The NU Core for Earth & Environmental Sciences programs
Beginning with freshmen who enter in Fall 2007, all students will complete the NU Core, a University-wide approach to General Education, in addition to their major requirements.
We constructed the NU Core with “breadth” expectations that ensure that students take some courses outside the area of their major interests – these appear in the Knowledge Domain and Diversity requirements, for example. We also wanted to emphasize our view that “general education” and coursework in your major should be seen as complementary aspects of learning that reinforce one another, so a number of the NU Core requirements establish requirements for how every major is structured (writing-in-the-discipline, mathematics/analysis in the discipline beyond freshman level coursework, experiential learning, and capstone requirements).
2 courses from English (1 at freshman level, AP possible; 1 Advanced Writing course)
2 Writing Intensive courses in the discipline (1 is usually Capstone or Thesis)
1 course from Mathematics (freshman level)
1 course preferably in the student’s major, but for some humanities majors, a mid-level mathematics, logic/philosophy, or computer science course may be taken.
Arts/Humanities: 1 introductory-level course from an approved list.
(*note, for students in B.A. majors, Arts & Science requires that students complete 1 Arts course plus 1 Humanities course)
Social Science: 1 introductory-level course from an approved list.
Science/Technology: 1 introductory-level course from an approved list.
Level 2: 1 mid-level course in a department or program outside the student’s major dept.
1 course from an approved list or completion of an approved activity or activities (Study Abroad, etc.).
1 approved experience accompanied by, or, followed by, faculty-supervised reflection that ties the experience into the student’s overall educational progress – typically in a Capstone or the Environmental Studies Thesis requirement. Co-op, Service Learning, Study Abroad, or Student Research can provide the experience component.
1 approved course in the major that provides an opportunity for graduating students to evaluate what they have learned in their major courses, NU Core, and experience-based learning.
Arts & Sciences Language Requirements for students in B.A. degree programs (Environmental Studies):
2 language courses through Elementary 2 proficiency (AP and department proficiency demonstration are possible paths to meeting this requirement);
1 course that may be an intermediate-level language course, or a course from an approved Arts & Sciences list that deals with some aspect of the world (art, music, history, politics, economics, sociology, religion, etc.) where a significant number of people use that language.
Open Electives are courses that are entirely yours to choose. You can estimate the # of Open Electives by subtracting the number of Major Requirements (the number of “full” courses required) plus the number of NU Core requirements outside the major, from the “usual” number required to graduate (32 courses), to get a sense of how much open choice you will have.
You might decide to focus most of your open electives in one area of study to earn a minor that complements your major area of study, or that you have a personal interest in. Most NU minors require between 4-6 courses. The new NU Core structure makes it easier for students to complete a minor if they wish to do so, compared to the existing Arts & Sciences Core Curriculum – the NU Core retains about the same number of total requirements as the A&S Core, but it shifted a number of expectations into the way we organize our majors. Students gain course-choice flexibility outside the Major and Core requirements, and overall we believe we will gain as a university by the increased attention to integrating learning in and out of the major, in and out of the classroom, etc.