Liberal Arts

Business and Liberal Arts Center, Room B623, 212 217.4320

Every degree program at FIT has at its core a required, comprehensive liberal arts curriculum, taught by the faculty of the college’s School of Liberal Arts. Education in the liberal arts develops students’ critical thinking and communications skills, provides them with a global perspective, and nurtures interests that can enrich and inform their professional and personal lives.

The School of Liberal Arts also administers the liberal arts minors, FIT’s Presidential Scholars honors program, the Filmmaking AAS program (for implementation Fall 2014), the Film and Media BS program (for implementation Fall 2016), and the Art History and Museum Professions BS program.


Students at FIT have the opportunity to pursue a liberal arts minor, a selection of courses focused on a particular discipline that provides a more cohesive program of study and a deeper understanding of the chosen field. These courses may also fulfill some of the major’s liberal arts requirements, and students often do not need to exceed their regular course load to pursue a minor or concentration. Upon successful completion of the selected 15 course credits with a 2.0 or higher GPA, the minor is recorded on the student’s transcript. There are a wide range of options, including Asian Studies, Communications, Dance and Performing Arts, Economics, English: Literature and/or Writing, Fashion Studies, Film and Media Studies, French, History, History of Art, International Politics, Italian, Japanese, Latin American Studies, Mathematics, Psychology, Spanish, and Sociology.

For information about additional courses, visit

Students should contact the Academic Advisement Center to determine how to schedule a minor within their major.

Presidential Scholars

Business and Liberal Arts Center, Room B602, 212 217.4590

Presidential Scholars is FIT’s honors program, providing motivated and gifted students the opportunity to take part in specially designed liberal arts courses, interdisciplinary group projects, monthly colloquia, and extracurricular activities—arts performances, cultural institution visits, and outdoors adventures—that use the entire landscape of New York City as an extended campus. Presidential Scholars receive an annual merit stipend and are afforded priority registration.

Students must complete a separate application for the Presidential Scholars program. For the associate-level program, competitive admission is based on class rank, high school GPA, and SAT scores. For the baccalaureate-level program, students must have a GPA of 3.5. Information about and applications for the Presidential Scholars program can be found on the program's website.

School of Liberal Arts Departments

The Educational Skills Department (ES) offers courses in English as a second language and college-level preparation in reading and writing. The department also supervises the Academic Skills, Academic Placement, and Liberal Arts Academic Advisement centers, and the Writing Studio.

The English and Speech Department (EN) offers courses in literature, speech, theater, and writing.

The Modern Languages and Cultures Department offers courses in French (FR), Italian (IT), Japanese (JA), Mandarin Chinese (CH), and Spanish (SP).

The Health, Physical Education, and Dance Department offers a variety of health education (HE) and physical education (PE) courses, including individual and team activities.

The History of Art and Civilization Department (HA) offers a variety of history of art and civilization courses representing both Western and non-Western cultures. It also administers the interdisciplinary Art History and Museum Professions BS program.

The Science and Mathematics Department offers courses in biology and physical science (SC) and mathematics (MA).

The Social Sciences Department offers courses in five disciplines: economics, political science, psychology, sociology (SS), and philosophy (PL).

The School of Liberal Arts also offers courses in music and U.S. history (LA).

Liberal Arts Requirements for Associate Degree Students

All students are required to submit SAT/ACT scores in order to be placed at the appropriate course level. Based upon placement test scores, some students are required to take developmental courses in Educational Skills (ES) or mathematics (MA) in addition to the general requirements listed below. For placement test exemption information, see Requirements for Degree Completion or visit

All two-year AAS degree students must complete a total of at least 24 liberal arts credits. Some majors require specific courses within these general requirements. Most majors’ curricula also include two Health and Physical Education courses (totaling 2 additional credits). Please refer to the specific major page, in the Majors section of this catalogue, for more information.

Liberal Arts Requirements for Baccalaureate Degree Students

Liberal arts requirements for bachelor’s degree students vary by major. Refer to the specific major’s page in the Majors section of this catalogue for more information.