Professor and Student

This website is for faculty advisers at Hobart and William Smith Colleges but is available on the web to prospective students, current students, and others. It is a dynamic site: as information about the curriculum and advising practices changes, so can the webpage. Please send suggested links and corrections to Nan Arens, Senior Dean of Faculty.

The Four-Year Degree: Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science

All programs of study for the degree of Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science are designed to be completed in four years. Most students graduate in the traditional four-year period, although individual programs allow for five years. The first year, either the second or third year, and the senior year must be spent in residence.

Graduating seniors in the humanities and social sciences are awarded the degree Bachelor of Arts. Students who major in biology, chemistry, geoscience, mathematics, physics or psychology may choose to receive the degree Bachelor of Science, provided they meet departmental requirements, and apply to receive approval from the chair of the major department. Individual Majors in scientific subjects may also receive the B.S. if their applications are approved by the Individual Majors Committee. At the discretion of each science department, certain courses not counted toward a normal major in that department may also not be counted toward the courses required for the B.S. degree. Consultation with department chairs is advised.

Degree Requirements

A student’s course of study must include:

  • Addressing each of the eight educational goals of our general curriculum; two of the goals are integrated across the four-year curriculum, and six are aspirational goals satisfied through the completion of specific coursework that addresses each goal.
  • Passing a First-Year Seminar with a grade of C- or higher
  • Completing any potential faculty-mandated writing requirements
  • Passing 32 courses (including achieving a minimum grade and GPA standards)
  • Completing the requirements for an academic major, including a capstone course or experience, and a minor (or a second major)

When you need to do it:

  • You should declare a major by the end of your sophomore year
  • You should declare a minor or second major by early in your junior year
  • You must meet with your adviser in the spring of your junior year and complete a Baccalaureate Plan that describes your progress toward completion of the requirements of the major, the minor and the goals. The plan identifies any additional work needed to complete the degree requirements.

General Information

Each student must take 4 full-credit courses and may take additional half-credit courses (ex. RCOL, MUS and DAT) without Dean's approval.

Students are not allowed to elect two half-credit courses to add up to one full credit in lieu of a full-credit course.

The CR/NC (pass/fail) courses will not affect the GPA but will count towards the required 32 courses for graduation. Although there is no limit on the number of full credit CR/NC courses that will count toward graduation, students must generate a grade point average (GPA) in their major and minor.  Regarding half-credit courses, only up to the equivalent of 2 full credits of .05 credit may count toward graduation.

Pre-Med and Pre-Engineering interests must be addressed immediately and carefully. Justin Miller (x3884) can answer all health professions questions, and Don Spector (x3594), Engineering.

News and Announcements

Updated information that highlights new requirements/changes to major and minor information.




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Geneva, NY 14456
(315) 781-3000

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