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Skidmore College
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General Education Curriculum

At the heart of the Skidmore curriculum is integrative learning — opportunities for students to make connections among the various courses, ideas and experiences of its liberal arts education. Building on Skidmore’s cross-disciplinary First-Year Experience, the curriculum extends integrative learning experiences throughout four years of learning by introducing a Bridge Experience on Power and Justice in your second or third year and a Senior Coda in your final year of study. Surrounding these integrative learning experiences are opportunities to build foundational skills and knowledge, put different modes of inquiry into practice and cultivate new literacies within your chosen major.

More information on the curriculum and degree requirements is provided in the college catalog here.

Degree Requirements to conSIder in your First Year

Below we describe degree requirements to consider in your first year and as you build your first semester schedule. We have included special notes for incoming students: 

Scribner Seminar:  In their first year at college, students build connections to academic and residential communities, identify intellectual interests, and encounter faculty expectations for excellence. The First-Year Experience Program provides curricular and cocurricular opportunities that facilitate entering students’ successful integration into the Skidmore College community. All students are required to enroll in a Scribner Seminar during the fall semester of their first year. 

Both the Bridge Experience & Senior Coda Experience integrations will be completed later in your academic career. More information about these integrations can be found in the College Catalog.

Writing Requirement: Students fulfill the writing requirement by completing a foundation requirement and a requirement in the major.

Foundation requirement in expository writing: All students must successfully complete the expository writing requirement by the end of their second year. We encourage you to complete this requirement as early as possible in your college career. Courses that fulfill the requirement include English Department writing seminars (EN 105, EN 105H); "Introduction to Literary Studies" (EN 110), for students anticipating a major or minor in English; and specially designated writing-intensive courses, such as those offered in American studies, Classics, History, and Music. Students can search for term-specific courses in the Master Schedule by typing in "A2-Expository Writing" in the Department/Program OR All Coll Requirement section of the browse window; within that list, click on the course title for a description.

For the Directed Self-Placement (DSP) you completed in May, you selected the level of writing course that you need to take to fulfill the expository writing requirement: EN 103, EN 105, or EN 105H. If you don't remember your placement you can ask your summer advisor or the registrar's office. 

Please note that EN 103 alone does not fulfill the expository writing requirement. Students who select EN 103 must take this course during their first year at Skidmore and should plan to enroll in EN 105 or another EW-designated course after successfully completing EN103.  

Completing the DSP is the first step in fulfilling the foundation requirement in Expository Writing. If you do not complete the DSP during the summer, you will be unable to enroll in a fall expository writing course.  The DSP can be accessed from the FYE Checklist, the English Department page, or directly at: https://www.skidmore.edu/apps/english/login.

Anticipated English majors and minors: If you chose EN 105 or EN 105H level on the DSP and you plan on becoming an English major or minor, you should enroll in EN 110 (Introduction to Literary Studies) instead of EN 105 or EN 105H. EN-110 is required for the English major and minor, and it also will fulfill the EW requirement. EN 103, EN 105 and EN 105H do not count toward an English major. Completion of the expository writing requirement, however, is not a requirement for enrolling in 200-level English Department classes.

If you have questions about your expository writing placement or about the courses, contact Professor Michael Marx, Director of Expository Writing (mmarx@skidmore.edu or 518-580-5173).

Applied Quantitative Reasoning (AQR): All students must successfully complete an Applied Quantitative Reasoning course (AQR) designated course by the end of their third year. These courses, which are offered by a variety of departments, emphasize the use of statistical and/or mathematical models in (inter)disciplinary fields of interest and may involve the use of computers to analyze empirical and/or mathematical data.

Students can satisfy the prerequisite to enroll in an AQR course in one of three ways:

  • Achieving a score of at least 650 on the MSAT I examination, a score of at least 570 on any Mathematics SAT II examination, or a score of at least 28 on the Mathematics ACT examination
  • Earning the necessary score on the online quantitative reasoning placement diagnostic administered before they enroll in their first-semester courses.
  • Successfully completing a Fundamental Quantitative Reasoning course (FQR).

Students who do not have the required MSAT I, Mathematics SAT II, or Mathematics ACT score to place into an AQR course will take an online quantitative reasoning placement diagnostic prior to course registration for their first semester at the college to determine if they have the requisite background and aptitude to succeed in an AQR course. Students who do not demonstrate on the diagnostic placement that they are prepared for an AQR course must take either MA 100:  Quantitative Reasoning or a Fundamental Quantitative Reasoning course (FQR). 

Students who place into MA 100 will need to successfully complete  MA 100 in their first year and a FQR course by the end of their second year before enrolling in an AQR course by the end of their third year to satisfy the requirement, while students who place into FQR will need to successfully complete a FQR course by the end of their second year before enrolling in an AQR course by the end of their third year to satisfy the requirement. 

If you have questions about the AQR requirement, the QR diagnostic placement, or about the courses, contact Professor Kelly Sheppard, Director of Quantitative Reasoning (ksheppard@skidmore.edu).

These requirements must be completed prior to graduation

Global Cultural Perspectives:  Students must successfully complete a designated course that will allow them to develop intercultural understanding and global perspectives by turning their attention away from western, Eurocentric cultural traditions to study such topics as the global south, first nations/indigenous peoples, colonialism/formerly colonized nations, and mass migration.  Courses that satisfy this requirement may include comparative approaches to these topics. Students can search for term-specific courses in the Master Schedule by typing in "A-Global Cultural Perspectives" in the Department/Program OR All Coll Requirement section of the browse window.

Language Study Requirement and Class Placement:

To fulfill the language study requirement at Skidmore College, all students must complete one course in a foreign language-designated course in the Department of World Languages & Literatures (WLL) of the Department of Classics (CL). It is very important that you consult the WLL page for placement information prior to registration for information about placement in Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, and Spanish, which can be determined in a variety of ways including by AP, ACT, and SAT II scores OR by an on-line WebCAPE placement exam. This exam takes 24-hrs to post; therefore it must be taking at least one day prior to registration. Information about placement in Arabic, Hebrew, Hindi, Korean, Portugese or Russian is also included.
Please see: https://www.skidmore.edu/wll/requirements.php

Latin and Ancient Greek Placement: Students with one year of Latin in high school should enroll in CL 110 (fall only); students with two years of Latin in high school should enroll in CL 210 (spring only). Contact Professor Dan Curley in the Classics Department (dcurley@skidmore.edu) regarding placement if you have three to four years of high school Latin or any AP experience.  Professor Curley can also assist you with Greek placement.

Additonal contacts for questions about language study or placement can be found here

Inquiries requirements must be completed prior to graduation

Artistic Inquiry through Practice:  Students must successfully complete a course that will allow them to develop an understanding of creative expression through hands-on engagement in a performing, visual, digital, or literary art.

Humanistic Inquiry through Practice:  Students must successfully complete a course that examines contemporary or past cultural values, helping them to cultivate critical judgment as they study how people process and record the human experience.

Scientific Inquiry through Practice:  Students must successfully complete a lab course that will allow them to learn about the nature of science through scientific practices that they employ to understand particular aspects of the world. Students will consider the process of scientific thinking as a set of inquiry-based methodologies and will become versed in the design of scientific studies. Students will also learn a body of disciplinary knowledge.

Students can search for term-specific courses to fulfill the inquiries requirements in the Master Schedule by typing in "A2-Artistic Inquiry", “A2-Humanistic Inquiry” or A2-Scientific Inquiry” in the Department/Program OR All Coll Requirement section of the browse window.

Click here for a printable version (pdf)of the checklist for all degree requirements