Core Curriculum

Curiosity is what makes us human

Like a Wet Paint sign, we have to see for ourselves. If it's interesting, we want to know more—where it came from, how it works, what it can do for us. That's the premise behind our core curriculum. Instead of pushing information at you through ordinary general education courses you might find at other colleges, we allow you to pick from a portfolio of interesting topics—topics you're intrigued by and want to learn more about, and through these, explore fundamental concepts, apply them to current issues, and build practical skills you'll use throughout your life. 

Roanoke is one of the few colleges in the country to implement such a creative approach to learning. We consider our core curriculum to be one of the most important differentiators between us and other leading institutions of higher education.

Why shouldn't learning be fun?

Watch Video two students in a lab
When you were little, the world was an amazing place, full of wonder. We want to make it that way again.

“My core classes helped me to make a connection between all of my classes and filled in the gaps in my education.”

Ashley Gilroy '13

Nothing like High School

Through courses like these, you'll develop critical thinking, learn scientific methodology, gain historical and cultural perspective, and apply them to contemporary issues.

  • Ancient Latin America
  • Atlantic Slave Trade
  • Chemistry and Crime
  • Energy at the Crossroads
  • Global Citizenship
  • Global Health Disparities
  • How Organisms Evolve
  • How Women Got the Vote
  • Mind and Body
  • Mobile Apps
  • Myths of Musical Genius
  • Pharmaceuticals in the US
  • Poetry: What Is It Good for?
  • Psychology in the Media
  • Science vs. Religion?
  • Sports & Culture
  • Statistics and Food
  • Statistics and the Sports industry
  • Stories from the World
  • A Study of American Film