University Core Curriculum

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The University Core Curriculum is a carefully structured and deliberately sequenced program of study required of all SIU Carbondale undergraduate students. The program’s objectives are to develop students’ abilities to communicate orally and in writing, to think mathematically, and to analyze and conceptualize effectively. The Core is grounded in the traditional arts and sciences, and fosters a life of inquiry, creativity, and civic articipation. As a matter of principle, the program limits curricular choice in favor of greater conceptual coherence.  

Within the first 56 credit hours, every undergraduate must take 13 credit hours of Foundation Skills in English Composition, Foundations of Inquiry, Communication Studies, and Mathematics. Most undergraduates must also take a Foundations of Inquiry course. To introduce students to the universe of human knowledge, which underlies all undergraduate majors, the Core requires 23 credit hours of Disciplinary Studies in Fine Arts, Human Health, Humanities, Science, and Social Science. Finally, to emphasize the interconnectedness of our lives, culturally and intellectually, students are required to take 3 credit hours of Integrative Studies in Multicultural/Diversity courses.

The University Core Curriculum is administered by a faculty director, assisted by two University-wide committees, to oversee the implementation of curricular policy as set by the Provost and the Faculty Senate. To provide quality control, all Core courses are reviewed and student learning in them assessed at least once every five semesters by the Core Curriculum Executive Council. The Core is also subject to program review on a regular schedule established by the Illinois Board of Higher Education.