Complex Problems & Enduring Questions

As a member of the class of 2026, you are invited to enroll in Boston College’s innovative, team-taught Core courses: Complex Problems and Enduring Questions. Each one is collaboratively taught by two faculty members from different academic departments, and each is designed to engage students in interdisciplinary explorations of topics of critical importance. These include areas such as ethics and engineering; race and violence; markets, cultures, and values; economics, law, and health policy; the value of freedom; psychological and literary perspectives of disability; and more.

Complex Problems and Enduring Questions courses extend inquiry beyond the classroom to labs, reflection sessions, conversations with outside speakers, and off-campus field visits, creating an intensive shared learning experience for both teachers and students. They exemplify Boston College’s innovative approach to Core education by establishing a foundation for students’ intellectual development and preparing them to become engaged, effective world citizens.

You will have the opportunity to enroll in this fall’s Complex Problems and Enduring Questions courses when you register during your summer orientation session. Both are worth six credits and fulfill two of the University’s Core Curriculum requirements. In November, you will be eligible to register for Fall 2022 Complex Problems and Enduring Questions courses, which are also listed in the brochure.
 

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Core pilot course video

Students and faculty discuss the benefits of Complex Problems and Enduring Questions courses.

Fall 2022 Complex Problems and Enduring Questions Courses

Complex Problems Courses

Complex Problems courses are six-credit courses, team-taught by two professors from different disciplines. Students meet multiple days each week for lectures and once per week for lab. Students and faculty also gather for weekly Reflection sessions, which may involve group activities; guest speakers, or field trips off campus. Each paired Complex Problems course fulfills two Core requirements. Some may fill an additional Core requirement for Cultural Diversity, through either Difference, Justice and the Common Good (DJCG) or Engaging Difference and Justice (EDJ).

If you have any questions about these courses or how to register, e-mail core@bc.edu.
 

Making the Modern World: Design, Ethics, & Engineering

ENGR1801 + HIST1627

▶ Fulfills 1 Natural Science + 1 History II + Cultural Diversity through EDJ


Global Implications of Climate Change

SOCY1501 + EESC1501

▶ Fulfills 1 Social Science + 1 Natural Science + Cultural Diversity through EDJ


Powering America: The Past and Future of Energy, Technology, and the Environment

EESC1507 + HIST1513

▶ Fulfills 1 History II + 1 Natural Science


Real Estate and Urban Action: Transforming Communities and Increasing Access to Opportunity

ECON1704 + UNAS1725

▶ Fulfills 2 Social Science


Beyond Price: Markets, Cultures, Values

ECON1501 + ENGL1503

▶ Fulfills 1 Social Science + 1 Literature

Enduring Questions Courses

Enduring Questions courses are two linked three-credit courses taught by professors from different disciplines. The same 19 students take both classes. Four times during the semester, students and faculty gather for Reflection sessions, which may involve group activities, guest speakers, or field trips off campus. Each pair of Enduring Questions courses fulfills two Core requirements. Some may fill an additional Core requirement for Cultural Diversity through either Difference, Justice and the Common Good (DJCG) or Engaging Difference and Justice (EDJ).

If you have any questions about these courses or how to register, e-mail core@bc.edu.
 

Life, Liberty, and Health: The Economics of Healthcare (ECON1702)
Life, Liberty, and Health: Policy, Politics, and Law (UNAS1702)

▶ Fulfills 1 Social Science + 1 History II + Cultural Diversity through EDJ


Roots and Routes: Writing Identity (ENGL1713)
Roots & Routes: Reading Identity (ENGL1712)

▶ Fulfills Writing + Literature


The Rule of Law and the Complex Meaning of Justice (UNAS1719)
The Role of Literature in Understanding the Complex Meaning of Justice (ENGL1729)

▶ Fulfills 1 Social Science + Literature + Cultural Diversity through DJCG


Nature and Power: Making the Modern World (HIST1710)
Nature and Power: Reading the American Place (ENGL1724)

▶ Fulfills Literature + 1 History II


What is the Good Life? Tolstoy to Chekov (CLAS1704)
God and the Good Life (THEO1702)

▶ Fulfills Literature + 1 Theology II


From Hiroshima to K-Pop: Filmmakers’ Perspectives (UNAS1717)
From Hiroshima to K-Pop: Historical Perspectives (UNAS1716)

▶ Fulfills Arts + History II


Geographies of Imperialism: History of Colonization (HIST1716)
Geographies of Imperialism: Theology of Colonization (THEO1707)

▶ Fulfills History I + 1 Theology (Sacred Texts & Traditions) + Cultural Diversity through DJCG and EDJ


St. Petersburg: Dream & Reality (CLAS1703)
Rome: Art, Regime & Resistance (CLAS1702)

▶ Fulfills Literature + History I


Spiritual Exercises: Engagement, Empathy, Ethics (THEO1701)
Aesthetic Exercises: Engagement, Empathy, Ethics (MUSA1701)

▶ Fulfills 1 Theology (Christian Theology) + Arts


Flawed Founders: George Washington and the Mythology of a Heroic President (POLI1051)
Flawed Founders: King David and the Theology of a Political Hero (THEO1710)

▶ Fulfills 1 Social Science + 1 Theology (Sacred Texts & Traditions)


Coming of Age in Literature (UNAS1708)
Coming of Age in Film (FILM1701)

▶ Fulfills Arts + Literature


The Meaning of Boston: Literature and Culture (ENGL1735)
The Meaning of Boston: History and Memory (HIST1630)

▶ Fulfills Literature and 1 History II


Growing Up Gendered: Contemporary Media Representations (COMM2216)
Growing Up Gendered: Socio-Cultural Perspectives on Gender in Contemporary Society (SOCY1708)

▶ Fulfills Literature + 1 Social Science + Cultural Diversity through EDJ


Maternity and Science: Society, Culture, and Public Health (PHCG1701)
Maternity and Science: Neuroscience and Genetics (UNAS1718)

▶ Fulfills 1 Social Science + 1 Natural Science


The Formation of Early Christian Thought: A Theological Examination (THEO1722)
The Formation of Early Christian Thought: A Philosophical Examination (PHIL1722)

▶ Fulfills 1 Theology (Christian Theology) + 1 Philosophy


Reckoning with Incarceration: The Stories that Must Be Told (UNAS1726)
Reckoning with Incarceration: Understanding Administrative Violence (UNAS1727)

▶ Fulfills Literature + 1 Social Science