Core Curriculum

The Core Curriculum is an integrated sequence of eight courses in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences that satisfies all general education requirements in CAS plus the writing requirement. Core courses also can be taken individually to satisfy particular requirements and to serve as a strong intellectual foundation for future work in a major.

Core courses are taught in small, discussion-based seminars where students work together with experienced faculty to explore the enduring ideas and questions that enliven and deepen a liberal arts education. Core seminars are supplemented by lectures delivered by some of the University’s most outstanding scholars.

Core Humanities focuses on the close study of classic works of literature, philosophy, religion, music, and art from both Eastern and Western traditions. Core Natural Sciences classes examine major discoveries and methods in the physical and life sciences, including the development of the universe, quantum mechanics, and the evolution of living species. Core Social Sciences coursework traces the development of contemporary social thought from the 17th century to the present, with special attention paid to the question of inequality.

Core equivalencies:

  • Students who complete CC 101/102 (first-year Core Humanities) satisfy the WR 100 requirement. Students who complete CC 201/202 (second-year Core Humanities) or CC 203/204 (Core Social Sciences) satisfy the WR 150 requirement.
  • Students who complete CC 105/106, the full Natural Sciences sequence of the Core Curriculum, satisfy the College of Arts & Sciences laboratory requirement for general education in the Natural Sciences. Students who complete only CC 105 (or only CC 106) may not use this course to satisfy the laboratory requirement.
  • Individual Core courses also count as equivalents for gateway courses in various departments. For more details, see our up-to-date list of Core equivalencies.

Schedule of Core Courses

Freshman Year

Semester I
  • CAS CC 101 Core Humanities I: The Ancient World
  • CAS CC 105 Core Natural Sciences I: The Evolution of the Universe and the Earth (satisfies College laboratory requirement only if completed in addition to CAS CC 106)
Semester II
  • CAS CC 102 Core Humanities II: Antiquity and the Medieval World
  • CAS CC 106 Core Natural Sciences II: Biodiversity: Causes and Consequences (satisfies College laboratory requirement only if completed in addition to CAS CC 105)

Sophomore Year

Semester I
  • CAS CC 201 Core Humanities III: The Renaissance
  • CAS CC 203 Core Social Sciences I: Foundations of the Social Sciences
Semester II
  • CAS CC 202 Core Humanities IV: From the Enlightenment to Modernity
  • CAS CC 204 Core Social Sciences II: The Problem of Inequality