Revised University Core Curriculum
Policy Memorandum No. 125
Recommended by the Commission on Undergraduate Studies
Approved by University Council: March 2, 1992
Approved by the President: March 2, 1992
Effective: Students Graduating 1996, or thereafter
The University Council, on recommendation of the Commission on
Undergraduate Studies, unanimously approved a resolution on the Revised
University Core Curriculum. The resolution and attached chart,
"Recommended Time-Line for Implementation of Core Curriculum
Requirements," summarize the contents of the complete REPORT OF THE
UNIVERSITY FORUM ON LIBERATION EDUCATION, a broadly-based document
concerning the philosophy, pedagogy, structure and governance of liberal
education at Virginia Tech. Included in the text of this resolution are
several references to specific page numbers in the Report, which is
available upon request from the Office of the Provost.
This Policy Memo replaces existing university Policy Memos 63, 76,
Following is the text of the resolution as adopted by Council.
WHEREAS, continued improvement of the University
Core Curriculum is vital to the academic quality of the undergraduate
program at Virginia Tech; and
WHEREAS, the University Forum on Liberal Education
has completed a thorough review of the University Core Curriculum; and
WHEREAS, the charge to the Forum was to define an
exemplary program of liberal education that will effectively serve the
university and its students into the next century; and
WHEREAS, the University Forum on Liberal Education,
in consultation with faculty, administrators, and students, identified a
number of modifications of the existing core which need to be made in
order for the core to achieve its intended purposes,
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the University move
forward in a timely and orderly manner to implement the proposed
modifications of the University Core Curriculum, developing a schedule
for implementation, and
- That a statement of purpose for the core curriculum be adopted,
as referenced in the Report of the University Forum on Liberal Education
(pp. 4, 6, 12).
- That the administrative categories of the core be defined as
"Areas of Study" within liberal education rather than as departmental
divisions (pp. 4, 6-11, 13).
- That specific goals and criteria be established for each area
(pp.4, 6-11, 13-14).
- That the University Core Curriculum requirements will be a total
of 32 semester credits during initial implementation with an additional
10 credits for later implementation, of which 6 - 9 credits (WI and CI
courses) can be double-counted with other courses; areas not for
immediate implementation are marked ** (pp.4, 6-11,13, 22).
- That the distribution of the requirements be as follows:
- AREA 1: WRITING AND DISCOURSE - 6 credit hours of Freshman
Writing; 6 additional credit hours in courses designated as "Writing
Intensive" (WI)**, of which at least 3 hours are in the major. All WI
courses will overlap other areas of the curriculum (pp.6-7, 15-18).
- AREA 2: IDEAS, CULTURAL TRADITIONS AND VALUES - 6 credit hours
- AREA 3: SOCIETY AND HUMAN BEHAVIOR - 6 credit hours (p.8, 9).
- AREA 4: SCIENTIFIC REASONING AND DISCOVERY - 6 credit hours of
lecture, 2 credit hours of related laboratory (p.9).
- AREA 5: QUANTITATIVE AND SYMBOLIC REASONING - 6 credit hours
- AREA 6: CREATIVITY AND AESTHETIC EXPERIENCE - 1 credit hour **
- AREA 7: CRITICAL ISSUES IN A GLOBAL CONTEXT - 3 credit hours
designated "CI".** May overlap core courses in other Areas of Study,
courses in the major, or electives (pp.10-11, 18-19).
- That any restrictions of core course options be guided by the
following principles (pp. 4, 14, 15, and 23):
- All colleges may require students to do "depth studies"
(defined as a sequence or cluster approved by the University Core
Committee) in up to two Areas of Study, from Areas 2, 3, 4, and 5. The
Area(s) will be chosen by the college.
- In addition, colleges or departments may designate particular
core courses which are essential to the major(s) or which must be taken
to meet explicit accreditation guidelines.
- That a university writing program will be established for the
purpose of supporting the development of writing-intensive courses and
enhancement of writing throughout the curriculum (pp.5, 6-7, 15-18).
- That a standing university committee will be established to give
leadership to the core curriculum and to make final curricular
recommendations to CUS concerning the inclusion of courses in the core
curriculum (pp.5, 19-20, 22-23).
- That a funded, on-going program of faculty development in liberal
education will be established (pp.5, 20-21).
- That a handbook on liberal education and the core curriculum will
be published by the Provost's office at appropriate intervals for
students, faculty, and advisors (pp.5, 21).
President's Policy Memorandum