To fulfill the promise of a liberal arts education, Underwood International College was built around a carefully designed sequence of required courses. This program, known as the Common Curriculum (CC), is the most fundamental part of the UIC undergraduate experience, because it guarantees that, regardless of major, all UIC students graduate with the ability to think creatively and critically, appreciate the complexities of human history and culture, and communicate in a clear and compelling manner. In this way, our students are not only equipped with strong specialized competencies, but are able to adapt flexibly to the intellectual, professional, and ethical challenges of an increasingly global world.
Almost all CC courses are taught “seminar-style”-small class sizes with a strong emphasis on written work and discussion-by a core group of full-time international foreign faculty recruited from some of the world's top universities. These academics, who are equally committed to research in their field and to undergraduate education, provide UIC students with an intimate but rigorous academic environment that rivals that of the best colleges in the United States.
During their first two years, UIC students will take basic CC courses in a variety of disciplines in the liberal arts, including lecture courses in Western and Eastern Civilization, a Writing Intensive Seminar, Understanding Christianity, Critical Reasoning, Research Methods and Quantitative Design, a science literacy course from a range of options, and a choice of courses in literature, history, and philosophy. In their junior and senior year, students take UIC seminars, which offer them the chance to delve more deeply into specific areas of academic research, explore the creative arts and develop professional skills. In their senior year, students may also choose to write a senior thesis through the Common Curriculum, working either with CC faculty or faculty from the majors.