General Education

General Education is sometimes called “the Core”—and for good reason. The crucial intellectual skills and discernment provided by Hope’s General Education courses form the vital center of an education suitable for our rapidly changing, complex world.

Hope offers students an integrative program beginning with a first-year seminar course and culminating in a capstone senior seminar. The first-year seminar provides students an intellectual transition to Hope College. The focus is on active, college-level learning in the liberal arts. Students enhance their skills in reading primary texts, reflective writings, small group discussion and oral presentations. Teachers of these seminars serve as advisors to the students in their classes.

The curriculum between the first-year seminar and the senior seminar balances flexibility and purposefulness—providing guidance but allowing for personal choice. The goal is to provide all students, no matter what their major, with the knowledge and attitudes needed to solve unscripted problems as citizens, workers, travelers, leaders, church members, volunteers and participants in the arts.

As students prepare to graduate from Hope, they explicitly confront questions of value and belief in their interdisciplinary senior seminar. Senior seminars discuss Christianity, raise fundamental human questions and help students reflect about how their choices matter to their future and to their service to others. Students formulate their own views in a culminating life view paper.

 Hope’s General Education curriculum:

  • Develops skills and habits for research, discernment and effective action, including strengths in oral and written communication.
  • Produces responsible, effective global citizens through language and cultural studies that develop capacities to bring different people together to solve problems, whether in the workplace, one’s community, or in business or organization.
  • Explores life’s most important questions in humanities, religion and natural and social sciences.