2023-2024 College Catalog

Academic Opportunities

Building Your Liberal Education

College students are architects. Each has the job of designing the education he or she will experience. There is help along the way—advice from family and friends, for example, and some amount of structure established by the College and its faculty. Ultimately, students make the choices, and the quality and value of the college education depend heavily on those choices.

This catalog describes the building blocks with which you can construct your college education at Hartwick. Before getting too deeply involved in the separate pieces, let us consider how they might fit together. First, let us look at a basic commitment of the college that will influence your design. We are convinced that the liberal arts and sciences provide the core of the intellectual development we want all our students to experience. People are sometimes confused about what “liberal education” means.

Our modern phrase “liberal arts and sciences” comes from an inspiring Latin phrase that meant, roughly, “the learning appropriate for a free person.” People locked into narrow specializations or people interested only in preparation for their first job might find a technical education sufficient. Hartwick, as a liberal arts and sciences college, serves those who want to equip themselves for a lifetime of learning, career development, and the kind of change that characterizes the 21st century. Indeed, the intellectual capabilities of a liberal arts and sciences education are the very skills valued by employers.

A liberal education is both broad and deep, allowing exploration of a wide spectrum of human knowledge and assuring study of at least one set of questions (we usually call it a “major”) with special intensity. At Hartwick, we believe that all our students—even those who know exactly where they want to head in their careers—deserve this kind of education. Employers appreciate the perspective, communication skills, and analytical abilities of liberally educated people. More importantly, such people are well prepared to live enjoyable, contributing, and fulfilling lives.

Academic Advising

Making the most effective use of the learning opportunities a college experience offers is a basic challenge each student faces. Hartwick provides special help in this process with its system of academic advising. All students will be assigned a faculty member as their regular academic advisor. For first-year students, every effort is made to have this advisor be a professor the student has in a Fall Term course, so that advisor and advisee come to know each other. If students declare a major, every effort will be made to match them with an advisor in that department. If a student does not declare a major, he or she will be assigned to a professional advisor in the Office of the Advising. In addition to the advisor of an undeclared student, resources are available in the Office of the Advising to assist students with choosing or declaring a major. Students must meet with their advisors prior to each course-registration period, but students are urged to visit their advisors regularly as the year progresses.

Helping the student plan a challenging, satisfying, and coherent program is one of the best ways an advisor can be of assistance, but often the advisor also can discuss career options or the resources available at the College for dealing with specific problems a student may be facing. Students may change advisors as their needs or interests change and, when a major field is selected, the advisor should be from the major department. To change advisors, students complete and return the necessary form available from the Office of the Advising.

Academic Calendar

Hartwick’s academic calendar provides a structure for the academic year designed to help students get the most out of their college experiences. In the Fall and Spring terms, students normally take 12-16 credits and have periods set aside as Reading and Examination Days to conclude their studies. January Term at Hartwick is designed to be very different from fall and spring semesters. Students enroll in a single course for the entire four-week term, usually for several hours each day. This allows for a concentrated, intensive examination of subjects often not taught during a longer semester. Whether taking a course or advanced independent study on campus or an off-campus program or internship, students are able to invest themselves completely in just one course with no distractions.

Instructional Locations

Hartwick’s courses are taught at our main campus at

One Hartwick Drive

Oneonta, NY 13820

Classes are also taught at Pine Lake located at

1894 Charlotte Creek Road

Davenport, NY 13820

In addition, students have many opportunities to participate in internships off campus and to conduct research independently with our faculty. Furthermore, students have the opportunity each January Term to study off campus via a J Term program through the PSGE center.

Components of a Degree Program

Hartwick College recognizes its responsibility to help students pursue a program of study that provides both depth and breadth of understanding. In addition to demonstrating competence in at least one specialized area, graduates should have a basic, multidisciplinary education that includes an acquaintance with major alternative ways of knowing, an understanding of the cultural heritage shared by liberally educated persons, and a broad foundation for a lifetime of continued learning. Since there is no single path to this goal, students should be able to choose, in consultation with their advisors, the particular courses of study best suited to their interests and needs, within the framework of general degree requirements.