Core Curriculum Requirements

The Core Curriculum consists of the following:

  • First-Year Experience courses: 4 courses
  • Religion I: 1 course
  • Exploration courses: 7-8 courses
  • Religion II: 1 course
  • Perspectives courses: 2 courses

For a complete listing of approved courses, see the Core Curriculum Course List. The core designation is listed at the bottom of the course description.  Courses used to fulfill Core requirements are not eligible for the pass-fail grading option.

First-Year Experience Courses

INQ 100: Inquiry Seminars

These seminars are designed to introduce students to the world of scholarship through intensive, collaborative investigations of innovative topics. Excitement and challenge characterize these courses as students are invited to be co-inquirers into topics and problems that have impassioned their professors. Inquiry Seminars are devoted to helping students develop critical thinking skills and fostering a lifelong love of learning. These writing-intensive courses emphasize the foundational and transferable skills of data collection, assumption analysis, thesis construction, and argument development.

First-time, full-time degree-seeking college students must take Inquiry 100 during their first semester, unless they enter Concordia with college credit for an equivalent course. Students who enter Concordia with sophomore or higher standing, and who have been a full-time, degree-seeking student at a college or university prior to coming to Concordia, are not required but may opt to take INQ 100. 

IOC 100 Inquiry: Oral Communication

In the Oral Communication courses, students will learn to produce and critique messages in public speaking and group settings. These courses will emphasize the oral applications of critical thinking strategies: research techniques, citation methods, information and persuasive message goals, and the roles and functions of group members and leaders.

All students must take the Core IOC course, unless they enter Concordia with college credit for an equivalent course. Students who enter Concordia with credit for a college public speaking course that is not equivalent to IOC 100 Inquiry: Oral Communication, or students who have extensive experience in competitive forensic public speaking, have two options to fulfill the IOC requirement:

Option 1 is to enroll in IOC 100 Inquiry: Oral Communication in either the fall or spring semester during the first year. In the spring, the student will take the course not taken in the fall, either IOC 100 Inquiry: Oral Communication or IWC 100 Inquiry Written Communication.

Option 2 is to enroll in an advanced speaking or small group communication course, preferably in the first year. The advanced speaking courses may be taken either in the fall or spring semester, depending on when they are offered. Students with competitive forensics experience should contact the CSTA department to determine whether Option 2 is a good choice in their specific case.

Qualifying advanced speaking courses include:

COM 305Business and Professional Speaking4
COM 308Communication for Citizenship and Career4
COM 314Group Communication and Team Building4

IWC 100 Inquiry Written Communication

This introductory writing course develops transferable skills and intellectual capacities inherent in the eight habits of mind necessary to critical thinking and well-crafted writing: Curiosity, Openness, Engagement, Creativity, Persistence, Responsibility, Flexibility, and Metacognition. The course includes practice in information literacy and argument, and students creatively remix one essay to experience writing in a different form. A field research component supports Concordia’s Core mission to responsibly engage in the world. IWC 100 does not count toward an English major or minor.

All students must take the Core IWC course, unless they enter Concordia with college credit for an equivalent course. Students who enter Concordia with credit for a college composition course that is not equivalent to IWC 100 Inquiry Written Communication have two options to fulfill the IWC writing requirement:

Option 1 is to enroll in IWC 100 Inquiry Written Communication or IOC 100 Inquiry: Oral Communication in either the fall or spring semester during the first year. In the spring, the student will take the course not taken in the fall, either IOC 100 Inquiry: Oral Communication or IWC 100 Inquiry Written Communication.

Option 2 is to enroll in an advanced writing class, preferably in the first year. The advanced writing courses may be taken either in the fall or spring semester, depending on when they are offered.

Qualifying advanced writing courses include:

ENG 267The Ethnographic Essay4
ENG 316Business Writing4
ENG 317News Writing4
ENG 318Feature Writing4
ENG 324Technical Writing4
ENG 380Special Topics (in Writing)4

Holistic Health

This course (PED 111 Wellness), normally taken in a student’s first year, is designed to teach health-related fitness and to encourage a lifelong pattern of physical fitness.

Religion I

REL 200Christianity and Religious Diversity4

This course should be taken during the student’s first or second year.

Exploration Courses

These courses constitute the heart of the Concordia Core Curriculum. They are designed to provide students with the breadth of knowledge and experience that characterize the well-educated liberal arts student. They are also designed to assure that Concordia students are prepared to be responsibly engaged in the affairs of the world. No one part of the Core Curriculum can accomplish these goals individually, but the whole of the Core can do so. Consequently, students are required to take courses in the four areas of the Core:

  • Natural Sciences and Mathematics (8 credits) – one course in natural sciences and one course in mathematics
  • Social Sciences (8 credits) – two courses in the social sciences
  • World Language (4-8 credits) – one course is required at the second-semester level.  All students who have studied a world language on the course list prior to coming to Concordia should take a placement test to determine which course level is the most appropriate.  Students testing into a language level beyond the second semester may take a higher-level course to fulfill this requirement.  
  • Arts and Humanities (8 credits) – one course in the arts and one course in the humanities

No more than one course from a single department or program may be taken to satisfy the Exploration requirement in the Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Arts and Humanities, and the Social Sciences. One course must be at the 300 level and preferably taken in the junior or senior year. A wide variety of courses are available to students in their pursuit of these requirements.

Religion II

An advanced religion course (300 level) is required in the student’s junior or senior year. No student should enroll in the second religion course without taking REL 200 first.  Any exception to this course sequence needs the approval of the religion department prior to registration for the second required religion course.  See the Core Curriculum Course List for religion courses that meet the Religion II core requirement. Religion II credit will not be awarded for 300-level courses that are not on the Core Curriculum Course List.  No exceptions will be granted. 

Perspectives Courses

Perspectives-designated courses are designed to help students understand the global and increasingly interdependent character of the world. The perspectives courses will help them to see that no position is without a perspective and no policy is without an assumptive base. Students are required to take two courses with a Perspectives designation:

  • U.S. Cultural Diversity – one course with a (U) designation
  • International and Global Perspectives – one course with a (G) designation