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The Core Curriculum sets out a series of requirements that are a vital part of an AUC education, and that all students must meet to graduate with an undergraduate degree from this university. Although it is not possible to be exempted from these requirements, in some cases students may petition for approval for credit from outside AUC in meeting them, for example through advance standing or transfer credits. All students transferring to AUC from another institution of higher learning should be aware of AUC’s residency requirements. In addition to but integrated with the Core Curriculum, AUC has an Arabic Language requirement, described below. Depending on their entrance qualifications or Arabic placement examination results, many students are exempted from these requirements.
The Core Curriculum
“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
Goals and Objectives
The Core Curriculum is a body of courses designed to ensure that all students, regardless of major, receive a strong grounding in the traditional liberal arts and sciences. 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.
No course that a student employs to meet a requirement of the Core Curriculum in the Freshman or Secondary Levels may be used to also meet any of the requirements - including concentration requirements, specialization requirements, collateral requirements, major core requirements, concentration electives, and general electives - of that student’s major. Similarly, a course that a student employs to meet any of the requirements of a major may not be used to meet any of the requirements of the Core Curriculum, except in the Core capstone level. At the Core capstone level (and nowhere else), one course may do double service (“double count”) for both Core Curriculum and major credit. In addition, any course that meets Core Curriculum requirements, at any level of the Core, may also count towards meeting requirements of a minor, to the extent consistent with stipulations of the department or program offering the minor.
The Core Curriculum consists of three parts: The Freshman Level, the Secondary Level, and the Capstone Level.
I. The Freshman Level: 22 credit hours
The Freshman Program aims to offer students a coherent, integrated introduction to one of the defining features of AUC: liberal arts education. In addition, the Program equips students with communication skills in English and enables them to transfer these skills to content courses so they are prepared to cope with assignments in their majors, and enhances critical thinking skills and their application in a variety of disciplines. Finally, Freshman Program courses aim to help students think with clarity and insight about themselves, their goals and the decisions they face, and to foster their civic responsibility, personal and academic integrity, and appreciation of diversity.
For students entering AUC in the 2013-14 academic year, the Freshman Program consists of the following requirements: In their first semester, students begin as members of a “learning community:” small groups of students taking two closely linked classes together, a Rhetoric class (RHET 1010 ) and a multidisciplinary seminar (CORE 1010 ), that work in tandem to develop and enhance the reading, writing, critical thinking and general academic skills needed for success throughout study at AUC. The program also includes six other courses, to be taken over the first three semesters (four semesters for most science and engineering students): a second RHET course in research skills and writing, Scientific Thinking, Philosophical Thinking, Information Literacy, and two “Pathways of Learning” courses.
Freshman Program Requirements:
and (semester one, 6 credit hours)
(3 credit hours)
(3 credit hours)
(3 credit hours; pre-requisite RHET 1020 or concurrent; normally taken in semester three)
Information Literacy: LALT 1010 (non-credit)
Pathways of Learning courses:
Pathways One: Scientific Encounters (3 credit hours plus 1 lab credit)
Note: Students majoring in any of the fields of the School of Sciences and Enginering meet these requirements through their program requirements rather than as part of the Core Curriculum. Actuarial science students are required to take a lab as part of the Core.
Students choose one course with lab. (The following list is representative: for an updated list of available courses, please see The Core Curriculum webpage or contact the Core Office.) Students will complete these requirements in their first three semesters.
Pathways Two: Cultural Explorations (3 credit hours)
Students choose one course. Note: The course taken to fulfill the Humanities / Social Science requirement at the Secondary Level must be from a department other than the one offering the course taken to meet the Pathways Two requirement, and should be from a different discipline. (The following list is representative: for an updated list of available courses, please see The Core Curriculum webpage or contact the Core office) . Most students will complete these requirements in their first three semesters.
Arabic Language (0-6 credit hours)
All newly admitted students, except those who have passed the Thanawiya Amma exam or its equivalent, will take an Arabic placement exam. Based on the exam results, students may be required to take up to two modern standard Arabic courses from the following:
1101, ALNG 1102, or ALNG 1103; 2101, ALNG 2102 or ALNG 2103
II. Secondary Level: 12 credit hours
Category 1: Humanities and Social Sciences (3 credit hours)
Every student must choose and complete one course in this category: it must be from a department other than the one offering the course taken to meet the Pathways Two requirement in the Freshman Level, and should be from a different discipline. (The following list is representative: for an updated list of available courses, please see The Core Curriculum webpage or contact the Core office). The requirement should be completed by the end of the student’s sixth semester.
Category 2: Arab World Studies (6 credit hours)
Every student must choose and complete two courses in this category. (The following list is representative: for an updated list of available courses, please see The Core Curriculum webpage or contact the Core office). This requirement should be completed by the end of the student’s sixth semester.
Category 3: International/World Studies (3 credit hours)
Every student must choose and complete one course in this category. (The following list is representative: for an updated list of available courses, please see The Core Curriculum webpage or contact the Core office). The requirement should be completed by the end of the student’s sixth semester.
III. Capstone Level: 6 credit hours
The requirements may be met by selecting two courses from a variety of options, including Senior Project or Thesis, Senior Seminar, Senior Internship, Study Abroad, Community Engagement, Honors Seminar, Interdisciplinary Senior Seminar or a 400 level course counting toward a double major. No more than 3 of the 6 credit hour requirements may be taken in the department of major. All pre-requisites apply.*
(The following list is representative: for an updated list of available courses, please see The Core Curriculum webpage or contact the Core office). This requirement should be completed during the student’s senior year.
* All prerequisites apply
** by instructor’s permission
To see SEMR courses description, please click here.