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Core Curriculum (for students admitted prior to Fall 2015)

Not What to Know, but How to Know.

At Millsaps, your college education centers on a set of courses designed to prepare you for the challenges of college and career. We call these courses our "Core Curriculum" because they represent the heart of your education in the Liberal Arts abilities.

The Mission of the Core Curriculum:
The purpose of the Core Curriculum is to provide the Millsaps student with a firm foundation in the Liberal Arts Abilities, those habits of mind the college considers essential in the development of mature scholars and productive citizens. Specifically, the Core fosters reasoning, communication, historical consciousness, and social and cultural awareness. Designed by faculty from all divisions and based on the methods of every academic discipline, the Core Curriculum introduces our students to the tools of scholarly inquiry needed for success at Millsaps College and in life at large.

Liberal Arts Abilities

The word "liberal" in liberal arts and liberal education means "free."  Liberal education is that of free men and women, of citizens.  Liberal education gives you knowledge and the habits of thinking and reasoning to carry out the responsibilities of an adult citizen in an era of change. Secondly, a liberal education is a process that frees or liberates those who undertake it.

What does it free you from? The limiting chains of ignorance, incompetence, false opinions, illusion, prejudice.

What does it free you for? Knowledge and the development of your powers of reflection, judgment, discovery, and vision - powers which allow you to be competent and fully aware in your thinking and acting.

A liberal education gives you knowledge and transforms your powers as a person and contributes to your whole life.

The Millsaps Core Curriculum fosters four liberal arts abilities that are basic to the kind of education that liberates one's intellect, understanding, and vision.

Reasoning - The ability to analyze and synthesize arguments, to question assumptions, to evaluate evidence, to argue positions, to draw conclusions, and to raise new questions; varieties of reasoning include:

  • Quantitative - the ability to use mathematical reasoning as a tool of analysis and as a means of conveying information;
  • Scientific - the ability to understand and to use the scientific method;
  • Ethical - the ability to analyze the principles and assumptions of moral claims and to make informed and reasoned moral arguments;
  • Aesthetic - the ability to analyze visual, performing, or literary art.

Communication - The ability to express ideas, arguments, and information coherently and persuasively orally and in writing.

Historical Consciousness - The ability to understand the achievements, problems, and perspectives of the past and to recognize their influence upon the course of events.

Social & Cultural Awareness - The ability to engage perspectives other than one's own.

Deceptively simple, these four abilities cover a remarkable range of human inquiry. They are interconnected and infuse the Millsaps education in every academic field. By completing our Core, you will increase your proficiency in the Liberal Arts abilities.