The Fairhaven College Core Curriculum

The Interdisciplinary Core Curriculum replaces Western's General University Requirements for Fairhaven College students, regardless of choice of major.

Fairhaven's unique core program includes a series of courses designed to widen students' exposure to areas of study, to connections among disciplines and to interdisciplinary theory and practice. Its purpose is to help students become perceptive, probing learners who can ask questions and pursue answers with care and confidence. Skills in reading, writing, presentation and analysis are emphasized. Each course deals with methods of knowing and understanding, themes, modes of creativity and practical applications to be found in each area of study.

Liberal arts coursework in the "Exploratory Studies" sequence of the Core Curriculum has been carefully crafted as interdisciplinary foundational coursework. Additional courses in the Core foster skills for independent learning, support enhancement of college-level writing skills, advance the development of the Interdisciplinary Concentration, provide opportunity for applied learning and promote reflection and evaluation of the educational experience.

Core classes are characterized by:

  • Collaborative seminar format
  • Small classes to encourage interaction (15-20 students)
  • Strong mentoring/advising
  • Thematic interdisciplinary studies mirroring the shape of complex issues
  • Instruction shared by Fairhaven faculty members adapting diverse themes of their disciplinary expertise to core studies

Curricular Stages

The Fairhaven College Core Curriculum is required of all Fairhaven students and has 3 curricular stages:

  1. Exploratory Studies,
  2. Concentrated Studies
  3. Advanced Studies.

Courses marked with an asterisk (*) are waived for students transferring into Fairhaven College with a Direct Transfer Associate of Arts Degree (DTA- AA) from a Washington state community college.  Other students transferring coursework into Fairhaven College's program will receive individual transfer credit evaluations at the time of enrollment.

Curriculum Stages and Requirements



Fair 101A        An Introduction to Interdisciplinary Study at Fairhaven                 1 credit
                                    (required in the first quarter of enrollment)
Fair 201A        Critical and Reflective Inquiry                                                        5 credits
                                   (required in the first quarter of enrollment)
Fair 203A        Social Relationships and Responsibility: Theories and Critiques  5 credits
                                   (required in the first or second quarter of enrollment)
Fair 301A        Writing and Transition Conference                                                 3 credits
Fair 202A        Humanities and the Expressive Arts I*                                           5 credits
Fair 206A        Science and Our Place on the Planet I*                                         5 credits

One FAIR course in each of the following areas, numbered 300 or above:
FAIR XXX        Humanities and the Expressive Arts II*                                          4-5 credits
FAIR XXX        Society and the Individual II*                                                          4-5 credits
FAIR XXX        Science and Our Place on the Planet II*                                        4-5 credits


Option A:  Western Major
Option B:  Fairhaven Interdisciplinary Concentration:
                        Fair 303A, Concentration Seminar                                                 5 credits
                        Fair 401A, Senior Project                                                               Variable credit
Option C:  Upside-Down Degree Program


Fair 403A         Advanced Seminar                                                                        4 credits
(Required of all students regardless of major, usually in final quarter)