Requirements by Discipline
Area III: Philosophy and Religious Studies
Area V: Classical and Modern Languages
Diversity Requirement: U.S. and World Diversity
Most core courses are taken within the first (2) years at Fairfield University. However, precisely when students should take various core courses depends, in part, upon their major. The faculty advisor will assist students in selecting a schedule that meets all core requirements. Normally, English (EN 11 and EN 12), mathematics, and foreign languages are included in the student's first-year schedule.
Core courses are organized into 2 groups:
1. In general, the first (10) courses form a common experience for all students, and provide a foundation to help situate work in the major and minor curricula. These (10) semester-long courses should, if possible, be completed before the end of the sophomore year.
2. The second set of (10) semester-long courses is required from particular disciplinary areas, but students are encouraged to make choices among particular departments and topics to fit their unique curriculum plans.
In addition, students must take (2) courses that focus on diversity, (1) on diversity in American society and (1) on diversity in a global and international context. These courses can satisfy core, major, or minor requirements, or can be free electives.
Many core courses can be "double counted" towards fulfillment of core requirements, and towards fulfillment of major and minor requirements. In this way, all core courses provide students with the opportunity to build a broad educational foundation across an interesting array of ideas, skills, and methods, and also with the opportunity to drill down into the more specific study of a discipline that leads to meaningful engagement and interdisciplinarity.
The mission of the behavioral and social science core is to engage students actively in scientific approaches to the understanding of both individual and social behavior, so that they can better understand the world in which they live. While unique in their discipline-specific approaches, the behavioral and social sciences - Anthropology, Economics, Politics, Psychology, and Sociology - are based on knowledge of behavior that is collected through systematic observation and subject to empirical verification.
Students of these sciences are presented with alternative paradigms of behavior. They are challenged to think in new ways to understand and solve the problems of individuals and societies. Through their study of the behavioral and social sciences, students will:
The study of languages, both classical and modern, is a key element in working and learning across cultures and geographic boundaries. Language in the Core Curriculum focuses on the acquisition of the skills of reading, listening, speaking, and writing, though the emphasis varies according to the chosen language. Students in core language study acquire knowledge about other cultures, literatures, and historical periods. It is expected that students will use the skills and knowledge acquired in language courses in practical and intellectual pursuits.
Through their study of foreign languages, students will:
Prominent among the educational priorities particular to our times are the need to address the pluralistic character of our own society on the one hand, and on the other to become aware of the significant differences which mark societies whose history and cultural patterns do not conform to those of the West. To address these needs, as a graduation requirement students must normally select one course identified as a U.S. Diversity course and one identified as a World Diversity course, or may in some cases satisfy this requirement through study abroad or other approved educational experiences. These courses may be part of the Core Curriculum, Major or Minor courses, or electives.
Through their completion of these requirements, students will:
We live in a world of words - written, spoken, read, recited, analyzed, debated. In the English Department, students learn to appreciate the inherent value of reading and writing, to value the beauty and power of language. At the same time, our students are trained to sharpen their skills for an ever-competitive job market by developing the ability to write clearly and persuasively, to think critically and creatively, and to engage in thoughtful analysis - skills that are essential to success in our contemporary, global marketplace.
While there are many ways to pursue English studies, we have some basic goals that apply to all of our many, varied programs. Our goals include to:
Please note: Instructors in the Core Writing Program can find additional information in Blackboard.
The mission of the history core is to foster an understanding of history as a continuous process in which a variety of forces (economic, geographical, political, social, cultural, intellectual, religious, technological) interact dynamically with one another. The history core fosters an understanding of the foundations of the modern world.
Through their study of history students will:
Mathematics has been an integral part of a liberal education from the days of Plato's Academy, through the Jesuit Ratio Studiorum, to the intellectual life of the modern world. The revolutionary ideas of calculus occupy a unique place in Western intellectual history and make calculus well suited for study at the university level. Fairfield's mathematics core requirement is aimed at presenting this deep mathematical subject as both an object of abstract beauty and a model of deductive reasoning. The calculus is studied as an art and a science. Although an abstract subject, the calculus draws its motivation from and provides applications to a variety of problems both from inside and outside mathematics. The theory is illustrated through applications to problems from geometry, optimization, physics, economics, business, and/or the life sciences.
Through their study of mathematics, students will:
The primary mission of study in the natural sciences is to help students develop an understanding of and respect for the scientific method, and the knowledge of the physical world that it has produced. The natural sciences, broadly categorized as biology, chemistry, and physics, are united by their common methodology. To recognize the breadth and increasingly interdisciplinary nature of the sciences, as well as the diversity of student interests, students may elect in-depth study of one natural science or a distribution across several. In their exposure to the scientific method, students learn the importance of critically questioning empirical truth claims and the value of scientific reasoning in assessing such claims.
Through their study of the natural sciences, students will:
The mission of this area of the core is to lead students to reflect on the perennial questions that all cultures have posed:
Through their study of these disciplines, students will:
The visual and performing arts weave together knowledge, skills, and personal and cultural values. Through studying the visual and performing arts, students learn about the interaction of art, society, and the self, and the ways in which that interaction has been influenced by history, (social) context, and theory. Study of the visual and performing arts also encourages students to develop empathy, discernment, and respect for the expressions of individuals and groups and their visions of the world. As they engage in creative work, students develop intuitive, creative, expressive, and aesthetic faculties, and learn to connect these faculties to reasoning skills.
Through their study of the visual and performing arts, students will: