday I was choosing a First Year Seminar of my very own.

Is College Hard?

posted by Tess Yanisch '13 | What is "hard"? The pace is faster in college than in high school, but it's mostly notable in comparison. For example, in the first three weeks of Research Methods, we covered at least half of the material in my year-long A.P. Statistics course.

On 20th-Century Oberlin History - Musically Speaking

posted by Ma'ayan Plaut '10 | Any questions you may have had about the musical studies major, the history of jazz at Oberlin, or original research can and will be answered in this post by the incomparable Anna Ernst '10!

No Sweat

posted by Joe Dawson '12 | Throw in stress for something that actually matters, like finals, and I'm toast. I'll be in bed at midnight, eyes open until 1:30, and awake when the sun comes up at 7.

An update on my Bioanalytical Chemistry class

posted by Zoë McLaughlin '11 | I picked it in part because I'm interested in the intersection between chemistry and archaeology and in part because mummies are very cool.

From Apathetic to Academic: Becoming a History Major

posted by Patrick Doherty '11 | In which my life becomes embodied by History Major Heraldic Beast.

Midterm Report, Part Two

posted by Ida Hoequist '14 | Now that I have gushed profusely about my morning classes, let me tell you that I am even more enthused about my afternoon classes. Brace yourself.

Midterm Report, Part One

posted by Ida Hoequist '14 | In which I gush profusely about how my morning classes are going this semester.

Progress Report

posted by Sophia Chen '12 | Let's catch up. I've been shooting lasers, writing calligraphy, and eating fresh fish.

Tell me what you study and I'll tell you who you are

posted by Prof. Sebastiaan Faber | I've never liked the term "discipline" as a way to refer to what I teach and write about. It's harsh, forbidding, army-like. I much prefer to tell people that I work in a particular field--maybe because as a kid I wanted to be a farmer.

Some comments on the Creative Writing Major

posted by Zoë McLaughlin '11 | That's probably the single biggest reason that I decided to major in creative writing as well as biochemistry. I wanted to have the chance to write and not feel guilty because I was supposed to be doing "real work."

Lost In Translation

posted by Christine Chang '13 | There are themed residence halls and themed special introducing themed semesters!


posted by Zoë McLaughlin '11 | Sometimes there's so much going on in a twenty-four hour period that it seems like I should just talk about my day because it gives a hint as to what's happening every day at Oberlin.

Course selection?

posted by Chinwe Okona '13 | More like course PREselection.

Tales of a part-time student

posted by Patrick Doherty '11 | The only academic part of my semester is honors. No classes, no ExCos, no nothin'. Theoretically, this should make my honors process much less stressful to endure.

My Final Schedule

posted by Zoë McLaughlin '11 | It suddenly hit me that this is my last chance to take classes at Oberlin, ever, and there are so many classes that I haven't had the chance to take yet. This is a sobering thought, especially since I've also suddenly been hit by an overwhelming desire to understand everything.

Indecisiveness: An Oberlin Tradition

posted by Griff Radulski '14 | One famous Oberlin grad came to study neuroscience and left with a degree in American history through folk music. Can you imagine his add/drop period woes?

Requirement Blues

posted by Prof. Sebastiaan Faber | What exactly should every Oberlin graduate know and be able to do by the time they walk up to the commencement stage? How do we know that she knows? And how do we make sure that her coursework allows her to actually learn it?

On Teaching and Oberlin

posted by Ma'ayan Plaut '10 | Luckily, Oberlin gives us the opportunity to be on the other side of the podium, too: I'm teaching an ExCo this spring!

I've almost survived finals

posted by Zoë McLaughlin '11 | So that's what I did for all of reading period, in between taking naps on the couch or the ground and briefly going to Stevenson or DeCafe to procure food.


posted by Chinwe Okona '13 | Just so you have a little taste of what we're all going through.

Registration Blues

posted by Ruby Saha '14 | Or, why I hate being a freshman.


posted by Zoë McLaughlin '11 | I got a little overzealous and started talking about action items for the people who are going to stay at Oberlin during Winter Term. My co-chairs very quickly shot me down and said we'd figure that out later.

If you give an Ali a paintbrush, some paper, and some clay...

posted by Ma'ayan Plaut '10 | My friend Ali is having an art show... and I'm close enough to the process to inhale the paint fumes and clay dust.

Course Bylaws

posted by Christine Chang '13 | A non-exhaustive compilation of rules unique to various professors I've had.

A Recipe for Registration

posted by Ida Hoequist '14 | Two parts planning, one part flexibility, five zillion parts luck.

In which Zoë abuses the privileges that her status as a senior provides her

posted by Zoë McLaughlin '11 | At the end of this semester I'll be done with my biochemistry major, and I'll have only one class left in my creative writing major. That leaves a lot of extra credits to take whatever I want.


posted by Zoë McLaughlin '11 | So I read and I wrote and I did my problem set and I got nothing else accomplished, meaning that a lot of things from my to-do list have now been pushed onto my "to-do over Fall Break" list.

Thermo, thermo, thermo, thermo, Mahler, thermo...

posted by Zoë McLaughlin '11 | As soon as we sat down, I was struck by the overwhelming need to pull out my thermo textbook and continue working.

Add/Dropping into a good situation

posted by Tess Yanisch '13 | By Tuesday, I came to the realization that the combined courseload was, to use a technical Oberlinian term, a shit-ton of work. A shit-ton, by the way, is a highly accurate and precise unit measuring the overwhelmingness of a given task (roughly equivalent to 17.5 shitloads, or 0.86 metric shit-tonnes).

Add/Drop Fun, As Usual

posted by Zoë McLaughlin '11 | At the start of last week, I was registered for International Politics, Archaeology, and Sociology. By yesterday, I'd dropped all but one of them, leaving me with my schedule for this semester.

Why College is Different From High School

posted by Joe Dawson '12 | College is not practice like high school is practice.

No Regrets

posted by Alice Ollstein '10 | My goal was to graduate without any lingering "I should have done X, Y and Z!" I (almost) succeeded.

Senior Projects: Like Cracker Jacks, or Pringles

posted by Ma'ayan Plaut '10 | I'm trying to legitimize my urge to play with my food, take photos, and make movies. I think my film is a good start in that direction.

My semester in quotations

posted by Zoë McLaughlin '11 | In high school, I did this thing called The Quote Book.

Semester Review, Part II

posted by Tess Yanisch '13 | I love having conversations in which half-completed (because it is not necessary to repeat the entire line) allusions are made to Firefly and Narnia and Lord of the Rings and jokes about The Wheel of Time and Star Trek are tossed around as freely as . . . actually, I don't know any other group that references so many things so frequently and with such great delight. Maybe indie music fans.

Semester Review, Part I: With Doodles

posted by Tess Yanisch '13 | I gave my first impressions of my classes at the beginning of the semester, but I never really came back and described them more fully. So now I'm going to give a more detailed view of what I've been up to.

Something about the chem/biochem department

posted by Zoë McLaughlin '11 | Now, I even dream about research. And I mean that quite literally.

Creative Writing, Hopes, and Dreams.

posted by Abby Ryder-Huth '13 | Applications for 300-level creative writing classes are coming up, and I am biting my fingernails. So rather than work on my actual application, here is a look at the gruff world of major-choosing, plus a declaration of love for my professors.

The classes for which I registered

posted by Zoë McLaughlin '11 | In case anyone missed it, I'll say the point of this post again, in plain English: I'm going to be a senior.

Big Choices

posted by Tess Yanisch '13 | Housing registration, class registration, and how I (probably) picked my major.

Major Improvement

posted by Joe Dawson '12 | What be the ferocious and intangible 3-2 Engineering Program, you ask? Aye, for one as young as you, it is a thing most mysterious and, again, intangible. Sit down, children, and I'll tell you a story that would burn the hair right off your chest to hear.

Midterms, break, and what comes next

posted by Helena Thompson '11.5 | A brief update. (read: I'm procrastinating and decided to write a blog post instead of my midterm paper.)

Schedule Drama

posted by Kriti Godey '11 | Until this semester, I have never shopped for classes. I've always gotten into the classes that I want with pretty much no trouble (taking a lot of mathematics and computer science helps). I didn't understand why everyone always made such a huge deal about Add/Drop (the one and a half week after classes start that you can add or drop classes). Now I do.

Morgie's the Best: A Saturday at the Morgan Conservatory

posted by Ma'ayan Plaut '10 | For one of our first exercises in media education, we took a class field trip. I love field trips. In this post: step-by-step papermaking with tons of photos!

public class Schedule

posted by Karl Orozco '13 | This title serves as a cheesy joke using Java code to talk about my schedule this semester, which happens to involve a lot of computer work. Yes, I know I'm nerdy.

Classy Last Semester

posted by Ma'ayan Plaut '10 | A rundown of my final semester of classes... featuring lots of amazing things. Movies! More movies! Things that involve cinema and not necessarily movies!

Failing, and then picking myself back up again

posted by Brandi Ferrebee '10 | In which I discuss what happens when I (an Oberlin student) eat it academically and personally.

Gentlemen and Lasses: I present you with my classes.

posted by Alicia Smith '10 | I managed to use the word relish twice in this post. Once appropriately, and once just because. Both unrelated to food.

I've finally figured out my schedule

posted by Zoë McLaughlin '11 | Here's what I'm taking this semester, not including the various extracurricular activities (Orchestra! Violin lessons! Dance!)

i ♥ herodotus!

posted by Eli Goldberg '12 | Yup... it's going to be a good semester. (Caution: contains Twitter and YouTube!)

Here comes week two

posted by Chris Gollmar '10 | A full report on my first week of classes and the semester ahead.

First week back!

posted by Sam Jewler '10 | In my first week back I'm learning about the Supreme Court and revisiting the time I ate strange pig parts in Spain.

Welcome back, get set, GO!

posted by Tess Yanisch '13 | I've been back at Oberlin for about a week and a half and it already feels like I've been here a long time. That's because things get started fast around here.

On scheduling sleep, showers, and sustenance...

posted by Helena Thompson '11.5 | Sounds like the subject matter of a "You know you're an Oberlin student when..." joke, am I right?

Music Business and Oberlin

posted by Will Mason '10 | Some disjointed thoughts in response to a question about the music business & Oberlin.

My holiday update letter

posted by Brandi Ferrebee '10 | It's like those creepy bragging notes you get from your cousins, but not bragging. It's just me updating you after being a bad blogger.

Finals are fun!

posted by Alicia Smith '10 | Don't take finals period [or anything else in life] too seriously.

A Sunday in the studio.

posted by Karl Orozco '13 | My hands are speckled with green, orange, and white ink as I type this.

How I Chose My Major, Part II: Two years of everything.

posted by Harris Lapiroff '10 | The second of three parts on my epic quest to find the right thing to study.

Think one person can change the sociology department?

posted by Alicia Smith '10 | So do I.

Designer Babies and other possibilities.

posted by Karl Orozco '13 | A course evaluation on my First-Year Seminar. Also, Spelling Bee!

To do before Winter Term

posted by Zoë McLaughlin '11 | I am officially very concerned.

God Rest Ye Merry Ellipses...

posted by Harris Lapiroff '10 | How Oberlin's Math Department celebrates the holidays and why mathematicians are some of the most fun people around.

Silkscreening is cool.

posted by Karl Orozco '13 | A weekend of mixing inks, emulsing screens, printing posters, and a well-deserved burrito.

How I Chose My Major, Part I: What I am. What I was.

posted by Harris Lapiroff '10 | Some people come to Oberlin eyes open and confident, knowing exactly what they want from college and prepared to take it. Most of us, in my experience, don't.

No news is good news.



posted by Alicia Smith '10 | Choosing courses is an overlooked art form.

Get Excited!

posted by Joe Dawson '12 | I can deal with the fact that on my list of things I am excited about I included "classes" and "renewable energy sources" because I have come to grips with the fact that I am a huuuuuuuuuge nerd.


posted by Alice Ollstein '10 | How I accidentally minored in Politics and loved it.

The end of the world as we know it

posted by Zoë McLaughlin '11 | I turned back to my computer to further my electronic communication, and found everyone offline. So I refreshed the page. And it never came back.

Creative Writing: The Most Terrifying Application

posted by Aries Indenbaum '09 | "You have to want to be a creative writing major." Featuring: Aries fails, the creative writing application (how, what and why), what alums do, and why classes are really hard.

A Stroll Through Oberlin History

posted by Ma'ayan Plaut '10 | Today marked a very exciting day for this class, since we were going on a walking tour through Oberlin's past. (Epic post plus so many photos!)

Why Creative Writing?

posted by Aries Indenbaum '09 | The truth behind one of the best reputations in the country. Featuring: fangirling over professors, cursing, fear, what a workshop is, and Writing versus English.


posted by Joe Dawson '12 | The class, and the Environmental Studies department, is not Environmental Science, which is the big mistake in assumption that I made going into it. I'm glad I did.

Three-Way Plug: Why Cinema Studies Was a Good Choice

posted by Ma'ayan Plaut '10 | So, if you want to major in cinema studies when you're done reading this post, don't say I didn't warn you. Contents are shocking and cinematic.

Time to teach

posted by Chris Gollmar '10 | There are many opportunities at Oberlin for students interested in education. The Spanish in the Elementary Schools program, for example, has given me the opportunity to stand face-to-face with 20 real-life fourth graders.

Housekeeping, or The Secret Life of oBEErlin-ites

posted by Ma'ayan Plaut '10 | I mentioned before that the first few weeks of college equals '50s housewife meets college student: shopping for classes, ironing out schedules, and cleaning and unpacking all belongings, and if the weather doesn't take the temperature dip it did a few days ago, flowery dresses and sunglasses.

Dazed and confused

posted by Prof. David Walker '72 | Since several students have written about the excitement and sense of anticipation embodied in the start of the school year, I hope I won't seem too cranky in saying that Orientation always leaves me feeling at least as disoriented as the first-years.

My schedule: no longer in flux

posted by Zoë McLaughlin '11 | Every day so far, I've had something to do during every hour until ten o'clock at night.


posted by Joe Dawson '12 | I'm the kind of person who enjoys anticipation. I do like getting new stuff and experiencing new adventures, but I also really enjoy thinking about them before they happen.

My schedule: in flux

posted by Zoë McLaughlin '11 | I'm currently signed up for four classes, only two of which are ones that I'm actually going to take.

A Night at the Movies

posted by Ma'ayan Plaut '10 | As a cinema studies major, I don't have exams. If you're in a more traditional cinema class (think English, but your texts are films), you have final papers, but if you're in production classes, you're spending all your time editing, shooting (god help you if this is the case), editing more, printing to tape, and attending your class and other production class screenings.

Senior Recital: Storytelling Strikes Back

posted by Aries Indenbaum '09 | Generally, I'm a very confident, extroverted person. Unless I'm performing.

'Undecided' P(h)art 2 (sorry, I'm incredibly immature)

posted by Joe Dawson '12 | Our trivia team name, which was a great source of pride, was Schindler's Bucket List, only narrowly beating Hotel Rwanda for Dogs.

Undecided no more!*

posted by Joe Dawson '12 | *Maybe not...

How I picked my major

posted by Zoë McLaughlin '11 | This change in interests confused me for a while and made me seriously consider a chem major instead of a biochem major. Practicality and time eventually intervened.

Identity Crisis

posted by Will Mason '10 | Does being a double degree student make you less of a musician? Less of a scholar?

Registration: Woe?

posted by Ma'ayan Plaut '10 | Upon return to campus after spring break, students receive a pleasant reminder for fall registration. "What? This soon? I'm still slaving through a disastrous spring semester, everything is about to start moving twice as quickly as before, how could I even THINK of next fall?" you think.

Of What Use is a Newborn Child?

posted by John West '10 | In this post: Mad Max, our inevitable doom, The Communist Manifesto, superempirical virtues in theory choice, Stanley Fish, those problematic humanities, and a way-too-long post.

Contingency, Irony and Solidarity

posted by Max Strasser '09 | A rather esoteric blog post in which I discuss postmodernism, historiography, the Middle East, new professors, great professors, and the true beauty of a liberal arts education.

Mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved

posted by Yitka Winn '09 | I had envisioned myself waking up with the sun and birds each morning, going for a long run during which I'd plan out my writing for the day, then plunking down with my laptop and an oversized mug of fair-trade coffee at Oberlin Market and getting to work. (Nope.)

Trying to save my semester

posted by Chris Gollmar '10 | I must have gotten off on the wrong foot--my work this semester is not really up to par. I seem to be falling behind in just about every class I am taking, even the ones with no homework.

I'm cool, too!

posted by Zoë McLaughlin '11 | And one more interesting thing. This is my thirteenth post here. I figured publishing it tomorrow would be a little much.

Double or Triple Major Madness

posted by Prof. Sebastiaan Faber | Why do so many Oberlin students double or triple major? I really want to know.

Ernest Takes A Computer Science Class

posted by Will Mason '10 | Remember those "Ernest" movies from the late 80's...

Because all the cool kids are doing it...

posted by Ma'ayan Plaut '10 | My friends' Facebooks, Livejournals, Obieblogs, and general everyday conversation has been revolving around scheduling for the last week, and I am proud to say that I finally have something to contribute.

Hieronymus Bosch in a Hot Air Balloon

posted by Aries Indenbaum '09 | During Add/Drop, we overcommit. This is inevitable.

Teaching chemistry

posted by Prof. David Walker '72 | It seems only a few weeks ago that I was trying to get myself psychologically prepared for the start of the academic year, and now suddenly I'm in the last throes of paper-grading. (And no, I don't actually teach chemistry. Bear with me on this.)

Back at Altitude

posted by Nicolee Kuester '10 | The sun is out for the second day in a row, the thermometer out back says 0 degrees, and it's so dry that five miles to the west I can see the snow-frozen Rockies as clear as if they were a Bob Ross painting. The semester is done. I am home in Colorado.


posted by Will Mason '10 | Thoughts on finals, US Senate campaigns, and intersections therein.

Chemistry Scene Investigation, part two (CSI)

posted by Zoë McLaughlin '11 | The trial began with the judge (who looked suspiciously like our professor, just decked out in a green choir robe) banging with his mortar and pestle to call the court to order.

Don't do your homework

posted by Max Strasser '09 | Sometimes you have to remind yourself that your education is not just about classes, homework, papers and tests.

Dining on tennis shoes and other such mishaps

posted by Chris Gollmar '10 | I am learning more and more that there is no single moment when you suddenly become fluent in a second language.

Et in Arcadia Ego

posted by Aries Indenbaum '09 | I think you can tell a lot about someone by their To Do list.

The Homes Away From Home

posted by Ma'ayan Plaut '10 | It smelled of summers, winters and places I thought of as home too, though she and I only had Oberlin in common.

A Walk in the Woods

posted by Ma'ayan Plaut '10 | One of the best things about pleasant weather in Oberlin is that, due to its non-existence for the majority of months while we're on campus, students and teachers alike take full advantage of warm, sunny days.

How to solve a crime

posted by Zoë McLaughlin '11 | The sign above the door to my analytical chem lab now says "Oberlin Crime Lab." For the rest of the semester, we're solving a crime that occurred at the Olympics involving arson, secret notes, drugs, and missing silver medals.


posted by Aries Indenbaum '09 | I listened to Jim's piece "Chorale" this morning. Damn, it was great.

The Amish and Languages in America (and at Oberlin)

posted by Charles Grim, Admissions | Last night I visited the United World College in Costa Rica and had the pleasure of speaking with a prospective student from Spain. Xiana is a native speaker, not of Spanish, but of Galacian. This got me thinking about differences in language diversity within countries.

CLE as an Airhub & Environmental Stuff at Oberlin

posted by Charles Grim, Admissions | Environmentalism is probably the single most prominent cause on campus at the moment.

Back To Business

posted by Will Mason '10 | The best part about college - any college - is that there's always something to look forward to.


posted by Prof. David Walker '72 | The First Year Seminar model is quite simple: one teacher and fourteen students in sustained conversation about a topic that interests them.

Tom Allen for US Senate in 2008

posted by Will Mason '10 | Or: The Life and Times of an Elite, High-Powered, Unpaid Lowly Intern

Special Topics in Environmental Frustration

posted by Alice Ollstein '10 | When confronted with wastefulness and hostility, what's an Obie to do? It ain't easy being green...

One Must Imagine Sisyphus Happy

posted by Will Mason '10 | Final exams are an inextricable component of higher education, but they needn't cast too menacing a pall over the college experience.

SWM, NS, likes long walks on the beach

posted by Will Mason '10 | I'd like to use this post as an opportunity to further introduce myself (past the perfunctory greeting and awkward head shot provided by my profile).

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