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 2018 and Transfer Students Matriculating Prior to Fall 2019

Use these Core Curriculum Requirements.

For First-Year Students Matriculating Fall 2018 and After and Transfer Students Matriculating Fall 2019 and After

Contemporary Challenges

(6 credits)—Students must take two courses and meet one goal in each of the Contemporary Challenges areas. [CC-D] [CC-O]

Diversities and Social Inequalities [CC-D]

  1. Analyze the degree to which forms of human differences and stratifications among social groups shape individual and group experiences of, and perspectives on, contemporary issues. Such differences and stratifications may include race, language, religion, ethnicity, country of origin, gender identity, sexual orientation, economic status, abilities, or other social distinctions and their intersections.
  2. Analyze contemporary social justice issues and unbalanced social power systems.

Our Common Future [CC-O]

  1. Analyze a contemporary global issue from a multidisciplinary perspective.
  2. Analyze the relationship that science and technology have to a contemporary social issue.
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 both goals). Students must take two courses, one each in two of the following disciplines: physical, biological, or environmental sciences. [NS]

  1. 1. Understand and apply basic principles and concepts in the physical or biological sciences.
  2. 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 course that meets 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 (6 credits) SEBS Students must complete two courses, one in either social/cultural analysis or economic analysis, and one in 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 different disciplines.)

View courses certified for Social Analysis [SCL]

Arts and Humanities (3 credits)—Students must complete one course to meet one goal. [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]

  1. All students must take 01:355:101 or its equivalent. [WC]
  2. 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 synthesize 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]

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.