The University-wide Core Curriculum was initiated in Fall 2001 as part of the Strategic Framework for Action to ensure that all Howard University undergraduates acquire effective skills in language, mathematics, the use of computers, critical thinking and communication. The University-wide Undergraduate Core Curriculum, is comprised of courses, totaling 23-27 credit hours, that reflect the following formal themes: intellectualopenness and cultural diversity; historical awareness ( the African American cluster requirement will be retained and may be used to fulfill this goal of the Core Curriculum.); empirical analysis; quantitative literacy and statistical reasoning; social and human relations; and health and physical education.
The goals of the core curriculum include: 1) proficiency in verbal and analytical skills, and 2) knowledge and application of discourses which promote intellectual openness and cultural diversity, historical awareness and empirical analysis that result in informed and compassionate understanding of social and human relations.
Schools and colleges with specific core and general education requirements have augmented such requirements to ensure their compatibility with the University-wide Core Curriculum guidelines. The dean’s office of each undergraduate school or college maintains the listing of courses that fulfill the University-wide Undergraduate Core Curriculum.
All students are required to complete certain core courses to meet University requirements and school/college requirements. In addition, students must meet specific requirements for their major and minor. ALL undergraduate students must complete at least:
- Two courses in English composition
- One of the following Afro-American studies courses:
AFST 101 - African World
MUTP 100 - Blacks in the Arts
AFRO 005/006 - Introduction to Afro-American Studies
ENGL 054/055 - African-American Literature
HIST 005/006 - Introduction to Black Diaspora
POLS 006 - Pan-Africanism
FASH 102 - African-American Dress
ARTH 193 - Black Body Dress and Culture
MOST undergraduate students must also complete specific courses in:
- College mathematics
- Freshman orientation
- Humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences
- Physical education
SOME students must complete courses in:
- F oreign language
Be sure to include the required courses in your schedule first, and then work your electives in around them. Keep track of your progress every semester to make sure you meet core course requirements.
The Howard University General Education Experience:
21 Learning Outcomes for the 21st Century
1. Creative Thinking
A Howard graduate will be able to combine or synthesize existing ideas, images, or expertise in original ways. Graduates will demonstrate the experience of thinking, reacting and working in an imaginative way characterized by a high degree of innovation, divergent thinking and risk taking.
2. Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
A Howard graduate will be able to understand and evaluate problems and issues, gather relevant evidence, make appropriate assumptions and come to a logical conclusion or summary that is based on existing evidence and assumptions. With regard to problem solving, a Howard graduate will be able to define a problem identify strategies, propose hypotheses and solutions, evaluate potential alterative solutions, implement solutions and evaluate outcomes.
3. Ethical Reasoning
A Howard graduate will engage in ethical decision-making when confronted with an ethical dilemma, recognize ethical issues, apply ethical principles, and effectively defend a position. The graduate will not only assess his or her own ethical values, but also evaluate others’ ethical perspectives by identifying the underlying assumptions and implications.
4. Inquiry and Analysis
A Howard graduate will make intelligent and informed judgments on topical issues and provide reasoned alternatives to inadequate knowledge paradigms.
5. Written Communication
A Howard graduate will use varied writing technologies, texts, data, and images to develop and express ideas clearly in writing. The graduate will also write in a variety of genres and styles for diverse audiences through iterative experiences across the curriculum.
6. Oral Communication
A Howard graduate will speak competently and confidently to diverse audiences as well as listen to and analyze speeches and messages from others. The graduate will also effectively use various means, including technology and nonverbal language, to support his/her delivery.
7. Quantitative Literacy
A Howard graduate will read and interpret graphs and statistics, understand the relationships described in equations appropriate to heir or her discipline, write some equations that accurately describe relations relevant to his or her discipline and perform accurate and pertinent computations to simplify equations or derive quantitative answers.
8. Qualitative Literacy
A Howard graduate will demonstrate appreciation for and competency in collecting, managing, analyzing, synthesizing, interpreting and applying on-numerical data. She or he will be able to describe the purposes of qualitative literacy; identify the components of qualitative methodology, i.e., collection, management, interpretation, application, etc., of non-numerical data; recognize ways in which data re contextual; critically analyze qualitative data; and consistently reflect on how knowledge and social reality are culturally created.
9. Information Literacy
A Howard graduate will recognize when there is a need for information and be able to identify, locate, evaluate, and effectively and responsibly use and share that information for the problem at hand – whether this information is located or shared through printed, oral, electronic, digital or other media.
A Howard graduate will be able to demonstrate a sound understanding of the nature and operation of technology systems; to demonstrate proficient use of technology relevant to their major area of study and general information gathering and analysis; to apply strategies for identifying and solving routine hardware and software problems that occur during everyday use; to understand the ethical, legal, cultural and societal issues related to technology and consequences of misuse; to practice responsible use of technology systems information and software relevant to information gathering, analysis and their area of study; and have positive attitudes toward technology uses that support lifelong learning, collaboration, personal pursuits, and productivity.
11. Art and Humanities
A Howard graduate will analyze, interpret, and evaluate the intellectual and imaginative works that humans have created through the ages and around the world – as well as the historical and ideological context that produced those works.
12. Social Sciences and Historical Awareness
A Howard graduate will demonstrate an understanding of the broad economic, political, and cultural development of human society and social relationships in their historical and contemporary global, regional, and social relationships in their historical and contemporary global, regional and national contexts. The graduate will be able to describe the basic structural national contexts. The graduate will be able to describe the basic structural configurations tat affect human social conditions and responses to social problems, with reasonable emphasis on how the experiences of people of African descent have contributed to these configurations. Further graduates will demonstrate an understanding of the processes by which legal cultural, and economic institutions have been developed and the roles of formal and informal social institutions in shaping individual and collective lives with emphasis on the role of human agency in advocating for the common good and in reshaping or influencing these institutions.
13. Intercultural Knowledge and Foreign Language Competency
A Howard graduate will have broad and multiple perspectives of his relationship to the larger society and world in which he lives and will demonstrate responsibility for living in a culturally and ethnically diverse world. Howard University graduates will obtain a level of competency in a foreign language at the appropriate level for their respective major disciplines.
14. African Diaspora Awareness
A Howard graduate will demonstrate an understanding of the various cultural, social, political, and economic forces and circumstances that have shaped the broad experiences of people of African descent (including the continent of African its global diaspora). Graduates will also demonstrate an ability to apply research skills specific to their particular academic discipline to address some of the major problems arising out to circumstances of racial oppression that arose in the Western hemisphere.
15. Science and Environmental Consciousness
A Howard graduate will demonstrate an understanding of the role of science in society and its impact on the sustainability of the planet.
16. Physical and Mental Health
A Howard graduate will demonstrate concepts of physical and emotional wellness to make wise lifestyle choices.
A Howard graduate will be able to contribute to team meetings, facilitate individual contributions from team members, facilitate individual contributions outside of team meetings, foster a constructive team climate, and respond to conflict in team settings.
18. Entrepreneurship and Financial Literacy
A Howard graduate will discover and evaluate opportunities, assess risks, analyze the resource requirements, create actions plans, develop models, and present plans to stakeholders; and graduates will be able to apply basic personal and business financial principles in regards to money management, income, spending, credit, budgets, financial planning and debt.
19. Civic Knowledge and Engagement
A Howard graduate will develop the knowledge, values, and skills needed to make a positive difference in civic life locally or globally and will strive to make that difference.
20. Foundation and Skills for Life-Long Learning
A Howard graduate will demonstrate mastery of the skills to access, evaluate, and integrate information and appropriate technology to sustain lifelong learning as a curious, independent, reflective, and effective citizen of the global community.
21. Integrative and Applied Learning
A Howard graduate will develop an understanding and a disposition that
builds across the curriculum and co-curriculum – from making simple connections among ideas and experiences to synthesizing and transferring learning to new, complex situations within and beyond the campus. The student will adapt his/her intellectual skills to contribute in a wide variety of situations and to understand and develop individual purpose, values and ethics.