Fisher's Core curriculum consists of 15 courses, which must be successfully completed to graduate.
The Core experience complements your other academic experiences by helping develop skills and perspectives that are enhanced and applied through study within your major.
The Core is comprised of two tiers of study: Foundations and Perspectives.
Foundations Tier (5 courses)
The Foundations Tier courses are designed to provide the knowledge and skills necessary for success in college.
(LC) Learning Community Course Description
In your Learning Community, faculty from two different academic disciplines teach two linked courses sharing a common theme, giving you the opportunity to learn about a topic from at least two perspectives.
You'll explore topics of social importance both in discussions and in writing. Learning Communities target writing, discussion, research, and group work skills as the first step in improving your ability to succeed in college.
(RW) DEPT 199 Course Description
In this course, you'll learn the basics of writing an academic research paper, beginning with the process of conducting scholarly research using the College’s databases. Faculty members emphasize the elements of persuasive argumentation, different ways of incorporating multiple scholarly perspectives into one’s writing, the proper use and documentation of sources, and revision. You'll also learn how to make an effective oral presentation of your research.
For more on Learning Communities and DEPT. 199 courses, please see the website for the First-Year Program
(CC) Cultural Contrasts Course Description
You will explore cultural differences in a way that promotes self-reflection in order to develop tools for becoming an engaged citizen in a multi-cultural world. The demands of today’s work environment require communication, cooperation and collaboration between individuals of diverse backgrounds. Respect and understanding of others are prerequisites for successful advancement in our ever-evolving world.
(SQ) Scientific and Quantitative Literacy Course Description
The goal of this core area is to investigate the question: In what ways can quantitative and scientific thinking help me make more informed decisions? You will explore this question through a scientific and quantitative approach, and the results will be communicated using scientific writing, which is characterized by objectivity and the precise use of language. The scientific approach to learning about the world explored in this core area centers on the idea of asking questions and encompasses the notions that ideas must be testable and falsifiable, conclusions must be based on observations and be objective, and theories must be predictive rather than simply descriptive. This scientific approach to exploring the world is supported by quantitative methods for describing the world. These quantitative methods include the representation of data, the use of numbers and scale, the understanding of perspectives and bias in data, the notion of uncertainty in data, and the knowledge of methods and tools for the analysis of data. Courses in this core area are not about specific scientific facts and mathematical methods, but rather explore the nature of science and mathematics and their role in helping us understand the world. If you are completing a major in mathematics or the sciences, this core requirement will be satisfied by completing one of a number of specified clusters of courses in the sciences; you are not required to take an additional course under this designation.
Perspectives Tier (10 courses)
The Perspectives Tier courses are designed to provide a wide range of experiences with fundamental academic perspectives on human nature and the world. This Tier contains ten courses, two from each of the five different perspectives.
(P1) Perspectives on the Arts Course Description
In Perspectives on the Arts, you will learn some of the tools necessary for fully appreciating the depth and scope of creative expression found in the literary and visual arts. Works of art will be studied in terms of their cultural and historical provenance, in terms of their formal compositions, and in terms of other theoretical and critical perspectives. You will gain skills that will allow you to describe and interpret works of art. Some courses will ask you to demonstrate your knowledge through written arguments while in others you will demonstrate your knowledge through the creation of original works of art.
(P2) Philosophical and Religious Perspectives Course Description
This core area, Philosophical and Religious Perspectives, engages you in the critical exploration and appreciation of these perspectives through the lens of various philosophical and religious frameworks. You will not only uncover and further develop your own evolving value system but you will also partake in thoughtful appreciation and analysis of others. Further, the courses in this area will encourage reflection on the social, political, and cultural implications of the course material studied and will do so within the framework of personal and civic responsibility.
(P3) Sociocultural Perspective Course Description
Sociocultural Perspectives courses provide you with the opportunity to learn some of the approaches frequently used in social science toward understanding the broad scope of human behavior (for example, individual, societal, cultural, economic, political). Some courses may look at individual human behaviors, some may look at enduring sociocultural structures and systems, some may trace patterns of sociocultural change, and some may take a cross-cultural perspective. What all the courses share, however, is an interest in understanding, explaining, and interpreting patterns of human behavior based on the accepted methodologies of the social sciences.
(P4) Explorations of the Natural and Technical World Course Description
These courses are intended to explore specific scientific, mathematical, and technical topics and relate them to historical and contemporary developments. Such topics may be general principles underlying science and mathematics (such as “force and energy”, “rates of change”, or “the structure of matter”) or may be specific areas of interest (such as “cancer and its effects” or “oceans and climate change.”) These courses will illustrate how mathematics and the sciences are constantly changing as a result of their interactions with each other and their applications, which are usually interdisciplinary in nature. These courses can be from any discipline or combination of disciplines which satisfy the course goals and are designated as core courses, unless your major dictates otherwise. Courses in this core area are about specific topics and concepts in mathematics and science, making them distinct from those courses satisfying DEPT 249 requirements, which are about the nature of science and mathematics.
(P5) Intercultural Perspectives and Languages Course Description
To be prepared to function in a multicultural society as a globally educated citizen, you must explore intercultural perspectives. This involves engagement with other persons from other cultures and their own perspectives on the world. Foreign Study would be an example of personal engagement outside one’s own comfort zone. Struggling to express oneself in another language is another; it develops empathy for members of non-dominant cultures and language groups. Analyzing questions of gender or ethnic/racial identity are further avenues for excavating the cultural construction of difference; still another such avenue is the cultural encounter with a past civilization, which includes acquiring an ability to understand ancient languages.