The Foundations and Core Program provides the framework in which all Georgetown students will take on the project of their own academic formation. The program introduces students to foundational practices of inquiry, analysis, thought, and expression, and it encourages them to cultivate increasingly skillful responses to academic challenges as expressed in the various disciplines. After the foundation has been laid with the Foundations course sequence and Essential Proficiency courses, students will learn at both lower and higher levels the con- tent and ways of knowing embedded in core branches of knowledge. The program will also encourage students to consider and engage an array of diverse and often conflicting points of view, both within their own culture and outside of it. Although satisfaction of the Foundations and Core requirements alone will not produce a liberally educated person, such shared experiences provide the ground- work upon which all future learning is built. The Foundations and Core Program, done well, will enhance students’ personal and intellectual development, provide resources for self-understanding and vocational discernment, and empower students to be an asset to the social worlds of which they are a part.

Foundations and Core Program Outcomes

Knowledge of Human Culture and the Natural World

  • Students will acquire a core of knowledge addressing major questions from
    • the natural sciences
    • the social and behavioral sciences
    • the humanities
    • religious studies
    • the fine arts
  • Students will explore the interrelationships between disciplinary concentrations.
  • Students will understand and engage diverse cultures and points of view.

Intellectual and Practical Skills

  • Students will cultivate skills in inquiry and analysis, critical and creative thinking, written and oral communication, and quantitative literacy.
  • Students will practice and apply these skills across the curriculum in the context of progressively more challenging problems, projects, and standards for performance.

Personal and Social Responsibility

  • Students will cultivate habits of mind conducive to a life of continued intellectual, physical, and spiritual development.
  • Students will encounter resources for vocational discernment and become empowered to discover what they are called to do and be.
  • Students will equip themselves with the tools necessary to assess critically and sustain or transform the social worlds of which they are a part.

Components of the Foundations and Core Program


Foundations 111, 112

All entering freshmen students will take the Foundations 111 and 112 in their first two semesters. The fall semester Foundations 111 course is designed to equip students with foundational skills in academic inquiry, analysis (of both written materials and quantitative data), argument, critical thinking and discussion, and expression of ideas. Students will cultivate these skills while exploring a set of significant works from literature, philosophy, religion, the natural and social sciences, and the fine arts. The course materials will be historically organized and will engage issues within a theme of perennial or pressing concern. The spring semester Foundations 112 course is designed to reinforce the skill-development from Foundations 111, but the work will be done in modestly interdisciplinary courses engaging a variety of topics.

Essential Proficiencies

Students will develop essential proficiencies in writing, mathematics, a world language, and wellness. To develop basic writing and quantitative proficiencies, students will complete the freshman composition and math requirements. Students will also demonstrate an essential proficiency in a world language, enabling them to communicate at an intermediate level in a second language and explore the culture of that language. Finally, students will obtain an essential proficiency in wellness by exploring the relationships between physical activity, nutrition, and health and fitness.


Areas of Inquiry

Students will acquire a core of knowledge addressing major questions in the following Areas of Inquiry, including courses at introductory and higher levels.

Fine Arts. The study of the ways in which visual art, music, and theatre are created and encountered.

Humanities. The study and analysis of human experience, ideas, and cultures using the methods and traditions of philosophers, historians, and writers.

Social and Behavioral Sciences. The study and analysis of behavioral, social, political and economic processes and organizations using the standards and practices of scientific inquiry.

Natural Sciences. The study and analysis of the natural world using modern scientific methodology and laboratory and field experiences.

Religious Studies. The study and analysis of the Christian Scriptures, cultural and historical religious phenomena, Christian theology, and world religions.


Writing Flags will provide opportunities for students to apply basic composition skills to more sophisticated tasks and receive further instruction in the writing process as they take on discipline-specific projects. Quantitative Flags will allow students to apply their basic quantitative skills by modeling and analyzing problems in a variety of disciplines. These flagged courses will reinforce the foundational writing and quantitative skills in courses throughout the curriculum. The Cultural Awareness Flags are designed to expand students’ understanding of different cultural traditions and minority perspectives in courses that include a significant focus on these goals.

The Foundations & Core Program


  • THE FOUNDATIONS EXPERIENCE: 6 hours (Special Note 1)
    • FDN 111
    • FDN 112 (designated as F in the schedule of classes) (Special Note 2)
    • WRITING (4 or 6 hours) (Special Note 3)
      • ENGLISH 115 OR 111 & 112
    • QUANTITATIVE(3 hours) (Special Notes 4 & 7)
      • MATH 107 or higher, or CSC 107
    • WORLDLANGUAGES (3-6 hours) (Special Notes 5 & 8)
      • Demonstrate language proficiency at the intermediate level in one of the following languages: FRE 201, GER 201, GRK 201 or REL 203, JPN 201, LAT 201, SPA 201
    • WELLNESS(1 hour)
      • KHS 100


  • AREAS OF INQUIRY: 31-35 hours (Special Note 6)
  • All courses must be from the Areas of Inquiry offerings (see note about higher level requirements)
    • FINE ARTS: TWO courses (4-6 hours) (Special Notes 7 & 8)
      • Courses must be from TWO different departments: ART, MUS, THE
    • HUMANITIES: THREE courses (9 hours)
      • Courses must be from each of the following THREE subject areas: History, Philosophy, Western & World Literature
    • SOCIAL AND BEHAVIORAL SCIENCES: TWO courses (6 hours) (Special Note 8)
      • Courses must be from TWO different departments/programs: COMM, ECO, POS, PSY, SOC, WST
    • NATURAL SCIENCES: TWO courses (6-8 hours) (Special Note 7)
      • Courses must be from TWO different departments/programs, and at least ONE course must have a lab component: BIO, CHE, CSC, ENV, GEL, PHY
    • RELIGIOUS STUDIES: TWO courses (6 hours)
      • ONE Biblical Studies course
      • ONE course from one of these four areas: Biblical Studies; Cultural/Historical Studies; Christian Theology; World Religions

FLAGGED COURSES: 5 courses (Special Note 9)

  • WRITING (designated as W)
    • TWO flagged writing intensive courses upon completion of the Essential Proficiency Writing requirement (Special Note 10)
  • APPLIED QUANTITATIVE (designated as Q)
    • ONE flagged applied quantitative course in addition to the Essential Proficiency Quantitative course
    • ONE Flagged course in Awareness Abroad (designated as A)
    • ONE Flagged course in Awareness at Home (designated as H)

Special Notes for the Foundations & Core Program:

  1. Students must enroll in FDN111 in the fall semester of their first year and continuously enroll in the Foundations sequence until successful completion.
  2. FDN 112 is an interdisciplinary course, and if one of the primary content areas in a particular section is in one of the Areas of Inquiry, that FDN 112 section may also satisfy an Area of Inquiry requirement.
  3. Students must enroll in ENG 115 or ENG 111 in the fall semester of their first year and continuously enroll in the Writing sequence until successful completion.
  4. Students must enroll in an Essential Proficiency quantitative course no later than their third semester of full-time enrollment, and continuously enroll in a quantitative course until its successful completion.
  5. World Languages: Foundations & Core credit will be given for 102 courses or above. 101 courses will count as graduation hours but not for Foundations & Core credit.
  6. Students must take at least one class numbered 200 or higher in at least four of the Areas of Inquiry. A list of Areas of Inquiry courses can be found online on the Academic Advising Website.
  7. Elementary Education majors must take MAT 203 and MAT 204 (which satisfy the Essential Proficiency Quantitative requirement), and two of the following three courses: ART 313, THE 407, or MUS 315 (which will satisfy the Fine Arts Area of Inquiry requirements). Initial teacher certification by Kentucky requires laboratory experiences for both courses in the Natural Sciences Area of Inquiry; one of the two courses must be Biology.
  8. Bachelor of Music Education majors (BME) must select MUS 425 and MUS 426 in addition to one course in either ART or THE, either French or German (through 102) in World Languages, and ONE course in the Social and Behavioral Sciences Area of Inquiry.
  9. See course schedule for designated flagged courses. Flagged courses are noted in the title of the courses as W (Writing), Q (Applied Quantitative), A (Cultural Awareness Abroad), and H (Cultural Awareness at Home).
  10. Students must complete their Essential Proficiency Writing requirements before they can receive credit for a Flagged Writing class. Students may receive writing credit for no more than one Writing Flag in any one semester.