Complex Questions: Global Challenges and Social Justice

A Union student in French class

Starting in fall 2022, all students will participate in the Complex Questions: Global Challenges and Social Justice curriculum, though the breadth offerings available will make each student’s journey unique. The one constant of this curriculum is to provide the tools and context necessary to help our students drive meaningful change in the world.

The Complex Questions: Global Challenges and Social Justice curriculum will be phased-in, with the class of 2026 completing a minimum of six Perspectives and the class of 2027 completing a minimum of seven Perspectives. The curriculum will be fully implemented for students entering in the fall of 2024 (class of 2028), with students completing eight Perspectives.

In addition to a first-year inquiry course, students will take eight Complex Questions: Global Challenges and Social Justice courses over the course of their four years at Union. Students will be required to take at least one Global Challenge course and one Justice, Equity, Identity, and Difference course.

One of the most distinctive elements of the Complex Questions: Global Challenges and Social Justice curriculum is its interdisciplinary approach. Students will explore their chosen themes through myriad dimensions. Through the curriculum, every student will be exposed to at least one course in each of the following academic Perspectives - delivered within a real-world context.

  • Creative works/arts and design
  • Cultural and historical foundations
  • Data and quantitative reasoning
  • Engineering, technology, and society
  • Literatures
  • Natural and physical sciences
  • Social analysis, politics, and ethics
  • World languages
Poetry class

By pursuing coursework in each of these Perspectives related to a specific topic area, Union students develop a deeper understanding of the dynamics at play in these issues that is necessary to help them drive meaningful change in the world.

Beyond that, through the Complex Questions: Global Challenges and Social Justice curriculum, Union students receive the type of broad exposure to multiple academic Perspectives that is likely to encourage them to fully explore their educational interests - including areas they may not have considered prior to coming to college. This is consistent with Union's long history of encouraging students to combine their academic interests as broadly as possible.

Dive deeper into the new curriculum.