Over 250 years ago, Dr. Samuel Johnson, the first president of King’s College announced that the College was created with the “good design of promoting a liberal education.” He went on to define this education as one which would teach students how to ‘reason exactly, write correctly, and speak eloquently,’ and to fashion a curriculum which included 13 subjects.
Some one hundred and fifty years later, Columbia College introduced a course entitled Contemporary Civilization, the first of the courses in what came to be known as the College’s intellectual signature: the Core Curriculum. Columbia College holds true to Dr. Johnson’s promise and continues to promote a liberal education, but now with a curriculum which includes upwards of 73 majors, 51 concentrations, 10 special concentrations, and hundreds of electives as well as a Core Curriculum which has, in addition to Contemporary Civilization, Frontiers of Science, Literature, Art, and Music humanities, University Writing, Global Core and language requirements.
As the curriculum continues to evolve, the College remains steadfast in its commitment to preparing students for life and work in our rapidly changing world. And no skills are more important than the ability to ‘reason exactly, write correctly, and speak eloquently’.