Academic Core

Frequently Asked Questions

General Information

Is there a checklist I can use to keep track of my progress in fulfilling the requirements of the Marist Core?

Yes; use the Core Planning Worksheet

What part do foreign languages play within the Marist Core?

You may choose a Pathway that facilitates your pursuit of proficiency in French, Italian, or Spanish. Elementary and/or intermediate-level courses in these and other languages also play a role in numerous Pathways, e.g. Global Studies, Latin American & Caribbean Studies, Contemporary European Studies, or Medieval & Renaissance Studies. If you have completed your Breadth and Pathway requirements in under 36 credits, you can also use foreign-language courses at any level of study to reach the 36-credit threshold.

Visit Foreign Language Study in the Marist Core for more information.

How will AP and IB courses work with the new program?

In most cases the course will be used to fulfill a Core Breadth requirement. 

Should students consider “saving” some of their Core requirements for a potential study-abroad semester in their junior year?

Students who think they might wish to travel abroad should definitely consider how they might fulfill either Breadth or Pathway requirements during this semester. Many Pathways overlap well with international study. In addition to taking courses for Pathways associated with a particular culture (e.g. Italian & Italian-American Studies), students often can take issue-oriented courses while studying abroad (e.g. courses related to Gender Studies, Public Health, or Environmental Studies). 

Questions Related to the First Year Seminar, the Common Reading, and Writing for College

How are students placed in First Year Seminars?

Fall semester FYS placements are determined by students' providing their top course choices in the summer before they come to the College. 

Why wasn’t I placed in a Fall First Year Seminar?

The semester in which you will take the FYS is determined by your major field of study and by any special scheduling requirements you might have, e.g., participation in athletics. Students entering in fall 2018 who have not been placed in a fall 2018 First Year Seminar will register for a spring 2019 FYS as part of the regular registration process in November.

I am a transfer student. Do I need to take a First Year Seminar?

If you brought in fewer than 24 credits to Marist, you need to take an FYS. If you took a course similar to the FYS at your previous institution, the Registrar will review this course in consultation with the Core Director to determine whether or not it satisfies this requirement. 

I took the equivalent of College Writing I at my previous institution. Do I still need to take Writing for College?

Yes. If you are transfer student, please visit our Core Information for Transfer Students page for more details.

Questions Related to Breadth Requirements and Pathways

How many courses must I take for my Pathway?

The overview provides a good introduction to goals and policies related to the Pathways. As detailed here, each Pathway must contain four courses covering at least three different disciplines. If you want to take courses in four different disciplines, that is also fine.

When do I need to choose my Pathway?

You may select your Pathway during your first semester at the College. You MUST declare your Pathway by the time you register for your third semester of courses. This means that most students need to pick their Pathway by April of their freshman year.

How do I “declare” my Pathway?

You identify the Pathway you have chosen by filling out the form in collaboration with your advisor. 

Can Pathway courses count toward a minor or second major?

Yes! As you choose your Pathway, then, you might want to be strategic about using Core requirements to explore a potential minor or second major. You don’t have to worry about the credits going to waste because they will be fulfilling requirements for your Core. If you do end up wanting to pursue this area more fully, then you have already taken several courses that will work toward completing the minor or second major.

Can a course count for both my Breadth and Pathway requirements?

Yes. Even if you “double-dip” courses in this manner, however, you still need to accumulate 36 total distribution credits as part of your Core.

Can courses outside Core Breadth areas count toward the Pathway?

Yes. You may take one course outside Core Breadth areas if the class has been approved for inclusion in the Pathway you have chosen. See individual Pathway course lists in order to see which courses have been approved.

Can Honors and special-topics courses count toward Breadth and Pathway requirements?

In many instances they can. If you want to know whether or not an Honors/special-topics course will count for a Breadth requirement, ask the Honors Director or the Core Director.

Can courses taken abroad count toward Breadth and Pathway requirements?

As with Honors and special-topics courses, in many instances they can. Potential Breadth courses must be approved by department chairs in the Breadth area (e.g. the English department chair evaluates courses for the Literature Breadth requirement). Potential Pathway courses should be approved by the Core Director.

I am a transfer student. Can courses taken at my previous institution count towards the Pathway?

Yes, if the Registrar (in consultation with the Core Director) determines that the course's content is sufficiently applicable to the Pathway’s topic.

Can I design my own Pathway?

No. For logistical and academic reasons, students must choose from the established Pathway list.

Other Questions

Have a question not addressed here?

Please contact Dr. Sally Dwyer-McNulty, Director of the Core/Liberal Studies Program, at