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Core Curriculum


Foundation Areas

This page provides students with a comprehensive list of the courses that satisfy each Foundations requirement. 

Critical Thinking and Writing (CTW) 1 & 2

Goals: Critical Thinking, Complexity, Communication

Meta-Goals: Information Literacy and Intentional Learning

Learning Objectives In the first course, students will:


Read and analyze texts for audience, speaker/writer, purpose, message, and context

1.2   Compose rhetorically effective nonfiction texts for different audiences in different modes of presentation
1.3   Compose texts that resist overly simplistic binary thinking by engaging various perspectives about topics and/or texts
1.4   Use writing processes as tools for learning and discovery

Learning Objectives In the second course, students will:

2.1   Locate and select information that genuinely considers multiple, credible perspectives

Demonstrate an engaged, ethical approach to the use of sources, including accurate citation


Compose texts that effectively integrate sources for a clear purpose, audience, and occasion in different modes of presentation


Use writing and information literacy as tools for learning and discovery

All students are pre-enrolled in Critical Thinking & Writing 1 and 2 before they arrive for Summer Orientation.

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Cultures and Ideas (C&I) 1 & 2 (A two-course themed sequence)

Goals: Global Cultures, Arts & Humanities, Critical Thinking, Perspective

Learning Objectives In the first course, students will:

1.1   Identify significant elements of the cultures examined.
1.2   Recognize the complexity of the cultures examined.
1.3   Analyze and/or interpret significant objects, texts, ideas, issues and/or events in their historical contexts, using at least one disciplinary method.
1.4   Examine and analyze both shared and diverse human experiences across cultures and historical periods in order to comprehend the relevance of the past to the cultural present.

Learning Objectives In the second course students will:

2.1   Make connections between the cultures and objects, texts, ideas, issues, and/or events examined in C&I 1 and 2.
2.2   Demonstrate understanding of the complexity and/or larger contexts of the cultures examined.
2.3   Question and/or evaluate the effects cultural understanding has on the interpretation of the objects, texts, ideas, and/or events.
2.4   Examine and analyze both shared and diverse human experiences across cultures and historical periods, demonstrating awareness of their relevance to students’ own world view, cultural assumptions, and values.

Some students are pre-enrolled in Cultures & Ideas 1 and 2 before they arrive for Summer Orientation.



Goals: Critical Thinking, Mathematics & Quantitative Reasoning, Communication, Complexity

Learning Objectives Students will:

1.1   Demonstrate their problem solving skills, including their ability to interpret problem situations; choose among several potentially appropriate mathematical methods of solution; persist in the face of difficulty; and present full and cogent solutions that include appropriate justification for their reasoning.
1.2   Demonstrate their ability to approach mathematical ideas or problems from multiple perspectives (e.g., by using the internal connections between geometry, algebra, and numerical computation; applying the connections between theory and applications; or distinguishing between a formal proof and less formal arguments and understanding the different roles these play in mathematics).
1.3   Demonstrate an understanding of mathematical content (including the limits to its application) that goes beyond mere fluency in using mathematical symbols, language, and formulas.

BUSINESS students must take MATH 30 and 31, unless the student expects to take a third quarter of mathematics, in which case they should take MATH 11 and 12. 

ENGINEERING students must take MATH 11 and MATH 12.

LIFE SCIENCE students take MATH 35 and MATH 36. 

ARTS AND SCIENCES (except Life Science majors) students select any course from this list.

Mathematics (MATH)

4 The Nature of Mathematics

6 Finite Mathematics for Social Science

8 Introduction to Statistics

11 Calculus & Analytic Geometry I

12 Calculus & Analytic Geometry II

30 Calculus for Business

35 Calculus for Life Sciences I

36 Calculus for Life Sciences II

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Religion, Theology, & Culture 1

Goals: Global Cultures, Critical Thinking, Complexity, Religious Reflection

Learning Objectives Students will:

1.1   Describe and compare the central religious ideas and practices from at least two locally or globally distinct cultures or communities.
1.2   Use critical approaches to reflect on their own beliefs and the religious dimensions of human existence.

Students choose one course from the list below.  

Classics (CLAS)

5 Mediterranean Religious Traditions

Religion and Society (RSOC)

7 South and Southeast Asian Traditions

9 Ways of Understanding Religions

10 Asian Religious Traditions

11 Asian Christianity

12 Latinos & Lived Religion in U.S.

14 Exploring Living Religions

15 Mapping Living Religion

16 Ecstatic Experience, Film, and Religion

19 Egyptian Religious Traditions

Scripture and Tradition (SCTR)

11 Controversies in Religion: Ancient & Modern

15 Texting God

19 Religions of the Book

Theology, Ethics, and Spirituality (TESP)

2 Magicians, Athletes, & God

4 The Christian Tradition

16 Religion, Science and Ecology

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Second Language

Goals: Communication, Perspective

Learning Objectives Students will:

1.1   Demonstrate skill in the use of the modern or classical language for authentic communicative purposes, as appropriate to the language.
1.2   Demonstrate an understanding of and sensitivity to the cultural products, practices, and perspectives exhibited in the language studied.

Students satisfy this requirement by completing a course at the level required by their major (consult degree progress report for your required level):

B.A. and B.S. (Social Sciences) students need to complete the 3rd course of any first year language, i.e., Elementary Language III.

B.S. (Natural Sciences and Mathematics) students need to complete the 2nd course of any first year language, i.e., Elementary Language II.

B.S. (Engineering) students fulfill requirement by two years of high school study in a second language.

B.S.C. (Leavey School of Business) students need to complete the 2nd course of any first year language, i.e., Elementary Language II.

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