Montana State University

Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

Montana State University
P.O. Box 172560
Bozeman, MT 59717-2560

Tel: (406) 994-4371
Fax: (406) 994-7989
Location: 212 Montana Hall

Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

Dr. Martha A. Potvin

Applying for CORE 2.0 Designation


MSU adopted a new core curriculum (CORE 2.0) in Fall 2004. An overview of the curriculum can be found at


General education equips students with intellectual context, essential skills, and breadth of knowledge, and as such is a vital part of every undergraduate student’s education. CORE 2.0 is intended to provide high-quality and enriching academic experiences for non-majors.

Faculty Steering Committees

CORE 2.0 includes seven course categories.  In addition to the four listed below, there is Writing, Quantitative Reasoning, and University Seminar.  In the four broadest areas, faculty steering committees have been established to oversee the development, review, and approval of courses.  Course proposals in the remaining three areas are handled by the CORE 2.0 Committee (see for all committees). The four steering committees are in these areas:

  • Contemporary Issues in Science
  • Diversity
  • Inquiry (Arts, Humanities, Natural Sciences, Social Sciences)
  • Research & Creative Experience (Arts, Humanities, Natural Sciences, Social Sciences)

Applying to have courses included in CORE 2.0

The faculty steering committees in Contemporary Issues in Science, Diversity, Inquiry, and Research & Creative Experience invite all interested faculty to submit courses to be considered for inclusion in CORE 2.0. The committees are eager to work with faculty as they develop their CORE 2.0 proposals.  Please consider contacting the appropriate committee chair (see links in address above) at the initial phases of program development.  

Core Course Approval Process

Courses that the committee are convinced fully meet the criteria and goals of CORE 2.0 are approved as core courses for six years. Courses that partially meet the criteria and goals may be approved as core courses for two years, after which they will need to be re-submitted to the appropriate steering committee. Courses with fewer than 3 credits are unlikely to be approved, but the committees are open to innovative approaches. 

Core Course Renewal Process

All core courses are periodically reviewed to ensure that the course continues to fulfill the core learning outcomes. This review includes a requirement for assessment of achievement of student learning outcomes, which must include an assessment process that goes beyond student satisfaction scores. Courses that continue to meet the criteria and goals are typically renewed for 6 years.

Application and Renewal Process - this information is being updated (11/4/2011)

Course proposals should include the following:

  • Proposal cover sheet (in WORD).
  • A detailed narrative that addresses how the course meets each of the multiple guidelines/criteria and multiple learning outcomes of the appropriate course category in CORE 2.0. Because course criteria in CORE 2.0 are based largely on learning outcomes – what students should learn in the course – proposals should explain clearly how the course will help students to accomplish those objectives. The criteria and learning outcomes for each core category can be found at  Addressing the guidelines/criteria and learning outcomes is the most important part of the application.
  • Proposals for Inquiry and for Research & Creative Experience (R&CE) should also describe how the courses meet the criteria for the Arts, Humanities, Natural Sciences, or Social Sciences. For these applications please recognize that committee members do not have experience in all disciplines and therefore it is helpful for you to describe how the proposed experience is related to the research/creative norms in your discipline. 
  • A syllabus (or draft syllabus) for the proposed course, including topics covered, student learning outcomes, assigned readings, and course assignments.  The committee also requires that every CORE 2.0 course include in its syllabus a paragraph stating the core area the core learning outcomes for that area.
  • When applying for Research and Creative Experience designation, please be aware that members of the review committee may not be familiar with normal practices in your discipline.  It would be helpful to the committee to explain how the activities in the proposed courses relate to professional activities in your discipline.
  • If this is a new course, the new course application (submitted to the Undergraduate Studies Committee) can also be provided.
  • Non-tenure-track faculty should also include a curriculum vitae.

Questions about the criteria or any part of the application process should be directed to the chair of the appropriate steering committee.

Assessment of courses in CORE 2.0

Responsibility for course assessment, which is a requirement of the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, rests with the faculty steering committees. Faculty participation in assessment activities will be required for continued course approval.  For further information, see the Application for CORE 2.0 Renewal.