You can check your progress with completing the core curriculum requirements by logging into SAGE. SAGE will note which requirements are "Completed" and which are "Projected to Complete". The term "Projected to Complete" means that if you stay enrolled in your current classes and receive a passing letter grades (not a Pass/Fail grade), you will complete that requirement.
Core Curriculum at Brandeis
Understanding the Core Curriculum
The core curriculum at Brandeis is designed to develop a student's breadth of knowledge. Each of the requirements listed below define the undergraduate educational experience at Brandeis. Brandeis does allow for some requirements to be double counted. For example, a class such as Economics 2a can fulfill both the School of Social Science requirement and the quantitative reasoning requirement. A single course cannot be double counted to fulfill two school requirements. Similarly, a single course cannot fulfill both the quantitative reasoning requirement and the School of Science.
University Writing Seminar (UWS)
The University Writing Seminar (UWS) is also required in the first year of Brandeis. Each UWS has a different topic, and students should find a UWS that best matches their academic interests. The UWS requires three papers of increasing complexity (thirty pages total), and these papers teach students how to frame analytical questions, make original claims, structure complex ideas, integrate sources of various kinds, and revise for greater cogency and clarity. The course also teaches the basic skills of research, from using the library to appropriate citation of sources.
One Class from the School of Science (SN)
As science influences more and more of our everyday life, from technological innovations such as the Internet to pharmaceutical developments in fighting diseases, an exposure to the sciences is necessary to being an educated individual. Students may fulfill their science requirement with courses as varied as BISC 2b: Genes, Culture, History: A Case Study or Phsy 2b: Introductory Astronomy or CHSC 8b: Chemistry and Art. Most introductory math courses such as Math 10a: Techniques of CalculusMath 15a: Applied Linear Algebra also fulfill this requirement. Please note that a single class can not fulfill both the School of Science and the Quantitative Reasoning requirement.
One Class from the School of Humanities (HUM)
The study of humanities dates back to the earliest colleges and universities. The core curriculum of these institutions were based on the study of classical languages and literatures, and the humanities are often regarded as the core of knowledge. At Brandeis, students fulfill their humanities requirements with courses as varied as English 21 a: Adolescent Literature from Grimm to Voldemort or Classics 134b: The Art and Archaeology of Ancient Rome or Phil 6a: Introduction to Symbolic Logic.
One Class from the School of Social Science (SS)
The Social Sciences can be understood as classes that examine why individuals or groups act as they do. From politics to economics to anthropology to psychology and sociology, the social sciences attempt to explain patterns for human interactions. Courses such as Pol 15: Introduction to International Relations, Amst 124b: American Love and Marriage, and Anth 26a: Communication and the Media fulfil this requirement.
One Class from the School of Creative Arts (CA)
The School of Creative Arts defines art "as the great legacy of human accomplishment, essential to interdisciplinary learning." The arts not only allow for personal expression but they help us to understand history, critique current events, and understand different cultures. At Brandeis, students fulfill their creative arts requirement through courses in theater, studio art, art history, and music. Courses include subjects such as FA 39b: Islamic Art and Architecture; Mus 31b Music and Globalization; and THA 25a: American Musical Theater.
One Class in Quantitative Reasoning (QR)
Quantitative reasoning courses are offered in various disciplines throughout the curriculum, including chemistry, economics, history, physics, and sociology. Unlike a more traditional math requirement, these courses focus not on the theoretical understanding of mathematical concepts but instead teach students to understand, interpret, analyze, and evaluate numerical data and other quantitative information. Introductory math courses such as pre-calculus, calculus, and linear algebra do not fulfill this requirement. Instead, the courses are as varied as Anth 110: Human Evolution; Hist 126a: Early Modern Europe 1500-1700; and Soc 181: Methods of Social Inquiry.
One Class in Non-Western and Comparative Studies (NW)
Brandeis is committed to the development of students as global citizens, and students must complete a one-semester course that examines a particular culture, society, or region of the non-Western world or that systematically makes comparisons across cultures. The requirement aims to enlarge students’ understanding of the literature, culture, politics, worldviews and/or art of Asia, Latin America, Middle East, Africa, or Oceania. Through the study of non-Western societies in their original settings, it is expected that students also will gain a better understanding of minority groups and Diasporic cultures (such as African-American, Latino, Asian, and Muslim) in the United States and the West in general. Non-Western courses are available in many department and include courses as varied as Hist 71b: Latin American History 1870 to the Present; NEJS 188a: the Rise and Decline of the Ottoman Empire, 1300-1800, FA 13b: Buddhist Art; AAAS 60a: Economics of Third World Hunger, and SAS 101a: South Asian Women Writers.
Proficiency in a Foreign Language (FL)
Gaining proficiency in a foreign language is a crucial step toward expanding our understanding of international conflicts and participating actively in the resolution of these global issues. The foreign language requirement reflects the belief that it is central to societies and cultures to understand the languages of others, as well as one’s native language. Students fulfill the requirement by demonstrating an intermediate level of proficiency in a foreign language. This may be accomplished by successfully completing the third level (a course numbered at the 30-level) or higher of any of the many languages taught at Brandeis, including Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Ancient Greek, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Latin, Russian, Spanish and Yiddish. Students may also place out of the language requirement through AP of SAT II scores or demonstrating proficiency in a second language.
University Writing and Oral Communications Requirement (WI, OC)
It is not enough to have knowledge, one must be able to communicate that knowledge effectively in written and oral forms. Therefore, all students must complete at least one writing-intensive course prior to graduation. Students then have a choice of whether to complete a second writing-intensive course or an oral communication course. Writing-intensive courses are offered in almost all departments and include a significant emphasis on writing. Oral communication courses are offered in many departments and include a significant emphasis on oral presentation skills.
Physical Education Requirement (PE)
The physical education requirement consists of two non-credit physical education courses. Physical fitness is considered a key component to educating the whole person. The physical education department’s curriculum focuses on fitness, dance, and lifetime sports, with classes as varied as PE 6a: Sports Medicine, PE 16a Golf; PE 24a Beginner's Karate, and PE 43a Dance Dance Revolution. Students may take a physical fitness exam to be exempted from the physical education requirement--this exam is offered only to first year students and may not be taken in subsequent years. Student athletes can also meet the physical education requirement through participation on a varsity athletics team. Completion of one full season of participation on a varsity athletics team, ascertificated by the Department of Athletics, is equal to the completion of one semester-long noncredit PE course.