Common Curriculum

The Common Curriculum (CC) stands as a clear expression of the Jesuit vision of education. The CC serves to provide a foundation in a genuinely humanistic education -- in philosophy, religious studies, literature, history, the sciences, and the arts -- complementing the major fields of study of every undergraduate's program. The CC is designed to challenge students to develop all of their talents to the fullest; it calls for critical thinking, reflection, and disciplined study.

The program is comprised of introductory and advanced courses, with requirements that vary slightly depending on students' major or college. Each major's Degree Program Course Listing (DPCL) will list all common curriculum requirements and any exceptions that are applicable. Additionally, students can find out more about common curriculum requirements and exceptions by speaking with their faculty advisor or accessing resources available on the Academic Advising webpage.

The CC is currently undergoing revision. The revised core will be implemented over five years. While students are expected to fulfill the CC requirements of their entering year, they may substitute appropriate courses from the new core curriculum with the approval of their departmental chair and dean.

The Common Curriculum Program

First-Year Seminar (T121) - Total: 3 Credit Hours*

The First-Year Seminar is an interdisciplinary course that focuses on questions of enduring value through the lens of "thinking critically, acting justly." The seminar introduces first-year students to college-level thinking and learning, helps develop writing and speaking skills, and promotes critical problem solving and experiential learning. Students take a first-year seminar in either the fall or spring semester.

First-Year Experience homepage

Introductory Courses (T122-T129) - Total: 24 Credit Hours

Beginning students must take each of the following eight courses (totaling 24 cr. hrs.):

  • English Composition T122 Critical Reading/Writing
  • English T125 Writing About Literature
  • History T122 and T124 World Civilization I and World Civilization II
  • Mathematics T122 Math Models*
  • Philosophy T122 Introduction to Philosophy
  • Religious Studies T122 Introduction to World Religions
  • Science T122 Biology, Chemistry, or Physics

* A different mathematics course may be designated by the student's major department.

Advanced courses (U-Z 130-499) - Total: 21 Credit Hours

The Common Curriculum advanced courses are under three major divisions: behavioral/social sciences, humanities/arts, and natural sciences. Courses are designated either modern or pre-modern within these divisions. Students elect seven courses (totaling 21 cr. hrs.) with two each in philosophy and religious studies, one in behavioral/social sciences, one in humanities/arts (excluding philosophy and religious studies), and one in natural science. Two of the selected advanced courses must be designated pre-modern. A student may not take a Common Curriculum course for Common Curriculum credit from his or her major department. Only courses listed as Common Curriculum in registration materials fulfill requirements of the program. The distribution of required advanced courses across the three divisions follows:

  • Philosophy (two selected courses) 6 credit hours
  • Religious Studies (two selected courses) 6 credit hours
  • Behavioral/Social Science 3 credit hours
  • Humanities/Arts 3 credit hours
  • Natural Science 3 credit hours

The courses offered each semester and their descriptions are found in listings under subject categories.

Part Four - Foreign Language

View full description of Foreign Language Requirements.

All students who enter B.A. or B.S. degree programs (either as freshmen or as transfers) must pass a second-semester course in a foreign language or demonstrate equivalent knowledge by placing into a higher level on a departmental proficiency examination. Some degrees have different language requirements that are listed on the major's DPCL.

Part Five - General Electives

The number of elective hours a student must complete depends on the major.