Any education will teach you how to find an answer.
An Oxy education will teach how to ask the right questions.
The cornerstone of Occidental's liberal arts approach is the Core Program. It is designed to spur students to think critically and creatively about history and human knowledge, to cross cultural boundaries, and to question their own assumptions. In your Core courses, you'll be challenged to move outside your comfort zone and encounter a liberal arts education in its purest form.
The Core Program begins with intensive first-year Cultural Studies Program seminars, writing exercises, and evaluations geared to bring student papers up to the highest standard of collegiate work. In the Fall CSP Seminars, faculty and students jointly explore human culture from a variety of disciplinary as well as cultural perspectives. These are small seminars in which the lecture and reading material provide the focus for discussion, critical analysis, and intensive instruction in writing. Spring CSP Seminars approach topics from a global perspective, incorporate the writing of research-based essays, mastering the skills necessary for the location of relevant materials (in both print and electronic media), constructing evidence-based arguments, and utilizing the conventions of academic discourse. Beginning in the 2012-2013 academic year, the Core Program will be offering special "Labs for the Liberal Arts" which expand and transform the traditional CSP seminar into a multi-unit, interdisciplinary experience.
The Core Distribution Requirements require students in their sophomore and junior years to continue exploring courses and developing skills in historical and cultural analysis, the arts, foreign languages and science and quantitative reasoning.
Finally, all members of the Occidental community are invited to attend the CSP Lecture Series. Each year the Core Program hosts six distinguished speakers, deliberately chosen to represent different fields and perspectives. The CSP Lecture Series is free and open to the general public.
The Core Program is a challenging and essential part of the Oxy experience, and all students are required to complete it by the end of their junior year.
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