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The Core Curriculum and Student Learning at Temple

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The world changes, experience changes, networks grow, dot-coms come and go.  Where does college take you?  Among things that grow and change with you, among things you can always rely on no matter how fast the world changes, is your education.  When we speak of liberal education, we mean learning that will endure--a broad acquaintance with areas of knowledge and experience that will help you live well, using your intellectual powers, imagination, and judgment.  A liberal education prepares you to deal with a rapidly changing world.  It prepares you for leadership and responsibility in the vocational, social, and personal areas of your life.  It enables you to keep on learning throughout your life.

A liberal education is bigger than the sum of its parts.  Major, electives, the Core, internships, volunteer work, the social milieu of the campus all come together to give you something full, whole, integrated.  A liberal education happens inside and outside the classroom as you meet and learn with a diverse array of peers and teachers.  This is the kind of learning that enhances experience in all dimensions of life.  It's the kind of education a degree from Temple University represents.

The Core Curriculum is one part of that education.  Its goals include learning how to do things as well as gaining new knowledge.  Using language effectively, handling quantitative data, and appreciating the creative arts are Core goals.  So are understanding the nature of scientific inquiry and the impact of technology on society, the history and culture of the United States and of other societies, the differences between individual and communal needs, and the many ways in which race and racism affect all of us.  Each Core area focuses on one of these goals, but courses and experiences in other Core areas and in the majors build upon and reinforce Core skills and knowledge.  Specific information about the Core is provided in sections below on The Core Curriculum, Core Transfer Programs, and each Core area:

Composition and Writing       International Studies
Intellectual Heritage Quantitative Reasoning
American Culture Science and Technology
The Arts Studies in Race
Individual and Society Writing-Intensive Courses

Beyond the Core, Temple provides opportunities and resources for students to make the most of many different ways of learning, from information technology to study abroad.

Information technology is changing and expanding rapidly, and in the process education is being transformed.  Computers, e-mail, the internet, the worldwide web, multimedia presentations, and "smart classrooms" are providing more ways for students and faculty to acquire and exchange information.  They are influencing how we learn and, in some cases, what we learn.  Information technologies are being used for teaching and learning in a wide range of Temple courses from the Core to advanced courses and across the disciplines.  There are opportunities inside and outside of classes for members of the University community to acquire the skills and knowledge to use information systems effectively.  There are also opportunities to explore and reflect upon the ways that knowledge and learning are being transformed by the information revolution.

Several of Temple's schools and colleges include proficiency in information technologies among the goals of their degree programs.  The On-Line Learning Program offers courses using the Web, e-mail, and videoconferencing. Academic Computer Services and Computer and Media Services  provide computer labs, resources and support for students.  The Mathematics and Sciences Resources Center (MSRC), Educational Technology Center, University Writing Center, and University Libraries also provide information technology resources and support.

Other opportunities for learning beyond those provided by the Core Curriculum and major programs are available to interested students.  They happen both inside and outside the classroom.  They include (but are not limited to) freshman seminars, learning communities, University and school or college honors programs, internships related to a student's major area of study or special interests, study abroad programs, service learning, community service, and research opportunities designed for undergraduates.  Some of these programs require specific qualifications but others do not. 

Freshman seminars, learning communities, honors programs, and internship programs are described elsewhere in this Bulletin.  Here are some other opportunities to enrich your Temple education.

Undergraduate Research

Serious academic research is not just for professors and graduate students.  Undergraduate students in many Temple courses and programs do research of various kinds.  There is also a program open to all Temple undergraduates that focuses specifically on undergraduate research.

The Temple Undergraduate Research Forum (TURF) is a Temple-wide conference that allows undergraduate students to present empirical or theory-driven research papers to an audience of peers, faculty, family, and friends.  Much of undergraduate education focuses on teaching students to be consumers of information.  TURF exists to encourage undergraduates to move from being mere consumers of information to being producers of information.  In TURF, undergraduates offer new perspectives on, analyses of, and solutions for various social issues and social concerns.  TURF was founded in Department of African American Studies in 1994 as a means of providing a forum for a group of exceptionally well-done undergraduate research projects.  Since its founding, students from nearly every department in the College of Liberal Arts and from departments in other schools and colleges have presented in TURF. 

Presenting a paper in TURF is a double honor in the sense that in order for a paper to make it to TURF, it must first be nominated by the professor for whose class the paper was written.  The TURF faculty council then studies all the nominated papers and selects those that best meet TURF objectives.  Faculty members must then work with their nominees to help them hone their papers for the Forum.  Not surprisingly, students who are bold enough to accept the TURF challenge are also very attractive to many graduate and professional programs.  At last count, over 96% of the students who have presented in TURF have gone on to graduate studies.

Read more about TURF on its web site at http//www.temple.edu/TURF
When you have a class that requires an empirical or theory-driven paper, 
remind your professor that if she or he judges your paper strong, you would like him or her to consider nominating it for TURF.  Participating in TURF is not only an opportunity to present your ideas to a broader audience, but also an opportunity to defend those ideas under sometimes tough, always discerning questioning by faculty and colleagues.  TURF is also an opportunity for parents and other family members to see the intellectual you.

Service Learning and Community Service

Service learning courses and community service projects combine a student's learning and service to the community.  Both students and the community benefit from the connection. 

A Service Learning course is a credit-bearing Temple course that includes a community-based learning/service component.  Part of a national movement to use the resources of higher education to help find solutions for critical social issues, service learning also takes advantage of Temple's combined commitments to research, teaching and learning, and its community.  In a service learning class students study the service they are undertaking and its larger background and context.  In classroom assignments and discussions they reflect on the relationship between their reading and their community-based experience. In short, service learning brings theory and practice together to better understand and critique both.

Students find that service learning improves their understanding of a subject, in part because we learn better when we actually experience what we are learning about, and in part because that experience often challenges our preconceived notions.  Through service learning students gain a better sense of the complex ways in which social institutions affect their lives and the lives of others, and are encouraged to invest themselves in efforts to improve their community.  Service learning makes students responsible for their own learning, and consequently  helps them learn how they learn--a knowledge and skill that serves them well both at Temple and throughout their lives.  Students come to college to prepare for a career and to better understand the world in which they live.  A service learning experience helps them do both.

For more information and a list of service learning courses use the "Academic Credit" link on the University's School and Community Outreach web site at http://community.temple.edu/ .

Community service outside of a course also provides a setting for learning for Temple students.  The University's Office of Community Service, located in the Student Assistance Center in the Student Activities Center on Main Campus, serves as a clearinghouse for volunteer and community development opportunities.  The office is staffed by Temple students and maintains an extensive database of community groups and agencies that utilize volunteers for various groups and individual projects.  Opportunities for learning include working with children, the elderly, economically disadvantaged groups, other special populations, and environmental and civic causes.  Ways to get involved in service are also announced in The Owl Volunteer, a monthly newsletter, and students can join the Temple University Community Service Organization (TUCSA).  For more information call (215) 204-7741 or e-mail comserv@blue.temple.edu .

Study Abroad

One of the most rewarding and beneficial experiences available to Temple students is studying abroad.  It provides personally enriching opportunities to see the world, live in a culture different from your own, and become proficient in another language.  Gaining firsthand knowledge of other cultures and languages in this way also adds an international dimension to a Temple education--it enables you to better understand and put into context global issues and international events.  Appreciation of the world's peoples, economies, and environments--and  their interdependence--is critical to preparing for the challenges of international citizenship in the 21st century.

Because developing an awareness and understanding of other cultures is a fundamental component of a liberal education, an approved study abroad experience can be used in place of one or two of the Core International Studies courses.  Students interested in this option should talk to their Temple academic adviser.

Temple's International Programs office provides guidance and information to students interested in pursuing a period of study abroad, either on one of Temple's programs, or on one of the many programs sponsored by other colleges and universities around the world.  For more information, see International Programs and Study Abroad in this bulletin and contact

International Programs 
200 Tuttleman Learning Center, Main Campus
Telephone: (215) 204-0720
Fax: (215) 204-0729
E-mail: intlprog@vm.temple.edu
Web site: http://www.temple.edu/intlprog

The Core Curriculum

Robert A. Schneider, Assistant Vice Provost for Core and Transfer
500 Conwell Hall
Telephone: (215) 204-5662
Fax: (215) 204-3175
E-mail: core@blue.temple.edu

The Core Curriculum consists of components designed to help students meet the Core's learning goals.  All undergraduate students at Temple complete some form of the Core.

Highly motivated students, who seek especially challenging courses, may wish to apply for admission to the University Honors Program, which offers special Honors courses that meet Core requirements.

Advanced transfer students should see 45+ Transfer Core and Core-to-Core Transfer below.

Summary Credits
Library Orientation
Intellectual Heritage
American Culture
The Arts
The Individual and Society
International Studies/Language
Quantitative Reasoning
Studies in Race
Three Additional Writing-Intensive Courses, as needed

Each Core area has a list of courses approved as satisfying the requirements for that area.  Descriptions of the Core areas and the courses in them follow at the end of this section. 

Courses labeled (NEW) have been approved for the Core since the publication of the previous Undergraduate Bulletin.

Please note that Core Courses that are no longer being offered by departments have been removed from this list, but students who took them will receive Core credit, as indicated in their DARS document. Questions about the past, present, or future Core status of a course can be answered by the Core and Transfer Office.

Course descriptions are available in the printed Undergraduate Course Descriptions published each Spring before the registration period for Fall courses, and online through the web version of this Bulletin (www.temple.edu/bulletin/ugradbulletin/ucd/ucdtoc.html).   Because not all approved courses are offered every semester, each semester's Class Schedule contains a list of Core courses being taught that term.  Lists of newly approved Core courses, other changes and notices, additional  information about the Core, and an e-mail link for questions are available on the Core web site (http://www.temple.edu/ucc).

Important Core Policies for All Students

  • Students must complete the Core Library Orientation in order to retain library borrowing privileges. The requirement consists of completing the library skills workbook available on the University Libraries web site.
  • All Core courses must be completed with a grade of C- or higher to satisfy a Core requirement. 
  • Students may not complete requirements in more than two Core areas with courses in their major fields. (Writing - Intensive is not a Core area in this sense and is not restricted this way). 
  • The three-semester sequence of College Composition (English C050/C051, R050, or H090) and the two Intellectual Heritage courses (X051 or X091 and X052 or X092) is intended to serve as the foundation of general education at Temple, and to provide students with the skills and knowledge necessary for successful completion of other Core requirements. To make the most of these opportunities, students should take these courses as soon as possible after entering Temple, in order, and immediately after one another. 
  • In two Core areas, 1) Quantitative Reasoning and 2) Science and Technology, students should not take a second-level (B) course until they have completed an appropriate prerequisite first-level (A) course with a grade of C- or higher. Students should check with their advisers for the A-B sequences appropriate for their program of study. The policy on transfer of Core science courses applies to all students with transfer credits in science. (See Science and Technology.) 
  • Students who are candidates for a Bachelor of Arts degree in the College of Liberal Arts or the college of Science and Technology are required by their college to complete both the foreign language and the International Studies components of the Core. (See International Studies or Language.) 
Core Course Numbering

The course number provides important information about a course, including whether or not it receives Core credit and, in some cases, which Core requirement it meets. Because some courses exist in several Core versions, or in Core and non-Core versions, students should pay careful attention to course numbers and to which version of a course they take. 

Numbers for courses that meet Core requirements begin with the letters "C," "R," "W," or "X." Those prefixes, along with the two-letter Required Course Indicator (RCI), provide information on the Core area a given course will meet. 
C Satisfies a requirement in one of the Core areas except Studies in Race and Writing-Intensive.
Satisfies the Studies in Race requirement, and may also fulfill another Core requirement, as indicated in the RCI.
W Satisfies a Writing-Intensive requirement.
X Satisfies a requirement in one of the Core areas, and also satisfies a Writing-Intensive requirement. 
Courses numbered in the 0090's or 0190's are Honors Core courses.
RCI  Required Course Indicator - Shows which Core requirement(s) a course fulfills
AC  American Culture
AR The Arts
CO Composition
IA, IB Intellectual Heritage
IN The Individual and Society
IS International Studies
LA, LB, LC Language
QA Quantitative Reasoning, First Level
QB Quantitative Reasoning, Second Level
RC  Studies in Race and Composition
RS  Studies in Race
SA Science and Technology, First Level
SB  Science and Technology, Second Level
WI  Writing-Intensive
WR Studies in Race and Writing-Intensive
XA  The Arts, Studies in Race, and Writing-Intensive
XC  American Culture, Studies in Race, and Writing-Intensive
XN  The Individual and Society, Studies in Race, and Writing-Intensive
XS International Studies, Studies in Race, and Writing-Intensive

Core Areas


45+ Transfer Core

Transfer students admitted to Temple for and after Fall 1997 with 45 or more credits for courses taken elsewhere (and without an Associate's degree approved for Core-to-Core Transfer) complete the 45+ Transfer Core.  All of the requirements in this version of the Core may be met either with equivalent transfer courses or with Core courses taken at Temple--with the exception of the two Writing-Intensive courses, which must be taken at Temple. 

NOTE: An Intellectual Heritage course taken at Temple to satisfy the 45+ requirement for one Intellectual Heritage course cannot be used as one of the two Writing-Intensive courses at Temple.  However, a second IH at Temple may be used as one of those WI courses.

  • Library Skills Workbook and Test (0 credits) 
  • College Composition (Temple's English C050, C051, R050, or equivalent - 1 course, 3 credits) 
  • 2 Writing-Intensive courses, not including Intellectual Heritage, taken at Temple (6 credits) 
  • 1 Core Intellectual Heritage course (Temple's IH X051, X052, or equivalent - 3 credits) 
  • 1 Core International Studies course (either regular or "Non-Western/Third World") or a language to the second semester (52 or equivalent) level (3-4 credits) 
  • 1 Mathematics or Statistics course (a Core-level course - 3-4 credits) 
  • 1 course in the natural sciences with a laboratory component (Biology, Botany, Chemistry, Geology, Physics, or interdisciplinary science; or a direct transfer equivalent of a Temple Core "Science/Technology A" course; or, if taken at Temple, a Core "SA" course with a lab) (3-4 credits) 
  • 1 Core Studies in Race course (3 credits) 
  • 1 course each in 2 of these Core areas: American Culture, Arts, or Individual and Society (6 credits) 

Transfer Credits for 45+

The 45+ Transfer Core is designed for students who have taken significant numbers of courses elsewhere before entering Temple. All college-level courses considered transferable by the Temple Office of Undergraduate Admissions, including those for which evaluation is not complete until after the student begins at Temple, will be counted toward the 45 credit minimum, when they meet either of the following sets of conditions. 

1) For students new to Temple: The courses have been taken elsewhere before the student matriculates at Temple. 

2) For readmitted students: 45 or more transferable credits have been taken elsewhere since the student's last date of enrollment at Temple and before the date of the student's return to Temple. 

3) For both group of students, 1) Advanced Placement credits are counted toward toward eligibility for the 45 + Transfer Core if the student also has transfer courses from another college or university; 2) credits for prior CLEP exams are counted toward eligibility for the 45+ Transfer Core if the scores meet the Temple credit-granting standards and are approved by the Temple school or college that offers the equivalent course (see Non-Traditional Credit); 3) courses taken at Temple as a non-matriculated student are not counted toward eligibility for the 45 + Transfer Core, and 4) courses taken elsewhere by students once they are at Temple, with the permission of the student's Temple school or college, are not counted toward eligibility for the 45 + Transfer Core.

45+ Transfer Core Policies:  Transfer students should be aware that this Core policy relates only to University Core requirements. All the requirements of Temple's schools and colleges and major programs of study remain in force and are not affected by this policy, including any that involve Core courses but differ from the University Core Curriculum requirements. Students should consult the appropriate sections of this Bulletin, and their academic advisers, about school/college and major requirements.

A 45+ Transfer Core version of the Degree Audit Reporting System (DARS) document is produced automatically for eligible students who are entering Temple for the first time. For eligible readmitted students to receive a 45+ Transfer Core DARS document, a Temple academic adviser must post the 45+ event in the student's ISIS record.

Regular Temple Core policies apply to these requirements and the courses they involve unless otherwise stipulated above. For example, it is still the case that: 

  • The College Composition requirement may be met by placing out of Temple's College Composition through a placement test. 
  • One of the Writing-Intensive courses taken at Temple will be the capstone course in the student's major. 
  • The International Studies requirement also may be met by placing above the 52 or equivalent level of a language through a placement test or by participating in an approved Study Abroad program. 
  • Some Studies in Race and Writing-Intensive courses also fulfill another Core requirement. 
  • Initial evaluation of transfer credits will be made in the Temple Office of Undergraduate Admissions. Re-evaluation of credits will be done by the Temple Admissions Office and academic advisers, in consultation with the Director of Core and Transfer when necessary, according to standard Temple policies and procedures. 
  • The dean or dean's designee of a student's Temple school or college has final authority over interpretations and decisions regarding these requirements, in consultation with the Director of Core and Transfer. 

Core-to-Core Transfer agreements with community colleges accept the general education included in approved Associate degrees in place of Temple’s Core Curriculum. Students entering Temple (either for the first time or upon readmission) with an approved degree have met all of the Core requirements except two Writing-Intensive courses to be taken at Temple (one of which is normally the advanced writing capstone in the major). Such students are identified upon admission to or enrollment in the University and their fulfillment of the Core by Core-to-Core Transfer is noted on pertinent student records. Eligible students should be sure that a final transcript, indicating receipt of the Associate degree, is available to their Temple advisers at their first advising appointment. Advisers can then make sure that Core-to-Core status is noted in the students' records. 

These are the conditions for Core-to-Core Transfer from community colleges: 

Bucks County Community College:  Any Associate of Art degree in a program the student entered in Fall 1994 or after.  Effective for students entering Temple for Spring 1998 and after.

Burlington County College:   Any Associate of Arts or Associate of Science degree in a program the student entered in Fall 1995 or after.  Effective for students entering Temple for Fall 1999 and after.  Associate in Applied Science degrees are not approved for Core-to-Core Transfer.

Camden County College:   One of  the following degrees received in or after 1980:  Any Associate in Arts or Associate in Science degree except in Engineering.  Students with the Associate in Science degree in Engineering are eligible for Core-to-Core Transfer if and only if they are certified to Temple's Office of  Core and Transfer by the County College as having taken the proper combination and number of general education courses.  Effective for students entering Temple for Fall 1999 and  after.  Associate in Applied Science degrees are not approved for Core-to-Core Transfer.

Delaware County Community College:   One of the following degrees received after 1970:  Associate of Arts in Behavioral Science, Communication Arts, Education, Liberal Arts; Associate of Science in Business Administration, Natural Science. Students with the Associate of Science in Science for Health Professions are eligible for Core-to-Core Transfer if and only if they are certified to Temple’s Office of Core and Transfer by the Community College’s Career and Transfer Office as having taken the proper combination and number of general education courses.  Effective for students entering Temple for Spring 1998 and after.  Associate of Science in Computer Science or Engineering and Associate in Applied Science degrees are not approved for Core-to-Core Transfer. 

Gloucester County College:  One of the following degrees received in or after May 1985: Any Associate of Arts; Associate of Science in these fields if and only if GCC certifies to Temple's Office of Core and Transfer that the student has taken the correct distribution of courses: Art and Science, Biology, Business Administration, Chemistry, and Human Development. Effective for students entering Temple for Spring 2001 and after. Other Associate of Science degrees, and Associate of Applied Science degrees, are not approved for Core-to-Core Transfer.

Harrisburg Area Community College:  Any Associate in Arts or Associate in Science degree in a college-parallel program that includes HACC's revised general education requirements for transfer curricula enacted for Fall 1999, in a program the student entered in or after Fall 1999.  Effective for students entering Temple for Spring 2000 and after.  No other degrees are approved for Core-to-Core Transfer.

Mercer County Community College: A degree in any of these programs, if it includes the general education requirements put into effect in Fall 1999, and if the student entered the program in Fall 1999 or after: Any Associate of Arts; Associate in Science in Architecture, Aviation Management, Business Administration, or Criminal Justice; Associate in Fine Arts (A.F.A.) in Art History, Ceramics/Sculpture, or Fine Arts. Effective for students entering Temple for Spring 2001 and after. Other Associate of Science degrees, and Associate in Applied Science degrees, are not approved for Core-to-Core Transfer.

Montgomery County Community College:  Any Associate of Arts or Associate of Science degree received in or after 1990.  Effective for students entering Temple for Spring 1998 and after.  Earlier A.A. or A.S. degrees can be considered for inclusion on appeal.  Associate in Applied Science and Associate in General Studies degrees are not approved for Core-to-Core Transfer. 

Northampton Community College:  Any Associate in Arts or Associate in Science degree in a program the student entered in Fall 1993 or after.  Students with an Associate in Applied Science degree are eligible for Core-to-Core Transfer if and only if they are certified  to Temple’s Office of Core and Transfer by the Community College as having taken the proper combination and number of general education courses. Effective for students entering Temple for Spring 2000 and after.

Community College of Philadelphia:  Any Associate of Arts or Associate in Science degree received in a program the student entered in Fall 1996 or after (and therefore satisfying the Dimensions requirements).  Effective for students entering Temple for Spring 1999 and after.  Associate of Applied Science degrees are not approved for Core-to-Core Transfer.