Core Curriculum

Core Curriculum Committee

Fall 2015 meeting dates: Fridays, 9-11, 201 Payson Smith, Portland Sept. 11, Oct. 16, Oct. 30, Nov. 13, Dec. 4

CCC membership 2015-2016

Announcement from the Core Curriculum Committee:

The CCC is conducting a comprehensive review of the Thematic Cluster Requirement.  To insure maximum flexibility for students during this review period, students now have 3 options for satisfying the Cluster requirement.

1. Traditional Cluster option: complete 3 courses from 2 subject areas in an approved cluster. One course may be from the same subject area (prefix) as the student's major. Overlaps with Ethical Inquiry permitted.

2. Minor or second major: complete any minor or second major in lieu of a thematic cluster.

3. Upper-level electives: complete any 3 courses outside the major at the 200-level or above; courses may not have the same prefix as the student's major; courses satisfying CW, QR, CI, CE, SE or SCA are excluded.  Overlaps with Ethical Inquiry permitted.

These options are effective immediately for all students, new and continuing.  The CCC will present a report and set of reccomendations regarding the Thematic Cluster to the Faculty Senate in Feb. 2015.

Effective Spring 2015, Associate of Arts degree in Liberal Studies/Liberal Arts transfer policy:

With the exception of the capstone, and any other particular Core courses specifically required by the student’s major, USM Core requirements are waived for students with a completed Associate of Arts degree in Liberal Studies/Liberal Arts from a regionally accredited community or other college.  This policy does not apply to any other associate degrees.   This policy is effective beginning spring 2015.

CCC Spring 2015 meeting dates: Fridays, 9-11, 200 Payson Smith, Portland

Jan. 23, Feb.  6, Feb. 27,  March 13, Apr. 10, May 1.

The Core Curriculum Committee is a standing committee of the Faculty Senate of the University of Southern Maine.

The CCC’s charge from the Faculty Senate states: 

"The USM Core Curriculum Committee shall be responsible for approving proposed courses and reviewing them periodically; providing assistance with transfer reviews; overseeing assessment; identifying faculty development needs; and overseeing policies and procedures. Review and approval of courses for inclusion in the USM Core Curriculum shall respect and give appropriate deference to the expertise and academic freedom of individual faculty to teach what they know and to determine the content, pedagogy, required student activities, and teaching practices of each course."

If you need additional information on responsibilities of members please contact Peggy Moore, current CCC chair, or Susan McWilliams, Assistant Provost for Undergraduate Programs and Core Curriculum  (, or

USM Core Curriculum Committee Membership 2014-2015

CCC proposal review process

Course proposal forms

Contact Susan McWilliams for instructions on submitting proposals for new courses, or existing courses that have never been part of the Core. 

Please do not use blueprints for new course proposals. The Blueprints are for review of previous "letter" Core courses only.

Course Blueprints for "Grandfathered" Core Courses

Please read the first link for important instructions and submission dates. 

"Grandfathered" Core Courses-- Senate approved process and timeline for course review

Sample Blueprints

Creative Expression

Cultural Interpretation (forthcoming)

Science Exploration

Sociocultural Analysis

You can submit your blueprint electronically by using the links below. If you prefer to complete your submission off-line, you may use the links to PDF versions of the blueprints that appear below the webform links, or you may e-mail for a Word document version.

If you make an error when submitting your webform blueprint, please just resubmit.  You cannot retreive and correct a submitted form but you may submit a new one.  Instructions on how to complete the form are provided within the links below.

Remember, these blueprints are ONLY for grandfathered Core courses.

Creative Expression (CE)

Cultural Interpretation (CI)

Science Exploration (SE)

Sociocultural Analysis (SCA)

PDF versions: Creative Expression, Cultural Interpretation, Science Exploration, Sociocultural Analysis

For new courses in CE, CI, SE or SCA please contact Susan McWilliams at

Other Core requirements

Writing a Successful USM Core Proposal

Entry Year Experience

            a. sample EYE proposal

Quantitative Reasoning

Ethical Inquiry, Social Responsibility, and Citizenship

     Sample EISRC proposal

Thematic Clusters

      Sample Thematic Cluster proposal

Adding a course to an existing cluster


     Sample Diversity proposal


     Sample International proposal


     Sample Capstone proposal\

Prior to fall 2011, the Core Curriculum was based on the following course criteria:

Pre-fall 2011 Core Course Criteria