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The Uncommon Core!

The Uncommon Core!

So as many of you may know, Nazareth recently updated their Core Curriculum, or required “general education” courses. My class, the sophomores, are the first class to be on the new core. There has been a lot of confusion surrounding the requirements, but it’s really not so tricky! I thought I would break it down for you all!

Basically you’re required to take 1 course in each of the following subject areas:

1. Visual and Performing Arts: These are super fun and easy classes to get done! I took Introduction to Theatre my first semester and had a BLAST doing it! Some other options are Language of Music, or Introduction to World Music!

2. History: I know I know, not the most appealing, but history can be FUN! We have some great professors in our history department and they really try to make it fun and interesting! Some options here are Atlantic World, or American Republic!

3. Literature: This one is super fun because it can seriously be anything. There are some great options like Jewish and German Literature, or even Gay and Lesbian Literature and Film!

4. Mathematics: Some people hate math, some people love it! The awesome thing about the new core is no matter what kind of person you are, we have a class for you! If you’re a history major who just happens to love calculus, you can take calc! If you’re a theatre major who hates math, you can take Thinking Mathematically!

5. Philosophy: There are so many awesome options for philosophy. They all have pretty much the same base; the fundamentals of logic. However, there are different courses you can take! I took The Question of God, but there is also The Problem of Happiness, The Problem of Tragedy, and even The Meaning of Life!

6. Religious Studies: This one is super fun! A lot of people get nervous because our name is Nazareth and we make you take a religion class. “Ugh, they’re gonna make me learn all about Catholicism…” WRONG! We pride ourselves on being an interfaith school, so our religion class is a survey of all the worlds religions; you’ll get a taste of them all! I haven’t taken this one yet, but I honestly can’t wait!

7. Natural Science: Okay so this one is a little bit different because you have to take a science with a lab attached to it, this means the class will be 4 credits instead of 3. This can be a little intimidating, but not to worry, again there are tons of options for you! I know a lot of the music majors take a class called Science of Sound, but you can also take Understanding the Environment, or plain old Earth Science!

8. Social Science: This one is cool because not only can you take sociology classes to fulfill this requirement, but you can also take psychology! Options here are Intro to Psychology as a Social Science, Intro to Sociology, or Sociology through SciFi!

We call these courses PEQs (Perspectives Enduring Questions) because through each class there will be an “enduring question” that the class attempts to answer, and for each class you will compose an “Artifact” paper in which you apply that question to everything you learned in the class.

In addition to these 8 courses, each student is required to take two semesters of college writing, which sound tedious but I PROMISE you they will be the two most beneficial semesters of your college career because the skills you learn in these classes will be applied to every single class you take in college.

And here comes the best part!

Nazareth didn’t want our core classes to be something that you take just to fulfill a requirement, so they added the Core Milestone Experience! This is something that you will complete in your senior year in which you will choose three of the courses you took over the course of your college career (one can even be from your major) and tie them together with your own enduring question, and write a comp paper about how they all connect! For example, I will be taking my Religion PEQ as well as several psychology classes when I study abroad in Valencia, Spain next spring. So for my Core Milestone Experience, I plan to write a paper that ties religion, psychology, and my intro world music class all together! It sound like a lot of work but I honestly can’t wait to get to senior year so I can get started on it!

I know this was a lot of me babbling but I sincerely hope this helped you all to better understand the core requirements we have here at Nazareth!

Have more questions about the core program at Naz? Here and here are two more posts about it.


Hello all! My name is Conner Burry, and I'm a senior Music Therapy major with minors in Spanish and Psychology! I'm originally from a really tiny town called North Rose, NY where I'm pretty sure there are more apples than people. It's about an hour east of Rochester! I am completely obsessed with travel--I had the opportunity to study abroad twice during my time at Nazareth, once in Portland, Jamaica, and once in Valencia, Spain! I drink coffee like it's water, and I know three languages!

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