Core Curriculum and Courses of Study

Core Curriculum

The curriculum is designed to provide a common academic experience for undergraduates across all schools of the university, the core curriculum ensures the attainment of basic competencies in writing, foreign language, scientific inquiry, cultural knowledge, and interdisciplinary scholarship. Schools may add other degree requirements, and students are urged to consider these additional requirements when planning their schedules prior to entering a school. Distinguishing features of this core curriculum are: 1) the prominent role of public service, reflecting the value Tulane places upon developing a life-long commitment to public service and citizenship; 2) the required TIDES course, Tulane's signature interdisciplinary first-year seminar series; and 3) a capstone experience through which students apply the knowledge gained in their major fields of study. The core curriculum:

Writing (4 credits) – Effective writing is central to learning and communication. The first-year writing experience helps students to develop the intellectual, organizational, and expository skills appropriate to university study. Writing competence can be demonstrated by:

Notes: This writing requirement must be completed successfully in the first year of study at Tulane University.

Foreign Language (4-8 credits)* – The study of foreign languages is an integral part of an undergraduate education, and a knowledge of foreign languages is essential to having a broader perspective on our increasingly globalized world. All students must demonstrate competence in a foreign language and must complete at least one course at Tulane University in that language. Competence in a foreign language may be achieved by:

Notes: All courses completed in order to fulfill the foreign language requirement must be taken in the same language.  Vietnamese language courses will not satisfy the foreign language requirement but these courses may apply toward a degree in Newcomb-Tulane College.  Students from countries where English is not the first language, and where English was not the principal language of instruction in secondary school are exempt from the  College's and any School's foreign language requirement.

*Candidates for the Bachelor of Science in Engineering majoring in Biomedical Engineering, Chemical Engineering or Engineering Physics are exempt from this requirement.

Scientific Inquiry (9-12 credits), comprising:

  1. Quantitative Reasoning (3 or 4 credits) – Competence may be attained by:
     

Notes: B.S., B.S.E.,B.S.M., and B.S.P.H. degrees have additional restrictions on courses that will satisy the Quantitative Reasoning requirement. Follow the links for more information.

  1. Science and Mathematics (6-8 credits) – Competence may be attained by:
     
  1. Cultural Knowledge (12 credits), comprising one course (of at least three credits) in Humanities and one course (of at least three credits) in Fine Arts and any six credits in Social Sciences.
     

Humanities: Arabic, Architectural Urban Studies, Chinese, Classical Studies, Communication, English, Film Studies, French, German, Greek, Haitian, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Jewish Studies, Latin, Literature, Philosophy, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Vietnamese.

Fine Arts: Architectural Visual Media, Architectural Digital Media, Architectural History, Art History, Art Studio, Dance, Music, Theatre

Social Sciences: Anthropology, Economics, Gender and Sexuality Studies, History, International Development, Latin American Studies, Political Economy, Political Science, Public Health (1010 and 2010), Sociology, Urban Studies

Public Service – The Center for Public Service administers the public service requirement of the undergraduate core curriculum. The guiding principles of the center include the belief that public service, rooted in an academic context, contributes to the development of student civic engagement.

The undergraduate public service graduation requirement is grounded in a sustained sequence of learning articulated by the center's mission. Instituting a cumulative and reflective graduation requirement makes explicit the ideal that education uniting public service and scholarship can be a transformative experience.

To complete the public service graduation requirement, students, throughout their undergraduate experience, will:

  1. Maintain a portfolio that documents their progress and reflections about their public service experiences.
  2. Successfully complete one service-learning course at the 1000-, 2000-, or 3000-level before completing four semesters of coursework.
  3. After completion of four semesters of coursework, participate in one of the following Center for Public Service-approved programs (at the 3000- level or above):
     

Understanding Interdisciplinary Scholarship (1 credit, TIDES seminar)

Every first-year student will participate in a TIDES (Tulane Inter Disciplinary Experience Seminar). See http://tides.tulane.edu/ for details about the program and current course offerings.

Capstone Experience – Every Tulane senior must complete a capstone experience related to the student's major or degree program. The capstone experience allows a student to demonstrate the capacity to bring information, skills and ideas acquired from the major to bear on one significant project. Capstone experiences will be designed by each of the schools and by individual departments/ interdisciplinary programs within the schools.

Major Component

A major field of study provides each student the opportunity to explore a single area of inquiry in depth and to gain the self-confidence derived from mastery of a subject. The major must be selected no later than the beginning of a student's fourth semester of college study. The selection of a major program also determines the school with which the student will be affiliated. Students may change their majors at any point in their academic careers; students choosing to change their majors should be aware that:

Students who elect to complete more than one major must complete all courses for each major. Students declaring a second major must submit their programs of study to the appropriate dean's office for approval. At least half of the coursework required for each major must be completed at Tulane University. Newcomb-Tulane College students should be aware that obtaining a second major in professional degree programs requires obtaining the professional degree, i.e. B.S.E., B.S.M., B.S.P.H., M.Arch.

Majors

Major fields of study are listed below; details of each major program may be found within the appropriate school section of the catalog.

African and African Diaspora Studies

Jewish Studies

Anthropology

Latin

Architecture

Latin American Studies

Art History

Legal Studies in Business

Art Studio

Linguistics

Biological Chemistry

Management

Biomedical Engineering

Marketing

Cell and Molecular Biology

Mathematics

Chemical Engineering

Medieval and Early Modern Studies

Chemistry

Music

Classical Studies

Music Composition

Communication

Musical Performance

Dance

Musical Theatre

Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Neuroscience

Economics

Philosophy

Engineering Physics

Physics

English

Political Economy

Environmental Biology

Political Science

Environmental Science

Political Science/International Relations

Environmental Studies

Portuguese

Film Studies

Psychology

Finance

Psychology and Early Childhood Education

French

Public Health/Environmental Health Sciences

Gender and Sexuality Studies

Public Health/Global and Community Health

Geology

Public Health/Informatics

German Studies

Russian

Greek

Sociology

History

Spanish

Italian

Spanish and Portuguese

Jazz Studies

Theatre

Coordinate Major Programs

Coordinate majors are interdepartmental second majors that are linked to one of the primary majors listed previously. Students must complete all courses for each of the majors.

Asian Studies International Development
Cognitive Studies Musical Cultures of the Gulf South
Digital Media Production Social Policy and Practice

 

Self-Designed Majors

A student with a 3.00 GPA may construct a unique self-designed coordinate major program of study by grouping courses from different academic departments and programs primarily in Liberal Arts. While interdisciplinary in nature, a self-designed major should be focused in the School of Liberal Arts. Self-designed major proposals require a petition to the Committee on Undergraduate Academic Requirements, which may grant approval after a review of the proposal, rationale, and proposed list of courses. Detailed instructions for preparing the proposal can be found at tulane.edu/liberal-arts/upload/Self-Designed-Majors.pdf.

Double Majors

Newcomb-Tulane College students must have a primary major in the Schools of Architecture, Business, Liberal Arts, Public Health and Tropical Medicine, or Science and Engineering. Any student may also pursue a second major. If the second major is not housed in the primary school, the student does not have to complete the school-specific core of the secondary school. Subject to approval by their advisers, students may also pursue a second major in a professional degree program; however, this option requires completing all degree requirements for the second major and obtaining the professional degree, i.e., B.S.E., B.S.M., B.S.P.H, M.Arch. (See Dual Degrees.)

Full-time students may pursue second majors or minors in the School of Continuing Studies only as a voluntary overload. The second majors available are journalism or media arts; the second minors available are journalism, Louisiana studies, graphic design, media arts, telecommunications, Web application development or website development.

Minor Component

Undergraduate students may complete one or more minors. The minor is optional and is designed to provide structure to the study of a secondary field of interest chosen by the student. Students who elect to complete the requirements for a minor must earn a grade-point average of at least 2.000 in courses counting toward that minor. No courses counting toward the student's first minor will count toward the student's second minor. Individual schools or departments may specify the number of credits allowed on major-minor overlap. Students should consult departmental listings for additional information.

Minor fields of study are listed below; details of each minor program may be found within the appropriate school section of the catalog.

African and African Diaspora Studies

Japanese Language

Architecture

Jazz Studies

Art History

Jewish Studies

Art Studio

Latin

Business

Latin American Studies

Cell and Molecular Biology

Legal Studies in Business

Chemistry

Management

Chinese Language

Managing Human and Social Capital

Classical Studies

Marketing

Dance

Mathematical Economics

Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Mathematics

Economics

Medieval and Early Modern Studies

English

Music

Environmental Science

Philosophy

Environmental Studies

Physics

Film Studies

Political Science

Finance

Portuguese

French

Preservation Studies

Gender and Sexuality Studies

Psychology

Geology

Social Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship

German

Sociology

Greek

Spanish

History

Theatre

International Development

Urban Studies

Italian

The Schools

As the homes of the academic departments, the schools define the requirements for the school-specific core and are responsible for designing majors/minors and the capstone experience. For graduating students, the schools also certify completion of majors/minors, the school core, and the capstone experience for the degree. The schools also deliver graduate and professional education and programs.

Premedical and Pre-Professional Health Programs

While undergraduate students are completing the regular baccalaureate curriculum of their choice, they may work concurrently to complete the courses required to enter programs in the health professions, including dentistry, medicine, optometry, osteopathy, podiatry, and veterinary medicine. Preparation for such programs normally includes two semesters each of biology (with laboratory), general chemistry (with laboratory), organic chemistry (with laboratory), and physics (with laboratory). Many schools have additional entrance requirements including mathematics and upper-level science courses. Due to the variations in course requirements imposed by these professions, students should request specific information from schools in their fields of interest or from the health professions adviser.

Students interested in one of these professions may pursue a baccalaureate degree in any discipline. In the first three years, however, they should plan a course of study to meet the basic requirements of the professional school. Students considering a career in medically related fields should begin consulting the health professions adviser early in their undergraduate career to discuss available options in their choice of and preparation for a future profession.

Creative Premedical Scholars Program

Through the Creative Premedical Scholars Program, a limited number of well-qualified creative students are accepted to Tulane's School of Medicine following their sophomore year of college. The certainty of having a reserved place in medical school following completion of the undergraduate degree frees the student from the stresses and concerns associated with the competition for entrance. Furthermore, it allows students to take maximum advantage of educational opportunities they might be reluctant to experience if still concerned about gaining acceptance, such as studying abroad.

To be eligible for consideration, applicants must have a 3.6 GPA, complete a minimum of 60 credits of undergraduate work and all of the premedical science course requirements during the regular academic year (not summer) of their freshman and sophomore years (one year each of general biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry, and physics, all with laboratories). Students with Advanced Placement (AP) credit in biology should discuss their status with the health professions adviser. Qualified applicants are interviewed by a faculty committee during the spring semester of the sophomore year. Students who have completed more than two years of undergraduate work and have transferred to Tulane from another college will not be eligible. Applicants are expected to pursue a non-science field of inquiry during their junior and senior years. Usually, this will take the form of a major in the humanities or social sciences, with a culminating honors thesis. Majors in the schools of Business and Public Health are not appropriate for this program but students can minor in whatever subject they would like. Applicants must present a proposal that demonstrates a substantial difference in their Junior and Senior schedules, and fulfill that schedule if accepted into the program.  The proposed academic schedule needs to include courses that demonstrate depth of inquiry. The academic schedule for Creative Scholars is expected to be rigorous, including enrollment in at least 15 credit hours per semester.

For further information please contact the Pre-Health Advisor. http://tulane.edu/advising/prehealth/index.cfm

Prelaw Program

There is no standard prelaw curriculum that must be followed to qualify for admission into law school. A well-rounded education is the best preparation for the study of law, because such an education ensures exposure to a wide variety of ideas and leads to an understanding of the various social, political, economic, and cultural forces that have shaped laws and the societies they govern. Students should develop analytical reasoning and communication skills. Proficiency in writing is essential. Students considering law school are encouraged to begin consulting with the prelaw adviser early in their undergraduate career.

Prelaw Early Acceptance Program

Particularly well-motivated and well-qualified juniors may apply to the Tulane University Law School through the Prelaw Early Acceptance Program. Prelaw Early Acceptance Program candidates complete all requirements of the normal baccalaureate program, but are guaranteed admission to the Law School upon graduation. Students are expected to follow an academically rigorous program while maintaining a high level of academic performance throughout their college careers. Only students who complete all four years of college at Tulane (with the exception of the Tulane study abroad program) are eligible. (This program should not be confused with the 3+3 program, in which Tulane students are accepted to the Law School during the junior year and permitted to enroll at the Law School during what would otherwise be the student's senior year, receiving the baccalaureate degree after the first year of law school and the law degree after two additional years of law school.)

To be considered for the program, students must provide a Tulane transcript showing normal progress (at least 30 credits per year) for at least five regular, full-time semesters of Tulane coursework, and evidence of in-depth study in at least one area. Students must present a cumulative grade-point average of at least 3.400 and a score on the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) of at least 161. Applications should be submitted between October 1 of the junior year and February 1 of the senior year. The LSAT may be taken anytime between June after the sophomore year and December of the senior year. The earliest point at which the Law School will offer admission occurs after the fall semester of the junior year.

Internships for Academic Credit

Consult the individual schools' sections of this catalog for information on internships for academic credit within a major or degree program and for policies regarding limitations on internship credit.

A one-credit internship, INTR 1990, is available to students in the College who are seeking opportunities with organizations that require interns to receive credit for their experience. INTR 1990 credit applies toward the degree but does not apply to any specific degree requirements. This course is offered only on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis and counts within the credit limit for S/U courses. It may be taken more than once but will count as credit toward the degree only once. Before registering, students must apply for this internship course with Associate Dean Molly Travis.

Co-Operative Education

A co-operative education program is offered for seniors in Chemical Engineering. Consult the School of Science and Engineering for details.

Many departments and programs offer to a limited number of students with superior scholastic standing creative opportunities for independent study normally under the direction of full-time faculty members. The work may take the form of directed readings, laboratory or library research, or original composition. Instead of traditional class attendance, the student substitutes conferences, as needed, with the director. An independent study is a stand-alone course that may not be added to another course and may not replicate existing courses.

Graduate Work

Students in Newcomb-Tulane College with a grade-point average of at least 3.33 in their major program may register, normally in their senior year, for up to six credits of graduate-level courses, for credit toward a baccalaureate degree. Approvals from the course instructor, advisor, chair of the major department, dean of the College and dean of the school offering the course are required.

Provisional Graduate Credit

A senior who completes all baccalaureate requirements before the end of the senior year and intends to enter a Tulane University graduate program may apply for provisional graduate credit in up to, but not more than, 12 credits of graduate 6000- and 7000- level courses. These courses must be approved by the applicable department beyond the credits needed for the baccalaureate. Graduate credit for such work, if passed with a grade of B or better, will be awarded when the student is admitted to full graduate status in the applicable school, upon recommendation of the department chair and approval of the dean. These provisions do not apply to transfer of credits to or from other graduate institutions.

Tulane University has developed "4+1" programs in which students can obtain a master's degree within one year of completing the bachelor's degree. Students who pursue this option take courses in the fifth year at a substantially reduced tuition rate. Fields of study in which these programs are offered include anthropology, art history, classics, biomedical engineering, economics, environmental biology, environmental science, English, French, history, linguistics, statistics, neuroscience, philosophy, physics, psychology, and Spanish and Portuguese. Interested students should contact their academic advisers for more information.