Current Students


Many Sociology majors study off campus for a semester, typically during the third year. The Department strongly encourages off-campus study, as well as internships, and helps students, with early planning, adjust their four-year plans to incorporate such opportunities.

The Sociology major begins with Sociology 111, which introduces students to the concepts, theories, and methods of the discipline and is a prerequisite to all courses at the 200 level.


All entering students who have previously studied Russian should take a Placement Test during New Student Orientation (it is not administered at any other time). The department uses the results of the Placement Test to recommend the appropriate starting point for each student.

Why Russian?


Since most courses following Psychology 113 require a course in statistics — Mathematics 115 (Introduction to Statistics) or Mathematics 209 (Applied Statistics) — students should take this course as early as possible.


Students interested in preparing for medical school or another health profession may select any major offered at Grinnell College while completing the required pre-health courses. Grinnell College does not offer a specific pre-health or pre-med major.

Faculty assist in providing guidance to students interested in medical school (or one of the other health professions) through the Health Professions Advisory Committee (HPAC).

Political Science

Incoming students interested in political science should register for POL101. Advanced placement and IB credits may be counted toward the major but cannot be substituted for POL 101.

Political Science 101 is open to first-year students. Political Science 101 offers a rigorous introduction to the concepts and methods of the discipline.


The physics major is designed so that students following the physics curriculum need not decide between physics and mathematics majors until registration for the fourth semester.

Physical Education

A maximum of 4 credits in Physical Education 100 or 101 can count towards graduation.

There is no major in physical education (P.E.) at Grinnell, but the department offers many ways for students to be involved: in activity classes, content (theory) courses, and on varsity athletic teams.


It is possible to complete a major in Philosophy without taking a course in Philosophy during the first year.

Philosophy 101, 102, 106, 111, and 135 are open to any first-year student. Philosophy 111 (Introduction to Philosophy) is a historically-oriented course which is an excellent general education choice for students in all fields, as well as the prerequisite for most advanced courses in philosophy.


Please note: Students wishing to enroll in MUS 112/111 Harmony should take the brief Music Theory Placement Test offered during New Student Orientation. The placement exam will help the student discern whether s/he should enroll in Harmony or the more preparative Musicianship course (MUS 109). The Music Department does not accept AP credit as a substitute for MUS 112.

Music lessons & ensembles


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