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Four members from Umass Lowell Core Curricular, posing.

Core Curriculum

Breadth of Knowledge and Essential Learning Outcomes

The Core Curriculum at UMass Lowell ensures that students are learning deeply and broadly, developing essential intellectual abilities that prepare our students for work, life, and the world.  The UMass Lowell Core addresses this challenge with a two-part framework of requirements:


Breadth of Knowledge

The UMass Lowell Core includes requirements designed to familiarize students with multiple perspectives regarding diverse areas of knowledge and modes of inquiry outside of their major discipline. Students gain insights into these perspectives by taking courses outside of their major discipline. The major areas of the Breadth of Knowledge requirement are:

  • College Writing I and II  (CW)
  • Arts and Humanities Perspective  (AH)
  • Social Sciences Perspective  (SS)
  • Sciences with Lab Perspective  (SCL)
  • Mathematics Perspective  (MATH)
  • STEM Perspective (Science, Technology, Engineering, & Mathematics)  (STEM)

Essential Learning Outcomes

The UMass Lowell Core weaves seven Essential Learning Outcomes (ELOs) into every student’s educational experience. The Core Curriculum ensures that across all fields of study, our students will have opportunities to practice these essential intellectual skills in a way that is tailored for and relevant to each major:

  • Diversity and Cultural Awareness (DCA): Be a thoughtful, aware citizen of the global community.
  • Information Literacy (IL): Find, evaluate, and synthesize information effectively and pursuasively.
  • Social Responsibility and Ethics (SRE): Shape the world to improve life in your community and beyond.
  • Written and Oral Communication (WOC): Express ideas to professional peers with purpose and clarity.
  • Quantitative Literacy (QL): Be skilled in the many forms and varieties of numerical analysis.
  • Critical Thinking and Problem Solving (CTPS): Evaluate ideas and evidence rationally to produce and implement solutions.
  • Applied and Integrative Learning (AIL): Synthesize knowledge and abilities in meaningful practice.

How to fullfil ELOs.