General Education at Brooklyn College

General education is the hallmark of a true liberal arts education, distinguishing it from an education focused solely on a specialized field. At Brooklyn College, we understand the importance of a student’s major for developing focused skills and knowledge in a specific field; we also know that out students come to us to gain a breadth of experiences, ideas, and skills.

Our general education requirements provide educational foundations – including writing, speech, and a foreign language – and essential knowledge and skills in the liberal arts and sciences, acquired through the Core Curriculum. The suite of courses reflects the knowledge, understanding, judgment, and skills that a person needs to make meaningful contributions to a diverse and global society, assume tasks of leadership in the world, and possess an appreciation of and capacity for lifelong learning.

The Core Curriculum

The College-wide Core Curriculum, a requirement for all candidates for a baccalaureate degree, is intended to provide all students with a broad background in the liberal arts and sciences. In a national environment where students are urged, earlier and earlier, to choose an area of specialization, the Core Curriculum ensures that as students are preparing for careers and specialized research, they are also being exposed to areas of lasting interest and to their interrelatedness: history and political systems; artistic movements in literature, visual arts, drama, and music; schools of philosophy; and developments in mathematics, the physical sciences, and computer science.

Students take a total of 11 Core Courses across three groups – Arts and Literatures, Philosophical and Social Inquiry, and Scientific Inquiry – organized into lower- and upper-tiers.  The lower-tier courses are foundational; the upper-tier aims to be integrative, innovative, and to allow students to pursue more in-depth study.  The Core Curriculum is unified by ten common goals, which amount to a practical philosophy of liberal education in our time.

Academic Foundations

Writing, language, and speech are central to Brooklyn’s general education philosophy. In order to graduate, all students must complete the following:

  1. English Composition 1 and 2
  2. Level three or higher in a foreign language
  3. Screening by the Speech Communication Arts and Sciences Department

Have a Question or Need Advisement?

Please contact the Center for Academic Advisement and Student Success for assistance. You are also encouraged to review the Frequently Asked Questions, Requirements & Equivalencies and Core Curriculum Course Information.

Phone: 718-951-5471
Office: 3207 Boylan Hall


Select one course from each box (9 courses required).

Arts & Literatures Philosophical &
Social Inquiry
Scientific Inquiry

CORC 1110

Classical Cultures

CORC 1210

Knowledge, Reality
and Values

CORC 1311

Thinking Mathematically


CORC 1312

Computing: Nature, Power and Limits

CORC 1120

Introduction to Art

CORC 1220

Shaping of the
Modern World

CORC 1321

Biology for Today’s World


CORC 1322

Science In Modern Life -- Chemistry

CORC 1130

Music: Its Language,
History, and Culture

CORC 1230

People, Power,
and Politics

CORC 1331

Physics: The Simple Laws That Govern the Universe


CORC 1332

Geology: The Science
of Our World


Select one course from two different boxes (2 courses required).

Arts & Literatures Philosophical &
Social Inquiry
Scientific Inquiry

CORC 3101 - 3199

Exploring Literature

CORC 3201 - 3299

Exploring Global Connections

CORC 3301 - 3399

Exploring Science


English Composition Foreign Language Speech

English 1

English Composition I

Satisfaction of College

by the Speech Communication
Arts & Sciences Department

English 2

English Composition II