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The Bradley Core Curriculum

Bradley’s Core Curriculum (BCC) is a set of twelve diverse courses required of every student at the university, courses selected from eight categories that we call “Areas of Inquiry.”  These broad categories include Communication, Fine Arts, Global Perspectives, Humanities, Multidisciplinary Integration, Natural Sciences, Quantitative Reasoning, and Social and Behavioral Sciences.

In addition to the Areas of Inquiry, the full Core Curriculum experience includes a set of two “Core Practices”: Writing Intensive (WI) courses and Experiential Learning (EL) Experiences.  To learn about these Core Practices in more detail, please visit our Core Practices page.

The goal of the Bradley Core Curriculum is to expose all students to a range of knowledge, skills and perspectives that will prepare them for further learning and help facilitate their success and fulfillment in a changing, complex world. In essence, the Bradley Core Curriculum lays the foundation for a lifetime of intellectual development.

More specifically, the Bradley Core Curriculum advances Lydia Moss Bradley’s intent that the university “furnish its students with the means of living an independent, industrious and useful life,” by equipping them with a common set of attributes, understandings and tools to:

  • Make connections between thoughts, ideas and people through more emphasis on collaboration, critical thinking, decision-making and inquiry across disciplines and cultures;
  • Become better communicators with the integrative, reflective and multidisciplinary mindset necessary in today’s global society; and
  • Embrace the flexibility of a customizable Bradley Experience by pursuing the subject areas that best support or complement their individual interests, abilities and future plans.

Core Learning Outcomes

The Bradley Core Curriculum was designed to help students achieve specific Core Learning Outcomes that span all aspects of the Bradley experience.

  • Critical and creative thinking. Bradley graduates will think critically, independently and creatively, and will employ evidence-based decision-making to solve problems and build new knowledge.
  • Effective communication. Bradley graduates will be effective oral, written and non-verbal communicators as well as active readers and listeners.
  • Integrative learning. Bradley graduates will understand that learning builds across disciplines, curriculum and co-curriculum, from making simple connections among ideas and experience to synthesizing and transferring knowledge to new, complex situations throughout their lives.
  • Practical application. Bradley graduates will apply knowledge and skills from the classroom in real-world situations.
  • Social awareness. Bradley graduates will understand and act ethically upon their connections to larger communities.

Core Values

The Bradley Core Curriculum is grounded in a set of fundamental perspectives, Core Values, that lie at the heart of the university's scholarly enterprise.

  • Curiosity
  • Freedom of inquiry and expression
  • Belief in the unity of knowledge
  • Pursuit of knowledge as its own end
  • Dedication and persistence in learning
  • Strong work ethic
  • Humility and circumspection toward what is known
  • Habit of self-reflection
  • Integrity
  • Flexibility
  • Civility