The Core Curriculum in the College of Arts & Sciences is a distinct, interdisciplinary learning community that will broaden your view and deepen your understanding of the world. If you choose to be part of Core, you will become more familiar with critical works and ideas that give a coherent foundation to any major. Core’s broad range of topics can also help you decide on your future field of study. In Core, you will work with some of Boston University’s most talented faculty in small discussion classes, developing close relationships with professors and fellow students. A Writing Fellow, dedicated to your first-year seminar, will be available to work with you on the composition and style of your writing.

The Intellectual Challenge of the Core

Core challenges you intellectually, but we also provide the support to help you meet those challenges. You will go beyond the limits of particular disciplines, exploring works from Gilgamesh to Mozart, and from Plato and Marx to Dante, Rembrandt, and Virginia Woolf. You will examine ideas and questions that probe our understanding of the universe, from the Big Bang to Quantum Theory to Artificial Intelligence, examine the roots of sociology, anthropology, and political science, and explore our literary, economic, and social nature, the relation of science to ethics, and the nature of inquiry itself.

Core classes help students develop critical thinking and reading skills across the disciplines and so substitute for introductory classes in most majors, from English to International Relations. Core also stresses the development of critical skills in writing, argumentation, and analysis, and satisfies the CAS writing requirements, WR 100 and WR 150.

Core along with the Cross College Challenge will satisfy all your BU Hub requirements. You may choose either to take all eight Core classes, or tailor Core to your individual needs. Either way, you will be establishing a firm foundation for future study and a sense of real accomplishment in completing each course. Students who choose to complete Core receive an annotation on their official transcript.

The Core website will tell you more about the works we study, our classes, and how Core works with your major and College requirements.

The Core as a Learning Community

First-year Core students have the option of living on the Core Floor in Warren Towers, BU’s primary first-year residence hall, or in the Core House, a smaller residence near the heart of campus, in which first-year students live with Core students from a variety of years and majors. In both residences, specially selected Resident Assistants connected to Core help students make the most of their time here at BU.

Core’s wide variety of co-curricular activities includes film screenings, a literary journal, and social gatherings where faculty and students meet informally. Visits to Boston’s cultural institutions, from the Museum of Fine Arts to the Boston Symphony and Museum of Science, make the city part of our classroom. You may also choose to participate in Core’s summer study abroad program in Athens, earning BU credit and experiencing for yourself a culture we study in CC 101.

Core also provides a springboard for academically involved students interested in leadership positions. The Core Interdisciplinary Minor allows students to pursue an interdisciplinary interest of their own while working closely with a faculty advisor. Core Peer Tutors fill a position open to upper-level Core students who wish to play a greater role in our community. Finally, the Core Honors program allows particularly motivated students to further pursue topics and texts encountered in their Core classes.

Contact Us

If Core sounds right for you, contact us. You may email us,or visit our office at 685 Commonwealth Avenue, Room 119. If you are off campus, check our website, email us, or call. Faculty and students are glad to answer any questions and talk about Core. Our aim is to include every student for whom Core is the right choice. We look forward to hearing from you.

Stephanie Nelson, Core Curriculum
Boston University College of Arts & Sciences
685 Commonwealth Avenue, Room 119, Boston, MA 02215
Phone: 617-353-5404; Email: core@bu.edu; Web: bu.edu/core