Core Curriculum Requirements

Core Curriculum Venn Diagram

The School of Environmental and Biological Sciences Core Curriculum emphasizes the practical application of scholarship related to the environment and the life sciences integrated with critical thinking developed across the curriculum.

For Continuing Students Matriculating Prior to Fall 2015 and Transfer Students Matriculating Prior to Fall 2016

Use these Core Curriculum Requirements.

For First-Year Students Matriculating Fall 2015 and After and Transfer Students Matriculating Fall 2016 and After

Contemporary Challenges

(3 credits)—Students must meet one goal in a Contemporary Challenges course. [CC]

  1. Analyze the degree to which forms of human difference shape a person's experiences of and perspectives on contemporary issues.
  2. Analyze a contemporary global issue from a multidisciplinary perspective.
  3. Analyze the relationship that science and technology have to a contemporary social issue.
  4. Analyze contemporary issues of social justice.
View courses certified for Contemporary Challenges [CC]

Experience-Based Education

(3 credits)—Practical application of disciplinary knowledge. Students must participate in a certified experience that meets this goal. [EBE]

  1. Complete and report on an applied experience (e.g., professional practice, service learning, or research) in order to examine and evaluate ideas within a discipline.
See Degree Navigator for courses certified for Experience-Based Education [EBE] in your major

Note: Most will complete this with a course in your major.

Areas of Inquiry

Natural Sciences (6 credits)—each course must meet goals e and f). Students must meet two goals with courses in two of the following disciplines: physical, biological, or environmental sciences. [NS]

  1. Understand and apply basic principles and concepts in the physical or biological sciences.
  2. Explain and be able to assess the relationship among assumptions, method, evidence, arguments, and theory in scientific analysis.

(Note: Use Degree Navigator to make sure you are completing courses in two different disciplines.)

View courses certified for Natural Sciences [NS]

Historical Analysis (3 credits) Students must take one credit-bearing course that meets one or both of these goals. [HST]

  1. Explain the development of some aspect of a society or culture over time.
  2. Employ historical reasoning to study human endeavors, using appropriate assumptions, methods, evidence, and arguments.
View courses certified for Historical Analysis [HST]

Social Analysis (9 credits) SEBS Students must complete one course in each of the following three areas: social/cultural analysis, economic analysis, and governmental and regulatory analysis. [SCL]

  1. Understand different theories about human culture, social identity, economic entities, political systems, and other forms of social organization.
  2. Employ tools of social scientific reasoning to study particular questions or situations, using appropriate assumptions, methods, evidence, and arguments.

(Note: Use Degree Navigator to make sure you are completing courses in three different disciplines.)

View courses certified for Social Analysis [SCL]

Arts and Humanities (6 credits)—Students must meet two goals. [AH]

  1. Examine critically philosophical and other theoretical issues concerning the nature of reality, human experience, knowledge, value, and/or cultural production.
  2. Analyze arts and/or literatures in themselves and in relation to specific histories, values, languages, cultures, and technologies.
  3. Understand the nature of human languages and their speakers.
  4. Engage critically in the process of creative expression.
View courses certified for Arts and Humanities [AH]

Cognitive Skills and Processes

Writing and Communication (6 credits) [01:355:101; WCD]

  • All students must take 01:355:101 or its equivalent. [WC]
  1. Communicate effectively in modes appropriate to a discipline or area of inquiry; evaluate and critically assess sources and use the conventions of attribution and citation correctly; and analyze and sythesize information and ideas from multiple sources to generate new insights. [WCD]
View courses certified for Writing and Communication [WC], [WCD]

(Note: Revision-Based Writing and Communication [WCR] is NOT required at SEBS.)


Quantitative and Formal Reasoning (6 credits)—Students must meet two goals. [QQ; QR]

  1. Formulate, evaluate, and communicate conclusions and inferences from quantitative information. (Includes various quantitative methods courses as well as 640 courses) [QQ]
  2. Apply effective and efficient mathematical or other formal processes to reason and to solve problems. (Includes 640 courses and formal reasoning courses) [QR]
View courses certified for Quantitative and Formal Reasoning [QQ], [QR]

Information Technology and Research (3 credits or equivalent)—Students must meet one goal. [ITR]

  1. Employ current technologies to access information, to conduct research, and to communicate findings.
  1. Understand the principles that underlie information systems.
View courses certified for Information Technology and Research [ITR]

A single course may be used to meet multiple goals. All Courses must be credit-bearing, graded courses certified by the faculty as meeting core goals. (For example, E credit courses cannot be used to meet goals, nor can pass/no credit courses.) Generally, SEBS students will need to take 12–16 courses to complete the Core, some of which may also fulfill major or minor requirements.