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Core Curriculum

Newcomb-Tulane College students fulfill the degree requirements outlined in the catalog of their matriculation year. The catalog content is determined by the Dean of Newcomb-Tulane College and the Newcomb-Tulane College Curriculum Committee.

The Tulane University Catalog is published by the Office of the University Registrar. To update course information or with questions about Newcomb-Tulane College catalog content, please contact the Registrar's Office at or (504) 865-5231. 



General Education

Approved by the Faculty, March 2017

Newcomb-Tulane College’s general education curriculum was revised to develop information literacy, critical thinking, and personal and social responsibility in our students. 

The core curriculum—which is composed of a minimum of 30 credits—is divided into two parts: proficiency requirements and a distribution of knowledge.  To ensure that students experience the breadth of knowledge at the collegiate level, AP and IB courses can be used to satisfy proficiency requirements only in Formal Reasoning and Foreign Language. 

Courses will be designated as satisfying the distribution requirements according to the content and methodology rather than the departmental affiliation of the course.

The new core curriculum general education requirements will go into effect with the entering class of 2018. 

Courses proposed to satisfy core requirements will be ratified by the Newcomb-Tulane Curriculum Committee and the Newcomb-Tulane College faculty.

Proficiency Requirements

Writing Skills

2 courses and 6 credits

Tulane undergraduates should be able to communicate effectively. Students completing this requirement will produce coherent texts that combine analysis, argument, and research.

  • Tier 1: Freshman writing (ENGL 1010 or ENGL 1011) unless the student is exempt.  Students receiving exemption from ENGL 1010/1011 are required to take an approved writing class during their freshman year.  At least 1/3rd of the grade based upon writing (excluding in class exams), but no revision required. 
  • Tier 2: One additional writing course at the 2000 level or above taken from an approved list. At least 1/3rd of the grade based upon writing (excluding in class exams), to include revision and re-evaluation by the instructor.

Note: creative writing courses cannot be used to satisfy the writing proficiency requirement.

Formal Reasoning

1 course and 3 credits

One course in mathematics or symbolic logic (PHIL 1210)

Foreign Language

0-3 courses

The foreign language proficiency is achieved by a passing grade at the 2030 level, or an AP score of 4 or 5, or a Higher-Level IB score of a 5 or higher, or an SAT II achievement test of 640 or higher, or a passing grade in a Tulane administered proficiency test.  This requirement is waived for students in B.S.E. programs.

Distribution Areas

A course can satisfy only one of the distribution areas

Mathematics and the Natural Sciences

2 courses including 1 lab science course and 7 credits

Tulane undergraduates should understand the methods of scientific inquiry.  The mathematics and natural sciences requirement will equip students to understand and assess scientific issues that affect the world today. (Those completing the B.F.A. degree need only complete 1 course with lab.)

Social and Behavioral Sciences

2 courses and 6 credits

Tulane undergraduates should think critically about human cultures, societies, and behaviors.  This requirement acquaints students with the methods of research and inquiry in the social science disciplines.

Textual and Historical Perspectives

2 courses and 6 credits

Tulane undergraduates should evaluate literary, philosophical, and historical texts.  This area of the curriculum introduces exposes students to the methods used to examine and interpret fundamental issues of human experience.

Aesthetics and the Creative Arts

3 credits

Tulane undergraduate students should be able to understand and appreciate the creative process and various forms of artistic expression

Additional Core Requirements

The First Year Seminar

This requirement can be satisfied by TIDES (1 course) or The Honors Colloquium

Public Service

All students will complete public service that is satisfied by service learning courses, an approved internship, or research experience.  These courses can also be used to satisfy other areas of general education.  The nature of the requirement is to be determined by the NTC faculty.  Currently this is a two-tiered experience.

Race and Inclusion

One course that focuses on race and inclusion in the United States, to be completed by end of the sophomore year.  Courses that fulfill this requirement will focus at least 60% of their content on race and inclusion in the United States. These courses may also be used to satisfy other general education curriculum requirements.

Global Perspectives

One course that focuses on a global-international context from a perspective outside of the U.S., with at least 60% of content with stated objectives to develop historical, cultural, and societal knowledge of an area beyond the U.S.  This requirement should be completed by end of the sophomore year. These courses can also be used to satisfy other areas of general education.