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 web page. Please send suggested links and corrections to DeWayne Lucas, Associate 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

The faculty of Hobart and William Smith Colleges has established the following requirements for the degrees of Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science beginning with the Classes of 2000. To qualify for the degree, a candidate must have:

  • passed 32 academic courses or their equivalent with a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 (C). At least 28 of these courses must be passed with a grade of C- or higher;
  • spent three years in residence: the first year, the second or third year, and the senior year. Normally, the senior year is defined as one complete academic year taken in sequence (fall and spring semesters);
  • passed a First-Year Seminar with a grade of C- or higher;
  • completed the requirements for an academic major and an academic minor or second major;
  • completed any faculty-mandated writing requirement;
  • completed a course of study, designed in consultation with a faculty adviser, that addresses eight essential areas of knowledge and qualities of mind and character: These are referred to as the eight goals.

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.

All fifth (full-credit) courses must be approved by the student's dean. The student must fill out the form and take it to their dean's office. This should be done as soon as possible in the term.

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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