The Catholic University of America


 Welcome to The First-Year Experience

at The Catholic University of America 


All students at The Catholic University of America take a series of four foundational courses in Philosophy, Theology, and English. In these courses, they read and study fundamental books in philosophical, theological, and imaginative literature. The FYE is inspired by the guiding principle of liberal education and the continuous search for self-knowledge. The study of this intellectual tradition honors that principle and accelerates the life-long learning process. Moreover, our core curriculum favors both the critical ability and free thinking of our students. Not only are they in better shape for the challenges of citizenship and morality, but also for all subsequent academic work in the major of their choice. By helping students cultivate their intellect, we greatly increase their chances of professional success. These are the reasons why exposure to philosophy, theology and writing courses are a critical component of the education of every undergraduate student.

The courses of The First-Year Experience are: The Classical Mind and The Modern Mind, Faith Seeking Understanding, and Writing: Logic and Rhetoric. These courses are not only meant to constitute a Core Curriculum, but are also designed to give the student an integrated learning experience. As such, they are interconnected in three fundamental ways. The First-Year cohort is divided into Learning Communities of about 18 students. Students in the same Learning Community share the same instructors and advisors throughout their first year. Second, all four courses put a strong emphasis on essay writing, which in turn receives more detailed attention in the English sections. Finally, all FYE courses address crucial elements of the Catholic intellectual tradition, either from a moral, aesthetic or metaphysical perspective.




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McMahon Hall Room 314