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Bachelor of Arts
The Bachelor of Arts degree offers Cornell students the opportunity to
follow a traditional, structured degree program, designed or
``generated'' by the whole faculty. The B.A. program is
intended to give a student a well-rounded education, liberal in the
inclusive sense, which will prepare a student for any career. 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 21 courses outside of any one specific
The B.A. program consists of two parts. Part One contains 10-14 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 presents students with an introduction to
composition and literature. Third, it requires students to achieve a
certain level of proficiency 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 nine courses at an advanced level.
The specific degree requirements are:
- A minimum of 32 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, 299/399) may be counted toward satisfying the minimum credit requirement for this degree.
- Of the minimum 32 course credits, at least 21 must be outside of any single department. Students who exceed 11 credits in one department will be required to take more than 32 credits to complete their degree in order to have at least 21 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, French, German, Greek, Japanese, Language and Linguistics, Latin, Russian, Sociology, Spanish, and Theatre.
- A cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or higher.
- A minimum of nine course credits numbered in the 300s or 400s. No more than two All-College Independent Study course credits (380, 389, 390, 399) may be counted toward satisfying this requirement.
- At least one departmental, interdepartmental, or interdisciplinary major.
- The following general education requirements:
[Courses in this Cataloguethat 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.]
- WRITING REQUIREMENT: English 111 (Topics in Literature, Film, or Cultural Studies), or any course which includes a ``W'' designation on the Term Table, to be taken in the first year.
- FINE ARTS: One course credit (or the equivalent in half or quarter credits) chosen from the departments of Art, English, Music, and Theatre.
- FOREIGN LANGUAGE: One of the following: (1) French, German, Greek, Japanese, Latin, Russian, or Spanish 205; (2) placement into a 300-level course through an examination administered during 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.
- HUMANITIES: Four appropriately marked courses from at least two of the following categories: (1) English and Foreign Language literatures; (2) History; (3) Philosophy; (4) Religion; (5) Art history, Music history or appreciation, or Theatre history; and (6) Education.
- MATHEMATICS: One of the following: (1) one course in Mathematics; (2) INT 201 (Statistical Methods); (3) CSC 151 (Discrete Mathematics for Computer Science); (4) an SAT Mathematics score of 570 or higher; or (5) an ACT Quantitative score of 26 or higher.
- SCIENCE: Two courses, one of which must include laboratory work, chosen from one or two of the following departments: Biology, Chemistry, Geology, or Physics.
- SOCIAL SCIENCE: Two courses chosen from one or two of the
following disciplines: Anthropology, Economics and
Business, Education, Politics,
Psychology, or Sociology.
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