Frequently Asked Questions for Students About Butler's Core
1. What is the Core Curriculum?
Butler's Core Curriculum is divided into two parts - a
relatively structured set of common Core elements and a more varied
set of general Core elements in which students have a broader
choice of courses within areas defined by specific learning
objectives. In all of our Core elements, we are committed to
courses structured by learning objectives rather than disciplines.
We seek to have Core courses taught by the whole University
community. We espouse Butler's mission that claims our students'
learning ought to proceed by creating and fostering a stimulating
intellectual community built upon interactive dialogue and inquiry
among faculty, staff and students.
To that end, students enroll in two common elements: First Year
Seminar and Global and Historical Studies, a sophomore-year
sequence of courses. They, then, successfully complete courses in
six general areas of inquiry:
- Analytic Reasoning
- The Natural World
- Perspectives in the Creative Arts
- Physical Well-Being
- The Social World
- Texts and Ideas
Butler students also complete Writing Across the Curriculum and
Speaking Across the Curriculum requirements, as well as two
experiences designed to connect them to the campus community: the
Indianapolis Community Requirement and the Butler Cultural
2. How many courses and credit hours do I take in the
The common Core elements:
The First Year Seminar: Self, Community and World (6
The Sophomore Requirement: Global and Historical Studies (6 credit
The general Core elements are as follows:
Analytic Reasoning (3 cr. hrs)
The Natural World (5 cr. hrs)
Perspectives in the Creative Arts (3 cr. hrs)
Physical Well-Being (1 cr. hr)
The Social World (3 cr. hrs)
Texts and Ideas (3 cr. hrs)
In addition to the common and general Core
The Butler Cultural Requirement (8 events)
The Indianapolis Community Requirement (1 course)
The Speaking Across the Curriculum Requirement (1 course)
The Writing Across the Curriculum Requirement (1 course)
3. Can I be exempt from any Core courses?
FYS: First Year Seminar (6 cr. hours)
GHS: Global and Historical Studies (6 cr.
Exemption: If a student studies abroad in a
Butler-approved program AND completes 9 or more credit hours of
coursework while abroad, the student automatically receives a
1-semester/3-hour waiver from GHS.
AR: Analytical Reasoning (3 cr. hours)
Exempt for students who have completed at least 5 hours of
mathematics or computer sciences courses above algebra and
pre-calculus; students in professional colleges (COPHS or COB) with
college mathematics requirements; students receiving a 4 or higher
on the AP Calculus AB, Calculus BC, Computer Science A, Computer
Science B, or Statistics.
NW: The Natural World (5 cr. hours lecture +
Exempt for students who have completed at least eight hours of
laboratory science; students receiving a 4 or higher on the AP
Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science, Physics B, or Physics C
(Electricity and Magnetism or Mechanics).
PCA: Perspectives in the Creative Arts (3 cr.
Exempt for students taking at least 9 hours in art, dance;
theater; music; digital media production; recording industry
studies; or creative writing.
PWB: Physical Well Being (1 cr. hour)
SW: The Social World (3 cr. hours)
Exempt for students taking at least 9 hours in the social
sciences, including anthropology; international studies;
journalism; organizational communication & leadership; media,
rhetoric & culture; strategic communication; political science;
sociology; economics; psychology; STS; communication sciences &
disorders; or education; students receiving a 4 or higher on the AP
Economics-Macro, Economics-Micro, or Psychology.
TI: Texts and Ideas (3 cr. hours)
Exempt for students taking at least 9 hours in approved
Humanities courses, including most English, history, philosophy,
religion courses, as well as literature courses taught in classical
and modern languages; students receiving a 4 or higher on the AP
English Composition & Literature.
C: Speaking Across the Curriculum
W: Writing Across the Curriculum
ICR: Indianapolis Community Requirement
BCR: Butler Cultural Requirement (8 events prior to
4. How do I receive credit for the Indianapolis Community
Students must take one course in any part of the University that
involves active engagement with the Indianapolis
community. Look for courses with the "I" designation, which
signals the course will carry credit for the ICR.
Courses with an "S" designation also satisfy the ICR
For more information, visit www.butler.edu/core/key-components/indy-requirement.
5. What is the Butler Cultural Requirement (BCR) and how do I
receive credit for it?
Butler University has a rich set of cultural activities in the
form of artistic performances, seminars and public lectures that
collectively comprise one of our most remarkable educational
resources. The aim of the Butler Cultural Requirement is
to engage students in these most valuable and exciting learning
opportunities, and to encourage students to develop habits of
participation in artistic and cultural events that will lead to
lifelong engagement with the creative arts and public intellectual
Beginning with students entering in fall 2010, all Butler
students must attend eight or more BCR events as part of their
graduation requirements. Transfer students must complete at least
one BCR credit for each semester enrolled at Butler
At each event designated as carrying BCR credit, students should
look for the BCR student staff with the BCR symbol. In order to
receive BCR credit for attending the event, students must have
their ID card scanned by the BCR
representative prior to the start of the
event and after the event (within 15 minutes of
the event's ending). Credit will only be given for
attending the entire event. Each student may only scan their
own ID card.
For more information, visit www.butler.edu
6. How do I register for Core courses?
Students register for Core courses at the same time they
register for their other classes. Use the drop-down menu in
course search to look for specific courses and talk with your
faculty advisor about Core courses.
7. Will Core course offerings change?
Yes, new Core courses are added each semester.
8. How do I request a course from another institution be
counted as a Core course?
Complete the application form, available on the Records &
Registration website: www.butler.edu/registrar/classes/transfer-credit.
9. Can I receive Core credit for Advanced Placement or
AP and IB courses may transfer as elective credit.
10. Can Core courses ever "double-count" with other
It depends-for the most up-to-date information, students should
check with their advisor in their field of study.
11. When do I have to finish the Core curriculum?
Completion of the Core curriculum is a graduation requirement,
and so must be completed prior to graduation. Core curriculum
classes, with the exception of the First Year Seminar and Global
and Historical Studies, can be completed during any year.