Engaging Minds, Transforming Lives


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Curriculum Timeline

The Paideia Seminars and clustered courses will be offered multiple times over the course of a cohort’s academic career in order to ensure sufficient flexibility to accommodate a student’s major and other degree requirements.

Paideia features six themes in the first full year. Attached to each theme will be a cluster of courses offered over a cohort’s first three years at SU. Students will be required to take (at least) three of the clustered courses associated with their chosen theme. The culminating experience of Paideia is a theme-based, team-taught interdisciplinary seminar (the Paideia Seminar). Completion of, three clustered courses related to the theme is the prerequisite for the Paideia Seminar.

The following time-line is to help understand how a student will move through the interdisciplinary Paideia.  The chart below illustrates cluster courses and Paideia Seminar available to a single student as he or she progresses at Southwestern.  The student would select three cluster courses and one seminar from the courses and seminars available.

Year Fall Spring
1 First Year Seminar, Advanced Entry Seminar
Introduction to the themes
Clustered courses offered
2 Clustered courses offered Clustered courses offered
3 Clustered courses offered Clustered courses offered/
Paideia Seminar offered
4 Paideia Seminar offered Paideia Seminar Offered


Students will be introduced to the interdisciplinary themes during their first semester and could start taking courses associated with those themes in their first year. For the first three years of a theme, multiple clustered courses will be available each semester (see illustration above). This should allow students sufficient opportunity to complete three courses associated with their theme before enrollment in the Paideia Seminar. Starting with the spring semester of a cohort’s junior year, each Paideia Seminar will be offered every semester.