Welcome to the School of Humanities and Sciences, an academic community devoted to providing students with a transformative educational experience, one that combines rigorous immersion in intellectual traditions and methodologies with opportunities for putting knowledge into practice in a variety of real-world experiences. Here in H&S, the liberal arts core of Ithaca College, we seek to impart in our students the skills and abilities that will prepare them for lives filled with personal and professional success.
We are deeply committed to the liberal arts educational tradition and all that this entails: fostering creative expression and sharpening communication skills, developing critical thinking skills and the capacity for self-reflection, encouraging dialogue and collaboration, and promoting the importance of education for becoming contributors to a just and sustainable world. We understand our mission as not just teaching students, but imparting in them a life-long love of learning and an appreciation for the pursuit of knowledge.
In the School of Humanities and Sciences, students have the ability to pursue a wide range of educational paths. Certainly, we offer programs in a variety of academic disciplines spanning the creative arts, social sciences, humanities, and natural sciences, math, and computer science. But we also privilege interdisciplinary endeavors, both within the school and across the college. Our strong connections with the other four schools provide our students with a unique set of opportunities for collaboration and partnership. Our courses, particularly our offerings as part of the Integrated Core Curriculum, encourage students to make connections that deepen their understanding of the range of traditions, methodologies, and ways of thinking that we represent. We seek not to tell students what to think, but how to think –by sharing our own passion for learning and by helping them to understand that the pursuit of knowledge can take many forms.
But learning in H&S does not end at the classroom door. Experiential learning –opportunities for students to apply the disciplinary knowledge they have learned in a variety of different settings-- is at the heart of our educational mission. We provide students with a range of such opportunities, including faculty-student collaborative work that focuses on scientific research, culturally immersive travel and learning, civic engagement that brings about learning through service, and professional practice through engagement in structured internships.
All of this starts with the ways that our faculty work with students, as well as who it is that we have as faculty here at IC. Our faculty are well respected and nationally known scholars, scientists, artists—but first and foremost they genuinely love to teach and excel at teaching. This commitment to a student-centered culture, one that puts the student educational experience above all else is what drew me to Ithaca College as a faculty member some 18 years ago and like my faculty colleagues, I greet each semester, each course, as an opportunity to engage with students and provide them with the knowledge and the skills that will enable them to succeed well into the future.
Our mission focuses on intellect, creativity, and character, and together these provide students with a strong foundation, so that they can graduate from Ithaca College knowing a lot more about who they are, who they want to be, and what they will do next. Whatever that involves – whether it be graduate study, the beginning of a specific career path, or a service opportunity at home or abroad – Humanities and Sciences students leave here with the abilities, skills, and knowledge to be successful in any of their future endeavors.
I urge you to explore our programs by examining materials available on this website. If at all possible, visit us to discover for yourself the outstanding facilities and great natural beauty that set our campus apart. And reach out to our faculty and staff – we love what we do and would be happy to tell you more about the wide range of possibilities available to you in the School of Humanities and Sciences.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Michael D. Richardson, PhD