Fisher’s Core Curriculum

Broad Knowledge and Diverse Skills for Career Success

Many students arrive at college eager to pursue a major that they hope will lead the way to a specific career. At St. John Fisher College, a wide variety of academic programs provide you with deep learning in specialized areas. But as a student in today’s world, you'll need more. Employers are increasingly requiring broad knowledge and diverse skills that are the foundational elements of Fisher’s Core Curriculum.

Career Success: More Than a Major

These findings from a recent large-scale survey of employers across the United States attest to the importance of the knowledge and skills that you'll obtain from the Core Curriculum.

According to the study, It Takes More Than A Major: Employer Priorities for College Learning and Student Success [pdf], employers:

  • Agreed that “a candidate’s demonstrated capacity to think critically, communicate clearly, and solve complex problems is more important than their undergraduate major.”
  • Agreed that, “every college student should acquire broad knowledge in the liberal arts and sciences” beyond their major.
  • Said that more emphasis should be placed on diverse skills that cut across major areas of study, including: critical thinking and analytical reasoning; complex problem-solving and analysis; written and oral communication; and cultural sensitivity and awareness.

The Core Curriculum

The Core Curriculum is the educational experience common to all Fisher undergraduates. It is the manifestation of the College’s rich liberal arts tradition, and it was intentionally designed to provide you with the knowledge and skills that employers require of today’s job applicants. It also facilitates the development of values that encourage your personal and professional growth.

Broad Knowledge

  • Intercultural Perspectives
  • Mathematics
  • Arts
  • Religion
  • Philosophy
  • Social science
  • Natural science
  • Foreign language

Diverse Skills

  • Critical thinking and analytical skills
  • Complex problem-solving
  • Ethical reasoning
  • Quantitative/scientific reasoning
  • Writing
  • Oral communication
  • Information literacy
  • Research
  • Adoption of multiple perspectives on challenging problems


  • Commitment to lifelong learning
  • Intellectual engagement

Structure of the Core Curriculum

The Core is comprised of two tiers of study: Foundations and Perspectives.

Foundations Tier

Learning Community (LC)
Usually taken Fall, Freshman year
Minimum 6 credits

199: Research-based Writing (RW)
Usually taken Spring, Freshman year
Minimum 3 credits

Scientific and Quantitative Literacy (SQ)
Usually taken Sophomore year
Minimum 3 credits

Cultural Contrasts (CC)
Usually taken Sophomore year
Minimum 3 credits

Perspectives Tier

Perspectives on the Arts courses (P1)
Two courses; minimum 6 credits

Philosophical and Religious Perspectives (P2)
Two courses; minimum 6 credits

Socio-cultural Perspectives courses (P3)
Two courses; minimum 6 credits

Explorations of the Natural and Technical World courses (P4)
Two courses; minimum 6 credits

Intercultural Perspectives and Languages courses (P5)*
Two courses; minimum 6 credits

*Note: BA students must take 2 foreign language courses in sequence in the same language.

Detailed information about Core Requirements (including degree requirements for graduation and academic honors) is available in the Undergraduate Catalog.

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