In the Classroom

At Emory University, our liberal arts learning is paired with research and discovery, providing students with the tools they need to pursue bold ideas and change the way we live in the world. This is never truer than in the classroom experiences obtained by Emory College and Oxford College students.

Exceptional academic opportunities abound, whether you're seeking the rigorous liberal arts experience in a research-university setting of Emory College, or the challenging, small liberal arts college experience in a close-knit setting of Oxford College. Whether you begin at Emory College or Oxford College, each academic experience finds ways to challenge your mind in unconventional ways. Click on the links below to learn more about the academic pathways ahead.

  • Emory College >>
  • Oxford College >>

Emory College

Real-Life Learning

Emory College combines the personal engagement and excellent teaching of a traditional liberal arts college with the ground-breaking scholarship and resources of a major research university. The diverse, ethically engaged, and inquiry-driven community seeks to transform the world through leadership in research, teaching, and service. Our mission is supported by an internationally recognized faculty, dynamic staff, and superb facilities that adopt the latest innovations in technology and environmental sustainability. Professors are the leading scholars in their field (and first-year student advisers), and learning is enriched by research, internships, and a community with smart, involved students.

With small classes (82 percent under 30 students) Emory College undergraduates get to know the faculty, are inspired to learn from their knowledge, and create connections for a lifetime.

General Education Requirements

The general education component of an Emory undergraduate education is organized to present an array of intellectual approaches and perspectives as ways of learning rather than a prescribed body of content. Its purposes are to develop students' competencies in the skills and methods of writing, quantitative methods, a second language, and physical education; to acquaint students with methodologies that characterize the humanities, the social sciences, and the natural sciences as the three broad divisions of learning in the arts and sciences; to deepen students' perspectives on national, regional, and global history and culture, and to give every student some exposure to an interactive seminar experience. These purposes are met by a student's choosing from a range of individual courses within a clearly defined framework.

Nature of Evidence

Emory College's Nature of Evidence curriculum trains students to use evidence as they learn—regardless of major—leading to fine-tuned observational and reasoning skills. Through University Courses, students can analyze in-the-news issues that draw upon the many perspectives and resources across campus. Experiential learning opportunities like internships, study abroad, leadership training, and research offer practical experience to enhance your knowledge toolkit.

Freshman Seminars

One of the distinctive features of an Emory College education is our First-Year Seminar requirement. These seminar classes offer a unique learning experience, in which first-year students participate in small classes—20 students or fewer—taught by distinguished faculty members. This engenders interaction, critical thinking, and communication skills, and engages students in deep inquiry and additional research. The seminars also give first-year students a taste of upper-level classes within their majors. This is a rare opportunity not enjoyed by first-year students at many schools. Examples of past First-Year Seminar topics are:

Gender in American Popular Culture: Offered by the Department of History, this seminar examines how American movies, magazines, television, and advertising have constructed images of masculinity and femininity from the 1920s to the present.

History of African American Education: This course comes from the Department of African American Studies, and it gives students a chance to explore educational obstacles, triumphs, and experiences of African Americans since Emancipation.

From Sand to Supercomputers - the Story of the Information Revolution: Offered by the Department of Physics, this seminar focuses on both the materials and technology behind the information revolution and technology's effect on modern life.

Oxford College

Innovative Liberal Arts

At Oxford College, our committed professors encourage students to think for themselves and to work toward the kind of transformative intellectual breakthroughs that signal real education. Through an innovative approach to liberal arts, students garner a higher-level understanding of academic disciplines and their application to the real world. Teachers and students are collaborators in learning at Oxford. Courses that prompt students to think differently or act differently—doing rather than passively listening—are the norm.

Classes are small at Oxford, with 95 percent being fewer than 30 students. Our students enjoy close connections with professors with ample opportunity to secure a faculty mentor early in their undergraduate careers. The central priority of Oxford faculty is teaching, so with more than 70 tenured professors on campus, students are guaranteed to be taught by top scholars in the field who proudly serve Oxford's community as supportive, energizing educators.

Classroom without Borders/Experiential Learning

Oxford students don't just sit in lecture halls and take notes. They work an organic farm, examine immigration practices in Costa Rica, and explore the geology of Big Bend National Park. And that's just the beginning. Our students go out into the world and fully engage with it through forms of experiential learning including service learning, travel education, and leadership training.

Oxford's Theory-Practice/Service Learning (TPSL) classes marry theory with practice. These courses give students a chance to apply their classroom knowledge in real-world situations so they can develop the tools to solve tough problems creatively. Whether they are practicing participant-observation in a cultural anthropology course or working on the organic farm in Sociology of Food, TPSL courses are proven to expand understanding. Similarly, in inquiry-based classes (INQ), students learn to examine then practice the methods of the discipline they are studying. These inquiry-guided courses stimulate curiosity and independent thinking, and many have service components. Students can choose from 40+ INQ courses each year.

Travel Education
Travel education courses at Oxford combine experience and academics, as students travel to learn and to contribute to various communities at locations in Georgia, the US, and around the world. The goal of these courses is not just to educate students, but to provide them with unique opportunities to truly develop as people. From learning how to analytically assess real-life situations to honing the social skills to be an effective leader, the travel courses offered at Oxford push students to grow.

Leadership Courses
Through academic skill-building programs and a number of campus wide leadership organizations, students make a deeply meaningful impact on campus while gaining skills and tools for life.

When classes include hands-on learning, education is more effective and students gain lasting skills. The abstract theories and ideas students discover in the classroom come to life.

Freshman Seminar

Freshman Seminar classes are small at Oxford: typically 14 students or fewer. So while other students worry about how to introduce themselves to classmates, you'll have plenty of opportunities to get to know everyone in the room. Professors who teach Freshman Seminars assign discussion-based activities and small-group projects to help students learn about their fellow classmates and about Oxford College. Dinners out at local restaurants or recreational activities such as putt-putt golf and bowling are common Freshman Seminar outings. Oxford students also have the added benefit of being paired with a Peer Advising Leader (PAL) during Orientation. PALs are a select group of second-year students who serve as orientation leaders and co-facilitators in Freshmen Seminars. They serve as great resources for new students to learn the ins and outs of college life.