Core Curriculum

Fordham's Core Curriculum is a central part of its larger mission and identity as a university in the Catholic and Jesuit tradition preparing its students for responsible leadership in a global society. The "core" plays a key role in the undergraduate curriculum as a whole. As students' majors and electives allow specialization and individualization in their studies, the Core Curriculum assures that every student's undergraduate education is anchored, as a whole, in the liberal arts. The Core Curriculum provides an ongoing developmental context for students' studies and a framework for the entire undergraduate education.

NOTE: GabelliPCS FCRH HonorsFCLC Honors, and BFA students should refer to their respective sections of this bulletin to guide their selection of liberal arts core courses.

At the heart of Fordham College's academic program is the core curriculum. These courses are designed to nurture curiosity, inspire a love of learning and provide you with the foundation needed to engage in lifelong learning. In every core course, you think, speak, write, and act in fundamentally new ways, with a broadened appreciation for human values and a deepened commitment to the world. At its heart, is the practice of Eloquentia Perfecta, where students learn right use of reason joined to cultivated expression.

The Core Courses:

  • Expose you to new intellectual vistas
  • Enhance your understanding of ways of knowing within academic disciplines
  • Allow you to make connections among various disciplines
  • Develop writing, research, and quantitative and analytical skills

As a Jesuit university, Fordham helps you shape habits of heart and mind that are the hallmarks of liberally educated men and women. Our core curriculum blends reverence for tradition with openness to new challenges, and new ways of knowing and engaging the world.

Initial Courses

The initial courses of the Core Curriculum begin the process of attaining the above goals and objectives with an emphasis on language mastery (English composition and foreign language preparation).

Disciplinary Ways of Knowing and Concepts

The second step of the core curriculum continues the development of writing and oral expression as well as social awareness in the study of ways of knowing characteristic of liberal arts disciplines.

Advanced Disciplinary Study

The third phase enables students to deepen and extend their disciplinary study and enrich their major courses, which they will be taking concurrently, through a diverse spectrum of advanced courses, thereby assuring the achievement of intellectual perspective with breadth. The following upper-level courses will build on the knowledge, skills, and methodological foundations of the disciplinary introductions to develop and extend their awareness of questions and approaches outside their majors. Courses at this level will generally be numbered in the 3000 range and may be taken when students have completed the introductory disciplinary courses in the area, beginning in sophomore year.

Capstone Courses

The final stage of learning through the core curriculum builds on themes introduced in earlier courses. One course completes the sequence of courses in literature, history, and/or social science, and enables students to recognize interrelations among disciplinary ways of knowing through interdisciplinary study. The second course reflects on the infusion of values in knowledge and human life, thereby forming a broader perspective that will provide a framework for the development of socially responsible wisdom after graduation. Courses at this level will be numbered in the 4000 range, and may be taken when students have completed or are completing the Advanced Disciplinary courses.

Distributive Requirements

Finally, students must complete a set of distributive requirements across their four years at Fordham.