Core Curriculum

The Core Curriculum is designed to ensure that all Illinois Institute of Technology graduates have a basic understanding of certain essential areas of knowledge. The core curriculum sets minimal requirements. Most degree programs require additional courses in these areas. These additional course requirements are found in the departmental listings. Core curriculum requirements will not be waived. Substitutions may be considered upon written request to the Office of Undergraduate Academic Affairs. Approval will be granted on an individualized basis and then, only under extraordinary circumstances.

  1. Writing and Communication
    Illinois Tech recognizes the importance of critical thinking, writing, and oral communication in all academic pursuits and in professional practice. Illinois Tech is committed to a campus-wide program that engages students in the practice of written and oral communication in all disciplines. This program includes the following components:
    1. Basic Writing Proficiency (BWP). Incoming degree-seeking (not visiting or exchange) students are expected to have a basic level of writing skills, which Illinois Tech refers to as the BWP requirement. There are several ways for incoming students to demonstrate that they have met this requirement:
      1. They can take an appropriate optional section of the ACT or SAT exam and pass it. Passing levels are:
      • 8 or higher on ACT Writing
      • 600 or higher on SAT Writing
      • 9 or higher on SAT Essay
      • 33 or higher on new SAT Writing and Language
      1. They may present transfer or AP credit (4 or higher on the English exam) for COM 101 Writing in the University.
      2. If the BWP is not satisfied by either of these two methods, students must take the Illinois Tech Basic Writing Proficiency Examination before starting classes in their first semester. Passing the exam equals passing the BWP requirement.
      3. Students who do not pass the BWP via the above methods must take and pass an approved composition course (Illinois Tech offers COM 101 each regular semester) within their first academic year at the university.
      4. Students who do not pass their Basic Writing Proficiency requirement in their first academic year are highly unlikely to be able to graduate on schedule. This is because passing the BWP is a prerequisite for enrolling in a required Humanities 200-level course, and passing a Humanities 200-level course is a prerequisite for enrolling in required 300- and 400-level Humanities and Social Sciences courses.
    2. Students must take and pass a writing instruction intensive 200-level Humanities course (see below), or present transfer or AP credit for such a course.
    3. ​Students must complete a minimum of 36 credit hours of courses with a significant written and oral communication component, identified with a (C) in this bulletin, with a minimum distribution as follows:
      1. 12 credit hours in major courses.
      2. 12 credit hours in non-major courses.
      3. Full-time students should enroll in two (C)-designated courses, and part-time students should enroll in one (C)-designated course each academic year.
    4. Students must contact the Illinois Tech Writing Center when referred by course instructors or academic advisers.
  2. Humanities 200-Level Course
    All students must complete one of the following courses:
    HUM 200Topics in Humanities3
    HUM 202Industrial Culture3
    HUM 204Age of Darwin3
    HUM 206Life Stories3
    HUM 208Digital Culture3
    or any other HUM 200-level elective3
  3. Human Sciences Module
    All students must complete 18 credit hours subject to the following distribution requirements:
    1. At least two Humanities courses ((H) designation) at the 300-level or above. Students may use foreign language courses at the intermediate and advanced level to fulfill 300-level requirements.
    2. At least three Social or Behavioral Sciences courses. These courses are marked with an (S) in this bulletin. The courses must be distributed as follows:
      1. At least two courses at the 300-level or above.
      2. Courses from at least two different fields.
      3. At least six credit hours in a single field.
      4. Courses required by and/or applied toward the major or entailed minor requirements of a degree program cannot be used to satisfy the Human Sciences Module of the Core Curriculum except where specifically allowed in certain programs.1
  4. STEM Module
    A minimum 16 credit hours is required between Mathematics and Natural Science or Engineering. 
    1. Mathematics: five to six credit hours
      The courses must be at the level of MATH 119 or above. BUS 221 and PSYC 203 also satisfy this requirement.
    2. Natural Science or Engineering: 10-11 credit hours
      This component may be satisfied by courses in engineering, biology, chemistry, physics, or courses in architecture, food safety and technology, and psychology marked with an (N). These courses must be distributed as follows:
      1. Two sequential natural science or engineering courses in a single field. (CHEM 124 with MS 201 satisfies this requirement.)
      2. At least one natural science or engineering course in a second field.
    3. Computer Science: two credit hours
      All students must complete one of the following courses:
      CS 104Introduction to Computer Programming for Engineers2
      CS 105Introduction to Computer Programming2
      CS 110Computing Principles2
      CS 115Object-Oriented Programming I2
      CS 116Object-Oriented Programming II2
      CS 201Accelerated Introduction to Computer Science4
      ARCH 107Design Communications I: Units and Order3
      ITM 311Introduction to Software Development3
      or a computer science course at the 300-level or above3
  5. Collaborative Interdisciplinary and/or Professional Experience
    All students must take eight credit hours as follows:

    1. Introduction to the Profession (ITP): two credit hours
      In most departments, students must complete this requirement in their first year.2 Students entering with 30 credit hours or more of transfer credit may have this requirement waived with department approval. If waived, the total credit hours required for the degree still must be satisfied.

    2. Interprofessional Projects (IPRO): six credit hours
      Students will participate in at least two Interprofessional Project experiences. These projects develop communication, teamwork, and leadership skills, as well as an awareness of economic, marketing, ethical, and social issues within the framework of a multidisciplinary team project. The project teams will be integrated across academic programs and at different levels within programs. Students who complete an ROTC minor are exempt from one of the two IPRO requirements.

Students may apply coursework from the Core Curriculum's Human Sciences and/or STEM modules toward the non-core requirements of any standing minor, second major, or the second degree of a dual-degree program. This allowance does not override the distribution requirements of either core module for a student's first major or first degree program.