The College Core Curriculum
All students in the College begin their undergraduate education at the University of Chicago by taking courses from the Common Core curriculum, an integrated, often interdisciplinary, sequence of courses that are designed to establish the habits of mind and the critical, analytic, and writing skills that are expected of an educated, well-informed member of modern society.
The “Core” is intended as an introduction to the tools of inquiry used in every discipline—science, mathematics, humanities, and social sciences. The goal is not just to transfer knowledge, but to raise fundamental questions and to become familiar with the powerful ideas that shape our society.
Not only does the curriculum provide the background for any major and for continuing study after graduation, it also provides a common experience for all students in the College. All students have taken the same sorts of classes and read the same kinds of texts, struggling and triumphing over the same sorts of ideas. This gives every student a common vocabulary of ideas and skills, no matter his or her background before coming to the College.
Students are expected to focus primarily on Core requirements for the first two years, and many students may take nothing but Core Curriculum courses for their entire first year of study. Students should confer with a College Adviser to map out an individualized path through the Core.