Skidmore College is renowned for its blending of traditional liberal arts study with opportunities to delve deeply into pre-professional disciplines. Skidmore’s liberal studies core curriculum, which requires students to complete two or more interdisciplinary courses, is widely respected. It begins with the selection of a first year seminar. Students choose one from a myriad of topics. Faculty seminar leaders function as their students' first year advisors. Skidmore’s core requirements cover a wide range of disciplines, requiring at least one course in each of the following disciplines: the arts; humanities; foreign language; nonwestern culture; science; and social science. Students must select a major by the end of their sophomore year; they may choose from 64 options, including self-designed majors, interdepartmental concentrations, and minors.
The College observes a two-semester academic calendar. Internship opportunities follow directly after the second semester ends in May. Students typically take four or five courses per semester. In addition to two summer terms for Skidmore students, the College offers a summer study through PASS, a six-week program that allows high school students to earn college credit for two courses.
Skidmore offers a nonresidential, nontraditional baccalaureate degree program called University Without Walls (UWW). Students in the program confer one-on-one with a faculty advisor to specify the content of their degree programs. UWW students are also encouraged to pursue nontraditional means to obtain the information necessary to their studies, including independent study, self-directed study, and real-world experiences gained through paid and volunteer work. The College implemented a similar Master of Arts in Liberal Studies program in 1993.
Skidmore College employs 229 full-time instructors and 68 part-time faculty members, including some with special appointments. 94 percent of Skidmore’s faculty members in the liberal arts have earned doctoral degrees. The students/full-time faculty ratio is 9:1, the average class size is 16. Skidmore’s faculty is actively involved in both research and publication in their areas of expertise; however, instructors here look upon teaching as their principal responsibility. Faculty advisors assist students in choosing courses and in planning their comprehensive academic programs.
Majors and Degrees Offered
Skidmore College grants a Bachelor of Arts degree in the following liberal arts subjects: American studies, anthropology, biology, chemistry, classical studies, computer science, economics, English, environmental studies, foreign languages and literatures (French, German, and Spanish), geosciences, government, history, history of art, mathematics, music, neuroscience, philosophy, physics, psychology, religion, and sociology. The Bachelor of Science degree is granted in areas of a more professional nature, including business, dance, education, exercise science, social work, studio art, and theater. There are 33 interdepartmental majors. Self-determined majors, double majors, and minors are also available.
The College offers 3-2 programs with the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College and with Clarkson University. Also available is a 4-1 MBA program offered with the School of Management at Clarkson, a 3-2 MBA program offered through Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, a 4-1 MBA program with Union College, and a 4-1 Master of Arts in Teaching program with Union College. Through a cooperative program with the Cardozo Law School, Skidmore students may obtain a bachelor’s degree and a law degree in six years. In addition, Skidmore has certification programs in teaching and social work and pre-professional programs in law and medicine.