Core Curriculum Learning Outcomes

The Core Curriculum of The American University in Cairo (AUC) ensures that all students, regardless of major, receive a strong grounding in the traditional liberal arts and sciences. It aims to develop students' basic academic and intellectual skills while enhancing their reading and writing skills, as well as their ability to reason and construct logical arguments. It strives to help students understand themselves, their culture, society and their place in the world. It introduces them to the ways in which the sciences and humanities seek to comprehend and shape the world around us. The Core Curriculum lies at the heart of AUC’s commitment to the liberal arts and is, first and foremost, an education in the fundamentals of learning itself.

AUC’s three-tiered core curriculum has common learning outcomes that increase in depth, scope and complexity as students progress from the freshman to the capstone level.  All core courses include some or all of the following outcomes:

Learning Outcome

Definition: Students will...

Knowledge and attitudes  

Engage in inquiry through examining issues in the humanities and social sciences, natural sciences, and demonstrate an appreciation of diverse perspectives outside of one’s major, and a more nuanced understanding of different aspects of local, regional and global culture.

Integrative thinking (or Interdisciplinary and multicultural perspectives)

Engage in an inquiry by integrating knowledge drawn from various disciplines and perspectives to address real-world problems and demonstrate a more nuanced understanding of different aspects of local, regional and global issues.

Critical Thinking

Explore, connect and evaluate issues, ideas, artifacts and events before accepting or formulating conclusions or informed opinions; evaluate arguments and issues and synthesize multiple perspectives from various text-based sources and/or experiential learning demonstrated through culmination in a significant project or paper.

Oral Communication

Engage effectively and constructively in discussions for different purposes, and present information orally in a stimulating manner; formulate effective analyses and arguments and express them in oral forms, using responsible research and documentation practices, giving consideration to audience and context.

Written Communication

Develop and express ideas in writing in a variety of formal and informal styles depending on purpose and audience; express inferences and opinions in ways that are cogent, persuasive, and appropriate to the context; formulate effective analyses and arguments and express them in oral forms, using responsible research and documentation practices, giving consideration to audience and context.

Critical Reading

Analyze, question and reflect on a variety of texts, develop insights on multiple perspectives and come to well-researched conclusions about complex issues; integrate a range of sources (factual, theoretical, conceptual and applied) and approaches (genres, technologies and modes of inquiry) from disciplines outside their majors, 

Teamwork (or Teamwork and Inclusion)

Collaborate and contribute effectively to shared team goals in various roles; develop effective interpersonal skills to enable reflective listening, constructive conversation, respect of difference, collaboration and shared accountability, as they engage in creative and original group-generated work.

Information Literacy 

Know when there is a need to search for information; identity, locate, evaluate, and effectively and responsibly use and share that information using responsible research and documentation practices

Digital Literacy

Students will be able to harness digital technologies for career and effective citizenship including the ability to navigate, manage, understand, integrate, communicate, critically evaluate information, create digital materials and do so safely and appropriately. These literacies intersect with computer literacy, ICT literacy, information literacy and media literacy.

Ethics and Civic Engagement

Understand social and ethical issues within their communities, and regionally/globally; recognize and critically reflect on civic identity and responsibilities; develop a commitment to service and active engagement with their communities.

Quantitative Reasoning

Use quantitative and numerical data to comprehend authentic problems in a variety of contexts, analyze them and come up with arguments and solutions to problems based on this data.

Creative expression and creative  thinking

Cultivate imaginative approaches to solving current problems and problems that may exist in the future; develop a capacity to synthesize existing ideas, images or expertise in an artistic or inventive way; and understand and appreciate perspectives other than their own.

Global Learning

Engage with complex social issues and understand how they impact societies. Develop awareness of and sensitivity to diversity and agency for raising awareness and participating in discussions relating to them.