Bachelor of Arts

Cornell College is committed to sustaining a community devoted to liberal learning and democratic values. The Bachelor of Arts degree encourages Cornell students to explore liberal learning as it is practiced in different disciplines.  The specific degree requirements follow a traditional, structured program, designed and approved by the faculty. The degree is best suited for students who want a broad education, or for those students who have not yet decided on a specific educational path. For this reason, all students are placed in the B.A. program when they enter Cornell until they choose another degree program. Also, the B.A. insists that the student not over-specialize in any one field by requiring that the student complete at least 17 courses outside of any one specific department.

B.A. requirements for candidates who matriculated before August 2012

Overview:  The B.A. program consists of two parts. Part One contains 10-15 specific course requirements of several types. First, the B.A. introduces students to each of the major modes of intellectual thought, the ways of thinking that are found in the natural sciences, the social sciences, and the humanities. Second, it requires students to achieve a certain level of proficiency in writing, in mathematics, and in foreign languages. Finally, it requires students to be exposed to and take part in the processes used in the fine arts. Part Two consists of study in depth, which requires students to complete at least one major field of study, and to take at least eight courses at an advanced level.

The specific degree requirements are:

  1. A minimum of 31 course credits. No more than two 100-level courses may be taken in the senior year without the permission of the Academic Standing Committee. No more than four All-College Independent Study course credits (280/380, 289/389, 290/390, 297/397, 299/399) may be counted toward satisfying the minimum credit requirement for this degree. No more than two full credits in 500-level adjunct courses may be counted toward satisfying the minimum 31 credits.
  2. Of the minimum 31 course credits, at least 17 must be outside of any single department. Students who exceed 14 credits in one department will be required to take more than 31 credits to complete their degree in order to have at least 17 credits outside that department. In the calculation of departmental credits, the following disciplines, listed for administrative purposes as divisions of single departments, are reckoned as separate departments: Anthropology, Classics, English as a Second Language, Arabic, French, German, Greek, Japanese, Language and Linguistics, Latin, Russian, Sociology, Spanish, and Theatre.
  3. A cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or higher.
  4. A minimum of eight course credits numbered in the 300s or 400s. No more than two All-College Independent Study course credits (380, 389, 390, 397, 399) may be counted toward satisfying this requirement.
  5. At least one departmental, interdisciplinary, or individualized major.
  6. The following general education requirements:
    [Courses in this Catalogue that satisfy, wholly or partially, general education requirements are identified by a parenthesis near the end of the course description, e.g., (Humanities) or (Laboratory Science). Courses not so marked do not meet these requirements even though there may be other courses in the same department that do.]
    1. FIRST-YEAR SEMINAR: Enrollment in any course with a "FYS" designation on the Course Schedule, during the first Block of the first year.
    2. FIRST-YEAR WRITING COURSE: Any course with a "W" designation on the Course Schedule, taken in the first year.
    3. FINE ARTS: One course credit (or the equivalent in half or quarter credits) chosen from the departments of Art, English, Music, and Theatre.
    4. FOREIGN LANGUAGE: One of the following: (1) Arabic, French, German, Japanese, Russian, Spanish 205 or Greek or Latin 103; (2) placement into a 300-level course through an examination administered online prior to New Student Orientation; or (3) by passing a proficiency examination at the 205 level. International students whose native language is other than English satisfy this requirement through completion of or exemption from the English as a Second Language program.
    5. HUMANITIES: Four appropriately marked courses from at least two of the following groupings: (1) English and Foreign Language; (2) History; (3) Philosophy; (4) Religion; (5) Art, Music, or Theatre; and (6) Education.
    6. MATHEMATICS: One of the following: (1) MAT 110 (On the Shoulders of Giants: Great Mathematical Ideas), 120 or 121 (Calculus of a Single Variable); (2) STA 201 (Statistical Methods); or (3) CSC 151 (Discrete Mathematics for Computer Science).
    7. SCIENCE: Two courses, at least one of which must include laboratory work, chosen from one or two of the following departments: Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Environmental StudiesGeology, Kinesiology, or Physics.
    8. SOCIAL SCIENCE: Two courses chosen from one or two of the following disciplines: Anthropology, Economics and Business, Education, Kinesiology, Politics, Psychology, or Sociology. 

B.A. requirements for candidates who matriculated during or after August 2012

Overview:

  1. Introduction to college-level expectations, the disciplines, and interdisciplinary thought:
    1. A First-year Program that introduces students to college-level expectations. These courses may focus on a specific discipline, but their primary purpose is to introduce students to the kinds of questions and methods they will encounter, and to the skills they will develop, in the next four years. Both a writing and a First Year Seminar course must be taken in the first year. These courses do not count toward the distribution requirements.
    2. Distribution requirements that introduce students to the methods and practices of the arts, natural sciences, social sciences, mathematics, humanities, and language study. One or two courses cannot give students a deep appreciation and understanding of any one subject; the college expects students to use these courses as an opportunity to explore different disciplines and to develop an understanding of the different approaches to problem solving and different methods of understanding ourselves and our world. These courses may count toward major requirements.
    3. An Interdisciplinary experience that asks students to apply different disciplinary and interdisciplinary modes of thinking. The college expects students to pursue connections among all the classes they take. In order to emphasize the importance of interdisciplinary thinking, the college also requires one interdisciplinary experience. This course or courses may not count toward the distribution requirements.
  2. Study in depth, including:
    1. at least one major field of study, and
    2. at least eight courses at or above the 300 level.

The specific degree requirements are:

  1. A minimum of 31 course credits. No more than two 100-level courses may be taken in the senior year without the permission of the Academic Standing Committee. No more than four All-College Independent Study course credits (280/380, 289/389, 290/390, 297/397, 299/399) may be counted toward satisfying the minimum credit requirement for this degree. No more than two full credits in 500-level adjunct courses may be counted toward satisfying the minimum 31 credits.
  2. Of the minimum 31 course credits, at least 17 must be outside of any single department. Students who exceed 14 credits in one department will be required to take more than 31 credits to complete their degree in order to have at least 17 credits outside that department. In the calculation of departmental credits, the following disciplines, listed for administrative purposes as divisions of single departments, are reckoned as separate departments: Anthropology, Classics, Communications Studies, English as a Second Language, Arabic, French, German, Greek, Japanese, Language and Linguistics, Latin, Russian, Sociology, Spanish, and Theatre.
  3. A cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or higher.
  4. A minimum of eight course credits numbered in the 300s or 400s. No more than two All-College Independent Study course credits (380, 389, 390, 397, 399) may be counted toward satisfying this requirement.
  5. At least one departmental, interdisciplinary, or individualized major.
  6. First-year Program
    1. FIRST-YEAR SEMINAR: Enrollment in any course with an "FYS" designation on the Course Schedule, during the first Block of the first year. Specific goals for these courses can be found here: http://www.cornellcollege.edu/first-year-program/first-year-seminar/index.shtml
    2. FIRST-YEAR WRITING COURSE: Any course with a "W" designation on the Course Schedule, taken in the first year. Specific goals for these courses can be found here: http://www.cornellcollege.edu/first-year-program/first-year-writing/learning-outcomes.shtml
  7. Distribution Requirements: The following general education requirements: [Courses in this Catalogue that satisfy, wholly or partially, general education requirements are identified by a parenthesis near the end of the course description, e.g., (Humanities) or (Social Science). Courses not so marked do not meet these requirements even though there may be other courses in the same department that do.]
    1. FINE ARTS: One course (or the equivalent in half or quarter credits) chosen from the disciplines of Art, English, Music, Dance, and Theatre.
    2. HUMANITIES: Two courses chosen from two of the following disciplines: English, Foreign Language, History, Philosophy, Religion, Art History, Music, Theatre, or Education.
    3. SOCIAL SCIENCE: One chosen from one of the following disciplines: Anthropology, Economics and Business, Education, Kinesiology, Politics, Psychology, or Sociology.
    4. NATURAL SCIENCE: One course marked L or N chosen from one of the following departments: Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Environmental Studies, Geology, Kinesiology, or Physics.
    5. MATHEMATICS: One course chosen from the disciplines of Mathematics, Statistics, or Computer Science.
    6. FOREIGN LANGUAGE: Credit for one of the following: (1) Arabic, French, German, Greek, Japanese, Latin, Russian, or Spanish 103; (2) one course above 103 in the target language if students test above 103 through an examination administered online prior to New Student Orientation; international students whose native language is other than English satisfy this requirement through completion of or exemption from the English as a Second Language program.
  8. INTERDISCIPLINARY THINKING: an interdisciplinary experience satisfied by completing one of the following:
    1. one course marked as interdisciplinary;[2] or
    2. an interdisciplinary experience created by two designated linked courses; or
    3. an interdisciplinary experience created by two courses that explore a problem from two different disciplinary perspectives (for example, BIO 327: Immunology and ENG 370: AIDS Literature, Film, and Social Theory). A student must prepare a proposal to be approved by the advisor and filed with the registrar before the second course is taught.