First year students begin the Foundations component with a Critical Thinking & Writing sequence, and most also complete a Cultures & Ideas sequence. At least one of these sequences is linked with the student's Residential Learning Community. Both Foundations sequences are carefully designed and selected for first-year students on the basis of student interest and requirements for majors when students have declared a major. These sequences introduce students to university learning in the context of complex, multidimensional topics and a rigorous intellectual environment in and outside the classroom. They provide students with opportunities to study diverse as well as shared human experience across historical periods and emphasize the relationships among global cultures, including cultures in Europe and North America.