Please note: The College recently has revised its Core Curriculum, which will affect the Class of 2015. You can find the new requirements here.
Every degree program in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences is made up of three components: the Core Curriculum, courses in the major, and free electives.
The courses in the Core Curriculum treat a broad range of disciplines from a variety of approaches; at the same time, the Core strives to ensure depth of study and intellectual sophistication while recognizing that learning implies different modes of inquiry. Fact learning alone is not enough to justify the existence of a Core Curriculum; rather the purpose of the core is to achieve a synthesis of knowledge that provides a basis for informed judgment. The Core also seeks to promote literacy as a foundation for intelligent discourse and the articulation of informed views.
The Core aims to advance culture in a broad sense, training students to understand and to appreciate the interrelated patterns of customary beliefs and practices, social forms, aesthetics, and material traits that act to define a culture and its position within a larger historical and intellectual framework. This educational program does not simply look to the past, but acknowledges that culture is vibrant and continuously redefined. The Core challenges students to understand how the present is recognizably formed from past influences, and that in order to assess our culture and arrive at a view of its future, students must be trained to scrutinize and bring into perspective the relationship of the present culture with that of the past.
In fostering active participation in learning, the Core prepares students to become active participants within society, to engage in the process of informed political debate, and to encourage an understanding and appreciation of the diversity of cultures and experiences, a respect for the individual, and the development of a multi-cultural and international perspective. The Core thus encourages personal development in preparing students to regard themselves a citizens living in a democratic society, as belonging to a world community, and as therefore having communal responsibilities.