Students engage in discussion on Champlain's campus

Core Curriculum

Prepare for a lifetime of learning.

Employers may hire you for your industry-specific skills, but they keep you around (and promote you!) for your ability to create solutions, communicate effectively, and uphold ethical integrity. 

In addition to teaching you the work of your chosen field, Champlain's modern take on a liberal arts curriculum helps you prepare for a lifetime of curiosity and responsible civic engagement. 

What makes the Champlain Core Curriculum different?

We work with employers to understand what they'll be looking for in future hires—and then we adjust our curriculum accordingly. Instead of requiring a wide variety of classes and hoping you walk away with a better understanding of the world, we help you make those connections across disciplines. In these interdisciplinary Core courses, you'll learn new ways of thinking and new ways of engaging with the world around you.

The Champlain way is to learn by doing.

You'll participate in discussions and projects that encourage you to explore the community, the world, and your own perspectives.

  • One student lived for a week without his glasses and wrote about the experience.
  • Another student shaved her head—a style choice she did not take lightly. (Don't worry, the only transformations we require are metaphysical.)
  • A second-year class studied the history and social contexts of street art, and then, spray cans in hand, teamed up with a local artist on a mural.

The hands-on and intellectual work you do in the Core curriculum is a vital component of your Champlain College education.

Meaningful Learning Outcomes

Our Core curriculum is designed to nurture Champlain’s College Competencies in each student. These competencies—the essential skills that all Champlain students graduate with—are introduced in stages, starting in your first semester. Throughout subsequent semesters, you’ll further develop these skills and concepts, exploring their complexities. By the time you graduate, you will be equipped with a well-rounded education to back up your career-specific expertise.

A graphic shows the progression of skills through four years of Core



First Year

Your first year is for getting situated and sparking your curiosity! Learn more about how Core classes can help ease the transition to college and set you up for success.


Second Year

Examine some of the histories and social perceptions that influence our thinking. In year two, you'll consider life from new angles by diving deep into topics that interest you.


Third Year

Spend some time in another country! Whether you study abroad or stay in Burlington, your third year of Core will have you exploring other cultures.


Fourth Year

Focus your senior year on what matters most to you. An important component of your fourth year of Core will be your capstone project.


“Core has helped me to diversify my viewpoints. The discussion-based approach creates a space to form opinions and have my own opinions and beliefs challenged in a healthy way.”
—Tatum Robinson, ‘20 // Environmental Policy

“The philosophical and ethical works we discuss in the Core classes act as a solid base, but the real cultural information and self-reflection comes through the discussions in class.”
—Joshua Walker, '19 // Game Art

“My Core experience has allowed me to change my perspective of myself and the community.”
—Maddy Wailonis, '20 // Computer Information Technology