After three years of extensive discussion and research, The Catholic University of America will implement a more integrated and mission-focused Core Curriculum in fall 2018, providing all undergraduate students with an educational foundation that prepares them for their professional aspirations.
“This is the first major change to our Core Curriculum in many decades,” says University Provost Andrew Abela. “It is an exciting and enriching improvement to our overall curriculum and provides greater consistency across our schools.”
The new Core Curriculum is built around a series of Enduring Questions exploring the Human Condition, Knowledge and Wisdom, Freedom and Justice, the Good Life, and God.
The curriculum for the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees consists of 15 courses plus a focus area requirement, for a total of 20 courses, including courses in theology, philosophy, rhetoric, literature, math, natural science, social science, fine arts, and foreign language, and history or political theory. Every one of these courses addresses one or more of the Enduring Questions, bringing a strong sense of unity and progression to the curriculum.
Students may choose alternative options to the five-course focus area, such as an Enduring Questions concentration, which will allow for deeper study of one of the five Enduring Questions areas, or an interdisciplinary minor, among others.
Consistent with the University’s previous practice, the curriculum for professional degrees will be a less extensive version of the curriculum for the B.A. and B.S. degrees, requiring 10 courses across the eight curriculum tracks. These professional degrees typically have more extensive curriculum requirements and those courses take the place of the other components of the Core Curriculum.
The new curriculum will be rolled out over the next four years, starting with next year’s first-year class, and following them through their four-year career. Current students will continue to follow their existing plan of study.
“We’re excited to implement this updated curriculum, which solidly reflects the principles of Pope John Paul II’s apostolic constitution Ex corde Ecclesiae,” says Abela.
Issued by Pope John Paul II in 1990, Ex corde Ecclesiae (From the Heart of the Church) describes the identity and mission of Catholic colleges and universities and provides guidelines to help fulfill its vision.