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The University Curriculum

University Curriculum Page Navigation

The University curriculum comprises a diverse set of academic offerings and requirements, each designed to build high-quality learning environments both in and outside of the classroom.

Curricular development and improvement, a continuous responsibility of the University's faculty, is the primary function of the Academic Affairs sector administered by the Office of the Provost.

Undergraduate Education

A baccalaureate education exposes students to a diverse array of academic areas. Our undergraduate program includes requirements and electives to enhance intellectual capabilities and stimulate intellectual curiosity.

In addition to completing coursework for a specific major, students must complete an extensive general education program to sharpen writing, speaking, computation, and critical thinking skills needed to ensure knowledge of the sciences, humanities, fine arts, and social sciences—the basic subject areas upon which all academic endeavors are based. Improved understanding of ethnic minorities, broader knowledge of global cultures, and an understanding of United States history, constitution, and American ideals are further goals of the undergraduate education program. This diverse curriculum is designed to stimulate a lifelong interest in learning.

Graduate Education

Built on the foundation of the baccalaureate, graduate education offers the master's degree to students who successfully complete a program of advanced study, scholarly investigation, and research in a specific academic field. While the acquisition of knowledge is a major task of undergraduate education, the utilization, synthesis, and advancement of knowledge are the major goals of graduate study.

Through a coherent pattern of courses, graduate students develop research methods appropriate to their discipline and culminate their studies with a thesis, project, or comprehensive examination. Students who have earned the master's degree have acquired sufficient mastery of a discipline for further study in a doctoral program and/or for significant professional careers in industry, education, research, government, or private organizations.

The Colleges, Schools, and Departments

Within Academic Affairs, subject disciplines are grouped into various administrative units based on commonality of the curriculum. There are seven colleges, each representing a major segment of the academic community and administered by a dean; and two interdisciplinary units: Undergraduate Education and the Office of Graduate Studies.

Within the colleges are individual departments that define the specific disciplines and several schools that either link together departments (schools of the Arts, Communication, Education, and Engineering) or operate in lieu of a department (schools of Nursing and Agriculture).

Colleges are organized into two broad categories—liberal arts and sciences, and professional studies—to define the colleges, schools, and departments that comprise the administrative structure of Academic Affairs.

The Colleges of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Liberal arts courses constitute the very heart of a university education. Historically, universities have grown up around the liberal arts—the arts and humanities, the natural sciences, and the social sciences. These disciplines provide a foundation learning experience for all college students, whatever their interests or career aspirations.

The General Education program draws nearly its entire curriculum from the liberal arts, and many professional programs depend heavily on liberal arts prerequisites for their own majors. Liberal arts majors offer a solid education for responsible contributions to a complex, modern world; equip students to reason, write, and communicate well; immerse them in moral and humane sensibilities; and bring them into intelligent and thoughtful contact with their physical and social worlds and with themselves. While many liberal arts majors lead to specific careers, all provide an education which promises value throughout life.

The College of Behavioral and Social Sciences

Undergraduate programs include anthropology, child development, criminal justice, economics, geography and planning, international relations, intersectional Chicanx and Latinx studies, legal studies, public administration, multicultural and gender studies, political science, psychology, public health and health services administration, social science, social work, sociology, and women’s studies. Graduate programs include anthropology, applied/school psychology, marriage and family therapy, political science, psychological science, public administration, social science, and social work.

The College of Humanities and Fine Arts

The School of the Arts with departments in art and art history; comparative religion and humanities; English; history; international languages, literatures, and cultures; music and theatre arts; and philosophy.

The College of Natural Sciences

The School of Nursing. Additional departments and programs in biological sciences, chemistry and biochemistry, geological and environmental sciences, mathematics and statistics, nutrition and food science, physics, and science eduation.

The Colleges of Professional Studies

The professional colleges provide a career emphasis built upon a strong liberal arts background. The courses of study include agriculture, business, communication, education, engineering, computer science, and construction management. Students may select career options from a variety of specialties.

The professional programs emphasize concepts fundamental to both current and future practice in the selected field. Global acculturation taking place in all fields and rapid development of economic, managerial, and technological processes require professional studies to provide a lifelong learning approach.

The programs stress development of communication and analytical skills in preparation for careers in corporations, government agencies, or private practice. Education in the professional fields beyond graduation continues to be a hallmark of our modern society; our professional studies curriculum provides a broadly based program of study that places a premium upon the ability for future growth of the individual and an understanding of the place of the professional in a civilized and complex world.

The College of Agriculture

Programs in agricultural science and education, animal science, plant science, land stewardship, and agricultural business.

The College of Business

Programs in professional accounting, business analytics, entrepreneurship and small business management, finance, human resource management, management, marketing, management information systems, operations and supply chain management, and project management.

The College of Communication and Education

The School of Communication includes departments of communication arts and sciences, and journalism; and programs in graphic design; media arts, design, and technology; speech pathology and audiology; news-editorial; public relations; and organizational and speech communications.

The School of Education, includes teacher education, bilingual education, Mini-Corps, Upward Bound, and the Teacher Recruitment Project. The college also includes the departments of kinesiology; recreation, hospitality, and parks management, and the Liberal Studies Program.

The College of Engineering, Computer Science, and Construction Management

Departments and programs in computer animation and game development, computer engineering, computer science, civil engineering, electrical/electronic engineering, mechatronic engineering, mechanical engineering, advanced manufacturing and applied robotics, construction management, and concrete industry management.

Interdisciplinary Programs

Interdisciplinary programs use curriculum and faculty from numerous colleges and disciplines and do not logically fit within any single academic area. These include:

Office of Graduate Studies

The Office of Graduate Studies administers postbaccalaureate programs, including master's degrees and options in 40 disciplinary programs and the Master of Arts or Science in interdisciplinary studies. In conjunction with the colleges, schools, and departments, the Office of Graduate Studies encourages all forms of postbaccalaureate education and the production, dissemination, and application of new knowledge.

Special Undergraduate Programs and Research

The Office of the Provost oversees: general education, Chico Student Success Center, First-Year Experience Program, Office of Civic Engagement, and the Honors Program. The provost also oversees sponsored projects, grants, and contract activities which facilitate faculty development, faculty and student research, scholarship and creative activity.

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