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 2023

Course Number Title
ARTH2113 Islamic Art and Architecture
ARTH2212 East Asian Art and Architecture (Arts Core)
ARTH2231 Early Renaissance Art in Italy (Arts Core)
ARTH2241 Modern and Contemporary Chinese Art (Arts Core)
ARTH2274 Arts of Buddism
ARTS1101 Drawing I: Foundations (Arts Core)
CLAS2208 Art & Myth in Ancient Greece
FILM1702

Why Do the Wicked Prosper?: Portraits of Good and Evil in Film
HIST1621 /
UNAS1729
The "Other" Americans: Representation and Reality in Asian America
MUSA1100,
Sect. 01–06;
Sect. 07 (Lab)
Fundamentals of Music Theory
MUSA1200,
Sect. 01–05
Introduction to Music
MUSA1300,
Sect. 01–03
History of Popular Music
THTR1120 Elements of Dance
THTR1170 Introduction to Theatre
UNAS1728
Why Do the Wicked Prosper?: Portraits of Good and Evil in Literature

 

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 2023

Course Number Title
AADS2200 / JOUR2200 / ENGL2200 The Underground Press
APSY1031 Family School & Society
ARTH4444 Contested Monuments
BIOL1706 / ENVS1075 Understanding and Protecting Our Oceans in the Wake of Climate Change
EDUC1031 Family School & Society
EDUC3200 Reading Difference Differently: Issues of genders and youth literature and media
ENGL1184 Lit Core: Literature, Testimony, and Justice
ENGL2278 American Culture: Engaging Difference and Justice
FORM1051 Reimagining School and Society
HIST1621 / UNAS1729
The "Other" Americans: Representation and Reality in Asian America
HIST4123 Gender, Sexuality, and Power in the Ottoman and British Empires
HIST4371 The Inquisition in Spain and Spanish America
INTL5563 / PHIL5563 Ethics, Religion and International Politics
POLI3300 Seminar: Diversity Debates
SOCY1072 Inequality in America
THEO2160 / PHIL1160 The Challenge of Justice

 


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 2023

Course Number Title
AADS / ENGL2470 Black and Popular: Spec Fictions by Black Writers
AADS3310 Studies in Race, Law and Resistance
ENGL1110 FWS: From Slavery to Mass Incarcertion
ENGL2123 / LING2379 / SOCY2379 Language and Ethnicity
PHCG1702 Institutional Disparity: Equity and Global Health
PHIL4454 Unheard Voices: Philosophy at the Crossroads of Identity
SOCY1030 Deviance and Social Control
SOCY1729 Institutional Disparity: Equity and US Education
SOCY3304 Race, Ethnicity and Popular Culture

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 2023

Course Number Title
AADS / MUSA2306 Musics of Africa
AADS1110 Introduction to African Diaspora Studies
AADS1114 / THEO2114 When Gods Begin Again: Introduction to African & African Diaspora Religion
AADS1137 / MGMT2137 Managing Diversity
ARTH / AADS2250 Intro to African Art and Visual Culture
ARTH2113 Islamic Art and Architecture
ARTH2241 Modern and Contemporary Chinese Art (Arts Core)
ARTH2244 Chinese Visual Culture (Arts Core)
ARTH2245 Japanese Visual Culture (Arts Core)
ARTH2274 Buddhist Arts of Asia (Arts Core)
ARTH3346 Architecture in East Asia (Cultural Diversity)
ARTH4315 Gender and the Body in Chinese Art (Cultural Diversity)
ARTH4402 Forbidden City: Art and Architecture (Cultural Diversity)
COMM2283 Asian Americans in Sports and Society
COMM4442 Intercultural Communication
EALC2161 Ghosts and Strange Happenings in Chineese Literature
ENGL2228 / SLAV2273 20th Century Russian Literature In Translation
ENVS3315 Sustainible Agriculture
FILM3312 World Cinema
HIST1078 Globalization II
HIST2043 The First Emperor and the Rise of Imperial China
HIST2051 Modern China History
HIST4003 Public Culture in Postwar Japan
HIST4140 The Middle East in the Twentieth Century
ICSP2250 / NELC2250 Conversion, Islam, and Politics in the Balkans
INTL2200 Where on Earth: Foundation in Global History
MUSA1320,
Sect. 01–04
Introduction to the Musics of the World
MUSA2304 Musics of India
NELC2161 / ENGL2348 / RLRL2294 Modern Middle Eastern and Arabic Literature
PHCG1702 Institutional Disparity: Equity and Global Health
PHIL2230 / THEO2230 Mass Incarceration: Philosphical and Theological Perspectives
PHIL4470 Philosphy of World Religions
PHIL4476 Classical Chineese Philosophy
POLI2405 Comparative Politics of the Middle East
POLI3510 / INTL3510 Globalization
SLAV2169 Introduction to Slavic Peoples and Cultures
SLAV2173 Twentieth-Century Russian Literature
THEO1430 Buddhism and Christianity in Dialogue
THEO1431 Islam and Christianity in Dialogue
THEO1434 Judaism and Christianity in Dialogue
UNAS1730 Institutional Disparity: Equity and US Education

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 2023

History I

Course Number Title
CLAS1703 St. Petersburg: Dream & Reality
CLAS1702 Rome: Art, Regime & Resistance
HIST1041 World of Early Modern Europe
HIST1093.
Sect. 01–06
Modern History I
HIST2201 / CLAS2205 Greek History

History II

Course Number Title
HIST1002 Europe in the World II
HIST1012 Modern Atlantic Worlds
HIST1064 Latin America in the World II
HIST1068 America and the World II
HIST1078,
Sect. 01–03
Globalization II
HIST1505 /  SOCY1509 Planet in Peril: The History and Future of Human Impacts on the Planet
HIST1621 / UNAS1729 The "Other" Americans: Representation and Reality in Asian America
INTL2200 Where on Earth: Foundations in Global History

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 2023

Course Number Title
CLAS1703 St. Petersburg: Dream & Reality
CLAS1702 Rome: Art, Regime, & Resistance
ENGL1079 Literature Core for English Language Learners
ENGL1080 Literature Core
ENGL1184 Lit Core: Literature, Testimony, and Justice
FILM1702 Why Do the Wicked Prosper?: Portraits of Good and Evil in Film
FREN3307 Great Books in French
ITAL3373 Love, Sex, and Gender: The Western Literary Tradition
SLAV2173 Twentieth-Century Russian Literature
SPAN3395 Contextos: Introduction to Advanced Textual Analysis
UNAS1728
Why Do the Wicked Prosper?: Portraits of Good and Evil in 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 2023

Course Number Title
APSY2217 Statistics for Applied Psychology
CSCI1101,
Sect. 01–05
Computer Science I
MATH1003,
Sect. 01–02
Functions & Differential Calculus II
MATH1004,
Sect. 01–07
Finite Probability and Applications
MATH1007,
Sect. 01–02
Ideas in Mathematics
MATH1100,
Sect. 01–02
Calculus I
MATH1101,
Sect. 01–08
Calculus II
MATH1190 Fundamentals of Math

 

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 2023

Course Number Title
BIOL1100 General Biology
BIOL1440 Sustaining the Biosphere
BIOL1706 /
ENVS1075
Understanding and Protecting Our Oceans in the Wake of Climate Change
BIOL2000 Molecules and Cells
BIOL2010 Ecology and Evolution
CHEM1106 Chemistry and Society II
CHEM1110,
Sect. 01–04
General Chemistry II
CHEM1118 Honors Modern Chemistry II
EESC1145,
Sect. 01–04
Origin & Evolution of Life - Lecture & Lab
EESC1174 Climate Change and Society
EESC1177 Cosmos
EESC1182,
Sect 01–05
Living Earth II - Lecture & Lab
EESC1187 Geoscience & Public Policy
PHCG1702 Institutional Disparity: Equity and Global Health
PHYS1101 Structure of the Universe II
PHYS1501 Foundations of Physics II
PHYS2101 Introduction to Physics II
PHYS2201 Introductory Physics II
PSYC1110 Brain, Mind, & Behavior
UNAS1730 Institutional Disparity: Equity and US Education

 

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 2023

Course Number Title
PHIL1070/1071 Philosophy of the Person I/II
*PHIL1089 Person and Social Responsibility
*PHIL1091 Perspectives on Western Culture II
*PHIL1106 Modernism and the Arts II/Perspectives II
*PHIL1111 Horizons of the New Social Sciences II/Perspectives III
*PHIL1121 New Scientific Visions II/Perspectives IV
*PHIL2151 Philosophical Perspectives on Science II
FORM1050 The Educational Conversation

 * Indicates a continued course not open for spring registration.

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 2023

Course Number Title
AADS1110 Introduction to African Diaspora Studies
APSY1030 Child Growth & Development
ECON1101,
Sect. 01–03
Principles of Economics
EDUC1030 Child Growth & Development
EDUC1031 / APSY1031 Family School & Society
FORM1051 Reimagining School and Society
HIST1505 /
SOCY1509
Planet in Peril: The History and Future of Human Impacts on the Planet
INTL2200 Where on Earth: Foundation in Global History
INTL2501 Introduction to International Relations
PHCG1210 / NURS1210 Public Health in a Global Society
PHCG1702
Institutional Disparity: Equity and Global Health
POLI1041 Fundamental Concepts of Politics
POLI1042 Introduction to Modern Politics
POLI1061 Introduction to American Politics
PSYC1032 Science of Emotion
PSYC1111 Self, Mind, & Society
SOCY1001 Introduction to Sociology
SOCY1030 Deviance and Social Control
SOCY1092 Peace or War: United States/Third World
SOCY1729 Institutional Disparity: Equity and US Education

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 2023

Sacred Texts & Traditions

Course Number Title
THEO1420 The Everlasting Covenant: The Hebrew Bible
THEO1421 Inscribing the Word: The New Testament
THEO1422 The Sacred Page: The Bible
THEO1430 Buddhism and Christianity in Dialogue
THEO1431 Islam and Christianity in Dialogue
THEO1434 Judaism and Christianity in Dialogue

Christian Theology

Course Number Title
THEO1401 Engaging Catholicism
THEO1402 God, Self, and Society
THEO1723 /
PHIL1723
Faith, Ethics, and the Sciences in the 21st Century

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 2023

Course Number Title
ENGL1010,
47 Sections
First Year Writing Seminar
ENGL1110,
2 Sections
FWS: From Slavery to Mass Incarceration