A Welcome from the Director

Kyna Hamill
Prof. Kyna Hamill,

In 1989, faculty at BU embarked on an “experiment” to introduce students to “classic works in literature and the arts, great ideas in science, and the significant social events of the modern world.” Now, thirty years later, this experiment called the Core Curriculum has become a distinguished BU tradition.

Centered around weekly lectures and small discussion classes, “The Core”—as we call it—continues to introduce students to enduring texts, art and ideas that help them engage critically with the world. While many of the texts have not changed since 1989, the range of discussions and our students certainly have. In Core, we believe that building a diverse learning community requires many voices and perspectives, and we aim to foster a learning environment where students from all backgrounds, majors and specialties can contribute to the conversations. Core’s pathways through the Humanities, Natural Science, and Social Science courses are designed to address questions common to all disciplines and foster intellectual growth.

With the addition of the dynamic new capacities developed for the BU Hub, Core is embarking on a new experiment: beyond general education, Core is a place where books, teachers and students come to grow and learn together. While students are able to elect to have Core fulfill all of their Hub requirements, we think of Core more as the place where ideas are planted and cultivated. Core’s pathways enable students who fulfill six Core courses to receive a Core Minor, and for students who are enthusiastic about developing interdisciplinary viewpoints beyond Core courses, the Core Independent Minor is a way for students to design a creative or thesis-based project that enables focused and independent study. (Recent projects include podcasts, poetry, and a graphic novel.) Core Honors enables students to pursue a non-credit bearing research paper or project that may be eligible for funding.

Core’s intellectual community is not limited to the classroom. Our conversations continue in museums, at the theater, in dorm rooms, through shared meals, and in our lively office in CAS. The Core experience is complex, absorbing, satisfying, and sometimes difficult, but it will ground your experiences at BU. We invite you to begin your journey with us.

Kyna Hamill, Ph.D.
Director, Core Curriculum, and Assistant Dean, College of Arts & Sciences