Ursinus College Catalog

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The Core

The Common Intellectual Experience Seminars (CIE-100 and CIE-200 — the Common Intellectual Experience sequence) introduce students to the intellectual life of the college through a shared interdisciplinary inquiry during two integrated seminars, one taken in the first semester of the first year, and one completed in the second semester of either the freshman or sophomore year.

To sharpen intellectual discipline and promote understanding across cultures, students take two semesters of a foreign language (modern or classical; IDS-120 may be substituted for students who are eligible.)

One course in mathematics and one in a laboratory science help students enhance their deductive reasoning skills and promote scientific literacy, and foster awareness of the issues of science as they influence the individual and society. Because students need to be able to deal with quantitative materials, they must be sure that one of their courses is designated a “Q” course. The complex relationship of the individual and society is explored in a social science course, and a view of the human experience is promoted in a humanities course. Both are further promoted through two diversity courses — one focusing on diversity within the United States, and another examining the issues from a global perspective. A greater appreciation for making and regarding art is developed through an art course. Each of these one-course divisional requirements, as well as the diversity courses, help to reinforce and extend the intellectual inquiry begun in CIE-100 and CIE-200, helping students to see the complementary natures of disciplinary and interdisciplinary investigation.

The Core Requirements

  • CIE-100 and CIE-200 (The Common Intellectual Experience sequence)
  • Two courses of study of the same foreign language (modern or classical or IDS-120 for eligible students)
  • One course in mathematics. This deductive reasoning requirement may also be fulfilled
    by MATH/PHIL-260 (Logic).
  • One laboratory course in the sciences, including NEUR-120Q or CS 170, may be used to fulfill this requirement.
  • One course in the social sciences (“SS”).
  • One course designated as fulfilling the humanities requirement (“H”).
  • Two courses emphasizing diversity; one course with an emphasis on diversity in the United States (“D”), and one Global Study course (“G”), examining a culture or cultures whose origins and development lie outside those of Western Europe and the United States or offer a global and/or non-Western perspective. The two courses must have different course prefixes and only one may be in the student’s major.
  • One three- or four-credit course (or four credits) in art and art history, music, theater, or dance. Courses in creative writing and certain media production courses also fulfill this requirement (“A”).

Note: Students must be sure that one of their courses is designated a quantitative reasoning (Q) course.

For most students the Core will comprise 11 four-credit courses, or 44 credits, representing slightly more than one-third of the 128 credits needed for graduation.