Cornell University’s College Scholar Program Approves First Bitcoin Focused Degree

Cornell University’s College of Arts & Sciences’ College Scholar Program has officially approved the first independent Bitcoin-focused study on January 11th. The pioneer behind this academic milestone is Ella Hough, a student at Cornell University, who is set to embark on a unique academic journey that is centered around Bitcoin.

“The past 15 months have been a long but incredibly worthwhile road to approval,” Hough told Bitcoin Magazine. “I continue to believe that spending my time and energy studying Bitcoin is the most worthwhile academic endeavor. I’m particularly grateful to study it inside the College of Arts and Sciences and at Cornell whose founders championed ideals Bitcoin embodies, warning of the dangers of fiat money inflation and supporting the development of rails to transfer knowledge-based and monetary wealth.”

Ella’s major will encompass a diverse range of subjects, including Cognitive Science, Psychology, Philosophy, Information Science, Government, Economics, Anthropology, and History. This interdisciplinary approach reflects the multifaceted nature of Bitcoin, exploring its cognitive and game theoretical components, as well as its implications for adoption and societal structures.

“When asked, ‘What is my College Scholar major?’ My response would be Bitcoin,” she further explained. “The cognitive and game theoretical components related to Bitcoin adoption and the implications of Bitcoin to emphasize why it matters.”

As part of the College Scholar Program requirements, Ella will undertake the task of writing and presenting an honors thesis with an oral defense in May, 2025. While her thesis is set to adapt and evolve in accordance to new information over time, Ella anticipates the core focus of her thesis will center around the world-wide adoption and revolutionary implications of Bitcoin the network and asset. Her final thesis will be displayed at the university in Klarman Hall and will be kept in the permanent library of the program, she told Bitcoin Magazine.

One distinctive feature of Ella’s new academic journey is her ability to choose the title that will appear on her diploma and transcript. Pending approval from the Director of the Program, Bitcoin will prominently feature in her official credentials, symbolizing her dedication to exploring the significance of this decentralized technology.

Ella’s commitment to studying Bitcoin further extends beyond academia; she has taken the initiative to establish Cornell’s first official Bitcoin club. The club will join Generation Bitcoin’s Bitcoin Students Network—a Gen Z focused community built to support and inspire college and high school aged students to get involved in Bitcoin.

“There is a humanitarian imperative affecting generations, present and future, to study all aspects of Bitcoin and for students to be validated in their efforts,” Hough stated. “My hope is that this precedent encourages, empowers, and eases the journey for other students to think outside our current systems and build a more inclusive, truthful, and honest world.”

Cornell University’s approval of Ella Hough’s Bitcoin-focused degree marks a significant step towards recognizing the relevance and importance of Bitcoin within traditional academic institutions. As Bitcoin continues to shape the global financial landscape, Ella’s pioneering work to officially further her understanding of Bitcoin at a prestigious university opens doors for further exploration and understanding of this burgeoning technology.