Core Curriculum

Applies to Class of 2022 and Earlier

The goal of a Fairfield education is to develop the whole person: an intellectual being who can think clearly, accurately, dispassionately; a social being who cares about others and takes one's place in the world with them; a physical being who knows the laws, limitations, and beauty of the natural world; a spiritual being who seeks to make one's life express the truths of religion and philosophy.

Because Fairfield believes that a liberal education can achieve this goal, the General Faculty has developed a core curriculum that all undergraduates must take to acquire a broad background in all academic areas. During their years at Fairfield, students, regardless of major or field of specialization, take from two to five courses in each of five areas.

Within the framework of these five areas, students have a number of options so that fulfilling the requirement can become a stimulating and enjoyable experience while providing the breadth of knowledge necessary for further studies and for life as a well-educated human being.

Options within the Core Curriculum

AREA I: MATHEMATICS AND NATURAL SCIENCES

Note: Psychology majors cannot use PY 0261 to fulfill this core science requirement.

AREA II: HISTORY AND THE SOCIAL AND BEHAVIORAL SCIENCES

  • Two semesters of history: One 100-level history course is required, plus one 200- or 300-level course.
  • Two semesters of anthropology (except for AY 0110 and AY 0115), communication¹, economics, politics, psychology (except for PY 0261), or sociology. Both courses may be in the same department or they may be in two different departments. Also includes ED 0241 for Educational Studies minors only.

AREA III: PHILOSOPHY, RELIGIOUS STUDIES, AND APPLIED ETHICS

  • Two semesters of philosophy: PH 0101 is required, plus one 200-level course.
  • Two semesters of religious studies: RS 0101 is required, plus one 200-level course.
  • One additional course in philosophy, religious studies, or applied ethics.

AREA IV: ENGLISH AND VISUAL AND PERFORMING ARTS

  • Three semesters of English: EN 0011 and EN 0012 are required, plus one 100-level English literature course.
  • Two semesters of visual and performing arts.
    • One semester must be in the area of art history; film, television, and media arts history; music history; or theatre history. (Attribute: VPCH)
    • The other semester may be selected from any of the three-credit course offerings in art history; film, television & media arts; music; studio art, and theatre. (Attribute: VPCH or VPC2)

AREA V: MODERN AND CLASSICAL LANGUAGES

Diversity Requirements

U.S. DIVERSITY

In order to help students develop a critical consciousness of self and society, all undergraduates are required to take one course that gives significant treatment to aspects of diversity and pluralism in U.S. society. Such courses will explore, in a systematic manner, connections among race-ethnicity, class, and gender, and will examine issues of privilege and difference in U.S. society. Additional aspects of diversity may be considered provided that their intersection with race, class, and gender are examined. Approved courses will be designated by a special symbol in each semester's course schedule booklet. This requirement will not add credit hours or an extra course to a student's degree program; students will be able to select a designated diversity course from among core requirement courses, major courses, or electives.

WORLD DIVERSITY

In addition to the U.S. diversity course, a world diversity course is required of all undergraduates. This course focuses on a non-Western culture or society, exclusive of Europe and the United States, and their literary, artistic, musical, religious, philosophical, political, economic, or scientific traditions. Though courses primarily emphasizing North American and European topics will not count toward this requirement, courses focusing on Native American, Russian, and Pre-Columbian or Latin American cultures can meet the requirement. Core language courses do not meet this requirement while literature and culture courses may satisfy it. Moreover, such a course will not emphasize international relations or business relations vis-à-vis Europe or the United States. A study abroad experience may satisfy this requirement if it meets with the spirit and letter of this mission statement.

Notes

  • Most core courses are taken within the first two years at Fairfield University. However, precisely when students should take various core courses depends, in part, upon their major. The faculty advisor will assist students in selecting a schedule that meets all core requirements. Normally, English (EN 0011 and EN 0012), mathematics, and modern and classical languages are included in the student's first-year schedule.
  • Students with majors in the Dolan School of Business are required to take specific courses as part of their core curriculum and may take two semesters of language at any level in fulfillment of the Area V language requirement. See the Dolan School of Business Core section for such course details.
  • School of Engineering students are exempt from the Area V language requirement and can take EG 0130 Engineering Graphics I as one of the courses in fulfillment of the Area IV Visual and Performing Arts requirement. Engineering students also take EC 0011 Introduction to Microeconomics as one of their Area II Social and Behavioral Science electives and AE 0287 Engineering Ethics for their Area III Applied Ethics elective.
  • Marion Peckham Egan School of Nursing students take specific courses as part of their core curriculum and are required to complete either the visual and performing arts or the modern language requirement.