Office of Academic Services

Core Curriculum FAQs

The Core Curriculum was designed, ratified, and implemented by the SAS faculty and is a key component of your undergraduate education, along with your specific fields of study. The answers provided below are designed to assist students in meeting the requirements the faculty has set.

1. I took a class that is not showing on Degree Navigator as counting towards meeting Core Curriculum learning goals, but it’s similar to a class that does count.  Can I substitute this class for one of the certified courses?

Only courses that have been certified by the faculty can be used to meet Core Curriculum learning goals; substitutions are not permitted. To be certified, the course must put the specific Core Curriculum goals front and center in its design and regularly assess student achievement of the certified Core goals. Only courses that have committed to this process of certification, Core assessment, and continuous improvement are certified as Core courses. This is why some particular courses are certified while other courses that may seem to have a similar or analogous focus are not. This assures that all students develop the foundational liberal arts and sciences capacities the Core promises.

2. Can I use the same course to meet multiple Core Curriculum learning goals?

Courses may be applied to multiple learning goals, as long as they are applied to different requirements.

The following combinations cannot be satisfied with the same course:

  • HST and SCL – two different classes must be taken to complete the Social and Historical Analysis learning goals. Even if you take a class that is on both the HST and SCL lists, you still need at least one course that meets HST and one that meets SCL for a total of TWO courses (6 credits) that must be completed.
  • AH – two different classes, meeting two different requirements, must be taken to complete the Arts and Humanities learning goals, even if you take a class that is on more than one of the AHo, AHp, AHq, AHr lists. The Arts and Humanities requirement specifies that TWO courses (6 credits) must be completed.
  • WCr and WCd – two different classes must be taken to complete the Revision- and Discipline-based Writing and Communication learning goals. Even if you take a class that is on both the WCr and WCd lists, you still need at least one course that meets WCr and at least one course that meets WCd. The Writing and Communication requirement specifies that THREE classes must be completed, including Expository Writing and two additional classes (9 credits).
  • QQ and QR – two different classes must be taken to complete the Quantitative and Formal Reasoning learning goals. Even if you take a class that is on both the QQ and QR lists, you still need at least one course that meets QQ and at least one course that meets QR. The Quantitative and Formal Reasoning requirement specifies that TWO classes must be completed (6 credits).

3. Can I use a transfer course from a school other than Rutgers to meet the Core Curriculum learning goals?

Transfer courses CANNOT be used to meet the 21st Century Challenge (21C) or Writing and Communication with Revision (WCr) learning goals. These learning goals must be satisfied by taking Rutgers University-New Brunswick courses. Transfer students who took Expository Writing before matriculating at Rutgers may have the course in transfer count toward the Expository Writing (WC) learning goal, but current SAS students may not take Expository Writing anywhere other than Rutgers University-New Brunswick, 01:355:101.

Transfer courses that have been evaluated by the cognate department at Rutgers and determined to be the exact equivalent of Rutgers University-New Brunswick courses certified to meet the NS, HST, SCL, AH, WCd, QQ, QR, or ITR goals may be used to meet Core Curriculum learning goals

4. Can I use a Rutgers University-Newark or Rutgers University-Camden class to meet Core Curriculum learning goals?

School-to-School Transfer students who come to SAS from Rutgers University-Camden and Rutgers University-Newark will have their prior curriculum evaluated at the time of transfer in order to determine Core Curriculum applicability. No Rutgers University-Newark or Rutgers University-Camden courses taken AFTER matriculation at SAS can be used to meet Core Curriculum learning goals. This includes online courses offered by units housed in Newark or Camden.

SAS students are expected to take all of their classes at Rutgers University-New Brunswick. Rutgers University-Newark or Rutgers University-Camden classes taken after matriculation at SAS cannot be substituted for certified Core Curriculum courses.

5. Can I use Study Abroad classes to meet Core Curriculum learning goals?

For SAS students, Study Abroad credits may fulfill ONE of the 21st Century Challenges learning goals; the second 21C course must be taken at Rutgers University-New Brunswick. The Study Abroad experience must be full-time to count, meaning at least 12 credits in a fall or spring program or at least 6 credits in a summer program (Winter session and Spring Break Study Abroad courses cannot be used). 

Expository Writing (WC) and the Writing and Communication with Revision (WCr) learning goals cannot be met by a Study Abroad class. These learning goals must be satisfied by taking Rutgers University-New Brunswick courses.

Study Abroad courses that have been evaluated by the cognate department at Rutgers and determined to be the exact equivalent of Rutgers University-New Brunswick courses certified to meet the NS, HST, SCL, AH, WCd, QQ, QR, or ITR goals may be used to meet Core Curriculum learning goals.

6. Last semester, Degree Navigator told me that a requirement was complete, but now it’s showing that I need to complete a course I’m taking this semester.  Why isn’t the requirement still showing as complete?

Sorry! This is a common cause of confusion with Degree Navigator. Your requirement is probably complete.  When a student takes more than one course that can apply to a given requirement, DN tries to choose the course that will give the student the best GPA and sometimes that means choosing a course in progress instead of a course that was already completed.

If you’re thinking of withdrawing from a course this semester and DN is telling you that the course is required to complete a requirement, but you think the requirement was completed in the past with a different Core Certified course, you can email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we’ll check it out for you. This only is necessary if you plan to withdraw from the current course. Otherwise, there’s no harm in taking multiple courses that satisfy the same requirement – most students do!

7. I already took a course certified for both HST and SCL. DN is showing that it was applied to the HST goal. How can I get it applied to the SCL goal so that I can take another course that is only certified for HST?

When students take a class that can apply to more than one goal, DN will apply the course to the goal that the system thinks is the most likely choice of the student. If you would prefer that it be applied to the alternative goal, please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we will make the adjustment. However, DN will adjust itself automatically as soon as another course is taken – DN will always adjust the audit so that the maximum number of requirements are complete.

8. My professor (advisor, major department) told me I could use a course to meet a Core Curriculum goal even if it isn't on the list. Is this true?

Unfortunately, no individual has the authority to permit substitutions in the Core Curriculum. Only courses officially certified by the faculty and listed in DN as meeting the goal can be used to meet the Core goals.

9. How can I find a course offered next semester that meets the Core Curriculum goals I still need to meet?

The Schedule of Classes provides a tab (next to the subject tab) that allows students to search for courses by Core Curriculum goal.

10. Who do I contact if my question is not answered here?

Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and please include your full name and RUID. We will do our best to get back to you as soon as possible. Please allow 2 business days to allow us to research your status and provide an accurate response.

CONTACT US

P 848-445-8888
F 732-445-2175
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