Develop a Foundation to Excel

The University of New Haven’s Core Curriculum challenges you to think critically and teaches you how to live and work as global citizens. You’ll develop the soft skills employers are seeking – outside of your expertise in your major – enabling you to differentiate yourself once you start your job search.

Become a Lifelong Learner

The University of New Haven’s robust core curriculum was designed to foster interdisciplinary interactions that enable students to develop as educated individuals who better understand and relate to diverse people, succeed in their chosen careers, and become lifelong learners.

What makes the Core Curriculum so valuable and meaningful? It was developed around the central goal of instilling in students the key attributes that employers value – communication, critical-thinking and problem-solving skills, the ability to analyze data, and intercultural awareness, among the primary ones – that are essential to success in any career path and to being an engaged citizen.

Introduction to the University Core Curriculum

The University of New Haven is a student-centered comprehensive university with an emphasis on excellence in liberal arts and professional education. Our mission is to prepare our students to lead purposeful and fulfilling lives in a global society by providing the highest-quality education through experiential, collaborative, and discovery-based learning.

An educated person at the University of New Haven demonstrates a balance of liberal arts, professional, and experiential education. General education is addressed through the University Core Curriculum (as outlined below) and discipline education is addressed through the major requirements within each program. The University of New Haven experience also includes two additional core skills that fully round out the general education program: experiential learning and writing across the curriculum.

Experiential Education

All University of New Haven undergraduates complete at least one of the four pillars of experiential education: academic service-learning, study abroad, an internship, or faculty-mentored research prior to graduation. Academic programs may specify the particular experiential education pillar(s) required for successful completion. Students are encouraged, however, to pursue as many experiential education opportunities as they desire.

Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC)

“W” designated courses indicate a writing-intensive course. Every University of New Haven undergraduate must take at least one “W” course, whether as part of the Core or through a major’s requirements and electives prior to graduation. This requirement applies to all bachelor and associate degrees.

University Core Curriculum Overview

The Core encourages interdisciplinary interaction; establishes competency-based outcomes throughout the institution; provides flexibility in achieving those outcomes; and allows for a standardized campus-wide assessment of the general education requirements. The University of New Haven’s Core Curriculum strives to develop nine basic competencies among its undergraduate students so they may better understand and relate to diverse people, succeed in their chosen careers, and pursue lifelong learning after completing their education.

The design of the core is inspired greatly by the American Association of Colleges and Universities’ “LEAP Model”—Liberal Education for America’s Promise. The LEAP initiative seeks to make excellence inclusive by providing essential learning outcomes, high-impact educational practices, and authentic assessments. This LEAP model was adapted to create a University Core that fits with the unique mission, purposes, and identity of the University of New Haven.

The University Core aims to graduate students who:

  • communicate effectively, both in writing and orally,
  • apply quantitative techniques to derive useful information from data,
  • think critically and solve real world problems,
  • appreciate scientific exploration of the natural world,
  • realize their role and responsibilities within a larger society,
  • embrace the diversity of cultural differences,
  • participate effectively as citizens of their own country and the world, and
  • appreciate the aesthetic value of artistic works.

Each of the nine competency categories possesses two tiers of expectations. Tier 1 provides breadth through a fundamental set of outcomes that every student will complete, where as Tier 2 provides depth through higher-level learning outcomes related to more focused content. Tier 2 courses can be selected by the student if not prescribed by the student’s major program. In consultation with a faculty adviser, and based on degree requirements, each student will select core courses from the nine categories.

Interested in Learning More? View the Entire University Core Curriculum in Our Academic Catalog