Question: How exactly does the Foundations curriculum work? Are there specific required classes, or are there required areas of study with course options within that general area? Are the first few years dominated by required classes?
Answer: The Foundations curriculum is structured to give Barnard students a well-rounded liberal arts curriculum with arts, humanities, science, and social science courses. At Barnard, you will take two required courses during your first year: First Year Seminar and First Year Writing. There are many course options within the First Year Experience curriculum. You will also fulfill distributional requirements and will take courses within the Modes of Thinking. (This chart may help clarify things!)
You can take courses to fulfill your Foundations requirements at any time, though a lot of students choose to get them done early to save room for electives in their junior and senior years. Many courses will fulfill multiple "requirements" all at once. For example, one course may fulfill both a major requirement and a modes of thinking requirement at the same time. Therefore, students generally don't find themselves taking classes they aren't interested in.
- Cassandra Clifford '21
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