University Core Curriculum

The Core Curriculum, a program of study in the arts and sciences, is central to all undergraduate degrees at Pace University. Many students might ask why half their credits are taken in the core before beginning a major program of study. Core courses, regardless of a student’s major, address fundamental problems and issues in the arts and sciences. These courses consider these themes from diverse perspectives and approaches, and ensure that Pace graduates achieve competency in a variety of skills that are sought by employers and are needed for graduate-level work. A strong liberal arts education is necessary for virtually every career.

Learning Outcomes of the Pace University Core Curriculum:

Communication-Learn to express ideas clearly and effectively.

Analysis-Think clearly and critically.  Fuse experience, reason and training into considered judgment.  Comprehend, interpret and analyze texts, processes, and media.

Intellectual depth, breadth, integration and application –Examine, organize and use disciplinary ways of knowing and apply them to specific issues and problems in intellectual, professional, and community life.

Effective citizenship-Be involved and responsible in the community.  Act with informed awareness of contemporary issues in their historical contexts.  Develop leadership abilities.  Understand and value diversity within American culture.  Integrate service and learning. 

Social Interaction-Know how to get things done in committees, team projects and other group efforts.  Listen to and understand the views of others and help reach conclusions.

Global, National, and International Perspectives- Become familiar with traditions that shape our world and nation.  Read and discuss texts from diverse traditions and perspectives.  Understand the cultural, economic, social, and biological interdependence of global and national life.

Valuing-Recognize different value systems.  Understand one’s own self and one’s own values, and the values of others.   Read important texts that foster humanistic values.

Problem solving-Figure out what the problem is and what is causing it.  With others or alone, form strategies that work in different situations; then get done what needs to be done, evaluating effectiveness.

Aesthetic response- Study important works of the human imagination in order to develop aesthetic and literary sensibility.  Make and defend judgments about the quality of artistic expressions.

Information Literacy and Research-Locate, evaluate, and make efficient and ethical use of information resources.

Scientific and quantitative reasoning- Understand the workings of the natural world.  Develop problem-solving strategies using scientific and quantitative reasoning.

Technological Fluency - Make efficient use of technology for personal and professional needs.  Use graphics, electronic media, computers and quantified data.

Pace University offers you an innovative, cutting-edge Core Curriculum designed to promote active learning, student success, and interaction with faculty. In your Core courses you will develop abilities that are essential to success in college study and in careers. The Pace Core allows for flexibility and choice, so you can fulfill the Core according to your own abilities and preferences.

You will be enriched intellectually and personally in your Core courses. As a result, you will be prepared to become a lifelong learner as you respond to the inevitable changes and challenges of your professional and personal life.

Features of the Pace University Core include:

  • Community Building
  • Social Responsibility and Civic Engagement
  • A Focus on Student Learning Outcomes
  • Choice and Flexibility
  • Ability to complete a minor in the Core

The Core Curriculum is composed of three distinct and integrated areas, each of which allows for flexibility and choice, so students can fulfill the core according to their individual abilities and preferences:

Section I, Foundational Requirements, ensures that Pace graduates achieve competency in a variety of communication and quantitative skills. Students entering Pace with a strong background in English, language, or computing may be eligible to place out of some foundational requirements by taking proficiency or placement exams. Students who need additional work and support in these vital skill areas will find the help they need through this series of coursework.

Section II, Areas of Knowledge, offers broad exposure to a variety of approaches and perspectives in the humanities, social sciences, and sciences, and to different modes of analysis and understanding. These courses are intended to develop a sense of social, civic, and global awareness and responsibility.

In the required Civic Engagement and Public Values course, students will apply the theories they learn in the classroom to a real-life need within the community. Students will reflect upon the experience, and consider their role as educated citizens and as problem-solvers. Community-based learning is consistent with Pace University’s longstanding tradition of applied, experiential, and interactive learning, and our commitment to fostering an engaged campus.

Section III, Inquiry and Exploration, is an area where students have free choice to complete a minor or concentration, take courses of special interest, or auxiliary courses for their majors.

Other core requirements that fit into one of the three sections include:

  • A Learning Community, in which students and their professors experience a purposeful, coherent and integrated learning environment together in linked or interdisciplinary courses.
  • Two Writing-Enhanced Courses, in which students will strengthen their writing and communication skills while learning course content.

Students who matriculated before September 2003 will complete the core curriculum that was effective during that time.
For further information about the University Core Curriculum, visit the Core Web site, available from the Pace home page.

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NOTES ON THE UNIVERSITY CORE(for English and Math, see also “Placement” in the Academic Policies and Regulations section of this catalog)

Completion of Foundational Requirements
New students are required to complete ENG 120 by the time they attain 30 credits and, in addition, must complete the remainder of the Foundational Requirements of the University Core within 66 credits. 

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(1) Placement based on AP scores
For students who have taken an AP exam in French, German, or Spanish Language or Literature, the placement is as follows:

Score of 4 or 5 
Students receive six Pace credits and are exempt from taking language courses for core, but are encouraged to continue language studies to develop proficiency. Students who elect to continue may select any 300-level course.  They might also consider completing a minor or major  (or second major) in a language.

Score of 3
Placed in a three-credit 200-level course. Course No. 280, “Intensive Review,” is the recommended course in Spanish or French, but other options are also possible.  Must complete one (3 credit) language course to satisfy the language core requirement.

(2) Placement based on SAT II Exam Scores
Students may take the SAT II language exam, as high school or college students. The placement is as follows:

Score of 550 or above
Exempt from taking language courses for core, but are encouraged to continue language studies to develop proficiency.  Such students may select any 300-level course. They should also consider completing a minor or major  (or second major) in a language

Score of 450 - 549
Placed in a three-credit 200-level course. [No. 280, “Intensive Review,” is the recommended course in Spanish, French, and Italian, but other options are also possible.]  Must complete that one language course to satisfy the language core requirement

Score of 300 – 449
Placed in course number 102. Must complete 102 plus a 200-level course to satisfy the language core requirement

Score below 300
Placed in course number 101.  Must complete 101 and 102 to satisfy the language core requirement

For further information on registering for the SAT2 exam, go to:

(3)  Placement based on high school record

If a student has studied a language
for the following length of time in
high school:
He/she will be placed at the following level
of the same language:
4 years #280 or other 3-credit 200-level course selected
by the student.

Must complete that one language course to
satisfy the language core requirement
3 years #280 (intensive review) is the best option in
French, Spanish, or Italian. In Japanese and
Chinese the intensive review course is #281
in PLV and #271 in NYC.

Must complete that one language course to
satisfy the language core requirement
2 years or 1 year (during any high schools years) #101
Must complete 101 and 102 to satisfy the
language core requirement [Note: students
with a facility for language may elect to
accelerate their language study by enrolling
in intensive language study 101A & 102B,
offered consecutively for seven weeks each
during a single 14-week semester.]

















(4) Placement for those starting a new language
All students starting a new language at Pace will be placed at the beginning (101) level. Those students must complete 101 and 102 in that language to satisfy the language core requirement.

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Students who have completed their secondary schooling at an institution where English is not the language of instruction are exempt from the core language requirement. However, they are invited to learn a new language at Pace.

American Sign Language (ASL) may be used to fulfill the core language requirement. Transfer students with two semesters of college-level study of ASL (grade “C” or better) will receive transfer credit and will be exempt from further study of any language at Pace.

Transfer students in the professional schools, with the exception of the School of Education, may take a culture course to fulfill the entire language core requirement. The remaining three credits are to be made up in Inquiry and Exploration.

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Transfer students must complete 60 credits in the Arts and Sciences. They must fulfill the Foundational Requirements and the Civic Engagement course, with flexibility for the remaining credits. Transfer students in the professional schools, with the exception of the School of Education, may take a culture course to fulfill the second language requirement.

For purposes of determining the appropriate University Core Curriculum requirements for students who come to Pace with transfer credits, a transfer student is defined as one who successfully completes (grade of “C” or better) a minimum of 25 college-level credits prior to the student’s attendance at Pace University. Thus students with fewer than 25 transfer credits, (freshmen), will be required to take the entire new core.

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>In completing their core requirements, an alternative for qualified students is to explore a subject area in the arts and sciences in some depth. Pace students are afforded the option of concentrating in a subject area by pursuing an “in-depth sequence.”

An in-depth sequence consists of at least nine (9) credits in a subject area within the core, beyond core requirements in that area, and is in a field of study outside the student’s major. Students build an in-depth sequence of courses, each of which replaces one course from each of the Areas of Knowledge (excluding Area One: Civic Engagement and Public Values), up to a maximum of three courses. Students may apply the in-depth sequence toward a minor or second major in the Arts and Sciences. Courses in the sequence may not substitute for requirements in the student’s school or first major program.

A student wishing to pursue an In-Depth Sequence should consult the Office of the Dean of the Dyson College of Arts and Sciences in order to file an approved program for courses with the SARS office in advance of study.

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