The Georgetown Core Curriculum Learning Goals

US flag in front of Healy Hall

The Georgetown Core Curriculum (Georgetown Core) is a distinctive expression of Georgetown University’s identity as a student-centered research university rooted in the Jesuit and Catholic tradition. The Georgetown Core is a two-tiered program. The first tier is shaped by the University and is shared by all undergraduates as a common core experience. The second tier of the requirement is shaped by the four undergraduate schools, expanding the university Core so as to further the specific mission and tradition of each school.

The Georgetown Core lays a foundation for the course of studies pursued by students. Ultimately, it is the hope that the entirety of a Georgetown education will lead students to embody as life-long habits the goals described below.

1. Participate creatively in an intellectual community.

The basic purpose of general education is the development of fundamental abilities such as inquiry, analysis, research, critical reading, creative thinking and expression, and communication in multiple modes and media. The Georgetown Core accomplishes these by expanding students’ understandings of the traditions, histories, technologies, and ideas that have shaped the world. In addition, as participants in an intellectual community, students learn to communicate and act with civility, respect difference, address questions of diversity, and engage in difficult dialogues around challenging ideas. 

2. Address complex issues and problems.

Challenging and complex problems often require the insights of multiple areas of knowledge, both qualitative and quantitative, and the capacity to think and act creatively across fields. The Georgetown Core attends to these by giving students a working appreciation of the questions, methods, contributions, and limitations of various disciplines in addressing complex problems. In their academic work, students are encouraged to incorporate such scholarly ideals as interdisciplinarity, integration, risk-taking, and collaboration.

3. Develop a world view that is both intellectually grounded and personally compelling.

The Jesuit ideal of cura personalis inspires the Georgetown community to value integration of the intellectual, ethical, spiritual, social, and civic dimensions of life and to do so with wisdom, passion, self-reflection, and interior freedom. The Georgetown Core helps to accomplish this by encouraging students to explore critically their own beliefs and assumptions and consider new, diverse, and unfamiliar beliefs. 

4. Engage responsively in the world. 

Georgetown aims to graduate “men and women for others” who have, as a central life commitment, an active and sustained pursuit of the common good. The Georgetown Core helps to accomplish this by encouraging students to exercise integrative judgments in the face of moral complexities and to take on the responsibilities of global citizenship in a spirit of service and justice.

To review the requirements of the Core Curriculum please visit the degree requirements page for each school.

Georgetown College
School of Foreign Service
McDonough School of Business
School of Health
School of Nursing
School of Continuing Studies