Core Curriculum

More tools for your toolbox.

Everything you learn in your Core Curriculum classes the first few semesters at Butler is designed to make you a sharper thinker, a stronger writer, and a better connector of (seemingly) unrelated concepts. It’s a demanding curriculum—made for those who embrace a good challenge.

Skills that will set you up for years to come.

A Butler education goes much deeper than career preparation. Our graduates learn to see the complexities of the world and use their knowledge as a force for good.

Regardless of major, you’ll take classes in our Core Curriculum—a set of classes that establish the concepts and skills you need to meet the rigors of college and the challenges you’ll encounter outside it.

At its heart, the Core Curriculum shoulders the promise of a liberal arts education: It fosters a well-rounded perspective on the world, while encouraging you to act in the interests of others. The Core Curriculum will challenge you intellectually, pushing you to investigate fields that may be outside your comfort zone. The sciences, the arts, history, and more are all covered.


Lauri DeSautels teaching a class

First-Year Seminar

This year-long course will sharpen your writing, teach you to research, and bolster your critical thinking. Those aren’t just skills you’ll draw on in college–you’ll need them in life.

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Indianapolis Community Requirement

Communities work best when we each do what we can to make them better. Part of our Core involves taking a class that directly impacts the Indianapolis community. It will make a difference here—and plant a seed for ongoing involvement.

Clowes memorial hall arts center building

Butler Cultural Requirement

Every year, there are hundreds of cultural events in Indianapolis and on campus at the Butler Arts and Events Center. Your mission: Attend eight during your Butler career. A simple assignment—for a more cultured college experience.

Professor speaks to classroom with globe in background

Social Justice and Diversity Requirement

What forces lead to inequality? How can we counter those? Each of us—especially those in positions of privilege—have a responsibility to ask those questions and act on them.

Featured Student

“We worked with a local nonprofit to create a video game for people with autism to help them learn how to develop friendships and help identify social cues. This has been one of my favorite classes at Butler because of the immediate impact we had on our client and the community.”


—Matthew O’Hern, Software Engineering

a student developing a game on a computer