Core Requirements & Courses

Core Requirements & Courses

The Boston College Core Curriculum is a program comprised of 15 Core requirements for all Boston College undergraduates.

Arts

​The need to make, experience, and comprehend art has been one of the essential, defining human activities since history began. The arts are thus integral to human experience and expression, the development of critical interpretive skills, an understanding of creative processes, and the fostering of imagination and empathy. The critically engaged practice of the arts, arrived at through rigorous training, uniquely nurtures creativity and innovation. Anchored in experimentation and creative problem-solving, the arts challenge students to make connections across traditional disciplinary boundaries. ​

Three credits of coursework in art history, studio art, film, music or theater are required and will address some combination of the following criteria: students will acquire a greater understanding of the technical skills required to create works of art; students will gain knowledge of the aesthetic questions raised by works of art; and students will understand the historical contexts in which such works were created. As a result, students will be able to engage meaningfully with art through creative work and/or to articulate their understanding of art in oral and written expression.

Please visit the EagleApps Course Information and Schedule section in Agora for up-to-date course descriptions, faculty, meeting times, and room assignments.

Spring 2022

Course Number Title
ARTH1101.01–.02 Art History: Prehistoric to Middle Ages
ARTH1102.01 Art History: Renaissance to Modern
ARTH1720.01 Animals in the Moral Imagination: Art & Beyond Empathy
ARTH2210.01 We Wear the Mask
ARTH2222.01 Imagination & imagery: Later Medieval Art
ARTH2251.01 Modern Architecture
ARTS1101.01–.04 Drawing I: Foundations
ARTS1102.01–.04 Painting I: Foundations
ARTS1104.01 Seeing Is Believing
ARTS1109.01 Design Is Human
FILM1701.01 Coming of Age: Film
MUSA1101.01–.06
Fundamentals of Music Theory
MUSA1200.01–.05
Introduction to Music
MUSA1300.01–.02 History of Popular Music
SLAV2180.01 From Russia with Love: Russian Musical and Visual Culture
UNAS1721.01 Holocaust, History, Representation & Memory

Students May Fulfill the Cultural Diversity Requirement in Three Ways

Engaging Difference and Justice

Difference Justice & the Common Good

Cultural Diversity


Engaging Difference and Justice

Engaging Difference & Justice courses will challenge students to envision societies in which all can flourish in freedom, integrity, and fullness of life “through the mutual respect their members show to one another in their interactions and relationships.” These courses fulfill the Cultural Diversity Core requirement by engaging with the following learning goals:

  • Students will reflect on the importance of community, shared values, inclusion, and solidarity at all levels of social connection- from the familial to the global.

  • Students will engage critically with past and present instances of injustice. Complex issues concerning race, class, gender, sexuality, dis/ability, religion and other socio-cultural categories may be explored.

  • Students will integrate the theoretical and empirical study of difference and power in their many forms; reflect on their own experiences and identities; and connect academic knowledge to lived experience.

  • Students will imagine how to flourish in communities in ways that evaluate and embrace difference and overcome injustice by becoming engaged global citizens in service of, and in care for, our common home.

  • Students will explore the conditions that need to exist, and how to create those conditions, for all of society’s members to live fully human lives of freedom and integrity.

Please visit the EagleApps Course Information and Schedule section in Agora for up-to-date course descriptions, faculty, meeting times, and room assignments.

Spring 2022

Course Number Title
ARTH2210.01 /
AADS2210.01
We wear the Mask
ENGL1184.01 Lit Core: Literature, Testimony, Justice
ENGL1186.01 Lit Core: Working Class: Stories of Labor, Class,
and Privilege in America
ENGL2278.01 American Culture
ENVS1701.01–.02 Boundaries of Belonging: Geographies of Race and Place in America
FREN4482.01 Enfance Capitale
HIST1617.01 Making the Modern World
HIST1728.01 Holocaust, History, Representation & Memory
INTL5563.01–.02 Ethics, Religion and International Politics
SOCY1726.01 Grief and Resistance: Social Responses to
American Gun Violence
SOCY1727.01–.02 Encountering Confinement: Ethnographies of Youth Captivity and Constraint
UNAS1721.01 Holocaust, History, Representation & Memory

Difference, Justice, and the Common Good

Difference, Justice and the Common Good Courses fulfill the Cultural Diversity Core requirement by engaging with the following learning goals:

  • Students will be able to explain how power shapes differences and creates injustices in the United States, and how power can be used to achieve justice. In the context of the university’s Jesuit, Catholic mission, and as appropriate in the particular course, students encounter and engage the reality of a broken world that calls out for justice, love, and mercy.

  • Students will develop skills to think more critically about how difference and power have operated both in the past and present. Such skills may include intercultural competence, engaging with diverse others, reflection on one’s own experiences and identity, integrating the theoretical and empirical study of difference and power, and connecting academic knowledge to lived experience.

  • Students will explore the relationship between justice and the common good and imagine how to act constructively in dialogue with people who are marginalized and dispossessed in the pursuit of justice and the common good.

Please visit the EagleApps Course Information and Schedule section in Agora for up-to-date course descriptions, faculty, meeting times, and room assignments.

Spring 2022

Course Number Title
AADS1137.01
Managing Diveristy
AADS3310.01
Studies of Race, Law, and Resistance
ENGL1180.01
Lit Core: Narratives of Slavery, Incarceration and Freedom
ENGL5903.01 Human Rights and American Women's Writing
FILM1701.01
Coming of Age: Film
SOCY1030.01
Deviance and Social Control
SOCY1713.01
Citizenship, Immigration, and Belonging in the United States: Can Education Save Us?
SPAN6648.01
Borderlands: Literature of Hispanic Migration in the Americas

Cultural Diversity

A critical component of a liberal education is the capacity to see human experience from the point of view of others who encounter and interpret the world in significantly different ways. Courses in Cultural Diversity, by introducing students to different cultures and examining the concepts of cultural identity and cultural differences, are aimed at developing students' appreciation of other ways of life and providing a new understanding of their own cultures.

More specifically, the Task Force envisions a one-course Cultural Diversity requirement being fulfilled by:

  • courses on Asian, African, Middle Eastern and Latin American cultures
  • courses on minority cultures of the United States derived from these cultures
  • courses on Native American cultures
  • courses that address the concept of culture from a theoretical and comparative perspective either separately or in the context of the courses listed in above.

Cultural Diversity courses could be designed as departmental offerings or as interdisciplinary courses and could approach the culture in various ways: through its religious or ethical values; from an understanding of its historical development; from the perspective of its social, economic and political systems; or from an appreciation of its literary, artistic or other cultural achievements.

The Cultural Diversity requirement functions as a graduation requirement, and, unlike other Core requirements, may be fulfilled by a course above the Core level. It may simultaneously fulfill another requirement of the Core or the major.

Please visit the EagleApps Course Information and Schedule section in Agora for up-to-date course descriptions, faculty, meeting times, and room assignments.

Spring 2022

Course Number Title
AADS1110.01
Introduction to African Diaspora Studies
AADS1114.01
When Gods Begin Again: Intro to African and African Diaspora Religions
AADS1805.01
African American History II
AADS2248.01
Community Service Research Seminar
AADS4482.01 / HIST4482.01
Chana and the U.S.: U.S. Historical & Cultural Connections
COMM2283.01
Asian Americans in Sport and Society
EALC2162.01
Gods and Geroes in Chinese Literature
ECON2273.01–.03 Development Economics
FILM3312.01 World Cinema
HIST1006.01 Asia in the World II
HIST1056.01–.02 Globalization II
HIST1078.01 Globalization II
HIST1084.01 Globalization II
HIST1085.01 / AADS1805.01 African American History II
HIST1806.01 Podcasting the Ottomans
MUSA1320.01–.03 Introduction to Musics of the World
MUSA2360.01 Musics of Africa
NELC2062.01 States and Minorities in the Middle East
SLAV2065.01 Society and National Identity in the Balkans
SOCY1036.01 Introduction to Latin American Societies
SOCY1039.01 African World Perspectives
SOCY3362.01 Language in Society

History

History Core courses offer long-term and global perspectives on the social, economic, political, and cultural factors shaping human experience. They introduce students to the importance of historical context and the process of historical change by examining which aspects of human life have changed and which have endured over time and across different regions of the world. Students learn how to interpret the past using primary sources, and they acquire breadth of knowledge, a critical framework, and analytical skills. By studying past events, students develop an understanding of the historical roots of contemporary societies and come to view the present with a sharper eye, appreciating that it, too, is contingent and will one day be re-examined and reconstructed. Through this process, students become better-informed and more open-minded whole persons, prepared to engage in the world.

Studying a broad sweep of time is essential to forming a rich sense of history. Toward this end, and as part of the Core Curriculum, students take two (2) three-credit History Core courses, one pre-1800 and one post-1800. Learning history also involves more than books and lectures. We learn by doing, and the History Core shows that history is alive and that we are part of it. In addition to reading documents, examining artifacts, writing essays, and attending lectures, students move outside the classroom to explore living history in interdisciplinary ways. We make use of the outstanding resources on campus and in the greater Boston area, visiting museums and historic sites, attending special presentations and performances, and conducting oral interviews.

Please visit the EagleApps Course Information and Schedule section in Agora for up-to-date course descriptions, faculty, meeting times, and room assignments.

Spring 2022

History I

Course Number Title
HIST1001.01 Europe in the World I
HIST1041.01 World of Early Modern Europe
HIST1093.01–.06 Modern History I
HIST1806.01 Podcasting the Ottomans
HIST1705.01 Revolutionary Media: How Books Changed History

History II

Course Number Title
HIST1006.01 Asia in the World II
HIST0156.01–.02 Globalization II
HIST1078.01 Globalization II
HIST1084.01 Globalization II
HIST1068.01 America and the World II
HIST1803.01 The American Pacific
HIST1805.01 /
AADS1805.01
African American History II
HIST1843.01 Disease, Inequity, and Power: Epidemics in Modern History
HIST1513.01 Powering America
HIST1617.01 Making the Modern World: Design, Ethics, and Engineering
HIST1728.01 Holocaust, History, Representation & Memory
HIST1729.01–.02 Encountering Confinement: The Historical Politics of Mass Incarceration

Literature

Classical Studies - English - Romance Languages and Literatures - Eastern, Slavic and German Studies

Literature, in all its genres, is a fundamental vehicle for understanding human experiences. By taking three credits of the Core Curriculum in literature, students read in order to explore the characteristics and values of their own and other cultures; to discover alternative ways of looking at the world; to gain insights into issues of permanent importance and contemporary urgency; and to distinguish and appreciate the linguistic and formal satisfactions of literary art.

To read literature critically is to examine the human condition through language’s expressive power and to place the reception of literary works in cultural, historical, and social contexts. In Literature Core courses, students will be introduced to disciplinary skills including close reading, analysis of texts, and the practice of writing about them with clarity and engagement. Through shared critical and reflective inquiry, students will explore ways in which meaning is textually produced in the world.

Please visit the EagleApps Course Information and Schedule section in Agora for up-to-date course descriptions, faculty, meeting times, and room assignments.

Spring 2022

Course Number Title
ENGL1079.01–09 Lit Core: ELL
ENGL1080.01–.28 Literature Core
ENGL1180.01 Lit Core: Narratives of Slavery, Incarceration and Freedom
ENGL1184.01 Lit Core: Literature, Testimony, Justice
ENGL1186.01 Lit Core: Working Class: Stories of Labor, Class, and Privilege in America
ENGL1710.01
Family Matters: Psychology of Adoption
ENGL1715.01
Revolutionary Media: How Reading Changes Us
ENGL1725.01
Narrative and Myth in AMerican Culture: The Case of Disney
ENGL1734.01–.02
Boundaries of Belonging: Race and Anti-Essentialist Art
FREN3307.01
Great Books in French
FREN4482.01
Enfance Capitale
GERM2239.01
Knights, Castles, and Dragons
SPAN3395.01–.04 Contextos: Introduction to Advanced Textual Analysis
SLAV2173.01 20th Century Russian LiteratureSLAV2179
SLAV2179.01 Tolstoy and Dostoevsky
SLAV1161.01 What is the Good Life? Tolstoy Chekhov
UNAS1708.01 Coming of Age: Literature

Mathematics

Mathematics has been a significant component of human knowledge throughout history, and today its reach has expanded beyond the natural sciences and technology to encompass the social sciences, business, law, health care, and public policy, among other fields. The study of mathematics fosters the use of quantitative methods to analyze diverse problems, the urge to recognize commonality in such problems and seek generalization, comfort with mathematical abstraction, and the ability to solve problems in new and unfamiliar contexts. Mathematics is universal, and a well-educated person will rely on these skills throughout life.

Students taking one (1) three-credit Core course in mathematics should therefore:

  • learn the nature of mathematical inquiry: abstraction and generalization;
  • understand the power of mathematical reasoning to reach conclusions with assurance;
  • communicate solutions clearly and effectively;
  • study and appreciate applications of mathematics to other disciplines.

Please visit the EagleApps Course Information and Schedule section in Agora for up-to-date course descriptions, faculty, meeting times, and room assignments.

Spring 2022

Course Number Title
APSY2217.01–.02 Statistics for Applied Psychology
CSCU1101.01–.05
Computer Science 1
MATH1004.01–.07 Finite Probability and Applications
MATH1007.01–.02 Ideas in Mathematics
MATH1100.01–.02 Calculus I
MATH1101.01–.08 Calculus II
MATH1103.01–.02
Calculus II for Math/Science Majors
MATH1180.01–.04 Principles of Statistics for Health Sciences
MATH1191.01 Fundamentals of Mathematics II
MATH2202.01–.05 Multivariable Calculus
MATH1702.01 The MAkin gof the Modern Mind: Mathematics

Natural Science

Biology, Chemistry, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Physics

We live in a vast and complex universe and natural world, from the largest cluster of galaxies to the smallest subatomic particle. Science is our way of making sense of and understanding nature through systematic observation and experimentation. Scientific knowledge is organized through logical, theoretical, and mathematical frameworks. Mindful of the impact that discoveries and technology can have on our society, we seek to apply scientific understanding to the ultimate benefit of humankind.

The Natural Science Core consists of two (2) three- or four-credit courses in Biology, Chemistry, Earth and Environmental Sciences or Physics. Students completing the Natural Science Core will:

  1. expand their understanding of the principles, body of knowledge, and investigative strategies that comprise science and its technological applications;
  2. develop a scientific literacy that will promote curiosity, respect for the scientific method, and general awareness of the limitations of scientific conclusions;
  3. recognize the role of scientific discovery, past, present and future, in interrelated concerns such as human health, societal well-being, and planetary sustainability; and
  4. appreciate the role of science in defining their relationship with the natural world and their position within the cosmos.

Please visit the EagleApps Course Information and Schedule section in Agora for up-to-date course descriptions, faculty, meeting times, and room assignments.

Spring 2022

Course Number Title
BIOL1441.01
Sustaining the Biosphere
BIOL1480.01 Pathogens and Plagues
BIOL2000.01–.02 Molecules and Cells
BIOL2010.01 Ecology and Evolution  
CHEM1106.01 Chemistry and Society II
CHEM1110.01–.04 General Chemistry II
EESC1125.01 Exploring Earth History
EESC1146.01 Origin & Evolution of Life Lecture & Lab
EESC1174.01 Climate Change and Society
EESC1177.01 Cosmos
EESC1182.01 Living Earth II Lecture & Lab
EESC1187.01 Geoscience & Public Policy
EESC1507.01 Powering America
EESC1717.01 Making the Modern World: Design, Tthics, and Engineering
PHYS1100.01 Structure of the Universe II
PHYS1501.01
Foundations of Physics II
PHYS2101.01 Introduction to Physics
PHYS2201.01 Introductory Physics
PSYC1110.01–.02 Introduction to Brain Mind & Behavior
UNAS1725.01 Maternity and Science: Neuroscience and Genetics

Philosophy

Philosophy has a permanent and central place in Jesuit higher education and is an important part of the Boston College Core Curriculum. By introducing students to the great philosophical questions, philosophy offers a perspective which makes possible an integrated vision of physical, human and spiritual reality; it weighs propositions fundamental to personal identity, dignity, religious belief, and social responsibility; and it examines moral issues that affect individuals and communities. The philosophy Core teaches critical and analytical skills so that students develop an intellectual and moral framework for considering questions of ultimate value and significance, challenging them to translate philosophical principles into guides for life. All Core offerings in philosophy bring students to reflect critically on the kinds of claims made in different disciplines from the natural sciences to theology by considering questions about the nature of reason, evidence, belief, and certainty. The two (2) sequential three-credit courses in the philosophy Core aim to teach students that the philosophical habit of mind is part of a well-lived life, providing the perspective and tools for critical evaluation of and engagement with contemporary problems and questions.

Please visit the EagleApps Course Information and Schedule section in Agora for up-to-date course descriptions, faculty, meeting times, and room assignments.

Spring 2022

Philosophy I

Course Number Title
PHIL1070.01
Philosophy of the Person I
PHIL1091.01
Perspectives on Western Culture II / Perspectives II
PHIL2151.01
Philosophical Perspectives on Science II
PHIL1720.01
Animals in the Moral Imagination: Beyond Human Justice
 

Philosophy II

Course Number Title
PHIL1071.01 Philosophy of the Person II
PHIL1089.01–.16 PULSE: Person and Social Responsibility II

Social Sciences

Psychology in Education, Economics, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology

The social sciences help us better understand the social worlds in which we live. The social science Core requirement explores the influences on the way people think, feel, and behave in those social worlds by considering the nature of the individual, institutions, and social interactions. Although the social science disciplines have different approaches, they share a common methodology—a theory-driven empirical analysis of data that has relevance to real-world issues. The majority of complex problems that we face in today’s world have economic, political, psychological, and sociological dimensions. The social sciences help students to develop skills to grasp the complexity of the world and to understand themselves and their place in the world.

The Core requirement consists of two (2) three-credit courses chosen from one or more of the following disciplines: economics, political science, psychology, and sociology. Core courses in the social sciences emphasize one or more of the following: major concepts and central questions of the discipline, key methods for using logic and evidence to evaluate findings and conclusions, or real-world and policy applications.

Please visit the EagleApps Course Information and Schedule section in Agora for up-to-date course descriptions, faculty, meeting times, and room assignments.

Spring 2022

Course Number Title
AADS1101.01 Introduction to African Diaspora Studies
AADS1139.01 African World Perspectives
COMM1701.01
Social Norms and Values
ECON1101.01–02
Principles of Economics
ENVS1701.01–.02 Boundaries of Belonging: Geographies of Race and Place in America
PHCG1210.01 Public Health in a GLobal Society cross listed as NURS1210
PHCG1701.01 Maternity and Science: Society, Culture, and Public Health
POLI1024.01
The Making of the Modern Mind: Morality
POLI1033.01 Shifting Forms: Sexuality and Belonging in Song and Film
POLI1041.01–.02
Fundamental Concepts of Politics
POLI1042.01–.03
Introduction to Modern Politics
POLI1061.01
Introduction to American Politics
POLI1081.01 Introduction to International Politics
PSYC1032.01 The Science of Emotion
PSYC1111.01–.02 Introduction to Psychology as a Social Science
SOCY1001.01 Introductory Sociology
SOCY1002.01 Introduction to Sociology for Healthcare Professions
SOCY1030.01 Deviance and Social Control
SOCY1036.01 Introduction to Latin American Societies
SOCY1039.01 African World Perspectives
SOCY1049.01 Social Problems
SOCY1089.01 Women and the Body
SOCY1092.01 Peace or War
SOCY1096.01 Aging and Society
SOCY1715.01 Family Matters: Psychology of Adoption
SOCY1727.01–.02 Encountering Confinement: Ethnographies of Youth Captivity
and Constraint
UNAS1720.01 For the Love of the Game: Sociology of Sport

Theology

Theology is the disciplined reflection on the mystery of God in the world and on the traditions of belief, worship, and ethics that shape communities of faith. It explicitly reinforces the tradition of Jesuit humanism, which prizes the scholarly investigation of religious faith and its impact on human culture. The study of theology is an essential feature of the Core Curriculum in a Jesuit, Catholic university. This implies an institutional commitment to the Roman Catholic tradition, but also encourages the study and understanding of other theological traditions.

The goals of the Core requirement in theology seeks to:

  • engage the quest for truth and meaning that generate theological insight in Christianity and other religious traditions;
  • explore the fundamental texts and practices that shape Christian theology;
  • understand the dynamic relationship between religious truth-claims and their moral implications, both personal and societal;
  • engage the various disciplinary methods required for theological reflection, including textual, historical, social, and cultural analysis; and
  • relate theological inquiry to the enduring questions animating the broader liberal arts tradition.

The Core requirement in theology is six credit hours and may be fulfilled with one Sacred Texts and Traditions-designated course and one Christian Theology-designated course; alternatively, students may fulfill the Core requirement in theology by completing the twelve-credit sequences THEO/PHIL 1088-1089 Person and Social Responsibility I and II (i.e., the PULSE Program) or THEO/PHIL 1090-1091 Perspectives on Western Culture I and II.

For the core requirement in Theology, including a list of Sacred Texts and Traditions- and Christian Theology-designated core courses, please see the Theology Department website.

Please visit the EagleApps Course Information and Schedule section in Agora for up-to-date course descriptions, faculty, meeting times, and room assignments.

Spring 2022

Sacred Texts & Traditions

Course Number Title
THEO1420.01–.04 The Everlasting Covenant: The Hebrew Bible
THEO1421.01–.04 Inscribing the Word: The New Testament
THEO1422.01–.04 The Sacred Page: The Bible
THEO1430.01–.02 Buddhism and Christianity in Dialogue
THEO1431.01–.02 Islam and Christianity in Dialogue
THEO1432.01–.02 Hinduism and Christianity in Dialogue
THEO1434.01–.03 Judaism and Christianity in Dialogue

Christian Theology

Course Number Title
THEO1401.01–.08
Engaging Catholicism
THEO1402.01–.15
God, Self, and Society
THEO1089.01–.15
PULSE: Person and Social Responsibility II
THEO1714.01
For the Love of the Game: Theology of Sport

Writing

Boston College’s First-Year Writing Seminar (FWS) is a 15-person workshop designed to help you develop and practice skills in writing and research. Over the semester you will learn to write rhetorically, devising effective writing processes for a variety of purposes and audiences, including but not limited to, academic writing. Each workshop allows you to work creatively on a variety of writing tasks and to put yourself in conversation with other writers. You’ll meet regularly with your instructor to make revision plans, learn to give and receive productive feedback to other writers, and develop skills for revising essays before submitting them for evaluation. You may also work with classmates to present and "publish" your work within various classroom, campus, or internet settings.

One goal of FWS is to teach you a variety of strategies to practice in a range of writing situations which, in turn, will help you to understand and plan for subsequent writing challenges in your future academic, professional, and personal lives. Another goal of FWS is to give you the tools and the incentive to keep writing after the course has ended: in other courses, in your community, and for your own pleasure. Part of learning to write well, especially in academic settings, involves putting yourself into conversation with current arguments using the conventions and tropes of relevant discourses. In FWS you will also be introduced to library resources and will practice writing and documenting secondary research.

Please visit the EagleApps Course Information and Schedule section in Agora for up-to-date course descriptions, faculty, meeting times, and room assignments.

Spring 2022

Course Number Title
ENGL1010.01–.40 First-Year Writing Seminar