General Requirements for Degree Programs

The College encourages the creative structuring of a student's educational experiences by offering a choice of three degree programs within the framework of a liberal education. These programs, of equal validity and in accord with the aims of the College, are intended to accommodate each student's abilities, interests, and needs. Programs range from a traditional curriculum of course requirements, designed to ensure both breadth and depth, to a non-traditional combination of courses, independent studies, and internships that meet specific goals. For the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Music degrees, the goals have been set by the Faculty. The Bachelor of Special Studies permits the student to define her or his own educational objectives and to select the methods best suited to achieving them. To be eligible to receive any one of the three degrees described below, students must:

  1. be admitted to degree candidacy by the Dean of Admission. All students are admitted to Cornell as candidates for the degree of Bachelor of Arts and remain B.A. candidates, regardless of their intention, until they have filed for and been officially granted admission to another degree program.
  2. file an application for graduation no later than October 1 of their senior year for graduation at the end of Block 5, in May, or in August of that academic year and have a conference with the Registrar. By filing this application for graduation, students formally declare their desire to be graduated during that academic year and register how they wish their name to appear on their diploma. Once the student has applied for graduation, an official audit of all credits earned and in progress will be conducted by the Registrar. The Registrar will inform the student and her or his academic advisor(s) of the requirements to be completed. No further check is made by the Registrar until after the start of the student's last Block at Cornell. The student, therefore, is responsible for fulfilling the conditions stated on the audit given to her or him and for consulting the Registrar before changing any of the courses for which he or she was registered at the time the audit was done. Students who will be off campus during all or part of their senior year must reconfirm their status and credits with the Registrar at least one month before Commencement.
  3. complete all the requirements for their degree program prior to Commencement, and settle their financial obligations to the College before the Monday preceding Commencement. Even though a student may complete the required work immediately following Commencement or during the succeeding summer, her or his degree will not be conferred nor a diploma awarded retroactively.
  4. earn, at the very least, eight of their final 10 course credits in Blocks taken on the Cornell College campus from Cornell College faculty members unless granted permission by the Academic Standing Committee to participate in (1) a Combined Degrees Program, (2) an off-campus program approved by Cornell, or (3) an off-campus independent study supervised by a Cornell faculty member. Students who are admitted or readmitted with senior standing (23 or more course credits) must complete at least eight course credits at Cornell. If they intend to be graduated in fewer than 10 Blocks, at least six of the eight course credits must be earned in courses numbered in the 300s or 400s, exclusive of all such courses in English as a Second Language. (See also Credit by Transfer, Paragraph 6.)
  5. be recommended by formal vote of the Faculty and approved by the Board of Trustees on the basis of their satisfactory academic achievement and good campus citizenship, in accordance with the bylaws of the college. 

Although it is possible for a student to satisfy the requirements for more than one degree program, the College will not grant two degrees for programs taken concurrently. A graduate who returns and completes a minimum of eight course credits beyond whatever number was accumulated for the first baccalaureate may qualify for a different Cornell degree. For information on completing an additional major or minor after graduation, see Declaration of Degree Candidacy.