The College departments and programs represent the liberal arts core of the University, ranging from the fine arts, the humanities, certain social sciences, journalism and mass communications, the natural and physical sciences, computer science, and mathematics.
The College provides the essentials of a liberal education to all undergraduates before they select their major field of study, and offers courses and majors leading to the degrees of Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science. The faculty of the College encourage and mentor independent scholarly work and offer opportunities for collaborative and independent research over the summer. The College curriculum also offers courses which prepare students for advanced professional training in engineering, journalism, law, and health.
All W&L students begin their careers as first-year students in the College, and are advised by faculty members as they select their courses for their first year and sophomore year. Students typically enroll in courses that fulfill the University foundations and distribution requirements, designed to introduce students to the full range of the liberal arts and sciences, and which will prepare them to make informed decisions about their advanced coursework and major.A student may elect to complete one or two minors in addition to a major, or may complete two majors, or even complete two different degrees. Interdepartmental majors, such as Neuroscience, Environmental Studies, or Medieval and Renaissance Studies are available to provide emphasis in a field, rather than in a single department. Special programs, such as Teacher Education are also available. With the guidance of faculty advisors, students may design their own major in Independent Work, leading to either a B.A. or B.S.