Stevenson College Core Course

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 and students can earn up to three general education requirements. 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.

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.

The Course

The Stevenson Core Course, Self & Society, expresses the strong and continuing commitment of the College’s provosts and the Stevenson faculty to provide a comprehensive and effective general education course. Over the fall and winter quarters students read a variety texts, many of which they will read in future courses; meet in small discussion groups two or three days a week to share and debate their reactions to the texts; and write at least fifty pages.

The course challenges and expands a student's perspective on "self" and "society" and the interactions between the two by drawing upon texts that have shaped and questioned what selves and societies ought to be. Readings include religious writings (the Bible, the Bhagavad Gita), philosophy (Plato), political theory (Rousseau, Marx), social criticism (Anzaldua, Freud, Gandhi), as well as autobiography (Malcolm X).

Placement in the Core Course

Most students will enroll in a specific Core Class based on their satisfaction of two writing-related UC Santa Cruz requirements: the ELWR, or Entry-Level Writing Requirement, and/or the C1 (Composition 1 requirement). Satisfaction of these requirements will depend on what you have completed. Stevenson Academic Advising has put together a document explaining how to determine in which Core Course section you should enroll.

2017-18 Core Plenary Lecture Schedule will be published here when confirmed. 

2017 Summer Assignment 

Fall 2017 - Winter 2018 Core Curriculum and Book List

Accessing the core texts without buying them