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Open Curriculum - schools with more flexible curricula

Page history last edited by Stacey Cunitz 5 years, 8 months ago Saved with comment

Schools with more flexible curricula

There are three terms to consider:

- core curriculum (specific courses all students must take)

- distribution requirements (no specific courses, but guidelines about the number of classes you must take in each academic area)

- open curriculum (no requirements other than completing 8 semesters and completing a major)



A list of schools that don't have a core curriculum would be hundreds of schools (because they do have distribution requirements).  There are only four other schools with completely open curricula like Brown:

- Grinnell College (IA)

- Smith College (MA) (women only)

- Amherst College (MA)

- Eugene Lang College, a division of the New School (NYU)


List of Schools with Different Levels of Curricular Freedom (as defined above)


Amherst (MA)

Antioch (OH)

Austin College

Bard (NY)

Beloit (WI) - very limited distribution requirements


Brown University (RI)

Colgate (NY)

Eugene Lang College (about 900 students)  In Greenwich Village, one division of a larger university called The New School.

Evergreen State College (WA) - http://www.evergreen.edu/about/curriculumoverview.htm

Gallatin School of Individualized Study at NYU

Grinnell (IA)

Hamilton College (NY)

Hampshire College

Johnston Center at the University of Redlands (CA)

Marlboro College (MA)

Moravian College (PA) - offers students an opportunity to apply to the Add-Venture Program which bypasses the core (Learning in Common) curriculum.

New College of Florida - No required general education courses, no grades (written evaluations instead), and a thesis requirement.

New England Institute of Technology

Oberlin (OH)

Paul Smith's College (NY)

Pitzer (CA)

U of Redlands - Johnston Center (CA)

Reed (OR)

University of Rochester (NY)

 St. John's (great books... both campuses)

Sarah Lawrence - does not have a core curriculum or majors; all students self-design their course of study

Smith College (MA) (women only)

Vassar College (NY)

Wesleyan (CT)


Wheaton (MA)



(Core of list originally compiled by William Morrison III at Highland Park HS)

Comments (1)

elightfoot@spsfg.org said

at 4:08 pm on Jul 13, 2017

St. John's College is the exact of an open curriculum. Every student follows the same course of study, beginning with the early philosophers and scientists, and moving through more modern works. Many people make the mistake of thinking this school is all about "reading". There is much more to it than that and I strongly suggest a closer look for anyone who thinks they might be interested.

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