To ensure that students receive an education based on multiple perspectives and experiences, all Hobart and William Smith students must complete a course of study that includes:

  • Addressing each of the institution's eight educational goals (at right)
  • Passing a First-Year Seminar
  • Completing any potential faculty-mandated writing requirements
  • Passing 32 courses (including achieving a minimum grade and GPA standards)
  • Completing a major 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.

Note that with the exception of the First-Year Seminar, the Colleges do not dictate that students take a particular set of courses.

The Colleges’ curriculum is overseen by the Committee on Academic Affairs. This committee includes faculty, administrators and student representatives from Hobart and from William Smith. These student representatives are appointed by the two student governments.


The capabilities and knowledge you acquire during your years at Hobart and William Smith will shape your life. That’s why we’ve put so much thought into developing the eight goals that each student achieves by graduation. They are the essence of the liberal arts education at HWS.

The goals can be reached in the context of many different programs of study. During your time at the Colleges, you’ll work with your faculty adviser to design an academic plan that both meets your interests and fulfills all the requirements for a degree, including addressing all the goals.



Hobart and William Smith Colleges,
Geneva, NY 14456
(315) 781-3000

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Preparing Students to Lead Lives of Consequence.