The CLA requirement in H&S

Students in H&S have many options for completing their CLA (Complementary Liberal Arts) requirement. See below for details.

No additional forms are required for students to complete this requirement.*

*Exception: students who entered Ithaca College prior to Fall 2019 may still need to submit documentation. Contact for guidance.

The Complementary Liberal Arts (CLA) component of the ICC requires students to complete 12 credits of integrative liberal arts coursework in addition to themes and perspectives and the competencies.  How students satisfy the CLA is defined differently by each school.

In the School of Humanities and Sciences, the H&S faculty intend the CLA to be a focused academic exploration that occurs outside the student’s major program. Through this requirement, their expectation (student learning outcome) is that:

Students are able to articulate how their focused area of exploration (the CLA) complemented their major, and/or broadened their worldview, and/or contributed toward their future professional goals.

Students in H&S may complete the CLA requirement by selecting one of the following:

  • a minor 
  • a second major
  • second language study
  • self-designed suite of liberal arts courses (minimum of 12 credits).

An additional option is also available to students in the following specific programs: teaching option majors and select majors in Theatre Arts: Acting BFA, Musical Theatre BFA, Theatre Production & Design BFA, Stage Management BFA, and Theatre Arts Management BS.

Policy information about the H&S CLA requirement is available in the catalog.

If you have questions or if you need further assistance, please email .

Determining your H&S CLA Option

We recommend that you talk to your faculty advisor about which option will work best for you.
If you decide to add a minor or 2nd major, be sure to fill out the registrar's form to do so (available in workflow).
If you opt for the language option, the suite of courses option, or if you have an "additional option" through your primary major, no additional paperwork is required.

Degree Works will show which option you are following based on the registrar form and/or your course registrations.

Transfer students who enter IC with an A.A. or A.A.S. degree are automatically considered to have completed the CLA upon matriculation at IC.


Students who matriculated prior to Fall 2019 may be required to submit separate documentation identifying their option. Please contact with any questions regarding how to meet the CLA requirement.

H&S CLA Policy Guidance

The following minors do not have at least 12 liberal arts credits and CANNOT be used to satisfy the H&S CLA requirement:

  • All minors in the School of Business
  • Animation
  • Coaching
  • Dance
  • Still Photography
  • Sport and Exercise Psychology

The following minors MAY be able to satisfy the CLA requirement provided that the specific courses chosen have at least 12 liberal arts credits. Please consult the catalog and enlist the help of your faculty advisor to determine if you have selected at least 12 liberal arts credits for the minor so it can count for the Minor Option:

  • Audio Production
  • Communication Management and Design
  • Communication Disorders
  • Integrated Marketing Communications
  • Live Event Design and Management
  • Health
  • Health Policy and Management