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Sugar House Journal

Westminster Welcomes the Class of 2020 with Revamped Curriculum

Aug 25, 2016 12h50 ● By Bryan Scott

Press Release submitted to City Journals

SALT LAKE CITY – Westminster welcomed 448 first-year students to campus for the first day of class today. The Class of 2020 will be the first to experience Westminster’s revamped liberal education curriculum: WCore.  

From vampires to voting and national parks, Westminster's Class of 2020 begins their college experience engaging in a new liberal education curriculum that incorporates their general education requirements into some not-so-traditional courses. All incoming students will participate in the college's new WCore. They will explore subjects and ideas through unique courses, while also having time to pursue minors and electives with a reduced-hour requirement.

“When we started designing WCore, we wanted to get past the stereotype many colleges face of students coming in and saying ‘okay what classes do I have to get out of the way?’” said Barb Smith, WCore committee chair and professor of psychology at Westminster. “We said, ‘let’s break away from tradition and do something really different.’”

Forget snoozing through Math 101 or Intro to Psychology. Students now have choices like Counting Votes, a look at U.S. voting methodology that puts mathematics to use in new ways; or Bust that Psych Myth, which exposes legends such as the power of hypnosis.

Westminster students must take six total WCore classes, fulfill four Emphases and complete an Engaging the World requirement. They will finish WCore with a senior capstone project and showcase. The design provides more time in a student’s schedule for major, a minor and/or electives.

New Major and Minors

The Class of 2020 also has new minors in entrepreneurship, global studies and data science — and a major in educational studies to choose from. Westminster’s Board of Trustees approved the new programs in the spring. 

The entrepreneurship minor is available to any student, not just business majors. It provides students from any discipline — like biology, computer programming or writing — the skills needed to apply principles of business startups to their careers while pursuing their passion. Westminster’s data science minor is another way students in any major can gain a competitive edge in the analysis industry. The global studies minor is for students interested in the cross-cultural and international study of an emergent global society.

The educational studies major is for students interested in teaching environments outside of traditional K–12 schools. Possibilities include teaching in foreign countries, workplaces, museums or nonprofits and working in outdoor industries. 

“I’m excited to get started and get to know Salt Lake City,” said Kaya Tate, a first-year student from Albuquerque, N.M. “I chose Westminster because I wanted to make sure I would be able to explore humanities classes at a liberal arts school. I really like the way professors design the classes, having us dive right in.” 

2016 First-Year Student Profile


43% male                       

57% female   

17% U.S. students of color

6% multi-racial

4% international/non-resident students

52% from Utah

48% from out-of-state

Financial Aid Awarded:

98% of incoming first-year class received a financial aid award

Average financial aid award: $25,991

(Funding received from scholarship, work programs, federal loans and grants)

About Westminster:

Westminster is a private, independent and comprehensive college in Salt Lake City, Utah. Students experience the liberal arts blended with professional programs in an atmosphere dedicated to civic engagement. With the goal of enabling its graduates to live vibrant, just and successful lives, Westminster provides transformational learning experiences for both undergraduate and graduate students in a truly student-centered environment. Faculty focus on teaching, learning and developing distinctive, innovative programs, while students thrive on Westminster’s urban Sugar House campus within minutes of the Rocky Mountains. For more information, visit or follow WestminsterSLC on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.