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    Jun 25, 2024  
2013-2014 Undergraduate Bulletin 
2013-2014 Undergraduate Bulletin [Archived Bulletin]

Connecting Education to Life

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The Hamline Experience


There are many fine liberal arts universities and colleges in the United States. Why should you come to Hamline? We can answer that question by describing the Hamline experience.

Engaged and Collaborative Community

Students who come to Hamline find an engaged and collaborative community of learners, with faculty, staff, and fellow students working together to solve problems, forge connections among academic disciplines, and experiment with new learning models that extend to the community and to the larger society. Hamline students work with faculty on collaborative research and scholarship projects, many of which are published in scholarly journals or presented at national conferences, including the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR), where each year Hamline takes one of the largest groups of students from any college nationwide. Hamline students learn about the most cutting edge developments in the sciences, create new works of art, and conduct studies of crucial global issues, all with a diverse group of peers who come from forty states, the District of Columbia, and thirty countries. Students at Hamline learn about the world of work by developing their own independent study projects, by participating in internships with organizations across the Twin Cities metropolitan area, and by devoting careful attention to career preparation.

Parents of Hamline students are indeed impressed by an academic culture that teaches students to prepare for careers or graduate study and develop the values necessary for ethical citizenship and leadership. Parents appreciate that academic rigor and a goal-oriented curriculum are effectively embedded in the Hamline experience. They also tell us that they appreciate a faculty who provide personal attention to each student in advising sessions and numerous informal mentoring opportunities and an environment where learning how to learn is a top priority.

Our alumni tell us that the learning experience at Hamline was transforming. Whatever their achievements in the world, a large number of our alumni “give something back to Hamline” through generous gifts, scholarships, mentoring or assisting in internships or service-learning opportunities, and many other activities. Many of them also tell us that they formed lifelong friendships with their fellow students, with staff members, and with many of their excellent professors.

Outstanding Faculty

Ninety-five percent of Hamline’s full-time teaching faculty hold the highest degree in their fields-the strongest testament to quality faculty. Hamline professors teach both introductory and advanced courses. In addition, they pay close attention to new developments in teaching and learning and are given both institutional support and recognition for developing effective ways of teaching, advising, and assessing each student’s performance in meeting the goals of the Hamline Plan.

Not only are Hamline faculty great teachers, they are also noteworthy scholars. Each year, most members of the faculty publish books and articles or present papers at regional, national, or international conferences. They have authored nationally acclaimed textbooks in such fields as mathematics, psychology, political science, French, and microbiology.

In the area of art, for example, Hamline professors receive public and private commissions and their works are maintained in museum collections and exhibited in major shows both in the United States and Europe. In addition, Hamline faculty members publish three scholarly journals, The Hamline Review, Critique: Journal for Critical Studies of the Middle East, The Venezuelan Literature and Arts Journal, and one online journal, Making the Global Local.

The many professional activities of Hamline’s faculty result in contacts with influential people in many fields. Faculty expertise and connections, in turn, enrich the educational experiences and the career prospects of Hamline students. Faculty guide students toward internships and independent studies, and work with them on collaborative research projects, all the while maintaining their commitment to students’ mental, ethical, spiritual, physical, and professional development.

Diverse and Positive Environment

Students who come to Hamline find a welcoming, safe, supportive, and diverse learning environment. The Hamline University Board of Trustees, the president, faculty, and staff are committed to “inviting, supporting, and affirming cultural diversity on campus,” where all “university programs and practices, academic and co-curricular, shall be designed to create a learning environment in which cultural differences are valued.”

Examples of this commitment in the College of Liberal Arts and School of Business include:

  • The Hedgeman Center for Student Diversity Initiatives and Programs that provides services, resources, and opportunities for students to learn about, embrace, and celebrate diverse ethnic, racial, and cultural identities.
  • Hamline University Conference on Race and Ethnicity (HUCORE), an annual retreat for undergraduate students to learn about issues of race, racism, and racial justice.
  • Admission officers trained to recruit (locally and nationally) students of color.
  • A full-time director of disability services for students with physical or learning challenges.
  • An annual “Commitment to Community” lecture series, organized entirely by Hamline students, featuring notable speakers such as Cornel West, Winona LaDuke, and Kweisi Mfume.
  • A week-long World Fest celebration to celebrate and increase awareness about the many cultures present on campus.
  • Student organizations that fit the needs and respect the lifestyles of many different groups.
  • Ongoing support from the administration for diversity and community programs and projects, including a collaborative partnership with the Penumbra Theatre Company, Minnesota’s only African-American theatre company and only one of three in the nation to offer a full season of performances.
  • A cultural-breadth requirement in the academic curriculum.

Admission to Hamline University

Hamline University seeks to admit students who demonstrate a working knowledge of the major academic disciplines; have developed the writing, speaking, reasoning, and study skills to be successful in the university’s academic programs; and demonstrate the motivation and maturity to meet the academic and social challenges of a selective, residential, liberal arts college.

In the evaluation process the admission committee considers secondary school course selection and performance in academic subjects as the most important indicators of ability. The minimum recommended pattern of college preparatory subjects includes:

  1. Four years of English, including one year of college preparatory writing;
  2. Three years of mathematics, including two years of algebra and one year of geometry or the equivalent;
  3. Three years of science with laboratory experience;
  4. Three years of social science;
  5. Two years of a foreign language.

A secondary school diploma or its equivalent is required for admission except as noted below. Students who have not completed the recommended courses but whose scholastic record and aptitude indicate the possession of the characteristics described above are invited to submit their credentials for consideration.

The admission committee also considers an applicant’s rank in class, test score results, recommendations, and co-curricular involvement as indicators of preparation for academic and social environments. Evidence of leadership qualities in school and in the community at large is considered as an especially positive indicator.

While admission interviews are not required of all applicants, they are strongly encouraged. In addition to the requested application materials, some applicants may be asked to provide the results of additional course work, and/or complete an admission interview.

The university offers two admission plans for first-year students: early action and rolling admission. Students applying under the early action plan should be sure that all application materials are on file at the Office of Undergraduate Admission by December 1. Decisions will be mailed by December 20. Hamline’s early action program is non-binding; you may apply to other colleges. Prospective students applying after December 1 will be considered under the rolling admission plan. Completed applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. The priority application deadline for fall enrollment is February 1.

Transfer students are offered rolling admission plans for both the fall and spring terms. The deadlines for transfer student admission are August 15 for the fall term and January 10 for the spring term. Applications received after these dates will be reviewed based on space availability.

Students who are not offered admission may appeal the committee’s decision by filing a letter of appeal with the director of undergraduate admission. Appeals will be considered only if new information in favor of admission can be provided.

Please see the Admission Procedures, Finances, and Financial Aid section of this Bulletin for additional information.

Educational Goals: The Hamline Plan


The Hamline Plan is goal-driven, with educational goals tied directly to graduation requirements. General education courses are as important as courses in the major. The Hamline Plan emphasizes the responsibility each student has for his or her own education and the necessity for students to reflect upon and articulate what they have learned to the larger community. Students and faculty advisors approach the Hamline Plan not as a series of requirements, but as a foundation for discovery. For the student who seeks a truly liberal education, the Hamline Plan offers a wide and ever-changing selection of learning opportunities.

All departments offer Hamline Plan courses. Usually specific requirements can be met by more than one course. Many courses fulfill more than one requirement. The Hamline Plan consists of the following ten educational goals. [For specific graduation requirements see the Academic Standards and Policies section.]

    The student begins his or her Hamline education by taking one of the many First-Year Seminars, which provide an introduction to college and a sense of community in small classes for first-year students only. The seminar concentrates on developing the skills of careful reading, critical analysis, group discussion, and writing that are basic to all college level study and basic to the success of students after college. Topics are interdisciplinary and vary from year to year.
    First-year English is the beginning of writing at Hamline. The student completes at least one course each year that focuses upon the written communication needs within each discipline (such as biology, history, or art). A writing-intensive course has three objectives: (1) to designate specific written communication objectives appropriate to the course and the discipline; (2) to enable the student to practice writing with guidance from the instructor, allowing feedback before the final product and building upon the student’s writing strengths; and (3) to focus on the written communication process as well as the final product. The student gains experience writing and receiving feedback from the instructor and/or peers to build strengths in writing.
    The student completes two courses designated as “speaking-intensive,” which may be offered in any department and involve explicit attention to the speaking process as well as the subject matter of the course. Emphasis is given to discussion and student presentations. A speaking intensive course has three objectives: (1) to designate specific oral communication learning objectives appropriate to the course and the discipline; (2) to enable the student to practice and to analyze oral communication behaviors; and (3) to focus upon the oral communication process as well as the final product. The student gains experience in oral communication and discussion dynamics with coaching and response from the instructor or peers.
    The human mind has developed systems of thought that aid understanding and problem solving. Mathematics is the prime example, having been developed and refined for over 2000 years. But there are other systems of formal thinking, including logic and statistics. Every Hamline student takes at least one course to become familiar with formal reasoning and its applications.
    The academic disciplines taken together represent the most fundamental and useful bodies of knowledge, methods of investigation, and perspectives of the world ever devised by the human mind. Acquaintance with the major divisions of knowledge gives the student a rich background for his or her specialized learning.

    Courses that meet this requirement are essentially introductions to the disciplines. They include active learning as well as lectures, involving exercises in which the student learns on his or her own and in which, with guidance, he or she is held responsible for drawing his or her own conclusions from new studies. Examples include discussion, problem solving, application of ideas, and laboratories.

    Courses that meet disciplinary breadth criteria introduce the student to the methods of learning and the context of interpretation inherent in the discipline. They provide insight into the process of research and ways for the student to experience the methods of the discipline. Disciplinary breadth courses also encourage and facilitate lifelong learning by confronting issues or exploring problems or raising value questions.

    Each student takes courses in each of the following four areas of study:

    • Fine arts. The most insightful and powerful expressions of the human spirit-dreams, fears, joys, awe-are produced by artists. Music, painting, sculpture, prints, ceramics, and theatrical productions are age-old ways for men and women to interpret and express their humanity. The Hamline student is aware of the creative and expressive arts, conversant with their forms and structures, and appreciative of their values.
    • Humanities. The humanities encourage the student to develop an awareness of the ethical, aesthetic, spiritual, and historical dimensions of experience. They do so in part by heightening the student’s ability to understand texts and the relationship between language and culture. The humanities strengthen the student’s ability to analyze, to recognize complexity and diversity, and to find creative solutions.
    • Natural sciences. The study of natural science disciplines provides grounding in fundamental principles of science and in methods of observation as well as accentuates the understanding of experimental, analytic, and laboratory methods of gathering and evaluating data. Learning how science works-and also the assumptions of science and scientific methods-teaches the student the tremendous impact science and technology have had on human culture.
    • Social sciences. These academic disciplines explore human behavior and social institutions. Social sciences emphasize theories and methods of study. The student learns the extent to which human beings create their social environment, sees the range and variability of ways to live, and perhaps gains a degree of control over his or her own situation.
    An important kind of breadth involves an understanding and appreciation of both other peoples and the phenomenon of “culture” itself, including ones own. The cultural breadth requirement is the curricular heart of Hamline’s Diversity and Multiculturalism Policy and aims to help the student engage in a contemporary world filled with people of strikingly different worldviews, value systems, and social positions. Reflecting Hamline’s own values and traditions-including the commitments to peace-making and to addressing historical injustices-the requirement equips the student to recognize and justly negotiate power differences in his or her various cultural forms and social settings. It aims to supply the student with the practical skills for effectively interacting across such differences and the reflective skills for understanding them in the context of broader patterns and dynamics. The student is required to take three cultural breadth courses in at least two of the following three areas:

    • Courses that attend to the experiences and contributions of women, members of racial and ethnic minorities, and the people who differ in ability, age, class, and sexual orientation.
    • Courses that attend to the characteristics and backgrounds of other world cultures and the perspectives that these cultures bring to the discussion of world issues.
    • Courses that develop personal insight into other cultures and experiential skills for cultural interaction either by living and studying in another country and/or by learning the language spoken by peoples of other countries.
    College should prepare people to work independently to identify a meaningful and answerable question, develop appropriate methods of study, and present the results of the investigation. Under the tutelage of a faculty advisor, the student learns to integrate knowledge and demonstrate independent learning. He or she may pursue a totally independent research project, departmental honors project, or work independently within the context of an upper level seminar or research-intensive class.
    Liberally educated people examine the relationships between quite different areas of experience. Since the world of work and community service will occupy a major portion of our graduates’ lives, Hamline University stresses the connections between work and liberal learning and requires every student to explore these relationships. Each student is able to fulfill this requirement in the following ways:

    • LEAD (W) classes, including Practicum Seminars, individually supervised internships, all classes in the Class Schedule with a “W,” and all HECUA (Higher Education Consortium for Urban Affairs) classes.
    • Independent LEADs, including (but not limited to) apprentice teaching, collaborative research, international internships, and student-designed LEADs.
    A student’s major is an integral part of the Hamline Plan. Having a “major” allows the student to understand the subtleties and complexities of a particular field while also exploring both differences and connections between his or her chosen field of concentration and other disciplines. This understanding creates a sense of competence and confidence and points toward a career or advanced study in graduate or professional school. At Hamline, each student may choose from among 37 majors in traditional academic disciplines and interdisciplinary areas. It is also possible for the student to design his or her own major field of study through the Flexible Curriculum Option.

The Hamline Tradition


Hamline University was Minnesota’s first university, founded in 1854 by a group of visionary Methodist ministers and educators to provide education, leadership, and service to the frontier peoples of the Minnesota territory. Hamline’s affiliation with the United Methodist Church complements its liberal arts tradition by encouraging the exploration of spiritual values within a social and cultural context. From that exploration comes an emphasis on the individual development of personal values.

Hamline prepared Minnesota’s first teachers, lawyers, judges, physicians, public administrators, and business people. We have continued this tradition for over 150 years. We encourage the exploration of spiritual values within a social and cultural context. We foster ethical leadership in service to society.

Hamline University offers bachelor’s, master’s, doctorate, and juris doctor degrees-as well as certificates, professional development, and continuing education courses-to a diverse and select group of women and men. Today we are a high-quality, top ranked liberal arts university with more than 5,000 students within the College of Liberal Arts, School of Business, School of Education, and School of Law.

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