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The Complementary Liberal Arts (CLA) component of the ICC requires students to complete ICC 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 have designed 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:

Additional Options are 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, 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 hscla@ithaca.edu

Declaring your H&S CLA Option

When do I declare my CLA option?

You can declare your CLA after your first semester. We recommend discussing your proposed plan for completing the CLA requirement with your faculty advisor during your semester advising session.

The CLA Planning Statement must be on file by the end of your fourth semester at the College, if you matriculated as first year student. 

If you enter IC as a transfer student without the appropriate degree, your Statement must be on file by the end of your first year at the College.

Can I change my CLA option later?

Yes, you can, time permitting!

If you decide to change your CLA option after your choice has been added to degree works/Homer, you can submit another Planning Statement. The form allows you to indicate that you are requesting a change.

How do I declare the CLA option I want?

Most H&S students submit a CLA Planning Statement to select the option.

Students in the following majors do not have to fill out a Planning Statement; your degree evaluations are updated automatically, based on your major:

  • all teaching option majors in H&S
  • Musical Theatre B.F.A
  • Theatre Production and Design B.F.A. - Design concentration only

Transfer students who enter IC with an A.A. or A.A.S. degree also do not complete a Planning Statement - your CLA is considered complete upon matriculation at IC.

Note: The CLA Planning Statement can be used both to submit a New Planning Statement if you've never chosen an option before,  and also to make a Change to your existing CLA option.

How to fill out the CLA Planning Statement

Before filling out your Planning Statement, please take a moment to read through the tips below. 

  • If you are a double major in H&S, select one of your majors as your primary major, and include your advisor from that major.
  • If you are a double major with a major outside of H&S, include information only about your H&S major in the top section of form. 
  • If you are selecting a Self-Designed Suite or an Additional Option mini-suite, you are required to include a list of courses. If you want to add more courses than there are rows for, please send the additional course choices in an email to hscla@ithaca.edu.  
  • If you have an approved suite or mini-suite of courses, and want to change or add alternative courses to your list, select the “Change of CLA Option” type of Planning Statement, and then select “Adding Additional Courses to Your Self Designed Suite.” 

A more thorough guide to filling out the Planning Statement is available in the document “Planning Statement Walkthrough,” complete with screen shots of the form!

H&S CLA Policy Guidance

In the FAQ’s document, you will find answers to the following types of questions:

  • Understanding the H&S CLA
  • Declaring a CLA Option
  • Courses Counting for the CLA
  • Minors and Second Majors
  • Language Study Option
  • Self-Designed Suite Option
  • Additional Option
  • Diversity, Quantitative Literacy, and Writing Intensive Courses  

In addition, further information regarding the rules around the H&S CLA requirement, including a list of minors that are appropriate and a grid showing some problematic Major/Minor combinations that do not meet the criteria for satisfying the H&S CLA.

List of IC Minors, Liberal Arts credits, and the H&S CLA

Explanation of Categories on List of IC Minors

Problematic Major/Minor Combinations for the H&S CLA

Please note the information in the above documents is subject to change as catalog requirements change. Your degree evaluation is the most accurate way to determine which set of requirements applies to you.