The University Undergraduate Core Curriculum

Fall 2013 and Forward Requirements

The University core curriculum, which is required of all incoming students beginning Fall, 2013 is a set of common learning outcomes required of all undergraduate students. It acts as a mechanism by which all Purdue University students share a similar educational experience and, in doing so, achieve a set of common goals.

The core curriculum consists of two levels of learning outcomes: foundational and embedded. All undergraduate students must meet the foundational learning outcomes, which are the same for all students, regardless of discipline or major. Students will meet each foundational outcome through completion of approved course offerings which have been approved by the University Core Curriculum Committee. Embedded learning outcomes, by contrast, are included in the core requirements of particular degrees or plans of study and are addressed within discipline-specific programs and majors.

Students must complete a minimum of 30 credit hours satisfying the specific foundational learning outcomes. There is no credit requirement for embedded learning outcomes, which will be assessed at the college/school level. Students may meet embedded outcomes by completing identified courses and/or targeted activities as determined by their program of study.


Why a Core Curriculum at Purdue University?

The central motivation behind the core curriculum is to better prepare all Purdue students for future employment success and responsible citizenship. Recent studies indicate employers are seeking employees with a broad set of skills beyond their discipline-specific abilities. A well-rounded, broad-based core curriculum will ensure this need is fulfilled.

Two additional factors support the implementation of a core curriculum: new accreditation requirements and recent legislative initiatives. The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools recently updated accreditation mandates that require institutions maintain a minimum requirement for general education. Additionally, Indiana Senate Bill (SB 0192) requires state educational institutions to create a statewide transfer general education core to be implemented by May 15, 2013. Purdue's core curriculum fulfills both of these requirements.

Advisor and Student Guidelines document


Foundational Outcomes: Approved Course List

The seven Foundational Outcomes and approved course lists may be found at the Course Listing website.


Foundational and Embedded Outcomes

Foundational and Embedded Outcomes
Written Communication 1 course 3 to 4
Information Literacy 1 course 1
Oral Communications 1 course 3
Science, Technology, and Mathematics (14 to 16)
Science 2 courses 6 to 8
Science, Technology, and Society 1 course 3
Mathematics 1 course 3 to 4
Human Cultures 3
Humanities 1 course 3
Behavioral/Social Sciences 1 course 3
Total credits 25 to 30 credits
Foundational outcomes are portable across all academic units. Specific courses may or may not fulfill all student degree requirements.
Embedded Outcomes
Creative Thinking
Critical Thinking
Ethical Reasoning
Global Citizenship and Social Awareness
Intercultural Knowledge
Leadership and Teamwork
Quantitative Reasoning
Integrative Knowledge
Written Communication(levels 2 and 3)
Information Literacy (levels 2 and 3)
Oral Communication (levels 2 and 3)

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