Shalem College

The centerpiece of a Shalem education, the Core Curriculum is required of all students, regardless of their major. By stimulating thinking across disciplines, and helping to fit pieces into a coherent whole, the Core provides students with a solid basis for further study in any field, and success in most any profession.

Moreover, when all students encounter the same texts at the same time, their ideas and questions create a conversation that permeates and enriches the learning experience in a way no other curriculum can.

The Shalem Core is grounded in seminal works that explore both the human condition and the mysteries of the natural world—across time and place, in diverse styles, and from different, often conflicting perspectives. Read together, these classic texts compel students to ask both timeless and timely questions. They teach students to think critically and meaningfully about what it means to be an active participant in both the Western and Jewish intellectual traditions, and an influential citizen of a modern Jewish state.

Core books

30 number of classics included in the Core Curriculum syllabi.

25 number of students in most seminars. Core courses derive their vitality from the intimate, highly participatory environment in which they’re taught, and which challenge students to adopt, develop, and defend their positions.


Comprising courses in history, philosophy, literature, economics, Jewish thought, Islam, and the natural sciences, the Shalem Core, like those of America’s most esteemed colleges and universities, offers students a foundation on which to build both personal identity and professional achievement.

Plato walks alongside Aristotle, School of Athnes by Raphael

Western & Eastern Philosophy and Religion

Greek Philosophy
Modern Philosophy
Introduction to Islam
Introduction to Christianity
Foundations of Classical Indian Civilization

Beit Knesset

Jewish Thought

The Hebrew Bible
Rabbinic Literature
Medieval Jewish Philosophy
Contemporary Jewish and Zionist Thought

Notes Sheet

Literature, Art, and Music

Western Literature I and II
Hebrew Literature from Yehuda Leib Gordon to Nathan Alterman
The Language of Music
History of Art
Expository and Academic Writing
English Language

ancient map

History and Social Sciences

Applied Economics
Philosophy of Economics
Introduction to Social Sciences
Western and Middle Eastern History I and II
Israel and a Jewish and Democratic State
Challenges and Schisms in Israeli Society

DNA close up

Mathematics and the Natural Sciences

Statistics, Measurement, and Quantitative Reasoning