What Is a Course Curriculum?

A course curriculum is the series of courses that students take in an academic program. Curricula are designed by faculty and often revised following student input. Learn more about how curricula are developed, and get info about course types and accreditation.

Overview of a Curriculum

A course curriculum is a series of classes designed to help a student reach the level of formal education that they are pursuing. The course curriculum should form a learning environment that helps a student attain a desired outcome.

Important Facts About Course Curriculum of Popular Majors

Computer Engineering Accounting Political Science
Foundational Courses Calculus, Physics, Computer Science Finance, Managerial Accounting, Economics Government, History, Political Theory
Advanced Courses Electromagnetism and Waves, Computer Networks, Differential Equations Financial Statement Analysis, Auditing and Control, Fundamentals of Taxation Governing the Global Economy, Political Change in Latin America, Governance and Poverty
Continuing Education Master's, PhD, Professional Engineer certification MPA, CPA certification Master's, PhD, law school
Online Availability Online courses are mostly found at the graduate level Programs with fully online courses are available Programs with fully online courses are available

Core Courses

Core courses are introductory courses in a major or degree program. Core courses are also a part of general education requirements at many universities. Core courses are clearly defined to meet student needs in areas of specialization or majors. Students learn foundational skills by taking the core curriculum that will help them in the more advanced and specialized courses they may take later on in their program. For example, a student majoring in business might take introductory core courses in accounting, marketing and management.

Designing a College Curriculum

Because a curriculum is the heart of a student's learning experience, it's reviewed by college faculty and revised as needed, according to the National Academy for Academic Leadership (www.thenationalacademy.org). The curriculum should have a clear purpose and curricular goals. Curricular goals simply define what students should know after completing the program. For example, a program may be designed to prepare students for work or for continued education, such as medical school or law school. The goals of the program determine the types of classes offered, the content of those classes, and the order in which those classes are presented.

Accredited Course Curriculum

Students pursuing a degree should ensure that the courses they will be taking are accredited by a recognized accrediting agency. When an institution or program is accredited, it means the education students receive meets standards for quality as established by the group giving the accreditation. Along with proving that a college or university has met the guidelines of a quality education, accreditation also validates your degree. A degree from a non-accredited program or college is not recognized by most employers.

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