College of Arts and Sciences

Dean: Elisabeth Mermann-Jozwiak
Associate Deans: Matt Bahr, Patricia Terry


The College of Arts and Sciences develops women and men for others, ready to face the intellectual, vocational, and spiritual challenges of today and tomorrow.

The College is primarily responsible for delivering courses in the University Core curriculum, the center of Gonzaga’s humanistic, Catholic, Jesuit education. The departments and programs that make up the College also offer students majors, minors and concentrations in specialized fields, preparing them for immediate careers or for further studies.  For students in Arts and Science majors, the College has a language requirement, as well.

Degree Programs in the College of Arts and Sciences

Bachelor of Arts, Honors: This degree is awarded to students who pursue their basic undergraduate education under the direction of the Honors Program. A specific core Honors curriculum, accomplished primarily through colloquia and seminars, satisfies university core requirements for those students who obtain this degree. The degree is available in all majors within the College that offer the B.A.

Bachelor of Arts, General: This is the regular B.A. degree offered by the College; it also is available with a teaching option in some majors.

Bachelor of Science, Honors: This degree is awarded to students who complete the requirements for a major in a field which offers the B.S. and who pursue their basic undergraduate education under the direction of the Honors Program; a specific Honors curriculum satisfies the university core requirements for those students who obtain this degree.

Bachelor of Science, General: This is the regular B.S. degree offered by the College.


College of Arts and Sciences Degree Requirements

In addition to the general degree requirements of the University, including the University Core Curriculum, students earning all Bachelor’s degrees offered by the College of Arts and Sciences must complete the following requirements:

  1. Completion of the requirements for a major within the College.
  2. Completion of a senior thesis, comprehensive exam, capstone, or other culminating experience designed by the major department.
  3. Language Requirement:   Competency in a second language (classical or modern) at the intermediate level (courses numbered 201) is required for students continuing in the study of a language.  Students beginning study in a language they have not previously studied can fulfill the requirement by completing one year at the beginning level (courses numbered 101-102).   Non-native speakers of English who have completed the required English core credits at Gonzaga may petition the Associate Dean of Arts and Sciences for a waiver of this requirement.

Please note: Every degree requires a minimum of 128 completed semester credits.  No core, major, minor, or concentration courses may be taken under the Pass/Fail option.

In addition to their major and minor areas of study, all undergraduate students follow a common program designed to complete their education in those areas that the University considers essential for a Catholic, Jesuit, liberal, and humanistic education. The University Core Curriculum consists of forty-five credits of course work, with additional designation requirements that can be met through core, major, or elective courses.

The University Core Curriculum is a four-year program, organized around one overarching question, which is progressively addressed through yearly themes and questions. Hence, core courses are best taken within the year for which they are designated. First year core courses encourage intellectual engagement and provide a broad foundation of fundamental skills. Second and third year courses examine central issues and questions in philosophy and religious studies. The fourth year course, the Core Integration Seminar, offers a culminating core experience. Taken at any time throughout the four years, broadening courses intersect with the core themes and extend students’ appreciation for the humanities, arts, and social and behavioral sciences. Finally, the designation requirements (writing enriched, global studies, and social justice) reflect important values and reinforce students’ knowledge and competencies.

Overarching Core Question: As students of a Catholic, Jesuit, and Humanistic University, how do we educate ourselves to become women and men for a more just and humane global community?
Year 1 Theme and Question: Understanding and Creating: How do we pursue knowledge and cultivate understanding?

  • The First-Year Seminar (DEPT 193, 3 credits): The First-Year Seminar (FYS), taken in the fall or spring of the first year, is designed to promote an intellectual shift in students as they transition to college academic life. Each small seminar is organized around an engaging topic, which students explore from multiple perspectives. The FYS is offered by many departments across the University (click here [PDF] for list of FYS courses).  
  • Writing (ENGL 101, 3 credits) and Reasoning (PHIL 101, 3 credits): The Writing and Reasoning courses are designed to help students develop the foundational skills of critical reading, thinking, analysis, and writing. They may be taken as linked sections. Writing (ENGL 101) carries one of the three required writing-enriched designations (see below).
  • Communication & Speech (COMM 100, 3 credits): This course introduces students to interpersonal and small group communication and requires the application of critical thinking, reasoning, and research skills necessary to organize, write, and present several speeches.
  • Scientific Inquiry (BIOL 104/104L, CHEM 104/104L, or PHYS 104/104L, 3 credits): This course explores the scientific process in the natural world through evidence-based logic and includes significant laboratory experience. Students pursuing majors that require science courses will satisfy this requirement through their major.
  • Mathematics (above Math 100, 3 credits): Mathematics courses promote thinking according to the modes of the discipline—abstractly, symbolically, logically, and computationally. One course in mathematics, above Math 100, including any math course required for a major or minor, will fulfill this requirement. MATH 100 (College Algebra) and courses without the MATH prefix do not fulfill this requirement.

Year 2 Theme and Question: Being and Becoming: Who are we and what does it mean to be human?

  • Philosophy of Human Nature (PHIL 201, 3 credits): This course provides students with a philosophical study of key figures, theories, and intellectual traditions that contribute to understanding the human condition; the meaning and dignity of human life; and the human relationship to ultimate reality.
  • Christianity and Catholic Traditions (RELI, 3 credits). Religious Studies core courses approved for this requirement explore diverse topics including Christian scriptures, history, theology, and practices as well as major contributions from the Catholic intellectual and theological traditions (click here [PDF] for a list of approved courses) .

Year 3 Theme and Question: Caring and Doing: What principles characterize a well lived life?

  • Ethics (PHIL 301 or RELI, 3 credits): The Ethics courses are designed to help students develop their moral imagination by exploring and explaining the reasons humans should care about the needs and interests of others. This requirement is satisfied by an approved ethics course in either Philosophy (PHIL 301) or Religious Studies (click here [PDF] for a list of approved courses).
  • World/Comparative Religion (RELI, 3 credits): Religious Studies courses approved for this core requirement draw attention to the diversity that exists within and among traditions and encourage students to bring critical, analytical thinking to bear on the traditions and questions considered. These courses carries one of the required two global-studies designations (see below) (click here [PDF] for a list of approved courses).

Year 4 Theme and Question: Imagining the Possible: What is our role in the world?” 

  • Core Integration Seminar (DEPT 432, 3 credits). The Core Integration Seminar (CIS) offers students a culminating core experience in which they integrate the principles of Jesuit education, prior components of the core, and their disciplinary expertise. Some CIS courses may also count toward a student’s major or minor. The CIS is offered by several departments across the University (click here [PDF] for list of CIS courses).

The Broadening Courses

  • Fine Arts & Design (VART, MUSC, THEA, 3 credits): Arts courses explore multiple ways the human experience can be expressed through creativity, including across different cultures and societies. One approved course in fine arts, music, theatre, or dance will fulfill this requirement (click here [PDF] for a list of approved courses).
  • History (HIST, 3 credits): History courses are intended to develop students’ awareness of the historical context of both the individual and the collective human experience. One course in History (HIST 101, HIST 102, HIST 112, HIST 201, HIST 202) will fulfill this requirement.
  • Literature (3 credits): Literature courses foster reflection on how literature engages with a range of human experience. One approved course in Literature (offered by English, Classics, or Modern Languages) will fulfill this requirement (click here [PDF] for a list of approved courses).
  • Social & Behavioral Sciences (3 credits): Courses in the social and behavioral sciences engage students in studying human behavior, social systems, and social issues. One approved course offered by Criminal Justice, Economics, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology, or Women and Gender Studies will fulfill this requirement (click here [PDF] for a list of approved courses).

The Designations
Designations are embedded within already existing core, major, minor, and elective courses. Students are encouraged to meet designation requirements within elective courses as their schedule allows; however, with careful planning students should be able to complete most of the designation requirements within other core, major, or minor courses.

  • Writing Enriched (WE; 3 courses meeting this designation): Courses carrying the WE designation are designed to promote the humanistic and Jesuit pedagogical ideal of clear, effective communication. In addition to the required core course, Writing (ENGL 101), which carries one of the WE designations, students must take two other WE-designated courses (click here [PDF] for a list of approved courses).
  • Global-Studies (GS; 2 courses meeting this designation): Courses carrying the GS designation are designed to challenge students to perceive and understand human diversity by exploring diversity within a context of constantly changing global systems. In addition to the required core course, World/Comparative Religion (RELI 300-level), which carries one of the GS designations, students must take one other GS-designated course (click here [PDF] for a list of approved courses).
  • Social-Justice (SJ; 1 course meeting this designation): Courses carrying the SJ designation are designed to introduce students to one or more social justice concerns. Students must take one course that meets the SJ designation (click here [PDF] for a list of approved courses).

Major-specific adaptations to the University Core Curriculum

All Gonzaga students, regardless of their major, will complete the University Core Curriculum requirements. However some Gonzaga students will satisfy certain core requirements through major-specific programs or courses. Any major-specific adaptations to the core are described with the requirements for the majors to which they apply.


Table of Credits for Degrees, Majors and Minors

Field Degree Major Minor
Art BA 39 24
  Art History Concentration 48 see below
Art History n.a. 24
Biology BA 40 28
  Research Concentration 47-48 n.a.
BS 62 28
  Research Concentration 69-70 n.a.
Biochemistry BS n.a.
    (ACS approved) 72
    (Non-ACS approved) 71
Broadcast and Electronic Media Studies BA 36 21
Catholic Studies n.a. n.a. 21
Chemistry BA 55 28-33
     (ACS approved) BS 65 33
Classical Civilizations BA 36 23
Communication Studies BA 36 21
Computer Science and Computational Thinking BA 55-59 n.a.
Conducting (for Music majors only)



Criminology BA 33 18
Dance BA
   Dance Pedagogy Concentration 35   
   Performance Concentration  35   
Economics BA 33 18
BS 45 18
English BA 36 21
  Writing Concentration 39 see below
Environmental Studies BA 39 20
French* BA 19-35 12-28
German* n.a. n.a. 12-28
History BA 33 18
Interdisciplinary Arts n.a. 20-25
International Studies*
  Asian Studies* BA 28-44 12-31
  European Studies* BA 28-44 12-31
  International Relations* BA 28-44 12-31
  Latin American Studies* BA 28-44 12-31
Italian* n.a. n.a. 12-26
Italian Studies* BA 22-36 12-26
Jazz Performance n.a. n.a. 22
Journalism BA 39 19
Mathematics BA 31 24
BS 40 24
Math/Computer Science BS 49 n.a.
Music BA 45-49 22
  Composition concentration 45
  General studies concentration 45
  Performance concentration 49
Music Education BA n.a.
  Choral and General Concentration 51
  Instrumental and General Concentration 51
Native American Studies n.a. 21
Philosophy BA 38 20
  Kossel Concentration 47 n.a.
Physics BS 54 27
BA 54 n.a.
Political Science BA 31 18
Psychology BA 34 21
  Research Concentration 37
Public Relations BA 39 18
Religious Studies BA 36 18
Sociology BA 33 18
Solidarity and Social Justice n.a. 21
Spanish* BA 22-38 12-28
Theatre BA 44-49 20-21
  Performance Concentration
  Tech Theater Concentration
Visual Literacy n.a. 18 
Women's & Gender Studies n.a. 21
Writing 21

Note: * Number of credits required is dependent on non-English language competency.

Teacher Certification
In order to obtain a teaching certificate, students need to complete a degree with an appropriate major and also to complete professional educational requirements. Since most future teachers obtain their degree in the College of Arts and Sciences, they have an academic advisor in that college. In addition, they need an advisor from the Teacher Education Department, who is usually assigned to them when they register for EDTE 101L.