The Habib University Liberal Core

The classic Liberal Arts model demands that the total undergraduate experience includes exposure to a broad and inclusive range of existing forms of knowledge. Through the Habib University Liberal Core Curriculum, we ensure that all of our students, regardless of major, conform to this high educational aspiration. No well-educated person should remain ignorant of the insight and perspective offered by the humanities and social sciences, or inarticulate about the wonder of scientific and mathematical inquiry.

Habib University has chosen the Liberal Arts and Sciences model of education because of its commitment to the development of leadership as an essential goal. At the core of our institutional identity is our flagship Habib Liberal Core Curriculum that seeks to fulfill our motto of yohsin: ‘The worth of all humans is in the measure of their thoughtful self-cultivation.’ As students mature, the Habib Liberal Core enables them to reflect on and articulate the most critical aspects of their experience in the world they inherit.

The Core begins with the systematic development of reading, interpretation, analysis, communication, and presentation skills that will continue to be honed throughout the students’ undergraduate careers. The humanities and social sciences component of the curriculum is built around a multidisciplinary engagement with the history, structures, and features of the modern world. From colonialism to nationalism and the nation-state, from war to the global political economy, from the growth of modern media to science and technology, our Liberal Core is committed to a rigorous analysis and critical evaluation of modernity in all its complexity. An encompassing historical understanding is essential to a classic liberal education – one that our core curriculum provides with a critical modern edge.

The principle of yohsin tells us that the cultivation of thoughtful self-awareness is an ancient and universal aspiration. What makes Habib University’s Liberal Core unique is its simultaneous focus on Pakistan’s distinctive intellectual inheritance and the enduring legacy of Western knowledge. To illustrate this commitment, all students are required to complete at least one course in a regional language. A mandatory Liberal Core course, Jehan-e-Urdu (‘The World of Urdu’), investigates modern Urdu literature and criticism in order to illuminate crucial aspects of our modernity.

Finally, no modern education is complete without engagement with scientific thought. Science and scientific method pervade all forms of inquiry as well as our everyday lives. The Habib University Liberal Core Curriculum includes mandatory courses in deductive and quantitative reasoning, natural scientific method and analysis, as well as the nature and place of science in modern societies.

The expanse and logic of the Habib Liberal Core are built on the seven Forms of Thought/Action. The seven Forms of Thought/Action that govern the Habib Liberal Core Curriculum have been adapted from Stanford University’s Breadth Governance model to reflect the regional context. Below are brief descriptions and justifications of the Forms of Thought/Action that reflect and govern the curricular logic at Habib University. All students are required to take a determined minimum of courses under each form of thought/action.