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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?


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 and staff assist in providing guidance to students interested in medical school (or one of the other health professions) through the Health Professions Advisory Committee (HPAC) and the Center for Careers, Life, and Service (CLS).

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.