Core Curriculum


At Gonzaga, all undergraduate students follow a common program designed to complete their education in those areas which the University considers essential for a liberal and humanistic education, as well as a more specialized program of the student's own choosing. The University Core Curriculum consists of thirty-one semester credits. Individual schools and college also have core curricula of their own which compliment the University's Core.

The University Core Requirements are grouped into five basic areas:

I. Thought and Expression (7 credits): This is a set of three courses designed to be taken as a block in one of the semesters of undergraduate's first year: ENGL 101 English Composition; PHIL 101 Critical Thinking; and COMM 100 Speech Communication.

II. Philosophy (9 credits): Three courses in Philosophy beyond PHIL 101 taken in sequence: PHIL 201 Philosophy of Human Nature; PHIL 301 Ethics; and one 400 level Philosophy elective.

III. Religious Studies (9 credits): Three courses in religious studies taken in sequence: one in scriptural studies (100 level), one in Christian doctrine (200 level), and one in applied theology (300 level).

IV. Mathematics (3 credits): One course in mathematics (MATH) on the 100 level or above. (NURS 320 substitutes for MATH for BSN students.) Course work in Computer Science (CPSC), or courses without the MATH prefix, do not fulfill this requirement. MATH 203 and 204 fulfill this requirement only for students who graduate with certification in Elementary Education.

V. English Literature (3 credits): One course in English literature (ENGL 102, ENGL 105, or ENGL 106).

Learning and the University Core Curriculum


The program learning objectives for the university core curriculum are derived from the student learning outcomes for core courses developed and agreed upon by the departments that teach core courses:  Communication Arts, English, Mathematics, Philosophy, and Religious Studies.  Each department also has course-level learning outcomes for its courses in the university core.  Links to these outcomes are below.

University Core Curriculum Program Learning Objectives


Upon completing the University Core Curriculum, students will be able to demonstrate

  • Basic literacy in and application of discipline-specific questions, concepts, and methods in rhetoric, literature, mathematics, religious studies/theology, and philosophy
  • The ability to

o Communicate effectively in oral and written form

o Read and think critically

o Reason ethically

 Departmental Core Course Learning Outcomes

Communication Arts




Religious Studies