Philosophy Statement


Radford University is committed to the development of mature, responsible, well-educated citizens. In addition to acquiring a diverse body of knowledge, RU graduates will possess a love of learning and a range of intellectual skills that enable them to meet the challenges and realize the promise of living in a a complex, multicultural, and ever-changing world.

The purpose of the Core Curriculum is to give students a foundational learning experience where students improve their ability to think, both critically and analytically, and begin to take possession of the learning process. With few exceptions, Core Curriculum courses introduce students to a broad academic discipline or field of study and teach them how scholars discover and create knowledge in that area. As introductory courses, they do not assume any post-secondary study of the subject and may be the only course a student takes in a particular area. These courses provide students with the skills, knowledge, and perspectives that denote educated persons rather than preparing students for specific professions.  

The Core Curriculum is divided into two key areas: University Core and College Core. The University Core places a clear emphasis on the competencies central to a liberal arts education for the modern world. The centerpiece of this program is a common, interdisciplinary experience for all students in Core Foundations. In this required four-course sequence (12 hours), students must demonstrate competencies rooted in the principles of grammar, logic, and rhetoric – the classic education known as the trivium. The University Core also includes five required courses (16 hours) in Core Skills and Knowledge that introduce students to the primary branches of knowledge: Mathematical Sciences, Natural Sciences, Humanities, Visual and Performing Arts, and Social and Behavioral Sciences.

While the University Core is designed to be a shared experience among Radford University students, the College Core provides more flexibility to meet each College’s educational and programmatic needs. The College Core includes two required courses (6 hours) in National and International Perspectives, which allow students to embrace being both members of a community and citizens of the world. The College Core also includes three courses (9-11 hours) in Supporting Skills and Knowledge, which are designed to build a stronger foundation in three key areas: Mathematical Sciences or Natural Sciences; Humanities, Visual and Performing Arts, or Foreign Languages; and Social and Behavioral Sciences or Health and Wellness.

Students must successfully complete 43-45 hours in the Core Curriculum. (Students in the RU Honors Academy have separate requirements in Core Foundations that may impact the total number of hours). To meet their academic needs students in particular colleges, departments, and/or schools may be limited in which courses they use to satisfy Core Curriculum requirements. Students should consult with their advisors for information about specific college or major requirements in these areas.