Want to Pursue an Ad-Hoc Major at Baruch?

By: Harshita Parikh

What if you cannot find one field which you are really passionate about among Baruch’s over 20 majors? What do you do if your interests must be limited to one particular department, but actually span a number of them?

The Weissman School of Arts and Sciences Ad-Hoc major may be the right choice for you.

The Create Your Own Major Ad-Hoc program has existed at Baruch College for nearly 35 years. It is a good option for students who have not established their majors and would like to explore this unconventional, but creative and productive educational option.

The Ad-Hoc major allows students to create and name their own major by combining different courses from two or more liberal arts departments into an integrated field of study. Students with an Ad-Hoc major graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in the Weissman School of Arts and Sciences.

Before submitting the application to propose an Ad-Hoc major, students must attend the informational Ad-Hoc workshop led by Dr. Wendy Heyman. The next Ad-Hoc workshop for the  will be on Tuesday April 9th from 5:00 pm to 6:15 pm in room 2-190. The last and final ad-hoc workshop for the spring semester will be on Monday May 6th at 5pm in room 2-190.

So how do you know if you are the right student for the Ad-Hoc program?

According to Dr. Wendy Heyman, who works as a liberal arts and sciences coordinator and career counselor at the Starr Career Development Center, applicants should be “self-reflective” when writing their proposals for the major they hope to create.

“The intended majors as created by the students should reflect the great scope for both intellectual and personal development,” she said.

Some of the approved Ad-Hoc majors have included names such as “From Page to Stage”, “Social Justice and Politics”, “Law and the Underrepresented”, “Music and Culture”, and “Business of Art.”

A student who created her own Ad-Hoc major called “Practical & Ethical Application in Business”, which combines undergraduate courses from a variety of Baruch liberal arts departments including Communications, Psychology, and Business Law, explained at an Ad-Hoc workshop in March that her unique field of study helped her as a candidate applying for jobs.

Creating my own major helped me to become much more independent and self – reliant. In addition, it also leaves a very good impression on employers. An Ad-Hoc major represents that I am self sufficient and creative because I have successfully pieced together my own major. This unique and self-created major can be used as good marketing tools during a job search,” she said in an interview.

“Ad-Hoc majors can help the students to look within themselves and find their own voice. In this act of defining and creating their own majors, the students take initiative and learn to express and promote themselves,” Dr. Heyman said.

Ad-Hoc majors are not available for students within the Zicklin School of Business or the School of Public Affairs, however students wishing to enhance their knowledge of business to adapt to the workplace may take up to 9 credits from these schools which can be used in their Ad-Hoc major.

Some of the basic requirements for the Ad-Hoc major determined by the Weissman School of Arts and Sciences are:

  • A minimum of 30 credits, including 24 liberal arts credits
  • A minimum of three courses from two different departments within the Weissman School of Arts and Sciences
  • A maximum of three non-liberal arts courses
  • Ad-Hoc Major Approval at least one semester prior to graduation.
  • At least 60% of the major courses must be taken at Baruch College.

Students interested in pursuing an Ad-Hoc major must submit a proposal (250 – 300 words) to the Weissman School of Arts and Sciences after attending the mandatory informational workshop at the SCDC.

The proposal must summarize details of an intended liberal arts major while explaining reasons for creating the major, how the major differs from others available at Baruch, and how the intended major may play a role in a student’s future aspirations.

For more information please click this link and be sure to attend the workshop on April 9th.


Harshita Parikh is a Peer for Career and a senior at Baruch College majoring in International Business. She is also a key member of Baruch’s Operation Smile and she studied abroad in China last summer.


Building a Career in Information Technology

By: Jason Ioffe

If you want to build a career in Computer Science or Information Technology earning a degree is just the beginning – securing these careers takes a true passion for learning. You must invest plenty of time and effort to make your mark in these highly competitive fields.

Over 300,000 jobs as computer information systems managers are offered each year in the U.S. according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The median pay for these jobs are approximately $116,000 and those hired with entry-level positions typically need a bachelor’s degree and over five years of related work experience. So how does a college student strengthen their chances of breaking into a field that requires so much hands-on experience?

Well the answer is, practice!

In the modern business world, websites are equipped with electronic databases and the applications that drive them. To practice your skills, Oracle’s entire suite of database tools and Microsoft’s Visual Studio Express are all available via free download. Thanks to the Internet, budding tech specialists have a limitless supply of resources available to draw from.

Tinker and experiment outside of your academic and professional obligations. Perhaps the muses have swayed your heart into web design – Code Academy and Git Hub are great free online resources for all levels of proficiency.

The world of IT is constantly evolving and so should you. After over eleven years of professional experience, I still learn new things every day. Sometimes it is as simple as a new approach to problem solving; other times, I take a dive into a new application suite or programming language. In fact, almost every new IT or CS related undertaking will have you learn unfamiliar systems.

Many young professionals eager to get in the field of computer systems cannot solve programming hurdles during their technical interviews. But it is also essential to note excellent analytical, communication, critical thinking, and teamwork skills are necessary.

Even with all of these skills, you will have to network to have the best chance of landing a job. LinkedIn is your friend – not only does it help you locate and connect with key people in your industry, it also allows your colleagues to endorse you for specific skills like systems integration or C++ programming.

It may be a long and winding road toward success in the world of IT or CS. But it if you thrive on technological innovation then the computer industry might be for you.

Jason Ioffe is a Peer for Career at the Starr Career Development Center, the Webmaster of Starrlights, and a software developer at the Baruch Computing and Technology Center