Stevenson College Core Courses

All ten residential colleges at UCSC require their freshmen to take a Core course. Unlike other colleges’ one quarter Core, Stevenson’s Core course, "Self and Society," is two quarters long. Stevenson’s second quarter of Core satisfies a further general education requirement, the TA, or textual analysis designation. Because students explore relationships between selves and societies for two quarters, our core course embodies, defines, and redefines our academic traditions and community. Furthermore, after two quarters of the core course, Stevenson students are confident of their abilities to succeed as students at UCSC and to engage in contemporary debates about selves and societies in communities outside the university.

Students in majors that have a large number of course requirements, including those in the Baskin School of Engineering who are also subject to the policy that they must complete three of a specified set of courses by the end of their first year, should consider how they plan to fit both the 2 quarter college core course and their intended major’s first year requirements into their first year at UCSC. Students are encouraged to consult with both their college and major advisers.  Stevenson College advisers can be found at

The Community 

Nothing encourages a strong community at Stevenson more than Self & Society. Writing assistants, who have taken the course, provide individual help with papers and meet with writing groups in residence house lounges. Because the core course happens in the College, students and faculty see each other more, get to know one another, and talk about core outside of class time. Many of the best core course discussions happen late at night in the residence houses, at the Stevenson Coffee House, or over lunch. Core is a common experience that Stevensonians share and treasure.

Stevenson 1: Academic Literacy: Self and Society

Introduction to University Discourse: Self and Society. College 1 helps students develop academic and civic proficiency in reading, critical thinking, and “academic ethos,” and habits of mind and practice tied to a sense of belonging and academic success. This course prepares students for success in other UCSC courses requiring critical thinking, listening, discussion, and effective communication. It explores rhetorical principles and conventions of university discourse and considers the roots of modern society using foundational religious texts and major classical and modern philosophical works. Enrollment is restricted to first-year college members. Enrollment limited to 30. 

Stevenson 2: Academic Literacy: Self and Society

The Winter quarter class that follows College 1 continues the development of critical reading, analysis, and effective speaking exploring conflicts inherent in modern society. The course fulfills the TA GE and investigates themes of colonization, race, gender, class, as well as cultural conflict. Enrollment is restricted to first-year and sophomore college members and limited to 30 students. 

Please note: students in major programs with a large number of requirements will need to plan carefully to make sure they allow room in their fall and winter schedules for the core course. However, Stevenson students in the Multilingual Curriculum, i.e. students who place into WRIT 25 or WRIT 26 upon matriculation at UC Santa Cruz, will be exempt from being required to take STEV 2.