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Core Curriculum

core curriculum

A Scripps education begins with the Core Curriculum in Interdisciplinary Humanities, the College’s signature interdisciplinary approach to learning.

Our students say the program is one of their most valuable experiences, calling it “eye-opening” and “mind-expanding.”

The search for truth is often taken to be one of the goals of academic inquiry, as well as a touchstone for making political and social decisions. Yet despite it being something many of us seek, we do not all agree on what is true. This course examines some methods that are seen as offering access to universal truth, while also proposing additional ways of knowing that challenge such claims. Who decides what is true and false? What do we do when dominant powers insist on a version of truth that we do not believe? Is there such a thing as truth, and, if not, what does it mean for something to be a lie? In addressing these questions, we consider how institutions, socially constructed categories such as race and gender, and other cultural frameworks influence ways of evaluating truth.

Core I

During the first semester, all first-year students take Core I which combines lectures with small group discussion. Team-taught by 15-18 faculty members drawn from each of the College’s academic divisions (arts, letters, natural sciences, and social sciences.), Core I is unified by a single syllabus and a particular focus that is approached from multiple perspectives.


Core II

Core II follows in the spring semester. Students continue with a sharper focus—and through a variety of course offerings—the interdisciplinary investigations begun in Core I. Core II courses are taught by a professor with interdisciplinary research interests and may be team-taught by faculty whose research interests make for fresh dialogue.


Core III

Core III is taken the fall semester of students’ sophomore year. Here, students engage in innovative and collaborative projects with others in Core III, and dive into individualized, self-directed research with professors in a small, seminar-style course. The work students complete in Core III culminates in a self-designed project where they delve into a particular topic of interest.