Core courses

Like many other universities worldwide, in response to the need to prevent the disadvantages of over-specialization and considering the university's common goals for all its students, BIHE designed a core curriculum program.

BIHE’s approach to curriculum planning for this program is not shaped by any particular educational theory, rather, it emphasizes certain principles, including capacity-building, caring-critical-creative thinking, and holistic learning.

Course list

At present, this program consists of nine interdisciplinary courses, five mandatory and four optional. The goals of this program include:

  • Enhancing the intellectual and spiritual progress of students
  • Preparing students for serving all humanity while pursuing their academic and professional goals
  • Engaging students in the betterment of the country and advancement of the world civilization
  • Exploring the relationship between science and religion
  • Broadening the dimensions of students' formal education
  • Providing perspective and context for living in an interconnected world in the 21st century

This critical age of accelerating global interdependence requires a comprehensive understanding of the dynamics of the generation, application, and dissemination of knowledge, and their role in advancing a prosperous civilization. BIHE’s Core Curriculum, while acknowledging the independence of various disciplines, attempts to recognize the need for a dialogue between the sciences and the humanities. We believe that all students need such a common understanding to enable them to explore the integration of various branches of knowledge and be engaged in discourse on the relationships between scientific progress, technological innovation, and ethical values. Furthermore, evidence-based practices have clearly demonstrated that adding core curricula to specialized studies enhances students’ resourcefulness and versatility.

The modern curriculum is suffering from over-specialization and too much emphasis on material tools and techniques of civilization. The Core Curriculum is potentially capable of opening a new vista in the horizon of higher education, transcending the piecemeal and mechanical function of education into a holistic understanding of the multiplicity of human experience throughout history. It can also provide students with diverse manifestations of humanity’s spiritual, moral, and social transformation over time.

Students are encouraged to explore how scientific facts fit into a larger and broader scheme of values. Some of the questions they consider in their studies are: How are students a part of the human journey of the past and the future? How can we walk in the footsteps of the great minds and spiritual giants of human civilization? How have different cultures, religions, and nations contributed to the emergence of a global society? What human characteristics have led to the rise and fall of civilizations? What mistakes and erroneous assumptions are a constant theme throughout our collective past, and how can we avoid making them ourselves in this age? What is the nature of science and scientific inquiry? How can our valuable advancements in science, technology, and economic progress over the past few centuries contribute to a more just, peaceful, and prosperous civilization? How can the ideals of unity, peace, and justice inform and shape the future of our global society?

These questions are explored from an interdisciplinary perspective so that students can examine how different branches of knowledge, fields of human experience, and cultural patterns of thought have contributed to an ever-advancing global civilization through the dynamic impulse of human evolution and social progress. Towards this vision, core curriculum courses attempt to synthesize knowledge from different specialized fields, explore science's capacity to support and magnify human capabilities, and to encourage discourse analysis on ethical implications of scientific experiments.

Based on the set curricular goals and principles, BIHE students have to study 21 credit-units (seven courses) of Core Curriculum from a collection of nine courses listed below (five mandatory courses and four optional courses). The core courses conform to the following specifications:

  • reflect unity of knowledge
  • based on cooperative, autonomous learning
  • encourage critical thinking, problem-solving, and the ethics of caring
  • explore relationships between the sciences and humanities
  • promote service projects
  • foster a sense of creativity, initiative, and innovation
  • designed according to reasoning modalities in interdisciplinary studies

Course list

Beyond the Culture of Contest

Are conflict and competition inevitable expressions of human nature? Is self-interested competition the only way to motivate people to strive for excellence? Or is it possible for humanity to transcend the prevailing culture of contest, along with the myriad social and ecological problems it creates?

History of Ideas in Persian Civilization

This course is intended to introduce students to the history and evolution of thought in the Persian civilization from ancient times to the Constitutional era; and to analyze the impact of these trends of thought on contemporary Iran...

Writing Skills

This course is designed to help students improve the skills they need to write for academic purposes, and to increase their reading comprehension. For this, the course modules provide the essential knowledge and training in key areas of academic writing...

Human Rights

This course helps the students to learn about the concepts and resources related to human rights and fundamental freedoms and to empower them intellectually and ethically to bring about transformation in themselves and to become active agents of transformation in their community and society.

Introduction to Epistemology and Methods of Acquiring Knowledge

This is a course about the nature and origin of knowledge and the methodologies of knowledge acquisition. It consists of the study of philosophical, religious...

Nature of Science

This course prepares students for a more conscious and conscientious participation in their academic and professional lives, through appreciation of science (alongside religion, and not in conflict with it) as a valuable and essential agent of progress in individual and social life...

Transformative Leadership

Moral education is not just about avoiding harmful behavior; nor is it limited to acquiring and developing virtues. Rather, it means helping learners to become actively involved in addressing the needs of their communities...

Economics and Employment

This course explores the economic rationale of the everyday choices and decisions people, organizations, and governments make for allocating resources, and provides insight into how these affect every aspect of our lives...

Global Citizenship

This course addresses a variety of aspects of global citizenship to introduce the global dimension of modern life and its requirements and challenges...