General Information

Choosing a Program of Study

Study across the Disciplines

The diversity of the academic programs at Ithaca College affords students a rich variety, including many cross-disciplinary study opportunities. Whether students are trying to decide on a major or looking to supplement their major with study in another field, they are strongly urged to inform themselves about the range of possibilities open to them. The sections on individual schools in this publication provide specific information about programs, but students may find this overview helpful as they begin to explore the entire College curriculum.


Numerous majors relating to specific disciplines are offered by the various schools. The requirements are set out under each department's listings.

Elective Courses

Ithaca College encourages students to explore disciplines other than the one in which they are majoring. Students should consider taking their open-elective courses in subjects outside their major. Each school has many courses open to nonmajors, subject only to the prerequisites specified in the course descriptions and availability of space in the course.

Double Majors

With careful planning, it is possible to complete two majors, even from two different schools, so long as both lead to the same kind of degree (e.g., both lead to a B.F.A. degree or to a B.S. degree). The Office of the Registrar can advise students on the feasibility of particular combinations.

Interdisciplinary Programs

The following programs combine courses of study in two or more disciplines, and in some instances two or more schools: aging studies; applied economics; applied psychology; art (teaching); biochemistry; computer information systems; culture and communication; environmental science; environmental studies; film, photography, and visual arts; integrated marketing communications; health policy studies; legal studies; mathematics-computer science; mathematics-computer science (teaching); mathematics-economics; mathematics-physics; musical theater; philosophy-religion; social studies (teaching); sport management; and theater arts management.

Six majors have requirements for a minor in another discipline or for a planned interdisciplinary combination of courses: aging studies, culture and communication, environmental studies, journalism, music in combination with an outside field, and writing.

Planned Studies Major

Students whose interests do not coincide with any of the formally defined majors may wish to consider the planned studies major. The emphasis is first on developing an individualized educational goal and then on selecting appropriate courses to meet that goal. This major may lead to either a B.A. or a B.S. degree, depending on the nature of the focus. Planned studies majors must fulfill the humanities and sciences general education requirement.

Music for the Non-Music Major

Musically talented students who are enrolled in a major other than music may pursue their musical interests by taking a music minor, individual courses, ensembles, or lessons.

International Programs

The Office of International Programs encourages students to take advantage of opportunities to spend a summer, semester, or academic year abroad. Ithaca College sponsors programs in Australia, China, the Czech Republic, England, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, Spain, and Sweden. Additional study abroad sites are being developed. Students also may participate in affiliated or nonaffiliated programs throughout the world that are sponsored by other institutions. Courses taken through the Office of International Programs that are taught in a language other than English and intended primarily for native speakers of that language will be treated as transfer courses for grading and credit purposes. For complete details see the "International Programs" section.
International Programs

Teacher Education

Ithaca College maintains its long-standing commitment to the preparation of teachers by providing programs that lead to initial and permanent or professional New York State teaching certification in a variety of disciplines. All current teacher education programs are registered with the New York State Education Department. For specific information on requirements, please see department requirements.

All students applying for New York State certification are required by the New York State commissioner of education to achieve a passing score on the appropriate New York State teacher certification examinations and complete a fingerprint-supported criminal history background check prior to certification. Information on these requirements may be obtained from the College's Department of Education.

Students who wish to apply for certification in another state can obtain information on teaching requirements in the Department of Education.

Exchanges with Cornell University and Wells College

Ithaca College's reciprocal arrangements with Cornell University and with Wells College allow matriculated, full-time Ithaca College students, with prior approval and within stated stipulations, to cross-register for one course per semester at Cornell University or Wells College. These arrangements are available during the fall and spring semesters only, contingent on space availability at Cornell or Wells.

Students must be currently enrolled for at least 12 credits at Ithaca College and may take only courses applicable to their programs of study that are not offered at Ithaca College. (Schedule conflicts or unavailability of courses in a given semester do not constitute a valid rationale for enrollment as an exchange student.) A maximum of 12 credits may be taken through these programs during the student's entire undergraduate enrollment at Ithaca College. Credits and transcripts are automatically transferred to Ithaca College and are included in GPA calculations. No additional tuition is charged, except in the case of students enrolled during any one semester for a combined total of more than 18 credits. Those students are subject to additional tuition charges on a per-credit basis.

Program petition forms and further information are available from the Division of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions in the Towers Concourse.

3-2 Program in Physics-Engineering or Chemistry-Engineering

This joint program provides the opportunity for selected physics or chemistry majors to complete a prescribed three-year program in physics or chemistry at Ithaca College and then spend an additional two years in the College of Engineering at Cornell University (physics only), Clarkson University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, or the Thomas J. Watson School of Engineering, Applied Science, and Technology of the State University of New York at Binghamton (physics only). Upon satisfactory completion of this five-year sequence, students are awarded a bachelor's degree from Ithaca College and the appropriate engineering degree from one of the above engineering schools. Program requirements are listed in the physics and chemistry sections. Additional information may be obtained from the chairs of the respective departments.

Ithaca College-Thunderbird Linkage Program

The linkage program with the American Graduate School of International Management (known as Thunderbird, the Garvin School of International Management) provides students with guided transition to a graduate professional business program. Under a system of preapproved waivers, they may complete the master of international management degree at Thunderbird in as little as one year (three terms). Students interested in this program need to plan early to make sure they meet all the prerequisites as part of their undergraduate degree program. Further information and advising are available from the School of Business dean's office.

Ithaca College M.B.A. 4+1 Programs

The School of Business at Ithaca College offers two graduate degrees, an M.B.A. and an M.B.A. in professional accountancy. Both degrees consist of 35 credit hours of required graduate coursework and can be completed in 12-14 months. Although some prerequisite business coursework may be required, an undergraduate degree in business is not required for admission to the M.B.A. program. Students with undergraduate degrees in non-business fields are encouraged to consider the benefits of obtaining an M.B.A. Admission to the M.B.A. in professional accountancy program requires an undergraduate degree in accounting. Graduate scholarships and assistantships are available.

Further information is available from the dean's office in the School of Business and from the school's website.
School of Business

National Affiliated Programs in Marine Biology

Affiliations with the Sea Education Association (SEA) and the Duke University Marine Laboratory (DUML) allow students to broaden their understanding of the ocean firsthand. Both are one-semester programs (fall, spring, or summer). Certain courses will fulfill elective credit requirements for a biology degree or general education requirements in the School of Humanities and Sciences. For information and advisement, please see program coordinators in the biology department (Professor Susan Allen-Gil for SEA, Professor Nancy Jacobson for DUML). Students should apply through the Office of International Programs.

ROTC Officer Education Program

Under an agreement with Cornell University, students may enroll in the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) programs of two military services - the U.S. Air Force and Army.

The objective of the program is to prepare men and women for positions of responsibility as officers in the military services. Students may enroll in classes or in programs of two, three, or four years. A range of scholarships is available to qualified applicants. These scholarships may cover up to full tuition at Ithaca College; mandatory fees and textbook costs, $300-$900 per year; and a $300-500 a month stipend during the academic year. All participants in their junior and senior years receive the nontaxable monthly stipend, whether or not they are on a scholarship. Periodically, mid-year scholarships may be available as well. Two- or three-year applicants for each service must contact the appropriate ROTC unit early in the second semester of their freshman or sophomore year to initiate the selection process.

A student must inform the appropriate dean's office and adviser before enrolling in any ROTC courses. Credit is not recorded unless it has been reviewed by the appropriate dean's office for conformity with Ithaca College policy. In most cases, the cost of taking these courses is $15 a semester. All uniforms, books, and supplies required by the ROTC unit are provided.

There are no military obligations for enrolling in ROTC courses. However, those students accepted into the advanced program during their sophomore, junior, or senior year may incur an active duty commitment, ranging from 4 to 10 years. The commitment varies by program within the two services.

Further information can be obtained from the dean of the School of Humanities and Sciences or the registrar's office. The dean of the School of Humanities and Sciences is the campus coordinator for ROTC programs on the Ithaca College campus.

Washington Semester Program

The Washington Semester Program is an internship-centered program in the nation's capital designed to meet the academic and professional interests of students from a variety of majors. In addition to a 6-credit internship, students enroll in two semester-long courses and up to three 1-credit academic seminars. To fully complement the academic and internship experience, the program also provides cocurricular opportunities for students to experience the richness of Washington's cultural and political life. Further information about the program can be obtained from the director of the Washington Semester Program, 111 Towers Concourse, 607-274-3264.