Core Curriculum

Faculty member lectures in chemistry class - LGThe Core Curriculum is the foundation of Fordham College at Rose Hill's liberal arts education. This set of carefully-curated courses is designed to nurture curiosity and inspire a love of learning. The core curriculum culminates with two capstone courses intended to integrate learning across disciplines and within a broader social and personal framework of values.

Students begin with a series of introductory courses, designed to acquaint them with the ideas and methodologies of nine major academic fields of study:

  • English
  • Philosophy
  • Theology
  • Mathematics
  • History
  • Natural Sciences
  • Social Sciences
  • Fine and Performing Arts
  • Modern and Classical Languages

Following this foundational material, students move on to more advanced studies where they develop the ideas and skills learned in their introductory courses.

Finally, students complete their common core experience with two capstone courses, intended to integrate their learning across disciplines and within a broader social and personal framework of values.

In addition, students enrich their core experience with several distributive requirements that may be chosen from a variety of departments and areas, and that in many cases also fulfill other core or major requirements.


Introduction to Disciplinary Concepts and Ways of Knowing

The initial courses of the core curriculum place a strong emphasis on language mastery in written and oral expression. The second step of the core 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.

English Composition

Required: 1 course (ENGL 1102 - Composition II)

Essential to success is the ability to effectively communicate with others. The study of the English language and its traditional literary forms provides students with the skills and cultural awareness needed to function as successful citizens in society.

This course will build competence and confidence in the use of language for analytic, dialogic, and expressive purposes, develop basic reasoning skills and skills of close and attentive reading, enrich an appreciation of the power and importance of language, and help students learn sound practices with respect to conventions of citation, quotation, paraphrase and documentation.

Prerequisite: Depending on placement, ENGL 1101-Composition I may be required.

Texts and Contexts

Required: 1 course (typically ENGL 2000-Texts and Contexts; pre-requisite: ENGL 1102-Composition II)

This introductory core course in English literature, which may include literature in translation, will teach the arts of literary interpretation by developing techniques of close reading, an appreciation of the relations among literary works and the contexts in which they are written and read, and an ability to write critically about the interplay between text and context. The sections of this course offer students choice among thematic and topical foci, which are specified in each section title and spelled out in the section’s description.

All sections fulfill the Eloquentia Perfecta 2 requirement, which emphasizes writing and presentation. Some sections of Texts and Contexts may be cross-listed in Comparative Literature (COLI), Classics (CLAS), Medieval Studies (MVST), or Modern Languages and Literatures (MLAL). Students should check for such cross-listed courses when researching class options that fulfill this requirement.

Foreign Language and Literature

Required: 1 course (depending on placement)

The 2001-level course in a classical or modern language other than English fulfill the language requirement. The goal of the 2001-level course is to achieve a level of mastery of a foreign language that allows students to comprehend a text of average sophistication in its oral and written form, and to be able to comment on it orally and in writing in a coherent and correct manner. It provides either a critical analysis of selected cultural and literary texts, with composition, conversation, and review of pertinent grammar, or advanced readings by classical authors.

Language skills preparation: 1 - 3 courses. Students in modern languages starting a new language will take an intensive one-semester course (3 class hours, 2 lab hours, 2 tutorial hours; 5 credits) in order to accelerate their progress (1001-Introduction I). This introductory course is followed by 1501/1502-Intermediate I/II and concludes with 2001. Students continuing with a language will be placed in Introduction II (only offered in the Fall), in Intermediate I or II, or in 2001. No student is required to take more than four courses to fulfill the requirement.

Students in classical languages (Greek and Latin) take 1001/1002-Introduction I/II, 1501-Intermediate I, and 2001. There is neither a 1502-Intermediate II nor a 5-credit 1001-Introduction I level course for Greek and Latin. Students continuing with a language will be placed in Introduction II, in Intermediate I, or in 2001.

Mathematical/Computational Reasoning

Required: 1 course

This requirement develops the fundamental skills involved in mathematical and computational approaches to problem solving, reasoning and an understanding of our world. These skills also form the basis for advanced reasoning in many areas, and provide a basis for testing logic, solving problems, and evaluating mathematical and computational arguments and evidence in daily life. After completing this requirement, students are prepared to explore quantitative and computational issues in the natural sciences, the social sciences and the humanities.

Options include:

MATH 1100-Finite Mathematics
MATH 1203-Applied Calculus I
MATH 1206-Calculus I (recitation required)
MATH 1700-Mathematical Modeling
CISC 1100-Structures of Computer Science
CISC 1400-Discrete Structures
CISC 1600-Computer Science I (1-credit lab required)

Natural Science

Required: 2 courses

Through core science courses, students gain understanding of scientific methodology as a way of knowing and an appreciation of the social responsibility and ethics of science. By understanding how reasoning and experimental evidence lead to scientific conclusions, students will develop scientific literacy: the ability to understand the breakthroughs in science, medicine, and technology as educated, creative, and responsible citizens. With knowledge of the basic principles of science, students can evaluate the legal, moral and ethical issues that will affect their lives after they graduate. In the science courses, students develop skills in critical thinking and discernment; qualitative and quantitative reasoning; written and oral communication; formulation, analysis, and solution of complex problems.

Students who are not science majors take modular or integrated courses on various topics. The physical science course covers energy (kinetic and potential, electromagnetic, thermodynamics), matter (atomic and molecular structure, chemical bonding), and interactions (strong, weak, electromagnetic, gravitational). The life science sections cover evolution, genetics and genetic engineering, human biology including nervous and sensory systems, environment, and behavior and learning (classical, operant, and observational). All sections have labs. For those interested in a specific science, this requirement may be met through a two-semester disciplinary introduction with associated labs.

Two-course Disciplinary Sequence options (primarily for Science students):

BISC 1403/1404-Introductory Biology I and II
BISC 1413/1414-Introductory Biology Lab I and II
CHEM 1321/1322-General Chemistry I and II
CHEM 1331/1332-General Chemistry Lab I and II
PHYS 1501/1502-General Physics I and II
PHYS 1511/1512-General Physics Lab I and II
PHYS 1601/1602-Introductory Physics I and II

Physical Science options for non-science majors:

CHEM 1101-Food Chemistry
CHEM 1104-The Chemistry of Art
CHEM 1109-Chemistry of the Environment
CHEM 1110-Forensic Science
PHYS 1201-Introduction to Astronomy
PHYS 1203-Environmental Physics
PHYS 1204-Atmospheric Science
PHYS 1205-Nuclear Science
PHYS 1206-The Physics of Everyday Life

Life Science options for non-science majors:

ANTH 1200-Introduction to Physical Anthropology
BISC 1000-Life on the Planet Earth
BISC 1001-Human Biology
BISC 1002-Ecology: A Human Approach
BISC 1004-Dinosaurs, Mastodons and Dodos
BISC 1005-AIDS: A Conspiracy of Cells
BISC 1006-Mind, Brain and Behavior

Philosophy of Human Nature

Required: 1 course (PHIL 1000-Philosophy of Human Nature)

A philosophical reflection on the central metaphysical and epistemological questions surrounding human nature, which includes discussion of some or all of the following topics: the body/soul distinction and the mind/body problem; the problem of knowledge (relativism, skepticism, the objectivity of knowledge; faith and reason); free will and determinism; and self and society (subjectivity, personhood, sociality, historicity, and tradition). At least 60% of each section of the course is devoted to readings from Plato, Aristotle, Augustine or Aquinas, and Descartes. Each section includes some writings by at least one contemporary figure. Select sections may fulfill the Eloquentia Perfecta 1 requirement.

Faith and Critical Reason

Required: 1 course (THEO 1000-Faith and Critical Reason)

An introduction to fundamental theological issues including the dialectic between religion and modernity that has shaped our cultural heritage, and some of the ways that various cultures and individuals have confronted the pressing questions of meaning in human life. When apposite, comparisons with religious traditions other than Christianity are made. Select sections may fulfill the Eloquentia Perfecta 1 requirement.

Fine and Performing Arts

Required: 1 course

By seeing or hearing visual or musical works and understanding them, students learn to appreciate non-verbal realities and how works of art and music both are influenced by, and exercise influence on, their cultural milieu. The courses take advantage of and encourage students to appreciate the extensive cultural offerings of New York City. Certain sections of Intro to Art History (1102-Asia and 1103-Americas) fulfill the Global Studies requirement.

Options include:

ARHI 1101-1103: Intro to Art History: Europe (1101) Asia (1102) or Americas (1103)
VART 1101-Urbanism
MUSC 1100-Music History Introduction
MUSC 1101-Opera: An Introduction
THEA 1100-Invitation to Theatre

Understanding Historical Change

Required: 1 course

Through the introduction to the discipline of history, students begin to achieve knowledge of the structure of societies, how they function, and how they change. Each section of the course considers how to assess evidence, identify and evaluate differing and often contradictory explanations and arguments, and appraise the relative scale and importance of particular changes in the past. Students choose from different sections of the course each with the title Understanding Historical Change, and a descriptive subtitle such as Ancient Greece, American History, etc. Select sections may fulfill the Eloquentia Perfecta 1 and/or Global Studies core requirements.

Options include:

HIST 1000-Understanding Historical Change: Modern Europe
HIST 1075-Understanding Historical Change: Early Modern Europe
HIST 1100-Understanding Historical Change: American History
HIST 1210-Understanding Historical Change: Ancient Greece
HIST 1220-Understanding Historical Change: Ancient Rome
HIST 1300-Understanding Historical Change: Medieval History
HIST 1400-Understanding Historical Change: Latin American History
HIST 1550-Understanding Historical Change: East Asian History
AFAM 1600-Understanding Historical Change: African History
HIST 1700-Understanding Historical Change: Middle East History
HIST 1750-Understanding Historical Change: Islamic History & Culture
HIST 1800-Understanding Historical Change: Global History

Social Sciences

Required: 1 course

Students will be introduced to the ways of knowing characteristic of the social sciences through introductory courses in anthropology, communications, economics, political science, psychology, and sociology. The courses will usually focus on a substantive concern of the social science and include historical overviews, consideration of the variety of research methods typically used (especially empirical research), reviews of the major theoretical orientations and models, and real-world implications and applications to practical problems. Select sections of these courses may also fulfill the Eloquentia Perfecta 1 and/or Global Studies requirements.

Course options at the 1000-level:

ANTH 1100-Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
ANTH 1300-Introduction to Archaeology
COMM 1010-Introduction to Communication and Media Studies
COMM 1011-Introduction to Media Industries
ECON 1100-Basic Macroeconomics
ECON 1200-Basic Microeconomics
POSC 1100-Introduction to Politics
SOCI 1100-Introduction to Sociology

Courses options at or above the 2000-level (pre-requisites may be required):

COMM 2010-Communication and Technology
COMM 2011 Mass Communication: Theory and Research
COMM 2701-Persuasion and Attitude Change
PSYC 2600-Social Psychology
PSYC 2700-Infant and Child Development
PSYC 2710-Adolescent and Adult Development
PSYC 2800- Personality
PSYC 2900-Abnormal Psychology

Advanced Disciplinary Study

This phase of the core enables students to deepen and extend their disciplinary study and enrich their major courses, which they take concurrently, through a diverse spectrum of advanced courses. These courses assure the achievement of intellectual perspective with disciplinary breadth. The following upper-level courses build on the knowledge, skills and methodological foundations of the disciplinary introductions to develop and extend students' awareness of questions and approaches outside their majors.

Courses at this level are 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. Select sections may fulfill the Eloquentia Perfecta 3, Global Studies, American Pluralism, and/or Interdisciplinary Capstone requirements.

Philosophical Ethics

Required: 1 course (PHIL 3000 - Philosophical Ethics; Pre-requisite: PHIL 1000-Philosophy of Human Nature)

This course involves philosophical reflection on the major normative ethical theories underlying moral decision-making in our everyday lives. The principal focus of the course is a systematic introduction to the main normative ethical theories, i.e., eudaimonism, natural law ethics, deontological ethics, utilitarianism, virtue ethics, and feminist ethics. The differences among these approaches are illuminated by studying various moral issues. In each section of the course, at least half the readings are selected from Aristotle and Kant. Each section includes writings by at least one contemporary figure. Select sections may fulfill the Eloquentia Perfecta 3 requirement.

Sacred Texts and Traditions

Required: 1 course (Pre-requisite: THEO 1000 - Faith and Critical Reason)

The second theology course, selected from a group of offerings called Sacred Texts and Traditions, builds on the foundation of critical reasoning about traditions in the first theology course through analytical study of one religious textual tradition. Sacred Texts and Traditions courses offer students a variety of texts from which to choose. All sections draw on the disciplines of history, literary analysis, and theology. Students interpret religious traditions and texts as both historically embedded and always-evolving responses to the experience of the transcendent in human life. Select Sacred Texts and Traditions courses may fulfill the Global Studies or American Pluralism distributive requirements.

Literature, History, and Social Science

Required: 2 courses

Following the introductory literature, history and social science courses, these courses enables the student to achieve a sharper focus and more detailed knowledge of complex literary, historical and social methods, materials, interactions and processes.

To fulfill the requirement, two advanced disciplinary courses should be chosen from two different disciplines (an advanced literature course and an advanced history course; or an advanced history course and an advanced social science course; or an advanced social science course and an advanced literature course. Select advanced disciplinary courses may fulfill Eloquentia Perfecta 3, American Pluralism, and/or Globalism requirements.

Eloquentia Perfecta Seminars

All FCRH students take 4 Eloquentia Perfecta (EP) seminars as part of the Core Curriculum. All EP seminars, regardless of content or structure, develop student's oral and written communication skills, as well as close, critical reading capacities. EP seminars are capped at 19 students, and dedicate extensive class time to review and revision of student work (paper drafts, outlines, thesis statements, etc.) and communicative activities such as debates, student-led class discussions, and presentations. Often, EP seminars also count toward a student's declared or potential major.

Eloquentia Perfecta 1

Required course: 1

Select sections of introductory-level disciplinary core classes (i.e. Social Science, Understanding Historical Change, Philosophy of Human Nature, and Faith and Critical Reason) are designated as Eloquentia Perfecta 1. Students may take no more than one EP 1 seminar.

Eloquentia Perfecta 2 (Texts and Contexts)

Required: 1 course

All sections of Texts and Contexts (regardless of sponsoring department) are designated as Eloquentia Perfecta 2 courses.

Eloquentia Perfecta 3

Required: 1 course

Select sections of core (including Interdisciplinary Capstone), major and elective courses are designated as Eloquentia Perfecta 3 courses. EP 3 courses emphasize, at a more sophisticated level, the communicative skills developed in earlier EP seminars.

Eloquentia Perfecta 4 (Values Seminar)

Required: 1 course

All Values Seminars are as designated Eloquentia Perfecta 4 courses, and are taken only by seniors. Students may take no more than one EP 4 seminar.

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, taken only by seniors, considers 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 are numbered in the 4000 range, and may be taken when students have completed or are completing the Advanced Disciplinary courses.

Interdisciplinary Capstone Course

Required: 1 course

For this capstone in the literary, historical and social scientific sequence, courses use interdisciplinary study to examine the role of disciplines in knowledge formation. Each course features at least two disciplines that conceive and study a common topic or problem.

These interdisciplinary courses may be team-taught by professors representing contrasting or complementing disciplines, or taught by a single individual who has expertise in multiple disciplines. One discipline featured in each interdisciplinary course must use methods that are literary, historical, or based on a social science, which may include English, history, the social sciences, Classics, African and African American Studies, Modern Languages and Literatures, and interdisciplinary programs. The second or other disciplines in each course must be different from the first, but may be literary, historical, social scientific, or drawn from any other discipline, such as the sciences, fine arts, philosophy or theology.

Senior Values Seminar

Required: 1 course 

In these courses, senior students learn to identify, take seriously, and think deeply and fairly about complex ethical issues in contemporary and former times. Faculty from all departments in the Arts and Sciences develop these capstone seminars. These small, writing-intensive topical seminars all fulfill the Eloquentia Perfecta 4 requirement. Students may take no more than one Senior Values seminar.

Distributive Requirements

Similarly to Eloquentia Perfecta seminar requirements, distributive requirements describe attributes of courses, rather than a singular course. Courses taken to fulfill these requirements can also fulfill the Core, major, minor, or can be an elective. They may be fulfilled at any point in a student's career.

Global Studies

Required: 1 course

Global Studies courses are intended to ensure that students come to respect, understand, and appreciate the significant variations in customs, institutions and world views that have shaped peoples and their lives. Courses with this distributive designation can also fulfill numerous other core requirements.

American Pluralism

Required: 1 course

American Pluralism courses afford students the opportunity to develop tolerance, sensitivities, and knowledge of the following forms of American diversity: race, ethnicity, class, religion and gender. Courses with this distributive designation can also fulfill numerous other core requirements.

Service Learning (optional)

The goal of Service Learning is that students will test the skills and knowledge they acquire in their courses (e.g. in the humanities, language, and sciences) through service to the community outside the University. For these courses, service hours in the community are required. Students also have the option of adding a 1-credit graded Service Learning supplement to any course of their choosing (contact the Dorothy Day Center for Service and Justice for details).

Students are encouraged to take at least one course as an Integrated Service Course or with a Service Learning supplement, although they are not required to do so.