By: Judah Stiefel  | 

A Review of the Changes: Core Curriculum 2.0

If you accidentally missed the rather important email regarding new, student-friendly updates to the Core curriculum due to a conditioned reflex to immediately delete Y-Studs, you’re not alone. The two changes to the Core add a refreshing air of flexibility to YU’s students. The two updates are as follows:

First: students may continue to fulfill the EXQM requirement either by taking a section of EXQM or by taking two terms of college mathematics/statistics beyond pre-calculus in addition to one year of college science.  AP credit may be used to fulfill the mathematics/statistics component but may not count toward the science component.

This rule increases students’ options, allowing students to take a math or science they may have been interested in but for which they had no time in their schedule. It also means that if students do not relate to the classes offered within EXQM, they have other options.

Second: So that students can build on interests that they’ve developed in the Core, students are encouraged to consider interdisciplinary minors as an optional element of the YC degree.  Students will be allowed to double-count up to two Core courses toward the fulfillment of both their Core graduation requirement and the requirement for an approved interdisciplinary minor. Students can be in touch with Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Joanne Jacobson if they have an idea for an interdisciplinary minor that they’d like to develop.

This update encourages students to branch out and explore a diversity of subjects and fields for which they had interest but were discouraged from due to a lack of room in their schedules. Some departments may also choose to allow the double-counting of Core courses toward their own minors. Students may get in touch with specific departments if they have questions about departmental minors.

Dean Jacobson explains that the new YC Core was the first major change to general education requirements made in over twenty years. The creators of the new Core planned on revisiting it a few years later for adjustments. According to Dean Jacobson, the motive behind the changes is to “[incorporate] the Core more organically into students' overall educational experience—and thus [allow] students to follow up on new interests developed in the Core.” The administration also hoped to “allow departments to benefit from the innovative spirit of the Core.”

There were also a few technical changes made such as running two sections of NAWO for two groups of students; those taking advanced sciences and those who are not. EXQM courses have been expanded as well to include the social sciences.

According to Dean Jacobson, the faculty will be announcing in the fall a new “writing-intensive” requirement. It can be fulfilled by designated courses and is replacing First Year Seminar. The course was impossible to staff due to budget cuts. The course, said Dean Jacobson, “[will] provide an alternative way for students to develop the crucial writing skills in different disciplines that are central to a college education.” It’s certainly worth it for every student to at the very least consider how he can take advantage of these new changes to the Core curriculum.