Charting a Course through the Open Curriculum: An Open Conversation with Professor Gottschalk and Dean Phillips

The open curriculum affords every student the freedom to chart their own educational journey through Wesleyan. Because the curriculum is open, there are no required courses at Wesleyan other than the courses required to complete one’s major.  Students are expected to pursue intellectual breadth and depth during their four-year course of study, but the open curriculum does not proscribe any set path to achieve this goal.  Students are expected to find their own path.

So how do you navigate the open curriculum if there are no guideposts?  How do you chart a path through the open curriculum if you don’t yet know where you’re going?  This fall Wesleyan will be offering over a thousand courses in dozens of fields of study.  How will you decide which ones you want to take?

Peter Gottschalk, Professor of Religion, and David Phillips, Dean for the Class of 2024, will be hosting an open conversation on how to chart a course through the open curriculum via Zoom on Friday, July 24, from 11:30am—12:30pm EDT.  If you would like to join this conversation, please sign up though this link (Wesleyan login required).

Q&A Session for F-1 Visa Students

As many of you are aware of, on July 6, 2020, Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) issued new guidance regarding online courses and the fall semester for students in F-1 status. On July 7, 2020, additional information was issued in Frequently Asked Questions for Fall 2020.

Two Zoom sessions have been organized to answer your questions related to this polict. Please submit your questions here by 11:59 pm EDT on Sunday, July 12, 2020. We will review your questions and answer them during the sessions.

Zoom Session #1
Thursday, July 16, 2020
3:00-4:00 pm EDT

Zoom link:
Meeting ID: 998 9013 7466
Password: 628900Zoom Session #2
Friday, July 17, 2020
9:30 to 10:30 am EDTZoom link:
Meeting ID: 978 2927 5633
Password: 039128

Both Zoom sessions will be recorded. If you are not able to join, please email and you will be sent the link to the recorded sessions afterwards.

For more information, please contact

Chia-Ying Sophia Pan, M.S. Ed.
Director, International Student Services

Advice From Health Professions Advisor Mildred Rodriguez

Hello to all of you first year students considering the health professions!

As you get yourself ready to prepare for your future application to a health professions program such as medicine, dentistry, optometry, physical therapy, veterinary medicine, pharmacy, physician assistant, nursing, occupational therapy, and any other fields; you need to consider the different facets of your preparation and work on a plan.

To start begin setting goals related to the pre-requisite courses you need to complete alongside the courses for your major. To view a short video on the course selection for health professions go to:

Here are some other goals you might want to consider:

  • draft a tentative four-year plan for courses (including the pre-requisite science courses the HP programs might require) and include a study abroad experience if that is something you are hoping to incorporate into your educational timeline, and incorporate your future summer experiences
  • how do you plan to explore your health profession, possibly doing some research online but also starting to volunteer in a clinical setting that includes professionals in your health profession of interest
  • how will you maintain balance in your life and stay healthy
  • plan on gaining some shadowing experiences to observe a provider interacting with patients on a day-to-day basis
  • start volunteering in a clinical setting so that you can gain a sense of what bein in healthcare entails
  • set goals for getting involved with community service here in Middletown
  • join a student organization and engage within your campus community
  • take advantage of the wonderful and diverse courses available to you
  • build relationships with faculty and staff
  • focus on personal growth and becoming more resilient
  • hone your critical thinking, ethical responsibility, teamwork, cultural competence and scientific inquiry grounded in research.
  • engage in self-assessment along the way and set goals to comport yourself as a future pre-professional for the health career of your choice
  • read the Health Professions Newsletter and attend as many HP Events as you can
  • visit with the Health Professions Advisor at least once per semester
  • preparing for the health professions is a long process and there are so many other goals I could list here, but instead I encourage you to think about any goals you may have that are not listed and incorporate them into your plan

Next step, begin developing an action plan to tackle those goals. As you move forward and have questions, please come see me. I would be happy to meet you and help in any way I can. Once you are on campus, you can set up an appointment on HandShake, or call (860) 685-2180 or just drop by the Gordon Career Center and ask at the reception desk.

There will be a Health Professions Overview for First Years during New Student Orientation and will have 30 minute appointments throughout orientation and during the first two weeks of classes. Enjoy the rest of your summer and I hope to see you this fall!

Take good care.

Mildred Rodríguez, Ph.D.
Health Professions Advisor

Dual Degree Engineering Programs

For students wishing to combine the study of engineering with a broad background in liberal arts, Wesleyan maintains Dual Degree Programs with California Institute of TechnologyColumbia University (Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science), and Dartmouth College (Thayer School of Engineering). In these programs, students earn two bachelor degrees, a B.A. from Wesleyan and a B.S. (Caltech, Columbia) or B.E. (Dartmouth) from the affiliate engineering school. Various options are available. For more information, please contact Professor Lutz Huwel in the Physics department.

Preferred Name Information

Some members of the Wesleyan community are known by a name that is different from their legal name. Students who wish to be identified by a preferred name can enter that name in the Personal Information section of their WesPortal. More information is available here.

Cardinal Tech

Cardinal Tech is Wesleyan’s Apple Authorized Campus Store. Save money with education pricing all year long and take advantage of any Back to School promotion Apple launches.

We are also authorized to sell HP, Dell, and Windows Surface products. Standard configurations are available to order on our website or you can call Cardinal Tech 860-65-4400 for more options. Place your order today at

For more information, contact:

Transfer Connections Program

The Transfer Connection Program helps facilitate the transition of incoming sophomores and junior transfer students to Wesleyan. Students who transferred to Wesleyan over the last two years have volunteered to be your connection, or contact point, this spring and over the coming academic year to answer your questions and help you get settled into campus life. Their perspectives and experiences can be very helpful (and fun) as you look forward to your arrival at Wes.

If you’re an incoming transfer student, please fill out the Transfer Connections form. Students who transferred to Wesleyan over the last two years have volunteered to be your connection, or contact point, this summer and over the coming academic year to answer your questions and help you get settled into campus life. Past transfer students have expressed their appreciation for having had such a connection, saying “it was great having another transfer student share their experience…it was nice to have someone on campus who I knew could help me out in a pinch.” Another student noted that having similar interests with their connection enabled them to quickly become good friends.

Collegiate Programs: Thinking about Majoring in CSS, COL, or CEAS?

With over 1000 courses in 45 majors, 14 minors, 12 certificates, and a unique open curriculum choosing classes during pre-registration may seem like a stressful and daunting task. Many students come into Wesleyan without any idea of what they want to study – and that’s totally fine! For most students, major declaration does not happen until the second semester of sophomore year. However, Wesleyan has three majors that require declaration during the spring semester of freshman year. These programs are the College of Social Studies, the College of Letters, and the College of East Asian Studies. While we like to advise students to explore a wide range of classes in their first year of college and hone their interests, if you are thinking about one of these programs, it may affect the decisions that you make during pre-registration. This post will provide a description of each of these programs and some suggestions for those who are thinking about choosing one of these majors.

College of Social Studies.  The College of Social Studies is a rigorous, multidisciplinary major focusing on History, Government, Political and Social Theory, and Economics. CSS is reading and writing intensive, encouraging intellectual independence with weekly essays, small group tutorials, and a vibrant intellectual environment.

College of Letters.  The College of Letters is a interdisciplinary major for the study of European literature, history, and philosophy, from antiquity to the present. During these three years, students participate as a cohort in a series of colloquia in which they read and discuss works together (in English), learn to think critically about texts in relation to their contexts and influences—both European and non-European—and in relation to the disciplines that shape and are shaped by those texts. Majors also become proficient in a foreign language and study abroad in order to deepen their knowledge of another culture.

College of East Asian Studies.  The College of East Asian Studies challenges students to understand China, Japan, and Korea through the rigors of language study and the analytical tools of various academic disciplines. This process demands both broad exposure to different subjects and a focused perspective on a particular feature of the East Asian landscape.

For those considering one of these three majors, here are some helpful tips as you select your classes and enter your first semester of college:

Deadlines.  CSS, COL, and CEAS require major declaration in the spring of your freshman year. The deadline for CSS and COL is generally in March, and CEAS is in April. The application forms and the exact dates can be found on the department page of each major. If you are thinking about one of these majors, I would recommend talking to people who are in one of these majors or reaching out to any of the faculty members in the major as soon as possible.

Admission Requirements.  All CSS majors must complete the economics prerequisite either by taking ECON101 and achieving a grade of CR or a letter grade of at least C- or by taking ECON110 and achieving a grade of CR or a letter grade of at least C-. Some students who have not completed the economics prerequisite are admitted each year on the condition that they must complete the prerequisite in the fall term of the sophomore year. Even if you are possibly thinking about majoring in CSS, I would consider enrolling in an economics course in the first or second semester of your freshmen year.

Language Requirements.  COL and CEAS both have language requirements. COL majors must become proficient in a foreign language and study abroad in a country where the selected foreign language is spoken. CEAS majors are expected to take at least four semesters of East Asian language courses and reach a minimum of advanced-level (third-year) competency in Chinese, Japanese, or Korean. Majors who are native speakers of Chinese, Japanese, or Korean are expected to study another East Asian language. Those who have already studied a foreign language relevant to one of these majors do not necessarily have to enroll in a foreign language in the first semester. However, for those who need to start at a beginning level, it is highly recommended that you enroll in a language course as early as possible.

General Education Expectations.  Only CSS requires completion of Stage II general education requirements (three course credits in HA, SBS, and NSM, all from different departments or programs). However, CSS majors have until the end of junior year to complete Stage I general education requirements (two course credits in each area, all from different departments or programs). While COL and CEAS do not have general education requirements, it is highly recommended that ALL students complete Stage II general education requirements. A student who does not meet these expectations by the time of graduation will not be eligible for University honors, Phi Beta Kappa, honors in general scholarship, or for honors in certain departments and may not declare more than a combined total of two majors, certificates, and minors.

If you have any further questions about any of these three programs, we encourage you to reach out to a peer advisor or to a faculty member in the specific department.

Free Shipping for Summer Course Materials Ordered from Wesleyan RJ Julia Bookstore

Summer Special! Attention Class of 2024, purchase your Summer Sessions course materials from Wesleyan RJ Julia Bookstore and receive FREE SHIPPING. Visit to find your textbooks and enter coupon code FREESHIP2024 at checkout.

Wesleyan RJ Julia Bookstore, located on Main Street in Middletown, serves both the Wesleyan and Greater Middletown communities. We offer course materials; Wesleyan gear and insignia merchandise; school supplies, the latest bestsellers; and unique gifts, games, and greeting cards. Thank you for supporting your local independent bookstore!

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the bookstore at or (860) 685-3939.