Core Curriculum

The mainstay of the general education requirements is the College of Arts and Sciences core curriculum. The core curriculum requirements are divided into two parts: skills acquisition and content areas of study. The following sections provide descriptions of the individual requirement areas, their underlying educational philosophies and goals, and the list of approved courses. This Web version of the core curriculum contains the most current information available.


Selected majors and the ecology and evolutionary biology minor are exempt from portions of the core curriculum, as core course work is considered equivalent to course work in the major. Students who graduate with more than one exempt major may apply their exemptions cumulatively.

Skills Acquisition

These requirements are designed to assure that each student has attained a minimum level of competency in each of the areas listed: foreign language, quantitative reasoning and mathematical skills, and written communication.

Although a single course may appear in several areas, you may use it to meet only one core requirement.

  1. Foreign Language
  2. Quantitative Reasoning and Mathematical Skills (QRMS)
  3. Written Communication

Content Areas of Study

  1. Historical Context
  2. Human Diversity*
  3. United States Context
  4. Literature and the Arts
  5. Natural Science
  6. Contemporary Societies
  7. Ideals and Values

*The title for this core area was changed from Cultural and Gender Diversity in April 2009.