Foundational and Forward-Thinking Core Curriculum Skip Navigation

Core Curriculum

Colgate’s Liberal Arts Core Curriculum is recognized as one of the most ambitious and elegant general education programs in the country.

Created in 1928, the Core Curriculum teaches students empathy, informed debate, and critical thinking - skills that are required of global citizens.

Students are required to take four core classes in any order by the end of the sophomore year:
Legacies of the Ancient World
Studies the ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern texts that have lasting influence on academic discourse and critical thought.
Challenges of Modernity
Explores pivotal issues of modernity (i.e. urbanization, scientific discovery, imperialism, capitalism, aesthetic innovation) through texts across media and disciplines.
Students in Istanbul an extended study to Turkey listen to a professor lecture in front of distinct Turkish architecture.
Ensures that all students appreciate the identities, cultures, and human experience inherent in communities and regions of the world.
Scientific Perspectives on the World
Applies scientific methods to an issue in society or outside the realm of natural sciences and mathematics.
Students on the Manchester study group observe as a faculty member opens a book.
In addition to the four core classes, all students are required to take at least one of many courses that carry a Global Engagements designation. Such courses ask students to analyze the conditions and effects of cross-cultural interaction, so that they will be prepared to responsibly confront the challenges of the 21st century.

Areas of Inquiry

In order to foster breadth, an Areas of Inquiry requirement ensures that students take six courses from a range of disciplines. This section is divided into three areas: Human Thought and Expression; Social Relations, Institutions, and Agents; and Natural Sciences and Mathematics.

Get more information about the core.