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    The American University in Cairo
   
 
  Sep 24, 2017
 
 
    
2009-2010 Academic Catalog [Archived Catalog]

The Core Curriculum


Click on any of the following links for information:

 
  1. Primary Level: 16-28 credit hours
  2. Secondary Level: 12 credit hours:
  3. Capstone Level: 6 credit hours


Goals and Objectives

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“A Liberal Arts education is a celebration of learning that encompasses pretty much everything: the arts and the humanities, the social sciences and the ‘hard’ sciences, business training and other professional studies. It grounds us in a sound understanding of our own culture and history, but also makes us aware and tolerant of the histories and cultures of others. Liberal learning seeks to emphasize the growth of intellectual self-reliance and independence while encouraging co-operative endeavor. It is the competence to think, analyze and understand independently.” - Former AUC President Thomas Bartlett

The primary aim of AUC’s Core Curriculum is to ensure that all students, regardless of major, receive a strong grounding in the traditional liberal arts and sciences. The Core Curriculum is a body of courses designed to provide a broad liberal arts base for students. It aims to develop basic academic and intellectual traits while enhancing students’ writing skills, as well as their ability to reason and construct a logical argument. It strives to familiarize students with a diverse body of knowledge and intellectual tradition, and helps them understand themselves, in addition to their culture, society and place in the world. It encourages them to address the patterns of rational thought and argumentation that underpin the world’s great intellectual traditions, and introduces them to the ways in which science seeks to comprehend the natural world. In sum, the Core Curriculum lies at the heart of AUC’s commitment to the liberal arts. It is, first and foremost, an education in the fundamentals of learning itself.

General Description

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The Core Curriculum is a body of 10 to 15 courses (30 to 46 credit hours) that all students are required to complete, regardless of major. It is divided into three components.

The Primary Level consists of a set of English and Arabic language requirements (3 to 15 credit hours) and four arts and science courses (13 credit hours). They are designed for AUC freshman and most will complete them during their first three semesters. The four courses include Scientific Thinking, Philosophical Thinking (all students must take both), a natural science course and a freshman requirement in the humanities or social sciences. All students majoring in the fields of science and engineering (except actuarial science) are exempted from the general science elective. In addition, students who demonstrate the appropriate competence may be exempted from up to six credit hours of Arabic language and up to six credit hours of English writing courses.

The Secondary Level consists of four requirements in the social sciences and humanities (12 credit hours) including one course in the general humanities and social sciences; one that deals with world history, culture, society, politics and economics; and two that deal with the history culture, society, politics and economics of the Arab world. Most students will complete one of these four requirements in each semester of their junior and senior years.

The Capstone Level consists of two requirements that students are intended to meet in their senior year or beyond. The goal is to ensure that students meeting the requirements in their senior or fifth year take courses that are designed for seniors, challenge them to the highest level of their ability and prepare them for life after graduation.

I. Primary Level: 16-28 credit hours

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Category 1: English Composition and Communication (3-9 credit hours)

Students may fulfill this requirement by completing one of these paths, based on their placement.

  1. RHET 101, 102 & 201
  2. RHET 102, 201, & 300 or 400
  3. RHET 201 & 300 or 400
  4. RHET 300 or 400

Category 2: Arabic Language (0-6 credit hours)

All entering students, except those who have passed the thanawiya amma exam or its equivalent, will take an Arabic placement exam. Based upon the exam results, students may be required to take up to two modern standard Arabic courses.

(ALNG 101, 102, or 103; 201, 202 or 203).

Category 3: Information Literacy

LALT 101   (non-credit)

Category 4: Fundamental Intellectual Skills Requirement (6 credit hours)

PHIL 220   Philosophic Thinking
SCI 120   Scientific Thinking

Category 5: Natural Sciences or Quantitative Thinking (3 credit hours plus 1 lab credit)

Restriction: Students majoring in any of the fields of the School of Sciences and Engineering are exempted from the natural science requirements. Actuarial Science students must take 1 credit hour of Natural Science lab.

(Choose one course with lab)
BIOL 102 & 150L   Essentials of Environmental Biology
BIOL 103   Introductory Biology
BIOL 104   Unity of Life
BIOL 105   Diversity of Life
CHEM 103 & 150L   Chemistry and Society
    (for students with no Chemistry background)
CHEM 104 & 150L   Man and the Environment
CHEM 105 & L   General Chemistry I
PHYS 100 & 150L   Physics for Poets
    (for students with no physics background)
SCI 105 & 150L   Science and Technology of Ancient Egypt
SCI 109 & 150L   Exploration of the Universe
SCI 240 & 150L   Chemistry Art and Archaeology
SCI 250 & 251L   Introduction to Geology and Lab
MACT 112 & SCI 150L   Statistical Reasoning
MACT 199   Selected Topics for Natural Sciences

Category 6: Humanities or Social Sciences (3 credit hours)

(Choose one course from the 2 sub categories: a humanity or a social science course)

Sub-Category 1: Humanities Option
ARIC 101   Children’s Literature and Cultural Representations
ARIC 199   Selected Topics in the Humanities
ARTV 199   Selected Topics in the Humanities
CREL 135   Dimensions of the Sacred: Exploring Religious Experience
ECLT 123   Experiencing Creativity: Texts and Images
ECLT 199   Selected Topics in the Humanities
FILM 199   Selected Topics in the Humanities
HIST 110   World Cultures
HIST 111   Big History (for freshman)
HIST 112   History and Historical Fiction
HIST 114   A History of Modern Imperialism
HIST 122   Words that made History: Great Speeches of the Twentieth Century
HIST 123   Family History in the Modern Middle East
HIST 124   Eve and the Serpent: Witches and Witchcraft in History
HIST 199   Selected Topics in the Humanities
MUSC 199   Selected Topics in the Humanities
RHET 199   Selected Topics in the Humanities
THTR 199   Selected Topics in the Humanities
THTR 130   The World of the Theater
PHIL 100   Reading Philosophy
PHIL 199   Selected Topics in the Humanities
SEMR 111   The Human Quest: Exploring the “Big Questions”
SEMR 112   Who Am I?: Explorations in Consciousness and Self Across the Disciplines
SEMR 199   Celebrating Ideas: A Voyage Through Books, Art, Film and Theatre
     
Sub-Category 2: Social Science Option
ANTH 199   Selected Topics in the Social Sciences
ECON 199   Selected Topics in the Core Curriculum
EGPT 199   Selected Topics in the Social Sciences
POLS 101   Introduction to Political Science
POLS 199   Selected Topics in the Social Sciences
PSYC 199   Selected Topics in the Social Sciences
SOC 199   Selected Topics in the Social Sciences

Most students will complete these requirements in their first three semesters.

II. Secondary Level: 12 credit hours

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Category 1: Humanities and Social Sciences (3 credit hours)

Every student must choose and complete one course from the following sub-category lists. The requirement should be completed by the end of the student’s sixth semester. If the student chooses to meet the primary level Humanities/Social Science requirement by taking a Humanities course, she/he must choose from the list of Social Science options below to meet this requirement. If the student chooses to meet the Primary level Humanities/Social Science requirement by taking a Social Science course, she/he must choose a course from the Humanities options below to meet this requirement.

Sub-Category 1: Humanities Options
ARIC 206   Art and Architecture of the City of Cairo
ARIC 270/271   Introduction of Islamic Art and Architecture I
ARIC 305   Arabic Literature and Gender
ARIC 306   Arabic Literature and Film
ARIC 307   The Writer and the State
ARIC 320   Introduction to Sufism
ARIC 336   Studies in Ibn Khaldun
ARIC 337   Shi’I Muslims in History
ARTV 200    Art Foundations
ARTV 211   World Art Survey I
ARTV 212   World Art Survey II
ARTV 222   Architecture: Art or Engineering
ARTV 299   Special Topics in the Humanities
ARTV 310   Modern Art
ARTV 314   Modern and Contemporary Architecture
CREL 299   Special Topics in the Humanities
ECLT 200   Introduction to Literature
ECLT 201   Survey of British Literature
ECLT 202   Global Literature in English
ECLT 299   Special Topics in the Humanities
FILM 220   Introduction to Film
FILM 299   Selected Topics in the Humanities
HIST 203   Western Civilization from Antiquity to the Middle Ages
HIST 204   Early Modern Europe
HIST 205   Europe in the Age of Revolution and Reform (1789-1914)
HIST 211   History in the Making
HIST/CREL 212   The Quest for the Historical Jesus
HIST 299   Selected Topics in the Humanities
HIST 307   The Middle Ages, the Renaissance and the Reformation
HIST 308   Europe in the Age of Reason
MUSC 220   Introduction to Music
MUSC 299   Selected Topics in the Humanities
PHIL 221   Informal Logic
PHIL 224   Self and Society
PHIL 226   Philosophy of Religion
PHIL 230   Introduction to Ethics
PHIL 299   Selected Topics in the Humanities
PHIL 344   Literature and Philosophy
RHET 299   Selected Topics in the Humanities
THTR 230   Play Analysis
THTR 299   Selected Topics in the Humanities
THTR 350   Survey of Dramatic Literature
THTR 351   History of the Theatre
THTR 360   Play Writing I
THTR 361   Play Writing II
SEMR 200   Core Seminar
SEMR 299   Selected Topics in the Human Spirit
SEMR 300   Core Honors Seminar
SEMR 310   Cross-Cultural Perceptions and Representations
     
Sub-Category 2: Social Science Options
ANTH 202   Cultural Anthropology
ANTH 299   Selected Topics in the Social Sciences
ARIC 323   Marriage and the Family in the Medieval and Early Modern Middle East
ARIC 324   Non-Muslim Communities in the Muslim World
ARIC 325   On the Fringes of Society: Marginals in History
ECON 201   Introduction of Macro Economics
ECON 202   Introduction of Micro Economics
ECON 239   Economic History of the Modren Middle East
EGPT 202   Ancient Egypt
EGPT 299   Selected Topics in the Social Sciences
LING 252   Introduction to Linguistics
PSYC 201   Introduction to Psychology
PSYC 299   Selected Topics in the Social Sciences
SOC 201   Introduction to Sociology
SOC 299   Selected Topics in the Social Sciences
SOC/PSYC 301   Social Psychology

Category 2: Arab World Studies (6 credit hours)

Every student must choose and complete two courses from the following list. The requirement should be completed by the end of the student’s sixth semester.

ANTH//SOC 210   Arab Society
ANTH 312   Peoples and Cultures in the Middle East and North Africa
ANTH 390   Selected People and Culture Areas (when appropriate)
ARIC 201   Introduction to Classical Arabic Literature
ARIC 202   Introduction to Modern Arabic Literature
ARIC 203   Classical Arabic Literature in Translation
ARIC 204   Modern Arabic Literature in Translation
ARIC/HIST 246   Survey of Arab History
ARIC 309   Selected Themes and Topics in Arabic Literature
ARIC 310   Selected Themes and Topics in Arabic Literature in Translation
ARIC 343   Birth of Muslim Community and Rise of the Arab Caliphates
ARIC/HIST 344   Caliphs and Sultans in the Age of Crusades and Mongols
CREL 299   Selected Topics for the Core Curriculum
ECON 239   Economic History of the Modern Middle East
HIST 247   Making of the Modern Arab World
HIST 299   Selected Topics in Arab History
HIST 330   Urban Landscapes in the Modern Middle East / North Africa
HIST/CREL 333   Zionism and Modern Judaism
SOC 203   Social Problems of the Middle East
SOC 206   Arab Family Structure and Dynamics

Category 3: International/World Studies (3 credit hours)

Every student must choose and complete one course from the following list. The requirement should be completed by the end of the student’s sixth semester.

AMST 299   What is America?
ANTH 302   Kin and Family in the Global World
ANTH 320   States, Capital and Rural Lives
ANTH/LING 352   Language in Culture
ANTH 360   Gender, Power and Social Change
ANTH 372   Applied Anthropology
ANTH 382   Peoples and Cultures of Sub-Saharan Africa
ANTH 384   Peoples and Cultures of Latin America
ANTH 386   Peoples and Cultures in Asia
ANTH 390   Selected People and Cultures Areas
ARIC 299   Special Topics for the Core Curriculum
ARIC 345   Gunpowder Empires: Ottomans, Safavids and Mughols
CREL/HIST 210   Religions of the World
CREL 220   Hinduism and Buddhism in India
CREL 230   Pilgrimage Traditions in the World’s Religions
CREL 299   Selected Topics for the Core Curriculum
CREL 320   Masters, Saints & Saviors: Sacred Biography in the World’s Religions
CREL 349   Prayer and Contemplation in the World’s Religions
CREL/HIST 398   Between Hindu and Muslim in India and Pakistan
ECLT/HIST 209   Introduction to American Studies
ECLT 299   Selected Topics for the Core Curriculum
ECLT 301   Medieval Literature
ECLT 302   Literature of the Renaissance
ECLT 332   World Literature
ECLT 333   African Literature
ECLT 346   Third World Literature
ECON 224   Economic History
HIST 201   History of American Civilization to the Nineteenth Century
HIST 202   History of Modern American Civilization
HIST 206   Global Politics in the 20th Century
HIST 207   World History
HIST 299   Selected Topics for the Core Curriculum
HIST 309   History of American Political Thought
HIST 320   Big History
LING 200   Languages of the World
MUSC 225   World Music
MUSC 255   The Songs of America
MUSC 360   Music in the Western Tradition
PHIL 319   Development and Responsibility
PHIL 356   American Philosophy
POLS 299   Our Political World
SOC/ANTH 303   Social Movements
SOC/POLS 304   Development Agencies
SOC 306   Sociology of Literature
SOC 307   Social Class and Inequality
SOC/ANTH 321   The Urban Experience
SOC 322   Rural Sociology
SOC 323   Fundamentals of Population Studies
SOC/ANTH 332   Social Constructions of Difference: Race, Ethnicity and Class
SOC/ANTH 370   Environmental Issues in Egypt


III. Capstone Level: (6 credit hours)

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Category 1: Research and Practical Experience (3 credit hours)

The requirement may be met by selecting one course from a variety of options, including a senior thesis, a senior seminar, or a supervised internship.

Category 2: Community Engagement and International Perspective (3 credit hours)

The requirement may be met by selecting one course from a variety of discipline-specific service learning courses, international study options, international dialogue courses or special seminars in international issues and debates, and the Core Seminar.

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