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Main Content

Academic Core

In the spirit of what is best in a liberal arts education, the academic core at Saint Anselm College has been designed to offer students a breadth of experience that will prepare them for life; an education that not only provides professional and career preparation, but also encourages a lifelong pursuit of truth that will sustain and enrich their lives. This education is facilitated through a core curriculum composed of a set of common courses and learning outcomes considered essential for the education of students in all majors.

The College has recently revised and reinvigorated its academic core by adopting a new core curriculum that begins Fall 2014. The new core is characterized by its balance between common courses that foster a sense of academic community and elective courses that allow for individual student choice.

The new core includes three major elements:

  • Humanities,
  • College Writing, and
  • Core learning outcomes.

Humanities Program - Conversatio


Each student is welcomed into the academic community at Saint Anselm College through a year-long interdisciplinary course in the humanities program - Conversatio. The course title is taken from the Benedictine vow that encourages faithfulness to a way of life within community, and in this first year course students are provided with an orientation to studies in the Liberal Arts and an introduction to the distinctive value of those studies within the Catholic Benedictine intellectual tradition.

College Writing Program


The ability to communicate clearly in writing has never been more important for college graduates than it is today, which is why our core curriculum integrates college writing courses throughout the entire four-year undergraduate experience. All students acquire the fundamentals of college writing during a common English Composition course taken in their freshman year.

Core Learning Outcomes


The majority of course requirements in the core curriculum will be taken as elective courses that fulfill core learning outcomes. Saint Anselm College has identified nine core learning outcomes that are considered essential for the education of each student. Because the core curriculum is based on student learning outcomes, rather than on specific required courses, students are given greater choice in completing their core requirements as they are able to select from among a variety of courses that fulfill each of the different student learning outcomes. Core learning outcomes are specific to the core curriculum and are a subset of a broader list of student learning outcomes that are integrated throughout the entire curriculum.