What is College Colloquium, anyway?

The word "colloquium" is derived from a Latin word meaning "to talk together" — what does that mean for you at Willamette?

Students like to refer to College Colloquium as an "introduction to intellectual life at Willamette." This first-semester course immerses you in the liberal arts academic way of thinking and learning you'll find in all your Willamette classes. You will:

  • Actively discuss issues in a small class setting
  • Hone your critical reading and writing skills
  • Broaden your world view by studying new topics
  • Approach familiar subjects with a new perspective

Who knows? You might discover a new intellectual passion to investigate. Many of our students continue exploring their Colloquium topic after the class ends — Willamette provides College Colloquium Student Research Grants to help.

Diversity of topics

Professors from all academic departments develop intriguing Colloquium courses based on subjects they are enthusiastic and knowledgeable about.

That's why the topics are so diverse — Irish music, hoaxes, the mathematics of voting, the 1960s, and water in the American west are among the recent Colloquium subjects.

Your first professor

Your Colloquium professor is your academic advisor until you choose a major, usually sometime during your sophomore year. You won't find many other schools where your first instructor is also your first advisor.

This relationship means you immediately have personal attention from a professor who will help you further develop your academic skills and discover your passions. You will see your prof several days a week during your first semester, making it easy to ask for advice on course registration, graduation requirements or any other questions you might have.

Learn more on the College Colloquium website.

Let's "talk together"

"At first I wasn't too sure about a class with a name as simple as ‘Maps.' But after the first class, I knew I would never look at a map the same way again. My professor gave me a new way of examining the world, and that was extremely valuable."
Jonnie Dunne, environmental science major

"My Colloquium class was really interactive. With only 14 students, we got to know each other well. We still get together for breakfast."
Ben Donovan, physics major