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The Academic Program


Augustana's curriculum is divided between disciplinary programs, such as academic majors, and a strong interdisciplinary general education system.

The Academic Disciplines at Augustana

Augustana’s academic program is organized around six academic divisions, which function much as colleges do within a university:
  • Business and Education
  • Fine and Performing Arts
  • Humanities
  • Language and Literature
  • Natural Sciences
  • Social Sciences

Each division is headed by an elected faculty chair and houses between three and seven departments. The six division chairs and the Dean of the College form the core of the Faculty Welfare Committee, our tenure and promotion committee.

We also have over 60 majors. About half are disciplinary programs based in individual academic departments while the other half are interdisciplinary programs, from Women & Gender Studies and Public Health to Africana Studies and Biochemistry.

The Augustana General Education System

The general ed program is named AGES: the Augustana General Education System. Most of us teach first-year or discipline-based courses that support it so you probably will, too. There are three parts:

First-Year Inquiry (FYI) is a sort of “freshman seminar” program.  This year-long sequence has two goals: to introduce fundamental classic and current questions addressed by the liberal arts and to build strong fundamental skills in inquiry, writing, speaking and research. In addition to being an important part of our students’ experience, the FYI courses also provide an opportunity for faculty to introduce students to their discipline’s style and perspectives.

Learning Perspectives are a distribution system with a difference. Instead of having, for example, a literature requirement that can be satisfied only by English courses or a history requirement only by History courses, any department can propose courses which meet any requirement’s core goals. As a result, a single department might offer courses that meet three or more distribution requirements. 

Learning Communities (LC) are, like life, complicated. They started as a conventional requirement to take at least one set of paired courses from two different disciplines. Communication Studies and Political Science might (and do!) create an LC on political campaign communication. They now include a broad array of options including some community-based internships and service-learning projects as well as our many international study programs.

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