Declaration of Degree Candidacy,
Majors, and Minors
On or before February 1 of their sophomore year,
students must make one of the following declarations in the Registrar's
Office (those admitted with senior standing must make their declarations
within the first three months after entering Cornell):
declare themselves candidates for the Bachelor of Special
Studies degree by filing a Declaration of Major card, and soon
after that a completed Prospectus; or
declare themselves unable to make a decision by filing for a
Curriculum Advisor. Students may ask any faculty member to serve as
their Curriculum Advisor. Under this arrangement, the advisor will work
with the student to determine her or his academic and career goals and
the best methods for achieving these.
Sophomores who neglect to file their declarations on time will
be subject to the regulations governing B.A. candidates and may be
denied permission to register for their junior year. (See Index.
In all degree tracks, students are limited to some combination of
majors and minors totaling no more than three. Only in the
B.S.S. degree can this be a combination of three minors. Each
of the other degrees requires at least one major. Students may not elect
both a major and a minor in the same discipline or interdisciplinary
program, though a student may complete two minors in the same
Students may choose one or more of the departmental
or interdisciplinary majors described in the central section of this
Catalogue (see the Index for particular subjects), or
they may design an individualized major. Some departments offer two
or more major options, one of which is a teaching major, approved by the
State of Iowa and required of those intending to be licensed to teach
that subject. A teaching major must always be combined with a second
major in Secondary Education.
Individualized majors are programs that students design
themselves to meet their particular needs and interests. Such a major
involves a minimum of nine course credits to include four courses at the 300 level or above from at least two disciplines (not counting the capstone experience); a capstone experience (e.g., a course, individual project, or internship) at the 300 level or above; at least six courses at or above the 200 level. A narrative that explains how these courses create a coherent major and describes how the capstone experience will synthesize the courses into a cohesive program of study is to be filed with the contract for this major. This type of major is a
contract between the student and a committee of three faculty members
chosen by the student. The contract for an individualized major must
be signed by the student, the members of the committee, and the
Registrar, acting for the Dean of the College. Any changes in the
contract must be approved in writing by all members of the committee.
The contract and any changes must be filed with the Registrar. The student must complete a minimum of 10 course credits after initially filing this form with the Registrar. For more information, consult the Registrar.
The requirements for departmental, interdisciplinary, and
individualized majors are the same for both B.A. and
B.S.S. candidates. A student is officially classified as a
major only after he or she has been approved by the department or
committee concerned and has filed the appropriate declaration with the
There is no restriction on adding majors after the sophomore
year and no penalty for dropping them except that all B.A. candidates
must complete at least one major and B.S.S. candidates must complete the
basic contract they signed when filing their Prospectus.
Students are expected to complete the
major requirements that were in effect at the time of Spring registration for their second year of courses.
Transfer students who are admitted with sophomore or higher
standing satisfy the requirements in effect when they begin their first
course at Cornell. Students who have withdrawn from Cornell and are
later readmitted follow the requirements in effect at the time of their
readmission. Exceptions may be made by the department concerned in
response to the student's petition, provided that such changes are
feasible for and agreeable to the department.
Cornell College alumni who wish to
fulfill the requirements for an additional major after graduation must
be accepted by the department (see procedure outlined above) and complete
the necessary courses (there is no minimum number of credits that must
be earned after graduation as long as the major requirements are met).
Courses taken at another institution must be approved by the department
in which the major will be granted. Financial aid may not be available,
and students are advised to consult the Office of Financial Assistance
before enrolling. During the last course term of attendance, the student
must meet with the Registrar to confirm that all requirements are
completed. At the conference, the student will request that the
additional major be recorded on his or her transcript. Upon completion,
the additional major along with the date of completion will be recorded
on the student's transcript.
A minor is a coherent collection of courses
numbering at least five, with at least two of them being upper-level
courses. Cornell currently offers minors in Anthropology, Art, Biology,
Chemistry, Classical Studies, Computer Science, English, French,
Geology, German, German Studies, Latin American Studies, Mathematics,
Music, Philosophy, Physics, Politics, Psychology, Religion, Russian,
Sociology, Spanish, Theatre, and Women's Studies.
When there is an overlap between courses required or accepted for a
major in one department or program and a minor in another, at least two
courses must be completed beyond the courses counted toward the major in
order to earn the minor in the other department or program.
Some departments also offer suggestions under
the heading ``Concentration'' for students who may not wish or have time
to complete the faculty-approved major but who are interested in a
particular area or career relevant to the departmental discipline.
Unlike majors and minors, concentrations are informal combinations of
courses and are not recognized officially by the College or named on a
student's transcript. Candidates for the B.S.S. degree who do
not choose to have an official major may call their individually
designed program of specialization a concentration.
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