The faculty of the University of Puget Sound has designed the core curriculum to give undergraduates an integrated and demanding introduction to the life of the mind and to established methods of intellectual inquiry. The Puget Sound undergraduate’s core experience begins with two first-year seminars that guide the student through an in-depth exploration of a focused area of interest and that sharpen the student’s skills in constructing persuasive arguments. In the first three years of their Puget Sound college career, students also study five “Approaches to Knowing”—Artistic, Humanistic, Mathematical, Natural Scientific, and Social Scientific. These core areas develop the student’s understanding of different disciplinary perspectives on society, culture, and the physical world, and explore both the strengths of those disciplinary approaches and their limitations. Connections, an upper-level integrative course, challenges the traditional boundaries of disciplines and examines the benefits and limits of interdisciplinary approaches to knowledge.
Further, in accordance with the stated educational goals of the University of Puget Sound, core curriculum requirements have been established: (a) to improve each student’s grasp of the intellectual tools necessary for the understanding and communication of ideas; (b) to enable each student to understand themself as a thinking person capable of making ethical and aesthetic choices; (c) to help each student comprehend the diversity of intellectual approaches to understanding human society and the physical world; and (d) to increase each student’s awareness of his or her place in those broader contexts. Students choose from a set of courses in the eight Core areas, developing over four years an understanding of the liberal arts as the foundation for a lifetime of learning.
Each candidate for the first baccalaureate degree shall have completed the following Core curriculum.
First-year seminars may not be used to meet major, minor, or emphasis requirements, nor may students enroll in them after fulfilling the core requirement. Some first-year seminars can simultaneously fulfill the Knowledge, Identity, and Power graduation requirement. Students may not enroll in more than one seminar per term. SSI1 is a prerequisite for SSI2.