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

21st Century Challenges

(3 credits)—Students must meet one goal in a 21C course. [21C]

  1. Analyze the degree to which forms of human difference shape a person's experiences of and perspectives on the world.
  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 issues of social justice across local and global contexts.
View courses certified for 21st Century Challenges [21C]

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 goal e and either f or g (or both). 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.
  3. Identify and critically assess ethical and societal issues in science.

(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—all courses meet one of (h, i, j)) Students must meet one goal (k or l). [HST]

  1. Understand the bases and development of human and societal endeavors across time and place.
  2. Explain and be able to assess the relationship among assumptions, method, evidence, arguments, and theory in social and historical analysis.
  3. Identify and critically assess ethical issues in social science and history.
  4. Explain the development of some aspect of a society or culture over time, including the history of ideas or history of science.
  5. Employ historical reasoning to study human endeavors.
View courses certified for Historical Analysis [HST]

Social Analysis (9 credits—all courses meet one of (h, i, j)) Students must meet one goal (m or n). [SCL]

SEBS Students must complete one course in each of the following three areas: social/cultural analysis, economic analysis, and governmental and regulatory analysis.

  1. Understand the bases and development of human and societal endeavors across time and place.
  2. Explain and be able to assess the relationship among assumptions, method, evidence, arguments, and theory in social and historical analysis.
  3. Identify and critically assess ethical issues in social science and history.
  1. Understand different theories about human culture, social identity, economic entities, political systems, and other forms of social organization.
  2. Apply concepts about human and social behavior to particular questions or situations.

(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; one WCD (t))—Students must meet two goals. [WC - WC101; WCD]

  1. Communicate complex ideas effectively, in standard written English, to a general audience.
  2. Communicate effectively in modes appropriate to a discipline or area of inquiry. [WCD]
  3. Evaluate and critically assess sources and use the conventions of attribution and citation correctly.
  4. Analyze and synthesize information and ideas from multiple sources to generate new insights.
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.
  2. Analyze and critically assess information from traditional and emergent technologies.
  3. 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.