Distribution Requirements

Students must complete 42 credits. These credits must be completed as a letter grade unless the course is only offered SX/UX. Students will explore liberal arts and sciences courses within the greater context of Cornell’s many schools, including the Nolan School. Distribution Requirements must meet the following criteria:

ARTS Distribution Electives: 15 credit hours. Students must take 3 credits minimum in at least 3 of the following 5 categories in the College of Arts and Sciences.

  1. Arts, Literature, & Culture and Historical Analysis: courses coded ALC-AS or HST-AS
  2. Global Citizenship and Social Difference: courses coded GLC-AS or SCD-AS
  3. Social Science: courses coded SSC-AS
  4. Mathematics and Data Science: courses coded SMR-AS or SDS-AS
  5. Biological and Physical Sciences: courses coded BIO-AS or PHS-AS

*Note: Although a course may fall into more than one of these five categories, one course may only fulfill one category toward the ARTS Distribution Elective requirement.

Additional Distribution Electives: 18 credit hours. Courses that meet the liberal arts and sciences requirement from any of Cornell’s colleges or schools; including the Nolan School. A complete list of all Cornell colleges’ course codes that meet this requirement can be found in the Courses of Study. Foreign language coursework can also be considered toward Distribution Elective credit as well as other courses that meet the New York State liberal arts and sciences requirements.

Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Course: 3 credit hours. The diversity course requirement is intended to provide students with an opportunity to explore the challenges/opportunities to an organization or community stemming from issues related to power, privilege, access, and equity.  A course will be counted toward the diversity requirement if it has a notable focus/emphasis on (i.e., includes within its primary objectives) content of the following nature

  1. An examination of access and equity in the context of culture, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, and/or ability
  2. Identify the major debates within our society related to power, privilege, access, and equity and explore the relevant histories to identify/understand what has led to them
  3. Apply knowledge of D&I to frame, analyze, discuss, and propose sustainable solutions to contemporary issues within organizations or communities
  4. Exploration of aspects of diversity as potential assets for transforming and enriching organizations and communities
  5. An exploration of Social Identity findings and its impact on individuals’ feelings, perspectives and experiences; and how understanding identities are linked to interpersonal and institutional levels.

Example courses include:

  • HADM 3960: Seminar in Leadership, Diversity, and Inclusion
  • AEM 2015: The Business Case for Diversity and Inclusion
  • AEM 3015: Developing Racial Equity in Organizations
  • AMST 1104: Race and Ethnicity in the United States: Social Constructs Real World Consequences
  • AMST 2505/FGSS 2501: Playing out Difference: History and Identity in Sports Film
  • ANTHR 2470: Island and Gender
  • ANTHR 3487: Racial Capitalism
  • ASIAN 2230/CAPS 2230: Introduction to China: Outsiders in History
  • EDUC 2610: Intergroup Dialogue
  • FGSS 2010: Introduction to Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
  • FGSS 2290: LBGTQ Mental Health
  • FGSS 2501: Playing out Difference: History and Identity in Sports Film
  • ILRHR 3640: Diversity & Inclusion
  • ILRID 2510: Foundations of Diversity Dynamics
  • NTRES 2000: Environmental Justice
  • PHIL 1650: Philosophy of Race
  • ILRHR 4657: Workplace Disability Inclusion
  • PAM 2208: Policy Analysis & Management Social Inequality
  • SOC 2070: Social Problems in the United States
  • FGSS 2532: Judaism and Gender
  • PHIL 3525: Existentialism in Black
  • ILRLR 1200: Introduction to Disability Studies

Ethics Course: 3 credit hours. The ethics course requirement is intended to prepare students to think critically and knowledgeably about what is (or should be) considered right or wrong, good or bad, virtue or vice within their personal, professional, and/or public lives.  A course will be counted toward the ethics requirement if it has a notable focus/emphasis on (i.e., includes within its primary objectives) content of the following nature:

  1. An introduction to the philosophical study of morality, including the theory of right and wrong behavior, the theory of value (goodness and badness), the theory of virtue and vice, etc.
  2. An introduction to the main theories of ethics, and/or the influential philosophers within a society (e.g., John Stuart Mill’s Utilitarianism and Immanuel Kant’s Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals in Western philosophy)
  3. An exploration of one or more contemporary ethical/moral issues and/or contrasting ethical opinions and the reasons behind the differences
  4. Identifying and articulating your own values, and the ability to provide others with reasons for your actions and give you the means of questioning the values of others
  5. To engage in reflection and discussion in order to gain confidence in identifying and articulating moral problems and reasons.

Example courses include:

  • AEM 2030: Sports as Society
  • AEM 3205: Ethics in Business and Organizations
  • BSOC 2061: Ethics & the Environment
  • COMM 4300: Ethics in New Media, Technology, and Communication
  • ECE 2750: Robot Ethic
  • ILRLR 4820: Ethics at Work
  • INFO 4301: Ethics in New Media
  • INFO 1200: Information Ethics, Law, and Policy
  • PHIL 1450: Contemporary Moral Issues
  • PHIL 2410: Ethics
  • PHIL 3231: Kant’s Ethics
  • PHIL 1440: Ethics of Eating