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 and music) 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:11

  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 either COR 401 or COR 402. In addition, students take two courses (COR 203 and either COR 103 or COR 104) that have been designed to help them develop an appreciation and understanding of mathematics and fine 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
CORE 203 Great Ideas of Modern Mathematics
COR 301 Historical Perspectives on the Social Order I
COR 302 Historical Perspectives on the Social Order II

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

Completion of one of the following courses:
COR 401 Science and Human Nature: Biological Sciences
COR 402 Science and Human Nature: Physical Sciences

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 and COR 203 Great Ideas of Modern Mathematics at any time during their tenure at Oglethorpe, although sophomore standing (or higher) is recommended for COR 203.
  • 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 401 Science and Human Nature: Biological Sciences or COR 402 Science and Human Nature: Physical Sciences.
  • 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.
  • 11 Modeled, in part, on the LEAP Essential Learning Outcomes (http://www.aacu.org/leap/vision.cfm)