Aerial view of campus with Williamsport, the Susquehanna River and Bald Eagle Mountain as a backdrop

Academic Opportunities

May Term

The May term is a four-week voluntary session designed to provide students with courses listed in the Lycoming College academic catalog and experimental and special courses that are not normally available during the fall and spring semesters and summer term. Some courses are offered on campus; others involve travel. A number offer interdisciplinary credit. Examples of the types of courses offered during the May term are:


  • Cultural tours of Germany, Spain, and France
  • Archaeological expeditions to study tricultural communities in New Mexico
  • Utopian Communities
  • Revolutionay and Civil War Sites
  • Colonial America on Tour
  • Art on the East Coast
  • The New Kingdom in Ancient Egypt

Summer Sessions I and II

These two successive 6-week academic terms offer the opportunity for students to complete two-semester sequences of courses as well as additional opportunities to complete internships, independent studies and semester courses.

Internship Program

An internship is a course jointly sponsored by the College and a public or private agency or subdivision of the College in which a student is able to earn college credit by participating in some active capacity as an assistant, aide, or apprentice. At least one-half of the effort expended by the intern should consist of academic work related to agency situations. The objectives of the internship program are:

  1. to further the development of a central core of values, awarenesses, strategies, skills, and information through experiences outside the classroom or other campus situations, and
  2. to facilitate the integration of theory and practice by encouraging students to relate their on-campus academic experiences more directly to society in general and to possible career and other post-baccalaureate objectives in particular.

Any junior or senior student in good academic standing may petition the Committee on Individual Studies for approval to serve as an intern. A maximum of 16 credits can be earned through the Internship Program. Guidelines for program development, assignment of tasks and academic requirements, such as exams, papers, reports, grades, etc., are established in consultation with a faculty director at Lycoming and an agency supervisor at the place of internship.

Students with diverse majors have participated in a wide variety of internships, including ones with NBC Television in New York City, the Allenwood Federal Prison Camp, Pennsylvania State Department of Environmental Resources, Lycoming County Historical Society, the American Cancer Society, business and accounting firms, law offices, hospitals, social service agencies, banks, and Congressional offices.

Independent Studies

Independent Studies are available to any qualified student who wishes to engage in and receive academic credit for any academically legitimate course of study for which he or she could not otherwise receive credit. It may be pursued at any level (introductory, intermediate, or advanced) and in any department, whether or not the student is a major in that department. Studies projects which duplicate catalog courses are subject to the same provisions which apply to all studies projects. In order for a student to be registered in an independent study course, the following conditions must be satisfied:

  1. An appropriate member of the faculty must agree to supervise the project and must certify by signing the application form that the project involves an amount of legitimate academic work appropriate for the amount of academic credit requested and that the student in question is qualified to pursue the project.
  2. The studies project must be approved by the chair of the department in which the studies project is to be undertaken. In the case of catalog courses, all department members must approve offering the catalog course as an independent studies course.
  3. After the project is approved by the instructor and the chair of the appropriate department, the studies project must be approved by the Committee on Individual Studies.

Participation in independent studies projects, with the exception of those which duplicate catalog courses, is subject to the following:

  • Students may not engage in more than one independent studies project during any given semester.
  • Students may not engage in more than two independent studies projects during their academic careers at Lycoming College.
  • The Individual Studies Committee may exempt members of the Lycoming College Scholar Program from these two limitations.

As with other academic policies, any other exceptions to these two rules must be approved by the Committee on Academic Standards.

Departmental Honors

Honors projects are normally undertaken only in a student's major, and are available only to exceptionally well-qualified students who have a solid background in the area of the project and are capable of considerable self-direction. The prerequisites for registration in an honors program are as follows:

  • A faculty member from the department(s) in which the honors project is to be undertaken must agree to be the director and must secure departmental approval of the project.
  • The director, in consultation with the student, must convene a committee consisting of two faculty members from the department in which the project is to be undertaken, one of whom is the director of the project, and one faculty member from each of two other departments related to the subject matter of the study.
  • The Honors Committee must then certify by their signatures on the application that the project in question is academically legitimate and worthy of pursuit as an honors project, and that the student in question is qualified to pursue the project.
  • The project must be approved by the Committee on Individual Studies.

Students successfully complete honors projects by satisfying the following conditions in accordance with guidelines established by the Committee on Individual Studies:

  • The student must produce a substantial research paper, critical study, or creative project. If the end product is a creative project, a critical paper analyzing the techniques and principles employed and the nature of the achievement represented in the project shall be also submitted.
  • The student must successfully explain and defend the work in a final oral examination given by the honors committee.
  • The Honors Committee must certify that the student has successfully defended the project, and that the student's achievement is clearly superior to that which would ordinarily be required to earn a grade of "A" in a regular independent studies course.
  • The Committee on Individual Studies must certify that the student has satisfied all of the conditions mentioned above.

Except in unusual circumstances, honors projects are expected to involve independent study in two consecutive unit courses. Successful completion of the honors project will cause the designation of honors in that department to be placed upon the permanent record. Acceptable theses are deposited in the College library. In the event that the study is not completed successfully or is not deemed worthy of honors, the student shall be reregistered in independent studies and given a final grade for the course.

Source: CHOICES: THE ACADEMIC CATALOG of Lycoming College, 1995-1996. 50, 53, 54
June 6, 1996 sls