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Theater and Dance

Within Theatre and Dance, there are five areas of emphasis: acting/directing, performance studies, history/literature/criticism, stage design, and dance/choreography. History, criticism and theory are integrated with practice in our course offerings and consequently, performance opportunities exist within most of our courses as well as in our mainstage productions. First-year students and non-majors frequently participate in our mainstage productions. There are many routes to a major, depending on general interest and/or emphasis.


All entering students who have previously studied Spanish will receive a letter from the Spanish Department informing them of their placement. Only the students with  an AP Spanish language or literature score of 4 or 5 or with no clear placement based on high school transcript will have to take the 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.


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 Diagnostic during New Student Orientation. The department uses the results of the Diagnostic Interview to recommend the appropriate starting point for each student. No prior knowledge of Russian is needed for enrollment in RUS 101.

Why Russian?


Introduction to Psychology (PSY 113) is the first course for students interested in psychology and is a prerequisite for other courses in the department. Psychology 113 is a one semester course offered both fall and spring semesters. The lab component of the course is tied to the lecture section and does not have a separate registration.


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 does not offer a specific pre-health or pre-med major, and a science major is not required for admission to medical school. With careful planning, pre-health students can participate in off-campus study or pursue a non-science major.

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.