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General Degree Requirements

Graduates in cap and gown.

The requirements for baccalaureate degrees granted by EC have been established by members of the faculty so that each graduate receives a broad general education with realistic and appropriate work experiences.

To receive an Artium Baccalaurei (A.B.) or Scientiae Baccalaurei (S.B.) degree from EC, a student must complete a minimum of 120 credits, with a cumulative grade-point average (G.P.A.) of at least 2.000. The last 30 of these credits must be earned at Elmira College. For the A.B. at least 90 credit hours must be in the liberal arts and sciences; for the S.B. at least 60 credit hours must be in the liberal arts and sciences. Each student must also earn a minimum grade-point average of 2.000 within the major.

You have the option of completing a Minor, in which case a 2.000 G.P.A. within the minor must be completed.

General Degree Requirements

Courses taken to fulfill the Communication Skills and Core requirements fulfill no other requirements except the 120 credits required for graduation. Other General Degree requirement courses may be used to fulfill other requirements.

A. Communications Skills Program

All full-time students who enter Elmira College as freshmen, including those who receive AP or other English college credit, are evaluated during Freshman Orientation for assignment to an appropriate course within this program:

WRT 1010: College Composition I
WRT 1020: College Composition II

B. "W" Course (A list of courses approved for this category is maintained by the Office of the Registrar).

C. Mathematical Competency

MAT 1030: College Algebra
Or other approved method that meets the requirement

D. Core Program

FRS 1010: When Worlds Collide
FRS 1020: Order and Chaos

This sequence of courses, taken during the freshman year, seeks to provide the student body and the faculty with a sense of intellectual community and a shared exploration of ideas. All full-time freshmen will be enrolled in the program, and faculty members from all academic disciplines teach in it. Drawing upon literature, the arts, and the natural and behavioral sciences, the program introduces students to the history of ideas in the Western tradition as those ideas were and are in dialogue with the cultural traditions of Asia, Africa, and the Americas. A focus of the program will be on the ways in which human beings come to know themselves, others, and the world in which they live. The program will also provide opportunities for enhancing students’ skills in reading and written and oral communication.

E. Distribution Requirements

1. Culture and Civilization
(Including at least 3 but no more than 6 credits from each sub-groups a., b., and c., below.) Foreign Language courses may be used to satisfy this requirement, but only if two consecutive courses are completed in the same language.

a. United States Culture and Civilization
b. European Culture and Civilization
c. Non-Western Culture and Civilization
d. General Culture and Civilization

2. Contemporary Social Institutions
(Three credits in this area)

3. The Scientific Method
(One course from the Physical and Life Sciences and one from the Behavioral Social Sciences. One of the two must include a laboratory experience.)

4. The Creative Process
(One or more courses providing a student with direct experience of creativity-for example, drawing or voice class.)

F. Physical Education

A full-time student must complete two courses from the list of approved Physical Education courses. The two courses do not have to be in different sporting activities. Alternatively, participation in a Varsity, Junior Varsity sport, or the ROTC program, counts as a substitute for a Physical Education activity, provided that the participation comprises at least eighteen contests, contacts, or practices.

G. Encore or The Performing Arts Appreciation Requirement

Attendance at six performing arts events, identified in advance, will be required of all full-time students in each long term of the freshman and sophomore years. The Encore requirement does not apply to part-time students.

H. Field Experience-Practicum

Elmira College offers its students the opportunity to participate in Field Experience and Practicum programs enabling them to apply concepts they have learned in the classroom, test possible career choices, develop the ability to deal effectively with new people in different settings, develop an understanding of community life, and establish professional credentials.

The program has three parts:

1. Community Service (FEX 2515)

Community Service is the experience of sharing, without remuneration, the student’s time, abilities, and compassion in meeting human needs within the community through a recognized service organization so that the Office of Career Services can be certain that all graduates have had actual experience helping others in need.


• students new to the College are registered prior to the beginning of classes in Term I or Term II
• students secure a placement through the Office of Career Services located in the Student Learning Commons of the Gannett-Tripp Library (607) 735-1830
• the experience must be supervised by an appropriate member of the student’s chosen organization, but not by a relative of the student
• students must submit a work agreement (contract) to indicate that the student is performing community service at a local non-profit organization:
*Signed by student, organization, and Director of Career Services
• students will have until the end of Term II of their second year at Elmira College to complete requirement:
*Upon completion, student will receive grade of ‘P’ (Pass)
*If deadline is missed, student will receive grade of ‘F’ (Fail)
*Once requirement is complete, F will change to P
• the experience must involve at least sixty hours of Community Service
• the experience is evaluated on a Pass-Fail basis
• the Director of Career Services will determine whether or not a student’s experience meets the community service criteria.


• students may request a waiver of the Community Service requirement if they have already volunteered sixty or more hours with a non-profit organization since their high school graduation. Otherwise, students are automatically bulk registered to take community service.
• waiver request forms may be obtained in the Office of Career Services located in the Student Learning Commons of the Gannett-Tripp Library (607) 735-1830
• request to waive the community service requirement will be considered by the Director of Career Services
• students may submit a written appeal to the Educational Standards Committee if the request to waive the community service requirement is denied
• military service can be used to waive the community service requirement via submission of DD214 or evidence of current military status to the Director of Career Services

2. The Career Related Internship (FEX 4510)

Is a paid or unpaid work experience related to students' majors or career interests that will lead either to fulfilling work or graduate school after Commencement (see the Pre-graduate School Internship below). In the internship, students should be able to apply knowledge gained in the classroom to the specific circumstances of the work setting, and there test its validity.

3. Pre-Graduate School Internship (FEX 4510)

A Pre-Graduate School Internship may be pursued by those students who are planning to attend graduate school and who meet the high standards of graduate study. The Pre-Graduate School Internship fulfills the Career Related Internship requirement.

NOTE: Normally, the Career Related Internship and Community Service are not completed at the same organization.