The New Core Curriculum

The College’s general education program remained virtually unchanged since the early 1970s, but over the past four years, a curriculum committee carefully reassessed the existing core and proposed a series of sweeping changes in an effort to meet students’ needs and provide a strong academic and value-oriented education while remaining rooted in the College’s liberal-arts tradition.

The most significant change is the grouping of courses into five thematic areas:

  1. Quest for Meaning
  2. Human Expression
  3. Self and Society
  4. Global Awareness
  5. The Mathematical, Physical and Natural World

Each of these areas may contain courses from a variety of fields, stressing the interrelation of academic disciplines. The idea is to promote a breadth of learning in more than just one specific area of study, and to cultivate knowledge across a broad spectrum of subjects. 

Furthering this, the new core also features five integrated learning areas designed to build intellectual skills and abilities, enhance the connections about and between the various academic disciplines and co-curricular life, and foster an environment of openness to the exploration of diverse ideas, traditions and cultures.


A seminar course for all first year students which will introduce them to the academic world of college and, along with the required First Year Experience Program (FYE), will serve to engage students in the college experience here at St. Joseph’s. Each course section will focus on a unique and engaging topic related to the discipline or avocation of the instructor and may also incorporate interdisciplinary themes. This course will offer a laboratory experience of careful and critical reading, writing to learn, research skills, and cooperative classroom activities. 3 hours a week, 1 semester, 3 credits.

Fall 2012 Freshman Seminar Topics

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