It’s a Requirement

Some things never change—and then they do. The faculty adopted a new set of graduation requirements, the first large-scale change Carleton has made to its curriculum in at least 40 years, last spring.

“The process [a nearly four-year comprehensive and collegial examination of the curriculum] was Carleton working at its best,” says Elizabeth Ciner, associate dean of the College. “It’s a conservative rethinking of our curriculum, not an undoing of any of the great things we currently offer.”

According to Ciner, the new requirements include such notable innovations as a requirement in quantitative reasoning as it relates to rhetoric. “We expect our students to be able to evaluate evidence and make good arguments,” she says. Carleton also will require hands-on experience in both the sciences and the arts: a science course with a lab component and an arts practice course in studio art, music, creative writing, or another creative endeavor.

Beginning in fall 2010 with the Class of 2014, in order to graduate, Carleton students must complete 210 total credits (the same total as the current requirement, just distributed differently), a major, and a senior integrative exercise.

CARLETON GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS

CURRENT

 

  • one writing requirement course
  • sophomore writing portfolio 

NEW

Writing:

  • a first-year “Argument and Inquiry” seminar
  • a revised writing portfolio
  • an additional writing course

Quantitative reasoning:

  • three courses designated as a “quantitatively rich encounter”
  • proficiency in a language other than English (four or five courses depending on the language)
  • one course designated “recognition and affirmation of difference” (RAD)
Global understanding:
  • proficiency in a language other than English (four or five courses depending on the language)
  • at least one course in international studies
  • at least one course in intercultural domestic studies

 

  • four terms of physical education, two of which can be fulfilled by participation in approved club sports  
Physical education:
  • four terms of physical education, all of which can be fulfilled by participation in approved club sports

 

Distribution requirements (60 credits):

  • 18 math and science credits
  • 18 social science credits
  • 12 arts and literature credits
  • 12 humanities credits
Curricular exploration and intellectual engagement (36 credits):
  • 6 science credits (with lab component)
  • 6 formal or statistical reasoning credits
  • 6 social inquiry credits
  • 6 arts practice credits
  • 6 humanistic inquiry credits
  • 6 literary/artistic analysis credits

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