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Accounting

The Master of Science in Accounting Program at Rhodes is 21 years old. The program, which takes two semesters to complete through a matter of eight courses, has proven to be extremely successful. In fact, it boasts 100 percent job placement for students following graduation, whether at big four, regional, or local firms.

Dr. Pamela Church, director of the M.S. in Accounting Program, explains that this incredible success rate is due to accounting students, both in the undergraduate and graduate programs, taking interdisciplinary courses. The program’s faculty do not believe that accounting should be taught in isolation. This means that on top of a thorough accounting education, which Church says “emphasizes both theoretical and technical elements,” students also receive an interdisciplinary teaching of business.

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Department of Anthropology and Sociology

The Department of Anthropology and Sociology combines the two disciplines, offering students an opportunity to learn how to interpret and explain the structural and environmental forces that influence human action and have resulted in myriad cultural forms. By mastering the theory and method of these two fields, majors are able to understand the society in which they find themselves and their actions as social and cultural beings. They also better appreciate alternative cultural ways of being in the world. With an average of nine majors per graduating class, students have ample opportunities to interact closely with faculty. Students are prepared for careers in areas such as domestic and international non-profit agencies, social services, health services, human resources, education, as well as research in academic, governmental, and corporate settings.

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Department of Art and Art History

In studio art courses, students cultivate material decisions to express personal ideas, innovation, and creativity toward the development of their own individual voice. Courses offer experience in a variety of materials, processes, and concepts, including drawing, painting, sculpture, and digital art. Art majors and minors benefit from public and private critiques involving faculty and outside professional critics that aid in the development of artwork and prepare them for a graduate experience. Senior majors and minors have intermittent private critiques with exhibiting artists from the Clough- Hanson Gallery, visiting artists, and Moss Lecturers. Senior majors enjoy the “Senior Studios” and exhibit their work in the Clough-Hanson Gallery as their capstone experience, for which there is a published catalogue.

In art history, students can expect exposure from diverse critical perspectives to a broad chronological range of art. The study of art history reminds us that a culture’s identity, whether communicated through religion, philosophy, or politics, is also given material form. In turn, these forms help us to understand better the ongoing questions of what it means to be human.

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Department of Biology

As one of the most popular departments on campus, Biology offers students opportunities to prepare for many career options. Students learn about all levels of biology as well as modern methods of research and investigation. Past graduates have entered the fields of research, medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, veterinary services, higher education, physical therapy, forestry, wildlife management, laboratory technology, and nursing, usually after completing post-graduate degrees.

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Department of Chemistry

The Rhodes College Chemistry department trains students in modern, interdisciplinary chemistry and prepares them for careers in chemistry research, education and industry, as well as for further education in chemical, medical and other health-related fields. Recent graduates have gone into science education (including Teach for America), chemical industry (Eli Lilly) and even finance. Recent students who have gone on to pursue graduate study have received substantial stipends at schools such as Rice University, University of Michigan, and Yale University. Recent graduates who have pursued medical school have enrolled at Harvard, Columbia, and Mayo Medical Schools. With this kind of record, students interested in Chemistry can be assured that Rhodes will prepare them for success. Dedicated faculty members, sophisticated equipment, and close learning are what students can expect from the Department of Chemistry at Rhodes. The Chemistry department regularly engages students both inside and outside the classroom, creating a community of lifelong learners. 

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Department of Commerce and Business

The Department of Commerce and Business is where students study the theories that undergird commerce and business; the methods of the functional areas of commerce and business—accounting, finance, marketing and management; and the broader social and historical perspective of commerce and business. The Commerce and Business major is excellent preparation for successful entry and advancement in the major functional areas of business. Moreover, the Department’s Executive in Residence provides one-on-one and classroom professional development and internship guidance for all Commerce and Business majors as they plan and prepare for their careers. A major in Commerce and Business is excellent preparation for graduate study in law, medicine, and each of the functional areas of business. Our majors pursue successful careers in accounting, marketing, sales, advertising, customer relations, financial planning, investment banking, human resource management, not-for-profits, and as entrepreneurs.

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Department of Economics

There are a number of fields of study within the economics discipline at Rhodes, including International Economics, Labor Economics, Economic History, Econometrics, Public Economics, Industrial Organization, and Macroeconomics. You can sample many of them through your coursework, optional research opportunities, and even internships. Within each of these fields of study, there is a strong emphasis on logical and quantitative analysis and communication skill, which serve as excellent preparation for students interested in careers in business, law, medicine, government, non-profits, and international relations, as well as in academic roles.

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Department of English

From the classics to the contemporary, the Department of English offers Rhodes students a wide array of courses in literature, creative writing and film. Students develop the ability to analyze and create with an emphasis on establishing the writing skills necessary throughout all phases of one’s education. There are approximately 40 majors per graduating class, so students can expect to have many opportunities to work closely with faculty members. In addition, many workshop-style classes provide a setting to develop a critical ear and eye through the presentation of one’s work in a group setting.

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Department of Greek and Roman Studies

The concern of the Greek and Roman Studies program is not only to help our students gain expertise in the languages and cultures of ancient Greece and Rome, but also to realize a number of more general goals, which will enhance the quality of their lives and accomplishments, regardless of their specific ambitions.

To achieve these goals we are committed to providing a learning environment for students that will allow them to gain an understanding of the ancient world in the most efficient, supportive, and creative ways possible.

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Department of History

The Department of History provides students with a broad understanding of the historical forces that have shaped the world’s civilizations.  Studying history helps one to develop a critical perspective on the world and to understand how one’s own identity and culture relate to those of others.  No matter what vocation a student chooses after graduation, historical study helps one to comprehend and contextualize the problems of contemporary society, while also enhancing one’s research, writing, and presentation skills.  In all of the Department’s classes, students are required to read deeply, write clearly, and think critically about the past.

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Department of International Studies

The Department of International Studies is one of the few liberal arts undergraduate departments of international studies in the nation. It is a political science department that specializes in comparative politics and international relations. The Department of International Studies prepares its students to understand international politics, foreign policy making, political development, international law, international organization, defense policy, and the politics and cultures of various countries and regions of the world. A solid foundation in international relations and comparative politics prepares Rhodes students for careers in international business and law, journalism, teaching, research, government, non-profits, and international organizations. Most faculty members of the International Studies Department are bilingual or multilingual.

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Department of Mathematics and Computer Science

The Department of Mathematics and Computer Science offers students numerous opportunities to develop quantitative reasoning, critical thinking, problem solving, and communication skills through its curriculum and extracurricular activities. A degree in Mathematics or Computer Science is excellent preparation for the career paths that most Rhodes graduates follow.

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Department of Modern Languages and Literatures

The Department of Modern Languages and Literatures at Rhodes features 16 faculty members, which means students have the opportunity for small classes and personal contact with their professors. Rhodes students have numerous options to study abroad and learn about new languages and cultures. We prepare our students for graduate study and/or careers in teaching, diplomacy, international business, international law, and translation, among many other fields.

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Department of Music

The mission of the Department of Music is to help all students acquire and synthesize a wide range of knowledge and experience in the areas of music theory, history, and performance in order to develop aesthetic sensibilities and the ability to express themselves musically in meaningful ways, and to provide music majors an excellent comprehensive preparation for graduate education in music. The addition of the Priddy Fine Arts Scholars program in 2005 created an additional focus on Fine Arts leadership in the areas of Music, Art, and Drama.

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Department of Philosophy

Philosophy addresses some of the most important and fundamental issues in our lives, exploring questions concerning the nature of reality, the role of values, obligations and choice in moral life, the sources of truth and meaning, and the power and limits of human reason and understanding. With an average of 10 majors per graduating class, the Department of Philosophy offers interested students extensive one-on-one interaction with department faculty members. Students of philosophy often continue to graduate school in order to pursue careers in such fields as teaching, law, and medicine.

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Department of Physics

The Department of Physics combines formal class work with hands-on laboratory work and independent research to create not just future scientists, but future leaders in the scientific community. With nearly 70% of all physics majors since 1958 having obtained an advanced degree in physics or a related field, the graduates of this department serve as an excellent symbol of the first-rate instruction and outstanding research experiences available to its physics majors. The department prepares students interested in physics, astronomy, engineering, medicine, geophysics, meteorology, education, and many other technical careers as well as non-technical areas such as law and finance.

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Department of Political Science

Offering a highly popular major at Rhodes, the Department of Political Science prepares students to address: fundamental questions of equality, liberty, justice; the history of political philosophy; the constitutional structure of government in the United States and the major institutions of national politics; urban politics; and public policy.  Students are prepared for a variety of careers such as government service, law, education, criminal justice, business, education, and journalism.

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Department of Psychology

The Department of Psychology provides students with the opportunity to develop an understanding of human behavior and experience a variety of theoretical perspectives.  The faculty specializes in a wide variety of psychological topics, including physiological, clinical, health, cognitive, social, developmental psychology, and education. The department offers several courses of general interest to non-majors and students in related fields. 

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Religious Studies

The Department of Religious Studies promotes the academic study of religion by offering courses that explore the diverse aspects of religious traditions. Particular emphasis is given to the origins, history, and relevance of religion in contemporary life.  Rhodes students often choose to take courses in religious studies in order to investigate areas of personal interest, to fulfill Rhodes’ basic requirement in humanities, and to acquire valuable career and interpersonal skills in critical thinking about human problems, ethical awareness and commitment, and cultural and religious diversity.  Religious Studies majors graduate from Rhodes fully qualified to enter seminary and to prepare for religious vocations.  Some graduates have entered the fields of business, counseling, publishing, social work, law, and medicine.

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Department of Theatre

The Department of Theatre at Rhodes College regards theatre as a means of evaluating and expressing our humanity by telling stories through which we realize our individual and common identities. In our theatrical lives, we ask and answer questions, confront dilemmas, and challenge preconceptions and assumptions. In our study and research, we seek to understand how theatrical arts change people. Through discipline, training, research, and practice, we examine ways of living effectively and honestly, anticipating graduates who will take their experience here into all imaginable professional disciplines and ways of life.

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Astronomy

The Department of Physics at Rhodes College combines formal class work with hands-on laboratory work and independent research designed to develop not just future scientists, but future leaders in the scientific community. The department is housed in a six-story building called Rhodes Tower, which is currently undergoing a complete renovation. The facility is distinguished by the two large silver observatory domes on the roof, which contain a 14-inch Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope and 31.5-inch Newtonian telescope. These telescopes are used to support our astronomy courses and student research in astronomy.

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Biochemistry & Molecular Biology

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (BMB) is an interdisciplinary major that allows students to study life at the molecular level. Under the guidance of faculty members drawn from the departments of Biology, Chemistry, and Mathematics & Computer Science, BMB majors study the structures and functions of cells and biological molecules by using contemporary methods of biochemical analysis, recombinant DNA technology, molecular genetics, fungal genomics, and bioinformatics. By drawing upon the resources and perspectives of multiple disciplines, this major reflects the collaborative nature of current scientific research in this exciting area.

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Education

The Education Program at Rhodes is a part of the Department of Psychology and offers a sequence of courses in education, psychology, and supporting fields that can lead to a minor in Educational Studies. The curriculum provides a basic but thorough understanding and appreciation for the American system of education as well as the teaching and learning process. In addition, students are allowed to design a course selection plan to fit their area of interest (elementary, middle, or secondary school; counseling or school psychology; higher education; etc.). The program also provides a series of field experiences in the diverse community of Memphis and the Mid-South.

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Engineering

Rhodes partners with Washington University in St. Louis and Christian Brothers University in Memphis to offer dual-degree engineering programs, which develop students who are "liberally educated engineers,” having the benefits of both specialization and the breadth of a liberal arts education. Graduates of these programs possess strong communication and problem-solving skills, and a broad background in the humanities and social sciences, as well as a high-quality technical education. These programs train leaders and innovators in science, engineering, business, liberal and fine arts.

Environmental Science & Environmental Studies

The Environmental Studies & Sciences Program at Rhodes offers an innovative curriculum that allows students to combine study in social sciences, humanities, natural sciences, and fine arts. The program encourages a personalized combination of interdisciplinary coursework and a sustained examination of global and local contexts and environmental issues from many perspectives.

The program is unique because of the college’s urban setting in Memphis, which provides numerous opportunities for research related to urban environmental questions, such as brownfields and environmental justice. In addition, our location along the Mississippi River, on the edge of the Delta, and atop the New Madrid Fault, present other possible opportunities for students to study and research environmental issues in hands-on ways.

Health Professions

Rhodes College’s strong Health Professions Advising program and challenging science curriculum, as well as hands-on experiences through internships and Memphis partnerships, prepare students to continue their training for careers in a wide range of health fields. More than 30% of our students are investigating a career in a health profession.

The Health Professions Advising office oversees and coordinates a number of programs and school resources to help students investigate, prepare, and apply to health professions schools, including the HPA website, one-on-one advising, library materials, programming, the student-run Health Professions Society, internships, an alumni network, essay-writing guidance, mini-practice tests (i.e. MCAT, GRE), community volunteer opportunities, and more.

Humanities

Questions about the meaning and purpose of life are central to human existence. Every area of the Rhodes curriculum touches in some way upon such questions, whether directly as in moral philosophy, epic poetry, and political thought, or indirectly as in studies of the history of medieval Europe, economic theory, and the physical structure of the universe. Rhodes’ unique “gateway” academic programs, Life: Then and Now (“Life”) and The Search for Values in the Light of Western Religion and History (“Search”), help students learn to appreciate the role of historical context in shaping values, beliefs, and practices and to reflect critically on their own values, beliefs, and practices.

Neuroscience

The Neuroscience major at Rhodes is designed to provide students with a nuanced understanding of the methodological challenges and conceptual issues that lie at the heart of efforts to understand the function of the nervous system and its role in behavior. This program will provide students with an opportunity to explore brain function using multiple approaches from interdisciplinary perspectives and thus will prepare them to pursue postgraduate work in a variety of fields where knowledge of the brain and behavior are required. The major will also provide excellent training for future physicians, teachers, health care workers, and biotechnicians.

Political Economy

The Political Economy program at Rhodes involves the direct and sustained study of the complex moral and practical considerations, quandaries, and disputes that arise at the intersection of politics and economics. The program and the associated major study the many ways that politics, principles, and economics interact in the formation of policy choices and actual policies. It further looks at the impact of political and economic choices on the prosperity and well-being of those who organize a society under various systems.

Pre-Dentistry

Rhodes College’s strong Health Professions Advising program and challenging science curriculum, as well as hands-on experiences through internships and Memphis partnerships, prepare students to continue their training for careers in a wide range of health fields, including Dentistry. More than 30% of our students are investigating a career in a health profession.

The Health Professions Advising office oversees and coordinates a number of programs and school resources to help students investigate, prepare, and apply to health professions schools, including the HPA website, one-on-one advising, library materials, programming, the student-run Health Professions Society, internships, an alumni network, essay-writing guidance, mini-practice tests (i.e. MCAT, GRE), community volunteer opportunities, and more.

Pre-Law

Although Rhodes does not have a specific pre-law major, many available majors offer suitable preparation for law school, including Political Science, Philosophy, International Studies, History, and English. Any student interested in applying to law school will have access to a pre-law advisor who provides counsel on law school preparation and the application process.

Rhodes has enjoyed a law school acceptance rate of better than 90 percent. This far exceeds the national rate reported by the Law Council. Increasingly, law schools look for well-rounded applicants who have been involved in activities such as mock trial. The Rhodes Mock Trial program has set a standard of excellence - we have placed 25 teams in the nation′s "top ten" and also hold the current record for consecutive national championship tournament appearances at 28 years.

Pre-Medicine

Rhodes College’s strong Health Professions Advising program and challenging science curriculum, as well as hands-on experiences through internships and Memphis partnerships, prepare Rhodes students to continue their training for a wide ranger of careers in health fields. More than 30% of our students are investigating a career in a health profession.

The Health Professions Advising office oversees and coordinates a number of programs and school resources to help students investigate, prepare, and apply to health professions schools, including the HPA website, one-on-one advising, library materials, programming, the student-run Health Professions Society, internships, an alumni network, essay-writing guidance, mini-practice tests (i.e. MCAT, GRE), community volunteer opportunities, and more.

Pre-Veterinary

Rhodes College’s strong Health Professions Advising program and challenging science curriculum, as well as hands-on experiences through internships and Memphis partnerships, prepare Rhodes students to continue their training for careers in health fields, including Veterinary medicine. More than 30% of our students are investigating a career in a health profession.

The Health Professions Advising office oversees and coordinates a number of programs and school resources to help students investigate, prepare, and apply to health professions schools, including the HPA website, one-on-one advising, library materials, programming, the student-run Health Professions Society, internships, an alumni network, essay-writing guidance, mini-practice tests (i.e. MCAT, GRE), community volunteer opportunities, and more.

Social Studies

The Rhodes Anthropology and Sociology department offers students the opportunity to learn how to interpret and explain the structural and environmental forces that influence human action, and that have resulted in myriad cultural forms. By studying the theory and method of the two academic fields, majors are able to understand the society in which they live and their actions as social and cultural beings. They also come to appreciate alternative cultural ways of being in the world.

Students have ample opportunities for close interaction with faculty members, and they are well prepared for careers in a variety of areas, including domestic and international non-profit agencies, social services, health services, human resources, education, and international relations.

Social Work and Human Services

Engaging in community service is nothing new at Rhodes. For two years in a row, Newsweek magazine named Rhodes the #1 service-minded school in the U.S. The Kinney Program is Rhodes’ most direct connection to service and social-action opportunities in Memphis, with about 100 local community partners. And our Bonner Scholars Program offers scholarships to up to 15 entering students who have a strong commitment to change-based service. And Summer Service Fellowships are intensive, nine-week summer experiences that award academic credit for working full time with Memphis community organizations.

Undecided

Our vision of a liberal education balances rigorous classroom academics with the challenge of putting these lessons into action. At Rhodes, you’ll be encouraged to engage in research, leadership and service opportunities—and to take responsibility for shaping your educational experience to meet your personal interests and goals.

Because our goal is to graduate students with the ability to transform their communities, we offer a variety of degree options—as well as opportunities for pre-professional and dual-degree programs, study abroad and honor societies. And because of our rigorous academic programs, Rhodes graduates have an exceptionally high rate of acceptance into graduate schools and professional programs.

Urban Studies

In Urban Studies, coursework is integrated with urban field experiences to lend perspective to different urban phenomena. It provides an interdisciplinary learning experience grounded in the liberal arts and connected to the concerns of Memphis, the Mid-South region, and the world. Students and faculty alike have the opportunity to learn from and contribute to the rich, diverse culture and history of Memphis. Rhodes partners with more than 400 businesses and non-profits in the Memphis and larger Shelby County area through research, internships, and other forms of engagement.

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