The College's General Education program, required of all students who entered prior to Fall 2016, aims to foster intellectual breadth, critical thinking, and acquisition of the fundamental skills and habits of mind conducive to lifelong inquiry, engaged citizenship, and personal growth. (Beginning with students matriculating in Fall 2016, the College’s General Education model with be replaced with the Connections program.)
All first-year students must enroll in a first-year seminar in their fall semester. First-year seminars are limited to 16 students with a focus on close student-faculty interaction, lively exchange of views, and instruction in writing and critical reading and analysis. Dozens of first-year seminars in a wide array of topics are offered each year.
Students are required to complete a series of at least seven courses designed to ensure broad engagement with the range of disciplines that constitute the liberal arts. These courses introduce students to the orienting questions, conceptual frameworks, and methods of inquiry and expression of the natural and social sciences, humanities, and arts.
Students must complete one course from each of these seven areas, taken in seven different departments (as defined by the course designations). Each of these courses, when completed at Connecticut College, must be taken for a letter grade and must be worth at least four credit hours. Any exceptions to the seven department rule must be approved by the Committee on Academic Standing. These seven courses should normally be completed by the end of the sophomore year. With special permission, appropriate coursework taken at other institutions may be counted towards these requirements.