Jan 18, 2020  
2010-2011 Undergraduate Course Catalog 
2010-2011 Undergraduate Course Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

LAS Core Curriculum

Liberal Arts and Sciences Core Curriculum

Columbia College Chicago is committed to offering students educational opportunities in the arts and media within the context of an enlightened and comprehensive liberal education. The Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) Core Curriculum comprises those requirements that are shared by all students at the College; thus it seeks to foster a community of teachers and learners that is complementary to individual majors. This curriculum assists students in examining the world through the approaches and content of subject fields such as history, the humanities, languages, mathematics, the social sciences, and the sciences, utilizing diverse approaches and lenses that create a broad palette of knowledge to inspire and contextualize students’ work and prepare them to be productive and engaged citizens of our nation and our world.

LAS Core Objectives

Students should be able to:

  • read for both comprehension and pleasure;
  • write as both a communicative and an expressive practice;
  • conduct research, and as part of that process learn to measure, evaluate, and assess;
  • reflect on and appreciate human endeavor across cultures and eras;
  • consider and examine, historically and comparatively, human behavior, ethical issues, and social institutions;
  • reason scientifically and understand the scientific method;
  • understand and use basic mathematical concepts and skills;
  • utilize various tools of analysis to enable critical thinking;
  • express themselves orally in a clear and effective manner.

The LAS Core Curriculum is distributed through four rubrics:

  1. Foundations of Communication: Knowledge and Practices—Students will read for comprehension, pleasure, and to develop their critical thinking abilities. They will learn to write clearly and effectively and demonstrate an understanding of academic formatting conventions. They will learn to speak clearly and effectively and will develop an informed perspective on the relationship between the liberal arts and sciences and the fields within the fine, performing, and media arts.
  2. Culture, Values, and Ethics—Students will become acquainted with the diversity of human behavior and the diversity of functions of social institutions. They will examine basic ethical questions that have confronted humankind as well as various approaches to these questions. They will develop textual literacies and awareness of literary issues by reading, analyzing and writing poetry, drama, fiction, and nonfiction.
  3. Historical Narratives and Civic Consciousness—Students will develop basic historical literacy concerning the historical periods they study, gain exposure to research methodologies commonly employed by historians, and critically consider diverse sources and learn to use effective tools for arriving at conclusions and supporting various theses. Students will develop an appreciation for historiography and its profound effect on their ability to think critically about current events.
  4. The Physical and Material World—Students will understand and practice the scientific approaches of questioning, analysis, testing, and “proving.” They will come to appreciate the cumulative nature of advances in scientific knowledge. They will develop computational literacy sufficient to function responsibly and effectively in society.

LAS Core Curriculum Requirements Beginning Fall 2005

Students are required to complete successfully:

  • 24 hours of LAS Core credit by the attainment of 60 credit hours;
  • Writing and Rhetoric I and II by the attainment of 45 credit hours;
  • At least six LAS Core credits at a level of 2000 or above;
  • One course that satisfies a Global Awareness requirement and one that satisfies the U.S. Pluralism requirement (appropriate courses are so designated);*
  • 42 hours of LAS Core credit for the Bachelor of Arts (BA) and 36 hours for the Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) and Bachelor of Music (BMus) as outlined below.

Summary Outline



Foundations of Communication: Knowledge and Practices 12 (9 for BFA, BMus)
First Year Seminar 3
Writing and Rhetoric I and II 6
Oral Communication 3 (not required for BFA or BMus)
Culture, Values, and Ethics 15 (12 for BFA, BMus)**
Humanities 6
Literature 3
Social Sciences 6
Historical Narratives and Civic Consciousness 6
History 6
The Physical and Material World 9
Mathematics 3
Science 3
Science with lab component 3

*Courses designated with Global Awareness credit are those whose content concentrates on areas outside of the United States. Those designated with U.S. Pluralism credit are those whose content concentrates on diverse communities in the United States.

**For the BFA and BMus, students take 12 hours under the rubric of Culture, Values, and Ethics—three hours each in the humanities, social sciences, and literature. The remaining three hours may be taken in either the humanities or the social sciences.

Writing Intensive Requirement

In addition to the specific requirements for a major and for the LAS Core, students must also successfully complete a course designated Writing Intensive. Writing Intensive (WI) courses emphasize the further development of student writing skills and are offered throughout the college curriculum. These courses are designated by the code “WI” in the online course schedule.

College-Wide Electives

Courses other than those that fulfill the LAS Core Curriculum and major degree requirements are considered to be College wide electives. A student’s course of study must include as many College-wide electives as needed to achieve the total number of credit hours required for his or her degree (for students enrolled prior to fall 2001, 124 credits; for students enrolled fall 2001 and after, see Baccalaureate Degree Programs, this section). College-wide electives may be selected from any department and program in the College.

The requirements above apply to all students admitted to the College as of fall semester 2005. All continuing students admitted prior to fall semester 2005 are held to the LAS Core Curriculum requirements articulated below.

LAS Core Curriculum Before Fall 2005

Students who enrolled before fall 2005 are required to complete successfully:

  • All students are required to complete 48 hours in the LAS Core.
  • Students who entered prior to fall 1997 are required to complete the LAS Core requirements that were in place at their date of entry, as published in prior editions of the College catalog, unless they are absent for a period that requires readmission.
  • Students returning to the College after such a period of time as to require readmission must complete the requirements that were in place at the time of re-entry.
  • Students may not apply any course that is required and/ or counted for their major toward LAS Core requirements. Up to nine credits may be counted for the LAS Core and a minor.
  • Students must complete 24 credit hours of the LAS Core requirements by the time that they have completed 60 cumulative credits.

Please see the table below for a key to the abbreviations used to denote LAS Core requirements. For complete information about individual courses, please refer to the course listings  under department headings.

LAS Core


Before Fall 2005

Communications (6 credits) EN  
Students must complete the composition requirements within the first 36 credits of their college program.
Oral Communications (3 credits)
College Mathematics (3 credits)
Computer Applications (3 credits) CO  
To complete this requirement, students take an additional 3-credit LAS elective to meet the number of LAS credits required for graduation.
Science (6 credits) SC, SL (science with lab)  
Three credit hours of science must be taken in a course with a laboratory component.
History (6 credits) HI  
Humanities (a total of 9 credits required)    
Humanities/Arts (3 credits) HA  
Humanities/Literature (3 credits) HL  
Humanities/Elective (3 credits) HU  
To fulfill the elective requirement in Humanities, students may select a course with the HU designation or any course with the HA or HL designation.
Social Science (6 credits) SS  
Select from two different disciplines: Anthropology, Sociology, Economics, Political Science, and Psychology.
LAS Electives (6 credits)    
Select from any of the two letter coded Liberal Arts & Sciences