Georgetown Core Curriculum Requirements

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 five 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 in the Georgetown Core Curriculum Learning Goals.

More information about the Georgetown Core Curriculum can be found on the Provost’s Core Curriculum website.

Georgetown Core Requirements

The core requirements that form the first tier, the common experience across the University, are interpreted and carried out differently across the five undergraduate schools. The shared core requirements are outlined below:

Philosophy – 2 Courses

Georgetown, with its commitment to the Jesuit tradition, believes that modern men and women should consider reflectively their relationship to the world, their fellow humans, and God. All students take a year of Philosophy and a year of Theology and Religious Studies.

Through the Core, the Philosophy Department is committed to providing courses that promote students’ personal growth as human beings in search of meaningful lives, foster their development as responsible citizens, and offer effective introductions to the discipline of philosophy.

Please refer to each school/college for courses that will specifically fulfill this requirement.   

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Theology and Religious Studies – 2 courses

Through the Core, the Theology and Religious Studies Department is committed to fostering in students a critically appreciative awareness of the religious dimension of human existence, and to assisting students in reflecting upon their own experience and understanding in that enlarged context. The first course provides this foundation while the second course allows students to develop their critical awareness by applying it to a particular area of interest in religion or theology.

Problem of God (THEO-1000) and one Theology and Religious Studies elective fulfill the Theology and Religious Studies requirement. Introduction to Biblical Literature (THEO-1100) may be substituted for Problem of God or may be used as an intermediate level elective. Courses fulfilling the Theology and Religious Studies elective requirement are identified with the “Core: Theology and Religious Studies” attribute in the Schedule of Classes.  **Transfer students are exempt from Problem of God and may select any two intermediate level courses, including Introduction to Biblical Literature, to fulfill this requirement.

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Writing – 2 Courses

Every Georgetown student will take one writing course, WRIT-1150: Writing and Culture Seminar, that provides students with opportunities to connect their writing with critical reading and thinking, inquiry, and analysis.  The Writing and Culture Seminar approaches writing through three interrelated frameworks: writing as a tool for inquiry, writing as a process, and practice writing in different rhetorical situations. Each section focuses on a cultural theme, with readings and assignments that engage students with compelling questions and problems.  Seminar readings provide texts for analysis as well as models and motives for student writing. Students are encouraged to complete this course during their first year at Georgetown.

The second half of the Writing Core is an intensive writing experience located within the student’s chosen major, embedded within the requirements as determined by that program. The Integrated Writing requirement will prepare students to use the relevant forms, styles, and conventions of their chosen area(s) of study. Because writing reflects ways of thinking in academic practice, attention to writing in the major will enhance the student’s learning of concepts, materials, and methods in their fields. Each major’s Integrated Writing requirement is established by the department in order to express the unique conventions and practices of the discipline.

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Humanities: Art, Literature, and Cultures – 1 course

Every Georgetown student will take one course in the Humanities Art, Literature, and Culture. The Cultural Humanities and Arts focus on the critical study of creative works and the creative exploration of critical ideas.  The Cultural Humanities and Arts enable students to analyze the complexities of their own world and better understand diverse histories and populations. Broadly defined, the Cultural Humanities and Arts are the study of how people imagine, critique, and recreate the human experience in forms of art like literature, performance, music, the visual arts, including film and other media, and language. What links the arts, literature, and culture to the ways the humanities try to understand them? In the broadest sense, these areas of human endeavor all involve imaginative creation, expression, and communication; specifically, the making and sharing of experiences, ideas, beliefs, and emotions in symbolic form. Through humanistic study we come to understand and to contribute to the creative record of our world, explore that record across the meaning systems and values of different cultures, and learn how to think critically and creatively. Such skills facilitate growth in a world marked by ambiguity and change, and are crucial to a richly lived, imagined, and ethical life. HALC courses serve as a launchpad into deeper engagement with the Humanities at Georgetown and prepare students to flourish in a wide array of professional and personal pursuits.

Courses fulfilling this requirement are identified in the course schedule with the “Core: HALC-Hum, Arts, Lit, Cul” attribute in the Schedule of Classes.  

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Engaging Diversity – 2 Courses

All Georgetown students are required to take two Engaging Diversity courses to ensure the opportunity to engage with diversity issues in two different contexts: one domestic and one global.

The Engaging Diversity Requirement will prepare students to be responsible, reflective, self-aware and respectful global citizens through recognizing the plurality of human experience and engaging with different cultures, beliefs, and ideas. By fulfilling the requirement, students will become better able to appreciate and reflect upon how human diversity and human identities shape our experience and understanding of the world.

Many courses that meet the Diversity requirement also meet other curricular requirements (e.g., core, major, minor) in each school. Courses fulfilling this requirement are indicated with the “Core: Diversity Domestic” or “Core: Diversity Global”  attribute in the Schedule of Classes. Note that while some courses may carry both tags (i.e., global and domestic), students are still required to take two Engaging Diversity courses in total.    

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Science for all- 1 Course

The natural sciences, and the technologies that they enable, are woven deeply into the fabric of our lives and are central to many of the important political and social challenges that we face.  They are also pinnacles of intellectual accomplishment in humanity’s ancient and ongoing quest to understand the world in which we live. Thus we believe that to function as liberally educated, ethically responsible citizens, stewards of the planet, and as effective leaders, all Georgetown students should understand scientific modes of thought and concepts, both in the abstract and as they are exemplified in at least one major area of scientific inquiry.  The Science For All core requirement is grounded in these beliefs.

The primary goal of courses specifically designed to fulfill the core science requirement will not be to provide a summary of current knowledge in a particular discipline, but instead to illustrate, in the context of a scientific discipline, how scientific understanding is developed, tested, and revised. In addition, Science For All courses will help and encourage students to understand better the significant role that science plays in their daily lives, and will include examples of the use of scientific methods in addressing complex social problems and of the ethical issues that science can raise. 

The science requirement only concerns a Natural Science requirement and complements existing requirements in Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning as determined by each school. Students are required to complete at least one natural science course and should consult with their departments on whether a course fulfills the requirement.

Courses that fulfill this requirement are identified by the “Core: Science for All” attribute in the Schedule of Classes.

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School Core Requirements 

It is in this capacity that the undergraduate schools are able to expand on the university Core by furthering the second tier core requirements that relate to the specific mission and tradition of each school. Click on your school below to see your school specific path through the Georgetown Core:

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