Ampersand Programs

All Programs and Descriptions

Biotech Explorers Pathway

This two-year program explores the science of biotechnology and how discoveries move from the lab into the real world. The Biotech Explorers Pathway (BEP) aims to build connections between science, business, technology, and engineering at the start of undergraduate studies; to highlight how scientific discoveries lead to useful applications; and to guide students from examples toward idea generation and project development.

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Democracy and Myth in Ancient Greece

This two-semester program offers an engaging and profound study of ancient Greek culture and literature, with a particular focus on Athens at the height of its political, literary, and intellectual influence.  Students will study the narratives that shaped religion and culture in the ancient world and then experience what it was like to be a citizen in the first democracy!  At the end of the program, we will travel to Greece and visit the very places we have been discussing all semester, such as the theater of Dionysus in Athens, the oracle at Delphi, and the stadium at Olympia. 

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Encountering China

Building bridges of understanding between the United States and the Republic of China in Taiwan, this course will introduce students to the variety and rich history of Chinese visual and performance cultures on the Chinese mainland, in Taiwan, and throughout the Chinese diaspora. A collaboration between the East Asian Languages and Cultures and Performing Arts departments, this course explores Chinese cultural narratives in relation to how they have been performed--on stage in traditional forms of dance-drama, on screen in film, and as lived in the practice of everyday life--from the late Imperial period to the present. Combining creative and critical assignments, the course invites students to conduct interviews, stage plays, rehearse dance forms, and make videos that demonstrate their developing knowledge of historical and contemporary Chinese-language literature, dance-drama, and film. Students may participate in a culminating spring break trip to Taiwan.

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Examining America

Examining America is a two-semester course sequence that introduces students to the multidisciplinary and critical study of American culture, history, politics, and society. In both semesters students gain a foundational understanding of course concepts, frameworks, and topics related to the formation of identities in the United States and across American imperialism, including issues of race and ethnicity, arts and performance, media and popular culture, and inequalities that shape the experiences, works, and lives of diverse populations. 

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Global Citizenship Program

This unique, yearlong opportunity led by four instructors from different disciplines brings together a community of engaged students and faculty interested in understanding global affairs and exploring how our own mental maps compare to the realities of a globalized world. Through thoughtful class discussion and weekly collaboration in an event-planning workshop, participants will develop skills for effective group work and a critical consciousness that will serve them throughout college and their future career. Joining the Global Citizenship Program will link you to participants, past, present and future, with connections that will last a lifetime. 

 

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Law and Society

This course considers the basic aspects of the American legal system: its foundations, processes, institutions and rights. The course also enables students to better understand and assess current legal events and encourages students to develop an interest in those events. Further, this course should enable students to consider law as a future area of study and career. Interested participants may continue their study in the spring semester with an optional one-credit seminar focusing on contemporary Supreme Court cases.

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Literary Culture of Modern Ireland

This two-semester program will examine the literature of Ireland from 1890 to the present. This is the period a great efflorescence of literature in many genres, occurring alongside some of the most important political, social, and military events in modern Irish history. Come explore this literary world with us, including a trip to Ireland in May 2020.

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Medicine and Society

The foundation of this multi-year program is medical anthropology—the study of human health and illness across culture, time, and location—and we tackle wide-ranging issues like the ethics of genetic engineering, social and behavioral factors affecting infectious diseases, and the causes of health disparities. The program also emphasizes service and research at health-related sites throughout St. Louis, and the curriculum is fully coordinated with pre-medical course requirements.

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Mind, Brain, Behavior

How do we think, remember, and process language?  What is human consciousness?  In this two-year program, you will investigate exciting new theories, problems, and empirical studies in the areas of attention, memory, and language.  First-year MBB students take two core courses that provide an introduction to the mind-brain from three different cognitive science perspectives; Psychology, Neuroscience, and Philosophy. In the second year, MBB students can undertake research under the supervision of a participating MBB faculty mentor.

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Pathfinder Fellows in Environmental Leadership

Pathfinder Fellows in Environmental Leadership is a four-year, interdisciplinary cohort-based undergraduate program providing the academic rigor and field experience needed to deeply understand, respect and respond to a place and its people in light of environmental challenges. Integrated around the rich themes of environmental studies, including environmental science, policy, humanities and sustainability, the program welcomes students from all four undergraduate schools with a yearly cohort of 12-16 students.

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Phage Hunters

This two-semester program engages you in a national research project to isolate and analyze bacteriophage (bacterial viruses) that infect mycobacteria. The course is part of a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) initiative, in which we partner with more than 50 other colleges and universities across the nation. The program is designed to provide first-year students with an opportunity to participate in scientific research from their first day on campus.

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Safe Asylum: Refugee Politics and Pathways

How do people whose lives have been disrupted by trauma – often by war, but also other forms of state violence – make a new home? Join other students who want to understand the politics and lived experiences of refugees seeking safe asylum. This program challenges students to engage intellectually and act locally as we partner with a local school district and learn about refugee incorporation in the St. Louis area. The end-of-year study trip will illuminate the global challenges we study through first-hand experiences in Morocco and Germany.

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Text and Traditions

There are many ways for you to begin a serious engagement with literature, philosophy, history, art, and critical thinking at WashU. One of the best is to enroll in the Text and Traditions program. In “T&T,” students explore the texts and intellectual traditions upon which modern culture has been built—from ancient Mediterranean thought to the modern novel. The goal of the program is to provide a serious foundation in the humanities, a foundation in content and in methods of inquiry. Each fall, the program accepts 50 first-year students to embark together on a semester-long journey through the classics.

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The Hallmarks of Cancer and Patient Care

It’s news no one wants to hear – “You have cancer.”  This 3-semester program explores the biology of human cancers and how individuals stricken with this disease intersect with medical professionals in the field of patient care.

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History, Memory & Representation of the Holocaust

This rigorous full-year program goes deeper into the subject of the Holocaust by engaging intensively with the history and memory of the Nazi genocide of the European Jews and other groups between 1933 and 1945.  In addition, it examines representations of this experience in literature and film and at memorial sites and museums. Students gain a more thorough understanding of better-known histories and narratives of the Holocaust and explore aspects of the Holocaust that are underrepresented in contemporary American culture or that have otherwise been marginalized. 

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The History of Culture of the Venetian Republic

Wade into Venice, the most envied and dazzling city in Europe, and discover how it lost it all.

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Theater as a Living Art

This program allows you to become intimately involved in theater at WashU. Covering a range of historical and contemporary performance experiences and techniques, the two-course program culminates with a class trip to Chicago to attend performances at the Steppenwolf Theater, the Goodman Theater, and the Chicago Shakespeare Festival.

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Women in Science

Are you interested in a career in STEM? Whether you think you want to be a physician, a university chemistry professor, a researcher in the medical field, or a scientist working in industry, the Women in Science (WIS) program will allow you to explore a variety of options in the sciences and learn about the role of women in science, both past and present. In addition to meeting women scientists from the Danforth Campus and Medical School who will come and speak about their scientific research and careers, you will have the opportunity to shadow and interview women scientists to learn firsthand about the joys, successes, and frustrations of these accomplished scientists.

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(Re)Imaging the Urban

As sites of allure and danger, cities in the US and Latin America provide an ideal lab to critically analyze informality and renewal in the 20th century. 

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Programs with Travel

These programs typically have an international and/or domestic travel component, which could be affected by federal and local guidelines related to health, safety, and security considerations. These programs main academic components will not be affected.

(Re)Imaging the Urban

As sites of allure and danger, cities in the US and Latin America provide an ideal lab to critically analyze informality and renewal in the 20th century. 

Learn More

Encountering China

Building bridges of understanding between the United States and the Republic of China in Taiwan, this course will introduce students to the variety and rich history of Chinese visual and performance cultures on the Chinese mainland, in Taiwan, and throughout the Chinese diaspora. A collaboration between the East Asian Languages and Cultures and Performing Arts departments, this course explores Chinese cultural narratives in relation to how they have been performed--on stage in traditional forms of dance-drama, on screen in film, and as lived in the practice of everyday life--from the late Imperial period to the present. Combining creative and critical assignments, the course invites students to conduct interviews, stage plays, rehearse dance forms, and make videos that demonstrate their developing knowledge of historical and contemporary Chinese-language literature, dance-drama, and film. Students may participate in a culminating spring break trip to Taiwan.

Learn More

Global Citizenship Program

This unique, yearlong opportunity led by four instructors from different disciplines brings together a community of engaged students and faculty interested in understanding global affairs and exploring how our own mental maps compare to the realities of a globalized world. Through thoughtful class discussion and weekly collaboration in an event-planning workshop, participants will develop skills for effective group work and a critical consciousness that will serve them throughout college and their future career. Joining the Global Citizenship Program will link you to participants, past, present and future, with connections that will last a lifetime. 

Learn More

Democracy and Myth in Ancient Greece

This two-semester program offers an engaging and profound study of ancient Greek culture and literature, with a particular focus on Athens at the height of its political, literary, and intellectual influence.  Students will study the narratives that shaped religion and culture in the ancient world and then experience what it was like to be a citizen in the first democracy!  At the end of the program, we will travel to Greece and visit the very places we have been discussing all semester, such as the theater of Dionysus in Athens, the oracle at Delphi, and the stadium at Olympia. 

Learn More

Literary Culture of Modern Ireland

This two-semester program will examine the literature of Ireland from 1890 to the present. This is the period a great efflorescence of literature in many genres, occurring alongside some of the most important political, social, and military events in modern Irish history. Come explore this literary world with us, including a trip to Ireland in May 2020.

Learn More 

Safe Asylum: Refugee Politics and Pathways

How do people whose lives have been disrupted by trauma – often by war, but also other forms of state violence – make a new home? Join other students who want to understand the politics and lived experiences of refugees seeking safe asylum. This program challenges students to engage intellectually and act locally as we partner with a local school district and learn about refugee incorporation in the St. Louis area. The end-of-year study trip will illuminate the global challenges we study through first-hand experiences in Morocco and Germany.

Learn More

History, Memory & Representation of the Holocaust

This rigorous full-year program goes deeper into the subject of the Holocaust by engaging intensively with the history and memory of the Nazi genocide of the European Jews and other groups between 1933 and 1945.  In addition, it examines representations of this experience in literature and film and at memorial sites and museums. Students gain a more thorough understanding of better-known histories and narratives of the Holocaust and explore aspects of the Holocaust that are underrepresented in contemporary American culture or that have otherwise been marginalized. 

Learn More

Programs with Research

BioTech Explorers Pathway

This two-year program explores the science of biotechnology and how discoveries move from the lab into the real world. The Biotech Explorers Pathway (BEP) aims to build connections between science, business, technology, and engineering at the start of undergraduate studies; to highlight how scientific discoveries lead to useful applications; and to guide students from examples toward idea generation and project development.

Learn More

Mind, Brain, Behavior

How do we think, remember, and process language?  What is human consciousness?  In this two-year program, you will investigate exciting new theories, problems, and empirical studies in the areas of attention, memory, and language.  First-year MBB students take two core courses that provide an introduction to the mind-brain from three different cognitive science perspectives; Psychology, Neuroscience, and Philosophy. In the second year, MBB students can undertake research under the supervision of a participating MBB faculty mentor.

Learn More

Phage Hunters and Bioinformatics

This two-semester program engages you in a national research project to isolate and analyze bacteriophage (bacterial viruses) that infect mycobacteria. The course is part of a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) initiative, in which we partner with more than 50 other colleges and universities across the nation. The program is designed to provide first-year students with an opportunity to participate in scientific research from their first day on campus.

Learn More

Women in Science

Are you interested in a career in STEM? Whether you think you want to be a physician, a university chemistry professor, a researcher in the medical field, or a scientist working in industry, the Women in Science (WIS) program will allow you to explore a variety of options in the sciences and learn about the role of women in science, both past and present. In addition to meeting women scientists from the Danforth Campus and Medical School who will come and speak about their scientific research and careers, you will have the opportunity to shadow and interview women scientists to learn firsthand about the joys, successes, and frustrations of these accomplished scientists.

Learn More

Programs with In-the-Field or Service

Medicine and Society

The foundation of this multi-year program is medical anthropology—the study of human health and illness across culture, time, and location—and we tackle wide-ranging issues like the ethics of genetic engineering, social and behavioral factors affecting infectious diseases, and the causes of health disparities. The program also emphasizes service and research at health-related sites throughout St. Louis, and the curriculum is fully coordinated with pre-medical course requirements.

Learn More

Pathfinder Fellows in Environmental Leadership

Pathfinder Fellows in Environmental Leadership is a four-year, interdisciplinary cohort-based undergraduate program providing the academic rigor and field experience needed to deeply understand, respect and respond to a place and its people in light of environmental challenges. Integrated around the rich themes of environmental studies, including environmental science, policy, humanities and sustainability, the program welcomes students from all four undergraduate schools with a yearly cohort of 12-16 students.

Learn More

The Hallmarks of Cancer and Patient Care

It’s news no one wants to hear – “You have cancer.”  This 3-semester program explores the biology of human cancers and how individuals stricken with this disease intersect with medical professionals in the field of patient care.

Learn More