Students who wish to investigate a variety of academic disciplines before selecting a major may enter Ithaca College through the Exploratory Program in the School of Humanities and Sciences. Exploratory students are assigned experienced academic advisers who help them choose courses from the liberal arts and preprofessional curricula at the College. After one semester in the program, students are free to enter a major in H&S or apply for transfer to another school of the College. They may also remain in the Exploratory Program through the end of the sophomore year, or until they have earned 60 credits, at which time they are required to declare a major. Exploratory students are subject to the same academic regulations as all H&S students and are encouraged to take advantage of all the College resources open to the general student population.
H&S offers a variety of opportunities for interdisciplinary study. For the student who would like to design a major that crosses disciplinary fields, the planned studies major may be of interest. Students who would like to broaden the focus of their education may opt for one of the interdisciplinary minors offered by H&S: classical studies, Jewish studies, Latin American studies, medieval and renaissance studies, Native American Studies, and neuroscience. Students also have the option of pursuing independent service learning projects through the community service program. For a full description of these offerings, see the "Individual and Interdisciplinary Studies Programs" section.
Individual and Interdisciplinary Studies Programs
Students may prepare for the study of law by completing any of the regular majors in the School of Humanities and Sciences. Law schools do not stipulate any specific prelaw courses of study. Students planning to study law should discuss this goal with their adviser and develop a program that emphasizes those skills and insights that the Association of American Law Schools has stated are needed for the study of law: (1) comprehension and expression with words; (2) critical understanding of the human institutions and values with which the law deals; and (3) creative power in thinking.
Specific information on law schools and law careers is available from the Office of Career Services. For additional assistance, contact the prelaw adviser, Jonathan Laskowitz, 327 Muller Faculty Center.
Students who wish to prepare for any of the medical science professions -- dentistry, medicine, optometry, osteopathy, podiatry, veterinary medicine -- may do so at Ithaca College in a variety of ways. No specific major is required to prepare for these professions (biology, chemistry, psychology, English, philosophy, and exercise science are some examples of good preparatory majors), but students must complete a minimum of one year each of biology, general or inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry, physics, and English. Calculus is highly recommended.
Courses recommended but not required by the professional schools vary, but they include advanced courses in biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics. All such coursework is available at Ithaca College. Students interested in any of the medical sciences should contact the chairperson of the Premedical Sciences Advisory Committee, Andrew Smith, 155 Center for Natural Sciences, as early as possible in their academic career. This will ensure that their academic programs are planned to meet all requirements for professional school by the end of the junior year and in time for the professional schools' admissions tests.
This joint program with the Pennsylvania College of Optometry and the State University of New York College of Optometry enables students in certain disciplines to receive both a bachelor's degree from Ithaca College and a doctor of optometry degree in seven years rather than eight. Students must complete 90 credits of college and departmental requirements in a major at Ithaca College, as well as satisfy the requirements specified for admission to the optometry college. After successfully completing the first year at the optometry college, students receive the bachelor's degree from Ithaca College. After completing the remaining three years at the optometry college, students are awarded the doctor of optometry degree.
The majors in biology, psychology, and chemistry require some courses that are entrance requirements for optometry college. However, no specific major is required, as long as the optometry entrance requirements can be incorporated into the major.
This academic program must be planned carefully. Students interested in the program should contact the chair of the Premedical Sciences Advisory Committee, Andrew Smith, 155 Center for Natural Sciences, upon matriculation at Ithaca College. A standard 4-4 program is also available.
The forensics program provides an opportunity for students in all disciplines to participate in speaking events held on campus, at intercollegiate events, and in the community at large. Events include competitive debate, noncompetitive oral interpretation, and readers' theater. The forensics program is supported through the Department of Speech Communication. For more information, contact Scott Thomson, director of forensics, in the Department of Speech Communication, which is located in Muller Faculty Center.