Key Skills and Knowledge

All students complete a wide range of courses beyond their chosen major(s) and optional minor(s). Students who entered Wagner before the fall of 2018 will follow the General Education curriculum. Students who entered Wagner beginning in the fall of 2018 will follow the Key Skills & Knowledge curriculum.

Key Skills & Knowledge serve as a foundation for your major, broaden your perspective, and bring you and your professors into dialogue with the larger intellectual and professional communities inside and outside the College. This curriculum comprises knowledge areas, skills, and learning communities.

KNOWLEDGE AREAS: Courses in the arts, humanities, sciences and mathematics, and social sciences will deepen your understanding across knowledge areas.

  • The Arts—2 units chosen from the following disciplines: art, art history, dance, music, theatre.
  • Humanities—3 units chosen from the following disciplines: English, foreign languages, history, philosophy, religion, MDS 106, MDS 107.
  • Social Sciences—3 units chosen from the following disciplines: anthropology, economics, political science, psychology, sociology, and MDS 103, MDS 109.
  • Sciences & Mathematics—3 units chosen from the following disciplines: astronomy, biology, chemistry, mathematics, microbiology, physics, physical sciences.

SKILLS: You will gain both intensive study and practice in intercultural understanding, creativity, critical reading and analysis, information literacy, quantitative thinking, technological competency, oral communication, and written communication across multiple courses. For each skill, students complete at least one course with an intensive focus. Additional courses offer practice or exposure in that skill. See the Bulletin Course Designations for a full list of the many courses across all disciplines that fulfill these skills.

  • Intercultural understanding (1 intensive plus 2 practice/exposure/intensive)
  • Creativity (1 intensive plus 2 practice/exposure/intensive)
  • Critical reading and analysis (1 intensive plus 2 practice/exposure/intensive)
  • Information literacy and technological competency (1 intensive in each topic plus 1 practice/exposure/intensive in either topic)
  • Quantitative thinking (1 intensive plus 2 practice/exposure/intensive)
  • Oral communication (1 intensive plus 2 practice/exposure/intensive)
  • Written communication (courses in the First-Year Program and Senior Learning Community plus 1 intensive and 2 practice/exposure/intensive)

LEARNING COMMUNITIES: In three Learning Communities (First-Year Program, Intermediate Learning Community, and Senior Learning Community) you’ll discover the links across disciplines, the value of civic engagement, and the role of disciplinary knowledge in everyday decision-making. Students participate in at least three learning communities, of which two include field work, research, and/or an internship in an organization, usually in New York City or the surrounding area.