The college curriculum, leading to the degrees of bachelor of arts, bachelor of science, or bachelor of fine arts, is organized into three parts: the Core Curriculum, the major, and elective courses.
Described in the Academic Programs, Policies, and Procedures section of this bulletin, the Core Curriculum consists of a set of required courses distributed across a number of disciplines. Advanced Placement credit and college courses taken elsewhere may be considered for core credit; otherwise the core must be completed in the student’s home college. The core is designed to open up new intellectual vistas; enhance understanding of ways of knowing within the disciplines and of connections among the disciplines; develop writing, research, and quantitative skills in order to prepare students for upper-level study; and situate students intellectually so they are prepared to make the right choice among major fields of study. Students are expected to complete most of the core by the end of sophomore year, with the exception of the advanced disciplinary and interdisciplinary, global, pluralism, and values requirements.
Fordham University offers major fields of study in a wide variety of areas in each of its undergraduate colleges. Students normally select an academic major before completion of the second year of study. They are assisted in this process by their academic advisers and the academic deans. Requirements for the major are described in the departmental and program sections of the bulletin. The college reserves the right to limit the number of students in a particular major.
Students have the option of completing a minor in addition to a major. A minor requires fewer courses and provides opportunity to pursue a complementary field of study. Some areas of study are offered only as minors, often representing new academic disciplines.
In cases where they have developed a special academic interest which is not covered by an established major, students may design an individualized major with permission of the dean of the college and in consultation with academic advisers in the appropriate fields.
Coursework that falls neither within the core nor the major is of equal importance to courses in these two categories. Electives enable students to explore intellectual interests and build their own academic concentrations and special competence. Electives should be chosen with care and with the advice of the academic adviser. To ensure the breadth of learning that electives are intended to promote, at least half of a student’s elective choices should be used to take courses in disciplines other than his or her major.