The Common Core Curriculum consists of four required interdisciplinary components. The first two components are taught by faculty members from across the university who work together to develop these courses: all sections of these two courses share common texts. Legacies of the Ancient World explores texts from the ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern world that have given rise to philosophical, political, religious, and artistic traditions that continue to influence academic and intellectual discourse and critical thought. In Challenges of Modernity, students explore a variety of texts that engage with the modern ideas and phenomena that have shaped the world in which we live. Scientific Perspectives on the World (SP) courses engage issues of broader social significance that require scientific literacy. These courses are multi-disciplinary in focus: the topics of SP courses span the study of the physical world, biological processes, human behavior, mathematical methods, and technological innovations. Communities and Identities (CI) courses provide students with a multi-layered understanding of identities, cultures, and human experiences in particular geographically distinct communities and regions of the world.
Students are expected to complete the four common core courses by the end of their sophomore year. Approximately half of the fall 2021 FSEMs fulfill a Liberal Arts Core Curriculum requirement.
Courses in this component provide the opportunity to analyze the conditions and consequences of human diversity in its local and transnational forms. To satisfy this requirement, each student will successfully complete a designated course that inquires into the ways that people seek to make sense of a diverse and increasingly interconnected world. Global Engagements (GE) courses come from departments and programs throughout the university, and they take a variety of forms. For instance, a course in this component might ask students to do one of the following:
- examine the consequences of globalization in one or more of its many forms,
- investigate issues or processes that have an impact that can be fully understood only by using a global perspective,
- experience the cross-cultural understanding that comes from intensive language learning or study group participation,
- cross boundaries by examining how diversity finds expression in human culture, or
- consider human diversity in dimensions such as race, class, and gender.
Ultimately, the GE requirement seeks to empower students to live responsibly in contexts that require an understanding of the complexity of human beings and their impact, whether in the United States or in the broader world.
A Global Engagements course may count toward a student’s major or minor; it may also fulfill an Area of Inquiry requirement. The requirement must be completed prior to graduation.