Academic Catalog

School of Humanities and Sciences

Claire Gleitman, Professor and Dean

David Brown, Professor and Associate Dean for Curriculum and Undergraduate Programs

Amy O'Dowd, Associate Dean for Student Services

Raul Palma, Associate Professor and Associate Dean for Faculty and New Initiatives

On this page, we provide information about: the Vision and Mission of the School of Humanities and Sciences and the Academic Support Services available to students in the School.


Education in the School of Humanities and Sciences prepares students for life in a rapidly changing, multicultural, and globally inclusive world. Liberal arts programs of study are designed so that students develop intellectual flexibility, critical literacies, and the ability to integrate learning and socially responsible action. Academic programs within the school also prepare students for successful careers in the professions, public service, teaching, business and industry, and the fine arts. The bachelor of arts, bachelor of science, and bachelor of fine arts degree programs are excellent preparation for professional and graduate study.

Opportunities within the School of Humanities and Sciences are many. Through formal courses and field studies students develop an understanding and appreciation of the historical antecedents of current social problems and engage in direct study of current social issues. In the science laboratory, on the stage, or in independent study and research, students put theory into practice. Emphasis is also placed on developing an understanding of personal and human values as reflected in literature, history, art, and philosophy.

In summary, the goal of the School of Humanities and Sciences is liberal education that encourages students to seek facts, approach problems rationally, and respond logically, sensitively, and creatively to themselves and others and to the world around them.


The School of Humanities and Sciences strives to advance the study and practice of the liberal arts as the dynamic core of our comprehensive college. We foster creative expression and critical thinking, support collaboration among disciplines and between faculty and students, and integrate scholastic excellence, disciplinary training, and civic engagement.


The School of Humanities and Sciences promotes the reasoned exchange and responsible application of disciplinary knowledge within a global society. Recognizing the endurance and relevance of the liberal arts, our diverse academic programs integrate theory and practice to address the emerging demands of our changing world. As scholars, artists, and mentors, our faculty provide an immersive learning environment grounded in dialogue and collaboration and cultivating in students the critical thinking and personal integrity necessary for academic, professional, and civic life.

Because experience tempers knowledge, we encourage our students to learn both inside and outside the classroom. In addition to disciplinary instruction and practice, we offer pedagogically meaningful curricular and co-curricular activities, such as community-based learning initiatives and professional internships. These activities embody our belief that the arts and sciences belong to and serve the greater community and that self-reflection and intellectual advancement should lead to concrete actions that benefit humanity.

Knowledge put into practice generates informed citizenship, global awareness, and social investment. The School of Humanities and Sciences prepares students to lead productive and fulfilled lives while working toward a just and sustainable world.

Academic Support Services in H&S

Academic Advising

Academic advising is an important component of a student’s educational experience. To be successful in college, students must make a series of complex decisions that involve seeking information, reflecting on goals, and making choices. Although students are ultimately responsible for those decisions, the academic advising process remains crucially important in helping students complete their academic programs, benefit from a broad-based liberal arts education, and prepare for a future beyond Ithaca College.

As part of the School’s efforts to support a successful advising process, H&S seeks to foster a close relationship between students and faculty in part through a program of mandatory advising. All students are assigned an academic adviser; students with declared majors are assigned an adviser within their major department. Students can expect their advisers to provide information about majors, minors, general education requirements, graduation requirements, and other academic policies and procedures. To obtain the full benefit of the advising experience, students are encouraged to meet with their advisers not only to discuss midterm grades and course selection, but also to seek assistance with the full range of academic decisions they make during their college years.

The H&S dean’s office coordinates all advising assignments within the School of Humanities and Sciences. This office is a resource center for students and faculty, with staff available to meet with students on a drop-in basis or by appointment (see our website for information about advising and other Academic Resources in H&S).

Writing Center

Located in 107 Smiddy Hall, the Writing Center provides students with the opportunity to work on effective strategies for all types of written work including essays, research papers, cover letters, applications, and creative writing. Students in all disciplines — humanities and sciences, business, health sciences and human performance, communications, and music — can bring assignments at any stage in their process, whether prewriting, drafting, or editing, and in one-on-one conferences, they will receive guidance on the writing, revising, and editing process so that they can develop confidence as independent thinkers and writers. The Writing Center is staffed by trained peer tutors as well as Department of Writing faculty. The Writing Center offers Zoom tutoring as well as in-person appointments. More information about the Center’s hours, policies, and appointments is available at 607-274-3315, or consult the Writing Center webpage.

Math Support Center

The mathematics department is committed to the success of all students enrolled in mathematics courses. Free tutoring is available Monday through Friday in the Math Support Center (Williams 209). The math tutorial room is staffed by mathematics faculty and is designed to help students enrolled in a wide variety of math courses. In addition, most 100-level courses have a dedicated TA with evening help hours. The department’s website contains up-to-date information about the specific courses supported and the hours tutoring is available. 

Additional Tutoring Support

The Tutoring Services Office within the Center for Student Success provides tutoring services in a range of disciplines.

H&S Pathways

Choosing a major is a journey. In H&S Pathways, you can take up to four semesters (or 60 credits) to try on different majors and programs, all with the comfort of knowing you’re making progress toward your degree. Under the guidance of dedicated faculty advisors—and in the company of an energized cohort of new and seasoned H&S Pathways students—you’ll be uniquely positioned to explore across the liberal arts curriculum, so that when you do declare your major, you’ll be confident that your choice aligns with your intellectual passions, your career goals, and your personal values. Find more information here.


Below is the list of majors offered by the departments and interdisciplinary programs of the School of Humanities and Sciences. 


The minors in H&S are academic avenues for students to broaden their education beyond the focus of their major; in addition to department-based minors, H&S offers a variety of interdisciplinary minors that provide opportunities for students to explore areas across department boundaries. 

In addition to Academic Policies relating to Graduation Requirements, on this page there is also information about: credit-bearing Independent Study and Internship policies and processes; Dean's List and Academic Status policies and procedures; and information about Internal Transfer into the School of Humanities and Sciences. 

Academic Policies

Graduation Requirements

The following regulations apply to students enrolled in the School of Humanities and Sciences:

  1. All candidates for graduation must complete the Integrative Core Curriculum (ICC) and requirements listed by the department of their major. Any variation from the requirements in the major field must be approved in writing by the department and dean.
  2. A minimum of 120 credits, including satisfactory completion of all required departmental courses and Integrative Core Curriculum requirements, is necessary for graduation.
  3. Students must select a major by the end of sophomore year.
  4. In order to graduate from the School of Humanities and Sciences, a student must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.00 in required courses in the major and no more than two grades below C- in required courses.
  5. In order to fulfill the requirements of a minor in the school, a student must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.00 in the courses required by the minor and no more than one grade below C- in those courses.

Students should refer to specific departmental major and minor requirements, as some departments stipulate a higher minimum grade of C and/or fewer than two grades of C or C- in required courses for successful degree completion. Departmental stipulations take precedence over the minimum requirements listed here.

Individualized Study Options: Independent Study, Fieldwork/Research, and Internship Courses

Students in good academic standing or those only on warning for deficiency of credits (see the “Academic Status” section) may undertake academic individualized projects through credit-bearing independent study, fieldwork/research, or internship courses that can be taken for major, minor, or elective credit.

Projects developed through independent study or fieldwork/research courses can include directed readings on a specific topic, research or scholarship activities, creative inquiry, or community-based service learning. Normally, students should have completed appropriate coursework in preparation for these types of independent projects. For each project undertaken, students must work with a faculty mentor to prepare the required learning contract, which establishes the syllabus for the course. The learning contract should be submitted as early as possible prior to the start of the project, to facilitate timely enrollment in these individualized options. The learning contract must be reviewed and approved by the sponsoring department; students may be asked to revise their proposals prior to approval. This step must be completed so that students can be registered in the appropriate course section by the end of Add/Drop for fall and spring semesters; for winter or summer sessions, students must have all materials approved no later than the add/drop deadline determined by the Office of Extended Studies (OES). 

Students interested in pursuing internships that have an academic component appropriate to the curriculum of the school may register in an internship course through the appropriate department. For upper-level internship courses, a student in H&S is normally expected to have completed three-fourths of their major or minor in order to qualify for internship credit. Participation in an H&S credit-bearing internship includes basic expectations for students, faculty sponsors, and field/site supervisors that are specified in the approved H&S academic internship guidelines. For each internship undertaken, students must work with a faculty sponsor to prepare the required learning contract, which establishes the syllabus for the course. The syllabus must include required assignments in which students reflect on the connection between the practical experience and academic theories and knowledge. Programs and faculty sponsors may add additional expectations and responsibilities as needed. The learning contract must be reviewed and approved by the faculty sponsor and by the associate dean, either of whom may request edits and/or not approve credit-bearing internship projects. Confirmation from the internship site supervisor is also required before a student's internship can be approved and the student registered in the course. All projects must be approved prior to the student beginning the internship project (academic credit cannot be conferred retroactively for non-credit internships pursued without the required proposal/syllabus). During the academic year, all materials must be submitted to the dean’s office in term term prior to the start of the internship, and no later than the start of classes in fall and spring semesters, to ensure registration is completed by the end of Add/Drop. No more than 12 credits in any combination of internship projects will be counted toward the 120-credit minimum required for graduation. The number of internship credits allowed to fulfill major or minor requirements varies by department. Students should confirm the maximum number allowed to fulfill major or minor requirements prior to completing the internship learning contract.

Dean’s List

Each semester, students are selected for the dean’s list in recognition of superior scholastic performance. Students qualify by attaining a minimum GPA of 3.70. They must complete a minimum of 15 credits, of which at least 12 are taken for a letter grade. A grade of D or F or an incomplete (I) in a course automatically disqualifies the student from the dean’s list, regardless of the overall GPA attained for that semester.

Academic Status

To meet the minimum academic standards, students must pay attention to two areas: grade point average and credits completed toward graduation. Over the period of one semester, students are required to achieve a GPA of 2.00 and to complete at least 12 credits. Over the period of two semesters, students are required to achieve a cumulative GPA of 2.00 and to complete 24 credits.

Students who fail to meet the minimum academic standards are liable to immediate suspension or to suspension after a warning period. Each case is handled on an individual basis by the student’s dean. If a student’s academic performance is grossly deficient, they may be suspended without warning. If the dean’s review indicates that a warning before suspension is appropriate, the procedure below is followed. Students should be aware that the offer of a warning period is a privilege, based on individual review, not a right.

Definitions of Policies and Procedures of the Academic Status Committee

The Humanities and Sciences Academic Status Committee acts on behalf of the faculty and the dean of the School of Humanities and Sciences.

  1. Warning: A formal letter notifying students that they have failed to meet the minimum school requirements for acceptable progress in grades, credits, or a combination of grades and credits, and that continued deficiencies may lead to suspension or dismissal from the School of Humanities and Sciences. Those requirements are:
    • a minimum semester GPA of 2.00;
    • a cumulative GPA of 2.00; and
    • a minimum of 24 credits completed at Ithaca College in an academic year, with a minimum of 12 credits completed at the college each semester.
  2. Continuation of warning: A second formal letter notifying students who have been on warning that they continue to be deficient in credits, grades, or a combination of credits and grades. Generally this letter is sent to students who have demonstrated some improvement over the previous semester but have not yet attained the minimum levels required to remove the formal warning.
    Students continued on warning are required to complete their next semester of enrollment with at least 12 letter-graded credits at a level of 2.00 or better, with no incompletes (I) or Fs and no more than one grade below C. Other conditions may also be specified in the formal notification.
    Students may be suspended if this level is not attained; in some cases, they may be continued on warning for one more semester.
  3. Final warning: A formal letter notifying students that their academic performance is seriously deficient and that they have only one semester to improve their academic standing before suspension. Students may be placed on final warning without prior warnings if deficiencies in their grades and/or credits warrant it. Students given final warning are required to complete at least 12 letter-graded credits at an average of 2.30 or better with no incompletes (I) or Fs and no more than one grade below C. Other conditions may also be specified in the formal notification. Students who fail to meet these minimum standards will be suspended.
  4. Suspension: Formal notice to students that they are suspended from the School of Humanities and Sciences. The length of suspension is specified, and students are informed that they are ineligible to attend courses at the College in fall or spring semesters or summer sessions until a semester specified by the notification letter.
  5. Return to Ithaca College following suspension: Students who wish to return after suspension should contact the registrar’s office and complete an application. The specific requirements that must be met prior to readmission are specified in the suspension letter.
    Following return to the College after academic suspension, students are considered to be on final warning. That is, the minimum level of performance specified in the notification of permission to return must be attained or the student will be dismissed. In exceptional cases, the student may be permitted an additional semester of final warning by permission of the Humanities and Sciences Academic Status Committee.
  6. Dismissal: Students who do not meet the requirements for academic performance specified on return from suspension will be dismissed from the College.

Internal Transfers into Humanities and Sciences

All Ithaca College students are required to remain for at least one semester in the school to which they were originally admitted. Students wishing to transfer must meet the minimum academic standards of the school: a cumulative GPA of 2.00 and completion of at least 12 credits each semester and at least 24 credits in each 12-month period. They must also have achieved a GPA of 2.00 for the semester before the transfer and have at least a 2.00 GPA in all humanities and sciences courses they have completed. Students may submit change of school forms at any time.

Admission Procedure

A change of college/school form, available in IC Workflow, found on, must be submitted to the dean of the School of Humanities and Sciences. Prior to submitting the form to the dean’s office, students must consult with the chair of the department to which a transfer is requested.

Occasional Transfer Courses

Transfer credit for occasional courses taken at another institution after matriculation at Ithaca College may be accepted under certain circumstances. Students must receive permission to do so prior to enrollment in any coursework at another institution. The petition form for preliminary approval requires the consent of the student’s adviser, the chair(s) of the department(s) to which the credit for a required course relates, and the dean.

Normally, H&S departments do not accept transfer credit for internship courses taken through other institutions, including those taken as part of study abroad programs, due to the School’s requirement that faculty supervise such experiences, and that syllabi are developed and approved in advance of such an experience. Students who wish to receive transfer credit for internships taken through another institution or program must provide documentation to the department and Dean’s office that shows they have met the expectations outlined in those guidelines, in addition to any other expectations that have been set by departments.

On completion of the course(s), students must have the official transcript sent to the registrar’s office in order to have the credits applied to their Ithaca College transcript.