Students who wish to investigate a variety of academic disciplines before selecting a major may enter Ithaca College through the Exploratory Program. Exploratory students work one-on-one with dedicated faculty advisers who help them choose courses from the liberal arts and preprofessional curricula at the College, and who guide them through the exploration of areas of interest to ensure that the time spent as an exploratory student is used constructively. During their time in the program, 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. In the process, they are able to fulfill general education course requirements that count toward completing an Ithaca College degree.
In the Exploratory Program students are well positioned to identify a major and a career path that matches their evolving strengths and interests. In the first semester, exploratory students participate in an Ithaca Seminar, an interdisciplinary liberal arts course that connects classroom experience and academic learning with other aspects of college life; the instructor of the seminar also serves as the exploratory student’s adviser. After one semester in the Exploratory Program, students are able to enter a major in H&S or apply for transfer to another school of the College. They also may 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.
Ithaca Seminar Program
Ithaca Seminars are interdisciplinary liberal arts courses available to first year students at Ithaca College; the seminars combine an academic focus with additional emphasis on transition to college issues. The goals of the Ithaca Seminar program include (1) offering first year students an academic and intellectual interdisciplinary experience in a small class setting; (2) fostering learning within an interactive seminar environment through exploration, engagement and reflection; (3) providing a classroom experience where students will learn to analyze and critically evaluate ideas, arguments, and points of view; and (4) connecting learning with other aspects of academic and college life to help first year students make a successful transition to college. Faculty design Ithaca Seminars with special attention to the needs of first-year students; seminars include a wide variety of activities and opportunities to introduce students to the College’s vast array of events, student groups, and student services.
Ithaca Seminar Program
Interdisciplinary Studies Programs
H&S offers a variety of opportunities for interdisciplinary study. Students who would like to broaden the focus of their education may opt for one of the interdisciplinary minors offered by H&S: African Diaspora Studies, classical studies, counseling, Jewish studies, Latin American studies, Latino/a 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 the interdisciplinary minors and associated courses, see the "Interdisciplinary Studies" section. For the student who would like to design a major that crosses disciplinary fields, the planned studies major may be of interest.
Planned Studies Program
Prelaw Advisory Program
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.
Premedical Sciences Program
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, Jean Hardwick, 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.
Independent Studies/Fieldwork and Research
Students in good academic standing or those only on warning for deficiency of credits (see the "Academic Status" section below) may undertake academic independent study or research projects for either major or elective credit. Normally, students should have completed appropriate coursework in preparation for such independent projects. For each project undertaken, students must work with a faculty sponsor to prepare the required design statement and application form (available online) for approval by the sponsoring department, the student's adviser, and the dean. All projects should be approved in advance of the semester or term in which they are undertaken. During the academic year, applications must be submitted to the dean's office no later than the end of the second week of that semester; for winter or summer sessions, students must submit applications to the dean’s office no later than the add/drop deadline determined by the study programs office of the Division of Graduate and Professional Studies (GPS).
Design Statement and Application Form
GPS Study Programs
Qualified students in good academic standing or those only on warning for deficiency of credits (see the "Academic Status" section below) may undertake internship projects for either major or elective credit if these work-and-study projects have an academic component appropriate to the curriculum of the school. Normally, a student in H&S should have completed three-fourths of his or her major or an appropriate minor in order to qualify for internship credit. Students must work with a faculty sponsor to prepare the required design statement and application form (available online) for approval by the sponsoring department, the student's adviser, the field supervisor at the worksite, and the dean. All projects must be approved in advance of the semester or term in which they are undertaken. During the academic year, applications must be submitted to the dean's office no later than the end of the second week of that semester; for winter or summer sessions, students must submit applications to the dean’s office no later than the add/drop deadline determined by the study programs office of the Division of Graduate and Professional Studies (GPS). No more than 12 credits in any combination of internship projects will be counted toward the 120-credit minimum required for graduation.
GPS Study Programs
Model United Nations
The Model UN team brings together students from all schools and majors at IC with an interest in international affairs. The team attends at least one national conference per semester. Members represent specific countries in large UN General Assembly committees, or in smaller groups modeled on the UN Security Council. Student delegates research their country and topic to prepare short opening statements and position papers before the events. At the conferences they negotiate with other delegates in order to pass a resolution. Participation in the team helps develop student abilities in researching, public speaking, small group communication, and writing, all centered on international affairs. For information about the program and how to apply to become a team member, contact the Model UN adviser, Juan Arroyo, in the department of politics, located in Muller Faculty Center.
Speech and Debate Forensics Program
The forensics program provides an opportunity for students in all disciplines to participate in speech and debate activities, including events held on campus, at intercollegiate events, and in the community at large. The forensics program and its organization, the Forensics Association, enable students to gain experience in all forensics activities, including competitive debate, noncompetitive oral interpretation, and readers' theater. The association strives to promote the highest standards of oral argument and other communication skills. It sponsors events on campus and represents the College at intercollegiate events. Ithaca College is home to the New York State Alpha chapter of Pi Kappa Delta, the national honorary forensics society. Contact the director of forensics for more information. The forensics program is supported through the department of communication studies, located in Muller Faculty Center. For more information, contact Scott Thomson, director of forensics and assistant professor, communication studies.