Peabody students typically enroll in a two-year Core Curriculum earning 12 credits over four semesters. Core courses addressing varied subjects and themes are taught by faculty with different areas of specialization. Generic descriptions of these courses are below; descriptions of the specific classes, which change from semester to semester, are posted prior to registration.

Students may petition the Liberal Arts Dept. to substitute courses at Homewood or elsewhere for our core courses.  Some students will complete two required semesters (6 credits) of our Critical Writing Intensive course before beginning the Core Curriculum.

Core I:  Analytical Thinking and Writing  (3 credits, fall), 260.115

A first semester course addressing significant historical, philosophical, and/or literary texts with relevance to contemporary culture and artistic production. This discussion course prioritizes analysis, interpretation, and self-expression through carefully supervised reading and writing assignments. Students typically write and revise four short analytical papers on assigned texts.

Core II:  Writing and Research Methods (3 credits, spring) 260.216

This course exercises skills of academic research by employing tools and resources of the Sheridan Libraries of Johns Hopkins University. Students complete a formal academic research paper, typically of 15 – 18 pages, on a research topic of  their choice. Following models of professional research, students will identify appropriate source materials, properly employing and documenting them in their writing. Prerequisite:  Core I or approved placement.

Click here for research guidance.

Core III: Critical Methods (3 credits, offered fall and spring) PY 260.359 

Introduction to methods and practices in the humanities, social sciences, or natural sciences.  Course objectives:  ensuring competence in understanding critical methodologies and academic debate.  Students will write two critical assessments involving evidence, evaluation, synthesis, and conclusion (at least 4-6 pages each) and pass a final exam or final project. Prerequisite:  Core II or approved placement.

Core IV: Art, Culture, and Society (3 credits, fall and spring)   PY 260.360

Sustained consideration of the role of art (music, literature, fine arts, film) in all aspects of society, focusing on particular periods in history or under particular regimes and political structures.  Course objectives: ensuring that all Peabody students have the opportunity to think historically about the role of art and culture in political society and about the economic and cultural systems supporting the creation of art (e.g. patronage, guilds).  Students will be required to write one historical “review” of a work of art in historical context (2-3 pages) and one historical research paper (6-8 pages minimum). Prerequisite:  Core II or approved placement.