The Core Curriculum Committee, in collaboration with Provost Robert Groves and Dean Chris Celenza, invites proposals for innovative approaches to the Georgetown Core.

  • The recent $20M gift of the Baker Trust for Transformational Learning gives us a new opportunity to direct resources to enlivening the Core Curriculum experience for students.

  • This multi-year initiative aims to bring new approaches and ideas to the Core experience and develop models that might be scaled and sustained in the long run and could form the basis for broader transformation of the Core.

  • Proposals from individuals or teams (which may include staff and students as well as faculty) should incorporate elements of the Core in courses or projects that emphasize experiential and integrative learning. 

  • We value proposals from faculty who do not currently teach courses in Shared Core.

Examples of Current Innovations

Background & Rationale

More than just a set of required courses, the Georgetown Core provides a foundation that informs students’ experiences and learning across the undergraduate experience. The Core engages students with the world’s most insistent problems, current and perennial, humanistic and scientific, local and global -- problems that our students must be prepared to navigate and repair. To flourish, students need not only content knowledge from across the liberal arts but also the ability to engage fully with the complex problems and ideas that thread across the Core, through their majors, and beyond. We envision a Core experience that engages and challenges students through innovative course designs and significant projects that empower them to think creatively and strategically about the world and their roles in it.

Our vision is rooted in the goals for the Core, which are meant to be both decriptive and aspirational. (Click here to read the full text of the approved Core Curriculum Goals.) The Core goals below emphasize the “how” as much as the “what” of the Core experience:

  • Participate creatively in an intellectual community
    • What might be new and expansive ways to "help expand student's understandings of the traditions, histories, technologies, and ideas that have shaped the world"?
  • Address complex issues and problems
    • ​What might be new and expansive ways to introduce students to the “methods, contributions, and limitations of various disciplines in addressing complex problems,” or “such scholarly ideals as interdisciplinarity, integration, risk-taking, and collaboration”?
  • Develop a worldview that is both intellectually grounded and personally compelling
    • Are there new ways to help students “explore critically their own beliefs and assumptions and consider new, diverse, and unfamiliar beliefs” by moving between the classroom and other kinds of spaces as part of the Core experience?
  • Engage responsively in the world 
    • Are there new ways, through enhanced Core experiences, to help students begin to “exercise integrative judgments in the face of moral complexities and to take on the responsibilities of global citizenship in a spirit of service and justice”?

Building on these goals, which dynamically involve multiple fields and do not address particular fields of knowledge but do emphasize engagement, application, and integration, we seek to expand on the creativity that faculty already bring to the Core by inviting new adaptations of existing courses, new configurations that might make connections across courses, and new courses, including those that integrate elements of the Core.   

Call for Letters of Interest

We invite initial letters from faculty who are interested in developing proposals for courses or projects that would enhance and transform the Core experience. Proposals might involve innovative course designs and teaching strategies, address significant themes and problems that cut across the Core, and/or involve students or staff in the design and teaching team. The Main Campus Core Curriculum Committee will review all letters of interest, provide feedback and invite all promising ideas for fuller proposal development.  

Available for individual faculty, teams, and departments or programs. These may support faculty, student, or staff time; course enhancements such as field trips or guest speakers; new materials; or other expenses. We anticipate these grants will be in the $2500 to $25,000 range.  

Smaller grants to support research and conversations that could lead to larger development and delivery grants. We anticipate these grants will be under $1500.  

Proposal Process

An initial round of projects, for courses to be offered in 2020, will be funded for work to begin in the summer of 2019. We expect to fund a second round for work to begin in fall 2019, with proposals due in September.

Letters of Interest: By May 2, send an email indicating your interest in developing a proposal, with a brief description of your idea, to

Proposal development workshop: We will invite individuals and teams to participate in a 1-2hour workshop during TLISI, May 20-23, 2019, to develop their proposals; we will provide details about what to include in the proposal at this time. Individual consultations for those not able to attend will be available.We welcome faculty to participate in the workshop who are interested but have not submitted a letter.

Full Proposals: By May 31, submit a completed proposal to The second round of proposals and a new date for letters of interest will be announced in early fall.