The Academic Core

The academic core at Saint Anselm College offers 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 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. Additional information, including core course requirements, is provided in the Guide to the Core Curriculum.


The core curriculum includes three major elements:

  • Conversatio
  • College Writing
  • 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

Writing is fundamental to the pursuit of knowledge within the liberal arts The College Writing Program offers students the opportunity to develop written communication skills across and within disciplines. The ability to write well also prepares students for success in professions and graduate study. In order to fulfill the requirements of the College Writing Program, all students must take Freshman English and three additional course offerings designated as Writing Intensive.

Core Learning Outcomes

Saint Anselm College has identified 10 core learning outcomes that are considered essential for the education of each student. The majority of the core's course requirements will be taken as elective courses that fulfill core learning outcomes. Students have a greater choice in completing their core requirements as they are able to select from among a variety of courses that fulfill each of the 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.