Academic Curricula

Area Coordinator: Mr. Joel Whitehead

Writing and Speaking

English, Communication & Journalism
Chair: Robin Shawver

Science and Mathematics

Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry, Earth and Planetary Sciences, Environmental Sciences, Geography, Physics
Chair: Dr. Colin Nicholls

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Anthropology, Criminal Justice, Economics, Human Services, Political Science, Psychology, LADAC, Sociology
Chair: Dr. Randi Archuleta


American Studies, Classical Studies, History, Philosophy, Religious Studies, Honors, Women’s Studies
Chair Name: Dr. Thomas Shaw

Foreign Languages

Linguistics, Foreign Languages, Sign Language
Chair: Larry Torres

Fine Arts

Art History, Arts, Dance, Media Arts, Fine Arts, Music, Theatre, Architecture
Chair: Sarah Stolar


Education, Natural Science, Math for Education
Chair: Liz Herrera

Early Childhood and Multicultural Education

ECME Chair: Gary Atias
Webpage: Early Childhood and Multicultural Education


The University adopted a revised Core Curriculum as of Fall 2003 which all undergraduate students must complete as part of their baccalaureate program. The Core consists of several groups of courses designed to enhance each student’s academic capabilities. Its goal is to give all students at the University a grounding in the broad knowledge and intellectual values obtained in a liberal arts education and to assure that graduates have a shared academic experience. The required courses encourage intellectual development in seven areas of study: writing and speaking, social and behavioral sciences, mathematics in the physical and natural sciences, the humanities, the fine arts, and languages. The Core consists of lower-division courses which develop these skills and abilities, and students are strongly encouraged to complete the Core early in their college careers. Individual student substitutions should be minimal and are discouraged. Except where noted (see “Alternative Credit Options” in the Undergraduate Admissions section of the Catalog), students may apply AP or CLEP credit to the Core requirements.

Departments and colleges may restrict student choices within the Core to meet departmental and college degree requirements. A grade of C or higher (not C-) is required in all courses used to fulfill the requirements of the Core Curriculum. Courses taken CR/NC can be applied to the core, subject to general University and individual college and department regulations on the number of credits that can be taken CR/NC and the applicability of courses taken CR/NC to the individual degree.

The University recognizes, however, that the highly structured nature of many degree programs and the presence of numerous transfer and non-traditional students requires flexibility on its part. Transfer and re-entering students will receive advising in the college and department to which they are admitted in order to establish an appropriate program which will meet their needs and the aims of the Core. Where degree program requirements are so structured that a student’s total academic program credits would be increased by taking a Core course in a particular Core area, a department may approve a blanket substitution of a course in a particular Core area for all students pursuing an undergraduate degree in that particular program. Approval of substitutions or exceptions is handled on a department and college basis.

The basic Core Curriculum requires approximately 37 hours of courses in seven areas of study.

Writing and Speaking (9 hours): English 101 and 102 plus an additional course chosen from English 219, 220; Communication and Journalism 130; Philosophy 156. Students with ACT English scores of 29 and higher or SAT Critical Reading scores of 650 or higher have satisfied the University Writing Requirement and should enroll for courses of their choice in the Writing and Speaking Core. Students with ACT English scores of 26, 27, 28 or SAT Critical Reading scores of 610 or higher may enroll directly in English 102 and, upon passing, meet the University Writing Requirement. Students with ACT English scores of 25 or lower or SAT Critical Reading scores below 610 should enroll in English 101. Students who have taken an Advanced Placement examination in English Language or Literature should refer to “Advanced Placement” for placement and credit information.

Mathematics: One course chosen from MATH 121, 129, 150, 162, 163, 180, 181, 215, Stat 145.

Physical and Natural Sciences: Two courses, one of which must include a laboratory, chosen from Anthropology 150 and 151L, 121L (lab required), 160 and 161L; Astronomy 101 and 101L; Biology 110 and 112L, 123 and 124L; Chemistry 111 (lab required), 121 and 123L or 131L (lab required), 122L and 124L or 132L (lab required); Earth and Planetary Sciences 101 and 105L, 201L (lab required); Environmental Science 101 and 102L; Geography 101 and 105L; Natural Sciences 261L (lab required), 262L (lab required), 263L (lab required); Physics 102 and 102L, 105, 151 and 151L, 152 and 152L, 160 and 160L, 161 and 161L.

Social and Behavioral Sciences (minimum 6 hours): Two courses chosen from American Studies 182, 185; Anthropology 101, 130; Community and Regional Planning 181; Economics 105, 106; Engineering-F 200; Geography 102; Linguistics 101 (AOA Anthropology 110); Political Science 110, 200, 220, 240; Psychology 105; Sociology 101. Humanities (6 hours): Two courses chosen from American Studies 186; Classics 107, 204, 205; Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies 222, 224; English 150, 292, 293; Foreign Languages (MLNG) 101; History 101L, 102L, 161, 162, 181, 182; Honors Legacy Seminars at the 100- and 200-level; Philosophy 101, 201, 202; Religious Studies 107, 263, 264.

Foreign Language (non-English language; minimum 3 hours): One course chosen from any of the lower-division non-English language offerings of the Departments of Linguistics (including Sign Language), Spanish and Portuguese, Foreign Languages and Literatures, and foreign languages in other departments and programs.

Fine Arts (minimum of 3 hours): One course chosen from Architecture 121; Art History 101, 201, 202; Dance 105; Fine Arts 284; Media Arts 210; Music 139, 142; Theatre 122. Students may elect to take one 3-hour studio course offered by the Departments of Art and Art History, Music, Theatre and Dance, and Media Arts to fulfill this requirement.