general education &
the core curriculum


The Core Curriculum:
General Course Descriptions

Approved undergraduate courses in each core curriculum category are offered in a variety of disciplines and levels. (For more information, refer to courses that fulfill core curriculum requirements.)

Required First-Year Seminar

First-Year Seminar: BA/BS Programs
FRS 1030
/ 1 credit / Every semester
In this introduction to the merits and expectations of a liberal arts education, incoming freshmen in the liberal arts and sciences, in arts management, and in theatre and performance are encouraged to become members of the Purchase College intellectual community. Through readings, discussions, and supervised activities, students learn about the college’s academic expectations and its educational and co-curricular opportunities. Graded on a pass/fail basis; cannot be repeated.
Note: Required for incoming freshmen and selected transfer students in the BA and BS programs (excluding the liberal studies BA and the BS in communications), and for freshmen who have not yet declared their major. (In their freshman year, biology majors take BIO 1880/Biology Freshman Seminar and all incoming freshmen in the School of Art+Design take VIS 1050/ComX, as part of their major requirements, instead of FRS 1030.)

The following are general core curriculum courses that do not fall under a particular discipline:

College Writing
WRI 1110
/ 4 credits / Every semester (primarily Fall)
The ability to express ideas clearly and effectively in writing is essential to success as a student and citizen. Students learn and practice these skills throughout their academic career at Purchase College, beginning with College Writing. This is an intensive course that teaches students to:

  1. produce strong written work at the college level
  2. read and think critically
  3. take a position and develop an argument of their own
  4. research a topic and write a well-organized paper that develops their claims in dialogue with the sources
  5. revise and improve their papers
  6. present their ideas orally

College Writing AP Policy for Freshmen

Science in the Modern World
FRS 1200
/ 4 credits / Spring
An understanding of scientific principles is essential for an educated and engaged citizenry. This course investigates the substance and process of modern science and its role in society, including the scientific method and nature of scientific inquiry; scientific principles, analysis, and critical thinking; sources of scientific information, critical reading, and evaluation of authenticity; and distinguishing science from pseudoscience. Each course section focuses on a different topic or theme and considers some of the important scientific issues of our times. The discussion is required.

Updated May 20, 2016

Arrow up icon | << Core curriculum home

Please direct updates for this page to the managing editor in the Office of the Provost and Academic Affairs. To add a course, please refer first to the Faculty Handbook.