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The University Core Curriculum is a carefully structured and deliberately sequenced program of study required of all SIU undergraduate students. The Core is grounded in the traditional arts and sciences, and fosters a life of inquiry, creativity, and civic participation.

The University Core Curriculum is administered by a faculty director, assisted by two university-wide committees, who oversee the implementation of curricular policy as set by the Provost and the Faculty Senate.

To provide quality control, all Core courses are reviewed and student learning in them assessed at least once every five semesters by the Core Curriculum Executive Council. The Core is also subject to program review on a regular schedule established by the Illinois Board of Higher Education and the Higher Learning Commission of North Central Accreditation Association.