Williams College Maritime Studies Concentration
The Maritime Studies Concentration provides students with an opportunity to explore how humans interact with the environment, including the maritime environment. Understanding the oceans and our interactions with them is of increasing importance in this era of climate change, sea-level rise, fisheries crises, and the internationalization of the high seas. We encourage students to investigate our WaterWorld from the perspectives of the humanities, social sciences, and physical sciences. Maritime Studies is an interdisciplinary, cross-divisional program that includes the literature, history, policy issues, and science of the ocean.
Candidates for the concentration in Maritime Studies must complete a minimum of seven courses: the interdisciplinary introductory course (GEOS 104 Oceanography), four intermediate core courses (at Williams-Mystic), an elective, and the senior seminar.
Students who have completed other study-away programs that emphasize maritime studies should consult with the CES chair about the possibility of completing the Maritime Studies concentration.
Honors in Maritime Studies
Candidates for honors in Maritime Studies will complete a thesis in their senior year. The project will involve original research (archive, museum, field, or laboratory) followed by on-campus analysis and write-up of results. The thesis may either be a one-semester plus winter study project, or a full year (two semesters plus winter study). In either case, data collection during the summer before the senior year may be necessary. In some cases, the thesis project may be a continuation and expansion of the student’s Williams-Mystic research project. Honors will be awarded if the thesis shows a high degree of scholarship, originality, and intellectual insight.