Common Core, Uncommon Education

Core Curriculum texts

Common Core, Uncommon Education

Columbia University’s Core is one of the nation’s oldest and most renowned liberal arts programs and the hallmark of the Columbia academic experience. Ask Columbians about the value of their Columbia education and the Core is likely the first thing they will mention. They will tell you how the Core has given them an exceptional advantage at every turn.

“One of my closest friends is actually a philosophy major who I met when we were placed in the same double room during my sophomore year. The fact that we had taken the same Core classes gave us an instant connection which has been one of the main building blocks of our friendship.”

Reflecting on the Columbia Community (youtube video)

Samia Abedin ’19CC's final presentation for Contemporary Civilization illustrates the power of sharing stories.

Into the Columbia Blue (youtube video)

Go ahead, dive in and discover what it's like to be an undergraduate student at Columbia University in the City of New York, from the people

“After my first year, I had an in-depth conversation with my grandparents about Dante's Inferno, which I had read in Literature Humanities, which helped me realize the value of the Core Curriculum. I was able to connect with my grandparents, who had come from very different cultural and educational backgrounds, through our shared knowledge of a classic novel.”

Leading scholars in all disciplines across the university teach Core classes

The Core is taught by leading scholars in all disciplines across the university. Here, Latin American historian and Professor Caterina Pizzigoni leads a discussion in her Contemporary Civilization class.

Giants Among Us

Professor Farah Griffin

“I simply love the Core Curriculum – the discussions in these classes are amazing, and I wish I could take Contemporary Civilizations every semester. It showed me how much more interesting knowledge the academic world has to offer outside of my major, made me read books I would have never read (even in my free time) and gave me myriads of different perspectives on questions I had never even thought about.”

Marek S.

Outside Core Class

In the spring, professors take their Core classes outside

Professors often hold Core classes outside in the nice weather.

Professor Brian Greene

Giants Among Us

Professor Brian Greene

“The Core Curriculum, the hallmark of Columbia’s undergraduate education, is truly a wonderful and integral part of the development of the archetypal 'well-rounded scholar.'”
“The Core provides Columbians with a cultural understanding that allows us to appreciate the world in general in a more nuanced way. ”

Daniela Q.

“The Core is unique because it unites generations of students through an exceptionally challenging, eye-opening and holistic education of the Western world. Perhaps what is most remarkable about these courses is that students discover that the philosophies and themes that defined cultures thousands of years ago still permeate in our present day.”
“Columbia engineers take a portion of the Core. As someone who did not have any sort of musical background, it was very interesting to take a class like Music Humanities and grow to appreciate classical music!”

Harry L.