7.1.1. The TU Core Curriculum

Oglethorpe University is committed to providing a comprehensive liberal education for all of its students. The University aims to produce graduates who are broadly educated in the fundamental fields of knowledge and who know how to integrate knowledge in meaningful ways. The Core curriculum is the clearest expression of this commitment. As an interdisciplinary and common learning experience spread over four years, the Core provides for students a model for integrating information and gaining knowledge throughout their academic careers. These courses feature the reading of a number of primary texts common to all sections of the courses and intensive discussion and frequent writing assignments. The program is a true curriculum in which each course in the sequence builds upon the body of themes and skills studied and cultivated in the previous courses. The arts (fine arts, music and theatre) and mathematics complement the course of study. The sequencing of the Core courses means that all Oglethorpe students take the same Core courses at the same point in their college careers, thereby providing an opportunity for students to discuss important themes both inside and outside the classroom. In this way, the Core aims to create a community of learners at Oglethorpe. The program explicitly invites students to integrate the knowledge gained from their Core studies with their chosen major.

The Core curriculum provides a model for integrative learning and a forum for the investigation of significant and enduring questions.

Staffed by faculty from a wide variety of disciplines, this interdisciplinary program promotes the development of the following aptitudes and skills:12

  1. Knowledge of human cultures, intellectual history, the arts, mathematics, and the natural world, including
    • Study in the sciences and mathematics, social sciences, humanities, histories, and the arts
  2. Intellectual and practical skills, Including
    • Inquiry and analysis
    • Critical and creative thinking
    • Written and oral communication
    • Information literacy
    • Problem solving
  3. Integrative and applied learning, Including
    • Synthesis and accomplishment across general and specialized studies

At the heart of the Core are seven integrated and sequenced courses in the humanities and sciences: COR 101, COR 102, COR 201, COR 202, COR 301, COR 302, and COR 400. In addition, students take two courses (COR 314 and one course from among the following: COR 103, COR 104 or COR 105) that have been designed to help them develop an appreciation and understanding of mathematics and the arts.

Core requirements are as follows:

Completion of all of the following courses:
COR 101 Narratives of the Self I
COR 102 Narratives of the Self II
COR 201 Human Nature and the Social Order I
CORE 202 Human Nature and the Social Order II
COR 301 Historical Perspectives on the Social Order I
COR 302 Historical Perspectives on the Social Order II
COR 314 Mathematics and Human Nature13
COR 400 Science and Human Nature

Completion of one of the following courses:
COR 103 Music and Culture
COR 104 Art and Culture
COR 105 Theatre and Culture

Additional requirements and things to note:

  • Freshmen must take COR 101, COR 102 Narratives of the Self I, II their first two regular semesters at Oglethorpe.
  • Students can take COR 103 Music and Culture, COR 104 Art and Culture, COR 105 Theatre and Culture, and COR 314 Mathematics and Human Nature at any time during their tenure at Oglethorpe.
  • A minimum of sophomore standing is required for enrollment in COR 201, COR 202 Human Nature and the Social Order I, II.
  • A minimum of junior standing is required for enrollment in COR 301, COR 302 Historical Perspectives on the Social Order I, II.
  • Junior or senior standing, along with completion of the Core curriculum at least through COR 202, is required for enrollment in COR 400 Science and Human Nature.
  • Core classes are numbered in a way that typically indicates what year in a student’s Oglethorpe career he/she ought to take the class. This is consistent with the cohort model we adopt for students working their way through the program. The reader should consult Sec. 1.4.3.4. for further details.

12 Modeled, in part, on the LEAP Essential Learning Outcomes (http://www.aacu.org/leap/vision.cfm)
13 Note: Effective in the fall of 2017, COR 314 is the only course which necessarily satisfies the TU Core mathematics requirement. TU students who enter Oglethorpe during the fall 2017 semester or thereafter must take COR 314. In particular, they cannot take the previous Core mathematics course, COR 203 Great Ideas of Modern Mathematics. However, students who attended Oglethorpe in a degree program prior to the fall of 2017 may satisfy their Core mathematics requirement by taking either COR 203 or COR 314, although there are consequences of each choice. Students are strongly advised to consult knowledgeable personnel in the HUB in order to make informed choices in this matter.