2017 SAS Graduates at Convocation

In a beloved community, all members are working together, and are heard, respected, and valued.
-- President Holloway

The School of Arts and Science (SAS) is the comprehensive arts and sciences school of Rutgers—New Brunswick. Students study and actively engage in research with our world-class research faculty as they create new knowledge and understandings of the natural environment and human behavior across 40 disciplines. Within the scope of the knowledge and skill competencies necessary to successfully meet the rapidly changing economic and social demands of the twenty-first century and design purposeful lives is a deep understanding of the challenging social justice issues of our day in addressing diversity, equity, and inclusion.

The student body in SAS reflects the rich diversity of the State of New Jersey and draws many students from around the country and the globe to be part of this vitality, like the celebrating members of the class of 2017 pictured above.  It is of utmost importance therefore that we provide opportunities for learning about equity and practicing inclusion. 

While a liberal arts education can naturally provide exposure to critical thinking, the SAS Core Curriculum intentionally foregrounds a broad range of foundational learning goals for students to grapple with the most compelling issues of our day while also gaining depth in particular areas of interest through completion of a major and minor. 

Below are some highlights of how an Arts and Sciences education addresses the issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion. 


SAS Core Curriculum Contemporary Challenges

1902 Gate with Contemporary Challenges graphic over top of it

The SAS Core Curriculum focuses on the learning goals that form the core of liberal arts and sciences education at a leading 21st-century public research university. 

The Core Curriculum begins with four learning goals that bring the diverse and rich intellectual heritage of the liberal arts and sciences to bear on the Contemporary Challenges Rutgers graduates will face as global citizens and leaders.

Emphasizing the ability to critically examine the natural environment, human behavior, and the individual’s role in society, the Core Curriculum’s Areas of Inquiry learning goals develop a range of critical thinking skills. The Core Curriculum equips Rutgers students with the Cognitive Skills and Processes central to undergraduate studies, life-long learning, and participation in the world of ideas and the corridors of power. Through the Core, students hone their Writing and Communication skills and develop their Quantitative and Formal Reasoning skills.

The goal that intentionally foregrounds issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion and is required for all students is Contemporary Challenges. 

Contemporary Challenges 

Students must take two degree credit-bearing courses and meet at least one goal in both CCD and CCO as follows contemporary challenges

Diversities and Social Inequalities [CCD] (3 credits) 

Students must take one degree credit-bearing course that meets one or both of these goals.

  • CCD-1. Analyze the degree to which forms of human differences and stratifications among social groups shape individual and group experiences of, and perspectives on, contemporary issues. Such differences and stratifications may include race, language, religion, ethnicity, country of origin, gender identity, sexual orientation, economic status, abilities, or other social distinctions and their intersections.
  • CCD-2. Analyze contemporary social justice issues and unbalanced social power systems.

Our Common Future [CCO] 

Students must take one degree credit-bearing course that meets one or both of these goals.

  • CCO-1. Analyze a contemporary global issue from a multidisciplinary perspective.
  • CCO-2. Analyze the relationship that science and technology have to a contemporary social issue.


SAS Signature Courses Address Pressing Issues

Students in class

School of Arts and Sciences Signature Courses are foundational courses covering engaging topics of grand intellectual sweep and enduring importance. They are designed and taught by our renowned scholars-teachers with new courses added every year to respond to new and ongoing challenges. In the Signature Course Data 101 pictured above, students get hands-on experience with coding in class and learn to analyze data to learn to make informed decisions about the "bid data" that is everywhere today. These courses establish a common basis for intellectual exchange and define us as the School of Arts and Sciences (SAS) community of students and scholars working together to address the most pressing issues of our day, including issues of diversity and social justice. 


View all past and current Signature Courses 


SAS Educational Opportunity Fund

School of Arts Sciences EOF students

The Educational Opportunity Fund is a New Jersey state-legislated program. It provides access to higher education for students who demonstrate the potential to succeed in college, and possess a high level of academic motivation, who qualify for admission on the basis of academic and financial need. EOF Scholars receive a grant that is part of their financial aid package and participate in a range of programs designed to support their success in college, including a pre-college Summer Institute bridge program and 1:1 academic/personal counseling.

The Rutgers University School of Arts and Sciences (SAS) Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) Program is the largest in New Jersey, serving over 1300 scholars in multiple schools across Rutgers–New Brunswick, like the SAS EOF student panelists I’Janae Bell, Luis Morfa, and Peter Ruiz (pictured l. to r.) who shared their Rutgers journeys with the SAS EOF class of 2023 in the fall of 2019.


Learn more about SAS EOF