Graduates from the Education Department learn to teach students to solve problems, to invent new knowledge, and to think for themselves.  They discover how to promote tolerance and respect for differences - of gender, race, class, and ability. They are trained in various means of resolving conflicts, of dealing with problems of substance abuse and family violence.  They become conversant with research-based standards for teaching students to read, write, discuss and calculate.

In addition, students are taught to become reflective teachers as they construct their own perspectives, understandings and convictions about teaching and learning.

The Education Department offers both a disciplinary minor and an interdisciplinary minor in Education, as well as a major in Educational Studies.


If you'd like to view a full listing of our course options in Education or any other subject, please visit the Online Course Catalogue.

Click for the Course Catalogue


Requirements for the major in Educational Studies

disciplinary, 10 courses

At least 6 courses must be unique to the major. All courses for the major must be completed with a grade of C- or better, and no more than two may be taken CR/NC. At least four courses must be at the 300-level or higher. Up to 3 courses may be chosen from outside the Education Department, with permission of the adviser. The 10 courses will consist of: 1 foundations course; 1 diversity course; 4 concentration courses; 3 electives; and 1 capstone experience: EDUC 420, or an approved independent study, honors, or internship. The four concentration courses will support a particular focus or theme within the broad field of educational studies.

Requirements for the minor in Education

disciplinary, 5 courses

Any five education courses with at least two courses at the 200-level, and at least two at the 300- or 400-level. Only one independent study may count toward the minor. SOC 261 Sociology of Education may substitute for one of the 200-level education courses; WRRH 322 Adolescent Literature, and AEP 335 Arts and Human Development may substitute for 300 or above education courses. At least three courses must be unique to the minor. Students majoring in arts and education may not minor in education. Any course used in meeting requirements for the minor must be passed with a grade of C- or better.

interdisciplinary, 6 courses

Six courses, at least two, but not more than three, in education. Courses in this minor must contribute to a theme grounded in education courses; courses outside education must be conceptually related to the education courses. At least four of the six courses must be at the 300-level or above. Only one independent study may be counted toward the minor. At least three courses must be unique to the minor. Any course used in meeting requirements for the minor must be passed with a grade of C- or better.


Our students choose from a variety of introductory and advanced courses, each designed to provide students with an understanding of the psychology, philosophy and history of education.

Below, are several of our most popular classes, as well as suggestions for making Education a part of your larger interdisciplinary experience at Hobart and William Smith Colleges.

EDU 203 Children with Disabilities


Develop a thorough understanding of and sensitivity to children and youth who experience disabilities by exploring disabilities through a variety of perspectives. Answer questions like, what impact does labeling have on children? And, how does society determine who has a disability? Then, learn about how children develop by enrolling in PSY 203 Introduction to Child Psychology, where you will learn specific theories and research methodologies in child development, as well as study contextual influences on development such as parenting, family environments, peers, media and schools.

EDU 320 Children's Literature


Look at contemporary works that represent the main forms of literature for children, such as tales and poems, picture books, readers, chapter books, and novels, then try your hand at writing and story-telling for children. If you discover that writing interests you, why not enroll in ENG 260 Creative Writing, and study the art of writing fiction and poetry.

EDU 370 Social Foundations in Multiculturalism


Examine the institution of schooling as it is positioned in a multicultural society and explore the relationship of schooling to other societal institutions in order to understand the academic, political, and social effects on students and society. Further explore the role of multiculturalism in terms of wealth, power, privilege and access by enrolling in ANTH 205 Race, Class and Ethnicity.



Preparing Students to Lead Lives of Consequence.