General Questions

How many classes are required for each Pathway?
Three courses. There are distinct course lists to choose from for each Pathway.

What does it mean when you choose a Pathway; does choosing a Pathway require you to take certain classes or attend certain events regarding that Pathway?
When you choose a Pathway, you must complete three courses on the course list for that Pathway in order to receive the designation as a Cornerstone Scholar. You may choose which three from the list of designated courses you wish to take. Special events for each Pathway will be offered to students to supplement coursework and offer pre-professional development, but attendance at extracurricular events is not mandatory.

How do I choose a Pathway if there's no obvious connection between any of them and my major?
Regardless of your major, the Cornerstone Director and your undergraduate advisor can help you to select a Pathway that will support your academic interests and/or professional goals. If you are, for instance, a Theology or English major, you may want to consider the Global Scholars Pathway if you plan on studying abroad or if you have a general interest in learning more about other cultures. Or, if you think that you may move into policy or non-profit work, you might consider the PPE Pathway. We're happy to talk more with you about your interests and work to find the right Pathway for you.

Is it possible to complete 2 Pathways?
Yes! You can work with your major and undergraduate advisors to see how you could fit the necessary courses into your schedule and we can also work with you on identifying courses that could potentially count for more than one Pathway.

What happens if I cannot attend the Pathway information session?
Please feel free to email Dr. Okuma (okuma@cua.edu) or Dean Smith (smithsr@cua.edu) to set up a meeting to discuss any questions or concerns you have about the Pathways.

Pathway-Specific Questions

What does the Research Scholars Pathway involve and what kind of guidance will I receive?
Research Scholars are placed in a match program to be assigned to a research lab during their first year. They take a SAS 125: Cornerstone Research Mentorship, a one credit course, during the spring of their freshman year. This course allows students to present their research to faculty and students, consider the broad implications of their work, and receive professional development.

Research Scholars in the School of Engineering take PHIL 362 Professional Ethics in Engineering or a discipline-specific ethics course. Research Scholars in other schools choose two additional courses from the list of Research Scholars Pathway courses.

How does the Global Scholars Pathway work with studying abroad?
Global Scholars can complete their path by completing three courses from the list of Pathway courses OR by taking 3 humanities courses while abroad. Individual humanities courses taken on summer study abroad programs may also count towards completion of this Pathway.

How can I manage fitting in time to study abroad for the Global Scholars pathway if I am pursuing an academic path that doesn’t allow for much flexibility in my schedule?
One option is to study abroad during the summer - programs like the Irish Studies Summer Institute offer humanities courses during the summer term and also offer scholarships to assist with funding. However, it is also not mandatory that Global Scholars study abroad, although we strongly encourage students who can to do so.

Major-Specific Questions

How might a specialization in finance be incorporated into one of these Pathways?
The PPE Pathway is a good fit for students in finance: The PPE Pathway is designed for students who are interested in how political theory, political philosophy, and economic theory intersect in organizing and running institutions and societies. Its aim is to help students acquire basic fluency in each discipline and to provide extracurricular forums in which the disciplines can be brought to bear on common problems. The PPE Pathway is intended for students going into government, civil service, and/or professional schools.

Students who are interested in international finance would also benefit from the Global Scholars Pathway.

If I chose to minor in Politics, would the Philosophy, Politics, and Economics pathway be a better choice for me?
It depends on the nature of your interest in Politics. PPE is a strong choice for Politics majors because of its emphasis, but students interested in International Politics will also benefit from the Global Scholars Pathway.

What category does social work fit under?
As is the case with many majors, there are multiple Pathways that might be of interest to a student studying social work. For a student who is interested in public policy, PPE would be a good fit; for students who want to broaden their perspective and engage with different cultures, Global Scholars provides that opportunity; the Medical Humanities Pathway provides a humanities foundation and context for students interested in the medical field and, as a result, can be helpful to students in social work because it is interested in the relationship between health, wellbeing, and culture in a broad sense.

As a Pre-Med student, I think that both the Medical Humanities and the Research Pathways would be beneficial to my future career, so I am not sure which one to choose.
If you are interested in the Research Scholar Pathway, you can speak with Dr. Okuma (okuma@cua.edu) in order to determine if it’s the right pathway for you. Much of what makes that a good fit depends on the major that you are pursuing, since the Research Pathway has been designed specifically for STEM students whose major requirements make it virtually impossible to pursue the other Pathways without overelecting.

If I'm an Architecture major, can I pursue the Research Scholars Pathway?
If you are studying Architecture and are interested in the Research Scholars Pathway, please contact Dean Seth Smith (smithsm@cua.edu) during the fall semester of your first year.