University Core Curriculum


Core I: Perspectives on the Individual
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Core II: The American Experience
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Core III: Cross-Cultural Perspectives
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Core IV: Global Issues
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About the University Core

At Fairleigh Dickinson University, we believe that a college education must prepare you for a lifetime of thoughtful living. Our interdisciplinary University Core Curriculum, required of all undergraduate students, is the cornerstone of such an education.

The University Core has received national recognition for its innovative approach to general education. The American Association of Colleges and Universities honored the FDU Core by making it one of nine programs in the United States to serve as a model for other educational institutions.

In the four courses that constitute the University Core, you will be exposed to some of the most basic issues that confront us as responsible members of the human community. These courses, which are meant to create a progressive awakening to the contexts in which we live, begin with perspectives on the individual. They move on to a study of the individual's place in American society, then examine the world from a cross-cultural perspective, and conclude with an investigation of global issues.

Throughout the sequence of the University Core, you will be encouraged to think critically, to understand, to challenge, even to change the world in which we live. Through intensive reading, careful analysis, active discussion, and frequent writing assignments, you will begin to examine your own values while becoming aware of the differing values of other individuals, groups, and cultures.

In addition to providing students with a common base of knowledge, the Core is designed

  1. to provide essential skills in written communication, reading and logical analysis
  2. to promote an understanding of individual and societal perspectives
  3. to foster an international perspective that will give students a way of looking at the world as well as at their own country
  4. to inculcate an appreciation for the interrelationships among bodies of knowledge generated in individual disciplines

University Core Sequence

Fairleigh Dickinson University requires all students to complete a common University Core curriculum with a strong emphasis on the liberal arts.

The four Core courses are carefully designed to build on each other in sequence. They must be taken in order, beginning with CORE 1001 Perspectives on the Individual. The sequence normally begins in the second semester of the freshman year. The second and third Core courses are taken in the sophomore year, and the fourth in the first semester of the junior year.

No more than one Core course may be taken in any one semester. All students should consult with an academic adviser before preparing their schedules in order to make certain that they are scheduled for the appropriate University Core course. Each campus has a Core director who administers the program for that campus.

This sequence of core courses is required of all students entering the university in fall 2010 or thereafter.

The first course in the sequence, CORE1001 University Core 1-Perspectives on the Individual, examines concepts of what it means to be an individual within a global context.

CORE2002 University Core 2-The American Experience: The Quest for Freedom, the second course in the sequence, asks students to reflect on what it means to be living in the United States in a global age.

CORE2003 University Core 3-Cross-Cultural Perspectives, the third course in the sequence, reminds students that we live in a world of many cultures, each with its own set of distinctive values and societal structures.

Finally, in CORE3004 University Core 4-Global Issues, the last course in the sequence, students address a wide array of transnational social, environmental, and economic issues which impact people around the world.

University Core Regulations

The following regulations apply to all entering students, including transfer students:

  1. ENGW1101 College Writing or ENWR1101 Academic Writing or ENGL1101 English Composition I or ENGL1111 Literature and Composition must be taken and passed for any student o start the Core sequence.
  2. Typically, an entering freshman would take ENGW1101 College Writing or ENWR1101 Academic Writing or ENGL1101 English Composition I or ENGL1111 Literature and Composition in his/her first semester, and CORE1001 Perspectives on the Individual in the second semester. In the first semester of the sophomore year, he/she would take CORE2002 The American Experience or an authorized substitute. In the second semester of the sophomore year, CORE2003 Cross-cultural Perspectives or a substitute would be taken, and the student would finish the Core sequence with CORE3004 Global Issues in the first semester of his/her junior year.
  3. Full-time freshmen in programs that currently do not require a Core course in their first year should adhere to the prescribed sequence on their check sheets and not take CORE1001 Perspectives on the Individual until their second year.
  4. Full-time, associate in arts, Anthony J. Petrocelli College of Continuing Studies students should not take Core until their second year.
  5. Transfer students entering with 30–59 credits accepted from another institution are required to take only three Core courses. Those courses are CORE1001 Perspectives on the Individual, CORE3004 Global Issues and one of the following: CORE2002 The American Experience or CORE2003 Cross-cultural Perspectives or an authorized substitute. All students must take CORE1001 Perspectives on the Individual and CORE3004 Global Issues. Those entering with 60 or more accepted credits must take CORE1001 Perspectives on the Individual and CORE3004 Global Issues.

University Core Substitutions

A number of substitutions are offered for CORE2002 University Core 2-The American Experience and CORE2003 University Core 3-Cross-Cultural Perspectives. These substitutions address the same themes and learning outcomes of the standard University Course offerings. Please consult your academic advisors for a list of eligible substitutions. These substitutions are also listed in Webadvisor. Substitutions may vary from semester to semester.

University Core Contacts

Each campus has a University Core Director. If you have any questions concerning the program, contact the director on the campus you attend. The College at Florham Director is Dr. James Kuehl at 973-443-8717 or The Metropolitan Campus Director is Dr. Braimoh Oseghale at 201-692-2408 or The Vancouver Campus Director is Dr. James Gifford at 604-648-4476 or Director of Special Projects, Dr. Tom Beam may be reached at 973-443-8810 or The University Core program reports to the Vice Provost for International Education, Jason Scorza, who may be reached at 201-692-7364 or


Withdraws from a section of the Core requires permission of the campus Core director. Each campus has a Core director who administers the program for that campus.

Grade Appeals

Initial grade appeals should be made to the course instructor. If there is not a satisfactory resolution, a grade may be further appealed to the appropriate campus director. Final appeals may be made to the Vice Provost for International Education.

The University Core and Freshman Seminar programs are undergoing modifications that will go into effect for students entering the University in fall 2015. Students entering in fall 2015 will be advised concerning the appropriate Core and Freshman Seminar courses to take. The new requirements will be published here and in the 2015-2016 addendum to the Undergraduate Studies Bulletin.

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