Core Courses

The core is intended as a broad foundation that will extend the competence students develop within their majors.

Art & DesignCommunication & LiteratureArt & DesignNatural SciencesSocial Sciences & Humanities

Penn College has established a core curriculum for each of its credentials. Through the courses that satisfy core requirements, students are challenged to integrate knowledge from a variety of disciplines and to extend their learning experience to areas beyond the major. The intended goals of the core curriculum are integrated with and are indirectly measured by students' demonstrated competence in their major courses.

Core courses:

Art and Design

  • painting
  • art history
  • ceramics
  • wood sculpture
  • drawing
  • bookmaking
  • music
  • photography

Communication & Literature

  • composition
  • literature
  • reading
  • speech communications


  • assists students in acquiring a conceptual understanding of the nature and structure of mathematics, its processes, and applications

Natural Sciences

  • wide variety of science courses that not only provide students with scientific knowledge, but also inspire students to wonder and be amazed by the world around them.

Social Sciences & Humanities

  • economics
  • history
  • humanities
  • philosophy
  • political science
  • psychology
  • sociology
  • anthropology


The core courses offered in Sciences, Humanities & Visual Communications are taken to meet the goals of the Core Curriculum. These goals are:

  • Communication – Students will critically evaluate written and oral communication and express themselves in professionally appropriate ways.
  • Critical Thinking – Students will apply critical thinking skills across a variety of academic, professional, and technical disciplines.
  • Information Literacy – Students will recognize when research is needed and have the ability to access, critically evaluate, integrate, and responsibly use the information from a variety of sources.
  • Citizenship and Cultural Sensitivity – Students will possess the knowledge and skills needed to engage in responsible, respectful, and ethical behaviors as individuals and as members of groups in personal and professional environments.
  • Physical and Mental Fitness – Students will apply knowledge of how personal and social well being are integrally linked with maintaining physical and mental health.
  • Lifelong Learning – Students will develop the commitment and skills that prepare them for lifelong learning and adapting to continually changing environments.
  • Computing Literacy – Students will use current and emerging information technologies to research, collect, and organize data; analyze the impact of current and emerging information technologies; and secure personal identity and information assets.
  • Quantitative Literacy – Students will demonstrate the ability to think logically and solve problems using quantitative skills.
  • Scientific Literacy – Students will apply scientific concepts, principles, and thought processes within the various disciplines.
  • Art Appreciation – Students will articulate their critical understanding of and respect for aesthetic principles.

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