School of Humanities and Sciences

Special Programs

Career Planning for H&S Majors

Many career possibilities are open to H&S majors, especially to students who choose to explore and develop their own combination of interests and skills. Departmental advisers can help students individualize a four-year course of study in a major by supplementing required courses with other recommended courses to provide general background or specific skills for a chosen career. The advisers also have information on preprofessional experience, interdisciplinary majors, educational requirements, graduate school, and graduate school testing, or they can assist in obtaining such information. Students are urged to contact these advisers and to discuss occupation-related matters with their instructors. Since there are many possible options for students in all majors, students are strongly encouraged to talk with counselors in the Office of Career Services in the Gannett Center.

Exploratory Program

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 -- that is, 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.

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, 168 Center for Natural Sciences, during their freshman year. This will ensure that their academic programs are planned to meet all requirements for professional school by the end of their junior year and in time for the professional schools' admissions tests.

Optometry 3-1 Program

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 the student is 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, Jean Hardwick, 168 Center for Natural Sciences, upon matriculation at Ithaca College. A standard 4-4 program is also available.

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.

Teacher Education Programs

The school offers programs leading to initial certification at the middle/secondary levels in the following areas: art (K-12), biology, chemistry, physics, English, mathematics, mathematics-computer science, French, Spanish, German, and social studies. Within each of the programs leading to initial certification, there is a core unit of coursework that all teaching option candidates must complete in addition to the coursework required in their major. Please consult individual department listings or the teacher education program listing for specific information.

Other Special Programs

Forensics Program

The forensics program provides an opportunity for all 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.

Independent Studies/Fieldwork and Research

Students meeting minimum academic standards (see the "Academic Status" section) or those only on warning for deficiency of credits may undertake academic independent study projects for either major or elective credit. Normally, students should have completed appropriate coursework in preparation for independent study. For each project undertaken, students must work with a faculty sponsor to prepare the required design statement and application form (available from departments or from the dean's office) for approval by the sponsoring department, the student's adviser, and the dean. All projects should be approved in advance of the semester undertaken but no later than the end of the second week of that semester.
Academic Status


Qualified students meeting the minimum academic standards (see the "Academic Status" section) 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 in the office of the dean) 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 they are undertaken but no later than the second week of that semester. No more than 12 credits in any combination of internship projects will be counted toward the 120-credit minimum required for graduation.

Individual and Interdisciplinary Studies Programs

For the student who would like to design a major that crosses disciplinary fields, the planned studies major may be of interest. Students may also wish to perform independent fieldwork 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