EDITORIAL: Core curriculum reduced at last

Recently, the Villanova School of Business’s core curriculum underwent some significant changes, beginning with the class of 2012. At the time of the change, it had been 12 years since the core was last restructured.

Now, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences is preparing to revamp its notoriously rigid core curriculum for the first time since 1988. Starting with the incoming class of 2015, the college will require 16 total courses, which is five fewerthan the 21 courses that all currently enrolled students are required to take. 

It’s about time. For over 20 years, arts and sciences students have struggled to reconcile the vast number of academic options available to them through the college with the contradictorily strict core requirements, many of which remain unmet well into students’ senior years.

Reducing the core curriculum essentially means more freedom and independence for students at a period in their lives when these values are supposed to be developed. As such, it reflects virtues not just specific to one’s university or school, but also of higher education in general. The demands placed by a requisite 65 credit curriculum often restrict students’ options at a time when they are increasingly trying to beef up their academic résumés by double majoring or picking up multiple minors and concentrations. 

The re-evaluated curriculum, which will see a reduction in the number of courses required such as philosophy, theology and math, among others, not only means more freedom for students who have a more practical interest in their education, but also for those wishing to explore the more eclectic classes not explicitly required in the pre-existing core. 

The fact is that an administration can only require so much of its students. We acknowledge the importance of having some semblance of structure in a curriculum, especially in the first two years of study, but to expect students to thrive in another class of a discipline they have already sampled and have decided they have little interest in is simply unrealistic. 

Hopefully, the incoming class will take advantage of this freedom and responsibility and seize the numerous opportunities for academic exploration in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. We are happy for and envious of them and wish them the best of luck.