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

Title changed from Freshman Seminar Fall 2014 (5/27/14):
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 and in arts management 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 for freshmen who have not yet declared their major. (All incoming freshmen in the School of Art+Design take VIS 1050/ComX in their freshman year, as part of their major requirements.)

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

Description modified 10/28/14:
College Writing
WRI 1110
/ 4 credits / Every semester (primarily Fall)
Offered before Fall 2014 as LWR 1110 and AWR 1100
An intensive course, by the end of which students are able to do the following:

  1. Produce coherent texts within common college-level written forms.
  2. Apply critical-thinking skills to evaluate their own and others’ assignments.
  3. Take a position of their own and develop an argument, using supporting details.
  4. Synthesize materials from various kinds of texts.
  5. Demonstrate the ability to revise and improve their papers.
  6. Use course concepts to develop in-depth readings of texts and critically literate written papers.
  7. Research a topic in detail and write a coherent, well-organized paper that develops an argument in dialogue with source texts.
  8. Demonstrate proficiency in oral discourse.
  9. Evaluate an oral presentation.
  10. Perform the basic operation of computer use.

College Writing AP Policy for Freshmen

Last sentence added (4/29/15):
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 April 29, 2015

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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.