Foundational and Forward-Thinking Core Curriculum Skip Navigation

Liberal Arts Core Curriculum

The Core develops fundamental skills and habits of mind that are essential for success in college and beyond.

The Value of the Core

Interdisciplinarity of knowledge
Knowledge rarely fits nicely into human-defined disciplines. The Core connects to all majors and opens the door to the endless possibilities that a Liberal Arts education provides.
Shared intellectual engagements
The Core curriculum explores questions, texts, and patterns of thought that form the foundation of human societies. The Core provides an intellectual foundation shared by students, faculty, and all Colgate alumni.
Old questions, new contexts
Society evolves rapidly, casting new light on classic problems. The constantly evolving Core curriculum allows each new class to approach these subjects with fresh perspectives and methods of discovery.

Liberal Arts Core Courses

All Colgate graduates complete the courses below, in any order, by the end of their sophomore years.

Courses examine the ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern texts that continue to have lasting influence on academic discourse and critical thought.
Students explore pivotal issues of modernity (i.e. urbanization, scientific discovery, imperialism, capitalism, aesthetic innovation) through texts across media and disciplines.
Courses ensure that all students appreciate the identities, cultures, and human experience inherent in communities and regions of the world.
Courses apply scientific methods to an issue in society or outside the realm of natural sciences and mathematics.
A wide variety of courses meet the educational goals of global engagement. These courses teach perspectives critical to living an examined life in the globalized 21st century.

Areas of Inquiry

To foster breadth of learning, students take six courses from a range of disciplines across three areas: Human Thought and Expression; Social Relations, Institutions, and Agents; and Natural Sciences and Mathematics.