Info for Parents Counselors

Academics

  1. How does Puget Sound approach a liberal arts education?
  2. How is Puget Sound’s Core Curriculum distinctive?
  3. How many academic programs does Puget Sound offer?
  4. What is a full course load?
  5. How many units does Puget Sound require for graduation?
  6. Can I double major?
  7. How many students will be in my classes?
  8. Do I have an academic advisor my first year?
  9. What if I don’t know what I want to study? When do I have to declare a major?
  10. Are there opportunities for student research?
  11. Are there opportunities for internships? 
  12. Do Puget Sound students study abroad?
  13. Can I test out of a language requirement?
  14. Can I take summer classes?

 

1. How does Puget Sound approach a liberal arts education?

At Puget Sound, a student’s coursework is essentially divided into thirds: one third represents the core curriculum, another third is the student’s declared major, and the remaining third can be used for electives across the academic departments, specific programs, or can also be an additional major or minor. As a result, this flexible curriculum allows students to explore many academic interests and departments as they discover the interconnectedness between disciplines. 

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2. How is Puget Sound’s Core Curriculum distinctive?

The Core Curriculum is designed to expose students to a variety of academic departments through specific topics. These courses present an integrated approach to learning by utilizing multiple academic lenses. There are eight components to the Core Curriculum that students take throughout their four years at Puget Sound.

Core Curriculum course options are offered across the academic departments, thus students are able to take courses that are of interest to them while fulfilling necessary graduation requirements. The flexibility of the Core Curriculum allows students to complete these requirements on an individual basis. Many courses that satisfy the Core Curriculum also fulfill requirements for a major and/or minor.

Finally, the “Connections” component of the core is unique, as students will take an interdisciplinary class that is designed to incorporate subject material from across the academic spectrum. Typically, a diverse group of majors is represented in each Connections course. This structure promotes tremendous discussion that crosses traditional academic lines. This dialogue tends to focus on questions for which there are no objective answers. As a result, new ideas are infused into the class almost daily.

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 3. How many academic programs does Puget Sound offer?

There are over 50 different academic departments at University of Puget Sound. View a list of our Departments and Programs.

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4. What is a full course load?

On average, each student takes 4 units each semester. Usually, 4 units is equivalent to 4 courses.

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5. How many units does Puget Sound require for graduation?

Puget Sound requires each student to take 32 units to graduate. Typically, each course is worth 1 unit.  Learn more about graduation requirements.

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6. Can I double major?

Yes, you can! Approximately 33% of Puget Sound undergraduates double major.

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7. How many students will be in my classes? 

Our student-to-faculty ratio is 11:1. The average class size is 17 students per class. 

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8. Do I have an academic advisor my first year?

Students are matched with a faculty advisor based on their academic interest and initially meet during orientation. Faculty Advisors meet with students on an individual basis to help them register for classes, choose a major, and develop a four-year plan.  Students have the option of changing their faculty advisor when they officially declare their major at the end of their sophomore year.

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9. What if I don’t know what I want to study? When do I have to declare a major? 

Students can remain undecided until the end of sophomore year. As a result of our flexible curriculum, both declared and undecided students are able to explore subjects of interest while fulfilling graduation requirements.

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10. Are there opportunities for student research? 

Absolutely. Puget Sound offers fully funded summer research grants where undergraduates from all academic departments create their own research proposal and plan. At the end of the summer, students present their research to the Puget Sound community.  

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11. Are there opportunities for internships? 

Many students complete internships during their time at Puget Sound. Some internships are taken for credit, some are during the school semester, and others during the summer. Our Career and Employment Services (CES) website features national an global internship databases for student to search. Our Alumni Sharing Knowledge  network allows current students to connect with alumni in their field of interest for advice and information on internships offered by their organizations. CES also helps students prepare through assistance with cover letters and resumes, as well as by conducting mock interview sessions with students.

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12. Do Puget Sound students study abroad? 

About 175 Puget Sound students study abroad each year. Students have over 100 programs to choose from, spanning over 40 countries and 6 continents. Typically, abroad programs are offered for the fall and spring semester, as well as shorter summer programs. In our unique year-long Pacific Rim Program, students visit 8 to 9 different countries along the Pacific Rim with Puget Sound faculty.  

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13. Can I test out of a language requirement? 

Yes. Puget Sound students are required to take two semesters of a foreign language at the 100 level or one at the 200 level before graduation, but you can test out at any time. Learn about exemptions and testing.

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14.. Can I take summer classes? 

Puget Sound does offer a limited amount of courses during our Summer Session. These classes are offer in short blocks of time, making them more intensive.

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