Communication Studies

Chairperson: Jonathan Rossing
Professor:
T. Osborne
Associate Professor:
J. Rossing, H. Crandall
Assistant Professors: M. Click, J. Gordon, R. Maragh, J. Mora, K. Petruska, C. Schmitt, L. Silvestri
Senior Lecturers:
G. Frappier, K. Morehouse
Lecturer: J. Nautiyal
Post-doctoral Teaching fellow: A. Khasawnih

The mission of the Communication Studies Department at Gonzaga University is to cultivate a sophisticated understanding of the process of communication as symbolic action. The department provides a theoretically-grounded and experiential education that prepares students to analyze, produce, deliver, and critique human communication in its many forms. The department prepares students with rhetorical skills (eloquentia perfecta in the Jesuit rhetorical tradition), a refined sense of judgment and discernment, and the ability to carefully adapt communication practices to any given context and audience.

The power of communication is inescapable; it affects us everywhere and is central to all aspects of our daily, social interactions. The Communication Studies department teaches students to embrace communication as the central means of creating, maintaining, and transforming social realities. Communication Studies equips students to carefully analyze the way people co-create social realities and cultures through communication and to discern how these social realities affect our communities, for better or worse.

Majors and minors gain experience analyzing and proposing solutions to complex problems confronting the human condition because a deep understanding of communication creates limitless possibilities to improve the world. We interrogate the consequences of our communication processes and discover and produce knowledge about communication practices. We teach students to leverage the power of communication to create more just and equitable social worlds.

The department is committed to nurturing a diverse, inclusive community of scholars who think critically and engage responsibly with the problems and issues of our communities through exemplary, ethical communication via multiple modes of address. We build on an ethos of social justice to prepare graduates to address contemporary issues and challenges as leaders in the community, the public arena, and the world. Research shows that the most successful people in any profession are exceptional communicators. Communication Studies classes help students develop the skills employers demand such as the ability to work effectively in team settings, analyze information necessary to make decisions and solve complex problems, communicate with people inside and outside an organization, and influence others. We prepare students for a broad range of careers spanning advertising, marketing, public relations, government, non-profit organizations, and other leadership positions. Our graduates also pursue advanced graduate studies in media research, law, business, education, medicine, cultural studies, and other humanities and social sciences. Communication Studies is also home to the University’s nationally renowned intercollegiate debate program, which has its own facility, Conway House.

In short, Communication Studies provides students with a critical understanding of the reasons why people think, feel, and act in particular ways; the leadership know-how necessary to make a difference in the world; and the skills that employers seek.

Master of Arts in Communication and Leadership Studies (COML) and Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership (ORGL) 4+1 Program:

Majors interested in pursuing a Master of Arts in Communication and Leadership Studies (COML) or a Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership (ORGL) may apply to the graduate program at the end of the academic year immediately preceding their final year of undergraduate study. Those who meet the COML or ORGL admissions standards will be granted provisional acceptance. During their final year of undergraduate study, these students will be able to enroll in up to six graduate-level COML or ORGL credits in addition to their undergraduate course load, with no additional or separate charge for graduate credits. "4+ 1" students will be limited to a maximum of 18 credits per semester, including graduate credits, in each of the two semesters of their final year of undergraduate study.

B.A. Major in Communication Studies: 37 credits

Lower Division (15 credits)
Required theoretical/conceptual foundation courses  
COMM 210 Understanding Meaning-making 3 credits
COMM 220 Understanding Power in Culture 3 credits
COMM 230 Understanding Identity 3 credits
Required inquiry methods courses  
COMM 275 Analyzing Public Texts 3 credits
COMM 285/SOSJ 263: Analyzing Practices and Habits 3 credits
Upper Division (22 credits)

Choose six of the following seventeen courses:
  Six credits must be at the 400-level.

18 credits
COMM 310 Politics of Popular Culture
COMM 320/INST 320 Resistance, Struggle, and Power
COMM 330/INST 332 Politics of Space and Place
COMM 331/SOSJ 363 Argumentation and Debate
COMM 340 Encounters in Public Spheres
COMM 350/INST 351 Politics of Social Memory
COMM 360 Media Aesthetics
 
COMM 370 Digital Culture/Networked Self 
 
COMM 401/SOSJ 464 Communication and Leadership 
 
COMM 420 Critical/Cultural Communication 
 
COMM 430/SOSJ 466/INST 430 Intersectional Communication 
 
COMM 440/INST 440 Rhetoric of Social Change 
 
COMM 450/SOSJ 465 Justice and Arts of Civic Life 
 
COMM 480 Themes in Communication 
 
COMM 482 Independent Study 
 
COMM 485 Communication Abroad (transfer credit for select study abroad experiences) 
 
COMM 497 Internship
 
COMM 484 Senior Seminar 3 credits
COMM 490 Crafting Professional Identity  1 credit 

Minor in Communication Studies: 21 credits

Lower Division (9 credits)
Choose two of the following three conceptual/theoretical foundation courses: 6 credits
COMM 210 Understanding Meaning-making
COMM 220 Understanding Power in Culture
COMM 230 Understanding Identity
 
 Choose one of the following two inquiry method courses: 3 credits
 COMM 275 Analyzing Public Texts
 
 COMM 285/SOSJ 263 Analyzing Practices and Habits
 
Upper Division

The upper-level electives have specific prerequisites. Plan your 200-level coursework based on the upper-level electives you wish to take. Consult with your advisor or the Department Chair for assistance.


 Choose four of the following fifteen courses:
  Three credits must be at the 400-level.

12 credits
COMM 310 Politics of Popular Culture
COMM 320/INST 320 Resistance, Struggle, and Power
COMM 330/INST 332 Politics of Space and Place
 
COMM 331/SOSJ 363 Argumentation and Debate
 
COMM 340 Encounters in Public Spheres
 
COMM 350/INST 351 Politics of Social Memory
 
COMM 360 Media Aesthetics
 
COMM 370 Digital Culture/Networked Self
 
COMM 401/SOSJ 464 Communication and Leadership
 
COMM 420 Critical/Cultural Communication
 
COMM 430/SOSJ 466/INST 430 Intersectional Communication
 
COMM 440/INST 440 Rhetoric of Social Change
 
COMM 450/SOSJ 465 Justice and Arts of Civic Life
 
COMM 480 Themes in Communication
 
COMM 485 Communication Abroad (transfer credit for select study abroad experiences)
 

Notes for minors:

  • Elective list for minors will not include: Independent Study, Internship, Capstone.
  • Minors may take COMM 490: Crafting Professional Identity, but it is not required for the minor requirements.
Lower Division
COMM 100 Communication and Speech
3.00 credits
Communicating thoughtfully and ethically for, with, and among others is vital to becoming the leaders Gonzaga hopes students will become. This course introduces students to the theory and practice of rhetoric—how we use symbols to create meaning and understanding between people—with the goal of helping students continue to grow into responsible and thoughtful communicators. Students will learn how communication (including oral, visual, and aural symbol use across personal interactions, media, our bodies, physical spaces, and other material phenomena) shapes our identities, ideas, policies, society, and all aspects of our lived experiences. The course develops skills and ways of thinking about communication needed to analyze, construct, and deliver messages that enrich civic and cultural life. Three central concepts—rhetoric & symbolic action, civic engagement, and audience—provide a common thread throughout the class as we explore the Core Curriculum Year 1 question: “How do we pursue knowledge and cultivate understanding?” The course supports the University mission through alignment with eloquentia perfecta, a Jesuit tradition that references excellence in speaking and writing for the common good to create a more just world.
Equivalent:
SPCO 101 - Taken before Spring 2019
COMM 193 FYS:
3.00 credits
The First-Year Seminar (FYS) introduces new Gonzaga students to the University, the Core Curriculum, and Gonzaga’s Jesuit mission and heritage. While the seminars will be taught by faculty with expertise in particular disciplines, topics will be addressed in a way that illustrates approaches and methods of different academic disciplines. The seminar format of the course highlights the participatory character of university life, emphasizing that learning is an active, collegial process.
COMM 210 Understanding Meaning-making
3.00 credits
We make sense of our world and the people in it through the symbols we use to communicate about our experiences. The symbols we use (e.g. language, pictures, film, music, architecture, bodies) matter because they have real effects on us, on others, and on our perceptions and understanding of the world. This course explores the theories and ways of thinking that help us understand how symbols create, maintain, and transform our social worlds.
COMM 220 Understanding Power in Culture
3.00 credits
Power is everywhere and influences our relationships with others and our ability to get things done in our societies. Communication and symbolic action is a primary way that people struggle over and effect their power relationships. Power clearly reveals itself in cultural ideologies or values and beliefs that influence our social actions, and these ideologies are embedded in our daily communication practices. This course introduces a cultural studies perspective that helps students build a lexicon and critical capacity for engaging with power, ideology, and cultural influence.
COMM 230 Understanding Identity
3.00 credits
Our intersecting identities emerge from an array of communicative, performative, and cultural practices and they are tied up in everyday communication contexts such as interpersonal interactions, media platforms, and social movements. Through communication we align ourselves with common interests and communities, and this course will provide a theoretical foundation for understanding audiences, our performances of self, and our negotiation of the two. The course also invites students to explore how our identities are shaped and interpreted in ways outside our control.
COMM 270H Honors Rhetoric
3.00 credits
The principles and psychology of persuasive argument and interpersonal skills. Through theory and practice students will develop and refine their communication skills while developing an individual style. Spring.
Prerequisite:
HONS 190 Minimum Grade: D
COMM 275 Analyzing Public Texts
3.00 credits
This course introduces students to the practice of studying, analyzing, and interpreting public texts, and the work they do in constituting public culture. Students engage with methods to make critical judgements about how rhetorical/communicative texts influence public life. Students will address public texts including written, visual/aural, and embodied forms of communication such as movies and song lyrics, sports broadcasts, maps, museum spaces, political speeches, religious texts, historical writings, comedic performances, YouTube channels, and much more. Students will also engage in ethical communicative practices that produce knowledge about human communication and relationships.
Prerequisite:
COMM 100 Minimum Grade: D
COMM 285 Analyzing Practices and Habits
3.00 credits
The course provides a foundation in attending to, analyzing, and reporting meaningful information about the social world through humanistic communication research methods. The course introduces ethnographic and qualitative research methods, ethics, selection of research topics and questions, ethnographic data collection methods (e.g. participant observation; un-, semi- and structured interviewing; structured observation), managing and coding field notes, and qualitative analysis. In this writing enriched course, students will create field notes, analyses, and more.
Prerequisite:
COMM 100 Minimum Grade: D
Equivalent:
SOSJ 263 - OK if taken since Fall 2018
Upper Division
COMM 310 Politics of Popular Culture
3.00 credits
Pulling from the fields of media and cultural studies, this course explores the ways we use and are used by popular culture. This class seriously considers how popular culture influences the ways we think, feel, act, and participate in civic life. Building upon students’ expertise as cultural consumers, we explore popular culture through aesthetic, ideological, social, and industrial lenses. Through our consideration of a wide range of popular culture—including film, television, games, print and social media, advertising, and others—we explore questions of aesthetic quality and cultural value in relation to media texts, audiences, and our experiences of culture.
COMM 320 Resistance, Struggle, & Power
3.00 credits
Communication is the central means for contesting and reconfiguring structural forms of power relations among social groups, and this class focuses on power dynamics and imbalances across social institutions such as law, education, medicine, economics, media, and religion. Students engage the concepts of hegemony (the production of consent for dominant power relationships) and counter-hegemony (the struggle against dominant social arrangements). As such, the course invites students to consider the interplay of communication, culture, and social institutions in maintaining, resisting, and transforming the persistent inequalities of power and disproportionate distribution of cultural and political capital.
COMM 330 Politics of Space and Place
3.00 credits
Everyday encounters with physical surroundings guide our orientations to the world. As we wander city streets, shopping malls, stadiums, nature preserves, sacred sites, restaurants, monuments, museums, and classroooms, we examine how we move in, and are moved by the material arenas we share. Spatial organization and built environments inform our habits of perception, determine the meaning of a particular place, accent what is worth attention and what might be overlooked, and reaffirm dominant norms and power relationships in public culture. Charts, maps, apps, and other navigational tools dictate where and how we move, and how we understand our roles within a given space. Featuring the experiential dimensions of rhetoric and communication, this course presses us to consider how material spaces and places construct everyday geographies. Spring.
Equivalent:
INST 332 - OK if taken since Fall 2018
COMM 331 Argumentation and Debate
3.00 credits
Examination of the fundamentals of advocacy including argumentation theory, techniques of persuasion, refutation, and cross-examination. This course is open to both debate team members and anyone interested in improving their argumentation skills. Fall and Spring.
Prerequisite:
COMM 184 Minimum Grade: D
Equivalent:
SOSJ 363 - OK if taken since Fall 2015
COMM 340 Encounters in Public Spheres
3.00 credits
Everyday communication practices, conventional public deliberations, and emergent media technologies shape our public life and affect human and non-human entanglements. This class explores contemporary theoretical conversations about publics and public spheres: what they look like, how they are shaped, how they arrange political bodies, and how we navigate their boundaries and borders of inclusion and exclusion. Students analyze how different modes of communication promote solidarities around common concerns and arrange difference, as well as how we form counter-publics and spaces of resistance and transformation. Topics may include propaganda and censorship, surveillance and privacy, journalism and mass media, spheres of expertise (i.e., science and medicine), roles of rumor, and notions of cultural “buzz.”
COMM 342 Debate Participation
1.00 credit
Participation on University debate teams.
COMM 350 Politics of Social Memory
3.00 credits
The ways we remember our collective past influence our present and shape our futures. This course examines how we rhetorically construct and struggle over social memory through public remembrances of historical events via war memorials, film and documentary, commemorative celebrations, reenactments, monuments, and museum exhibits. Students extend rhetorical and visual theoretical concepts and methods to evaluate sites of public memory and the social and cultural politics shaping the construction of memory.
Equivalent:
INST 351 - OK if taken since Fall 2018
COMM 360 Media Aesthetics
3.00 credits
Images and sounds saturate our daily lives and while we often pay attention to content, we may neglect the visual and aural dimensions of these media. As citizens and consumers, we need to develop critical visual and aural interpretive frameworks to make sense of media. This course invites students to sharpen their analytical tools to attend to the sights and sounds that animate everyday life. This course examines media aesthetics through mise-en-scene, camera and point of view, editing techniques, visual style, and sound. From still to moving images, from print to online, students will conduct detailed aesthetic analyses of movies, television, radio, advertisements, podcasts, art, photography, websites, gifs, memes, and other forms of digital media. Additional topics may include industry, genre, power, visual culture theory, and identity.
Prerequisite:
COMM 210 Minimum Grade: C and COMM 230 Minimum Grade: C and COMM 275 Minimum Grade: C
COMM 370 Digital Culture/Networked Self
3.00 credits
Online communication has both collapsed our communication contexts and expanded our potential identities and relationships. This course applies a cultural lens to understand our digital lives and the various media technologies we interact with on a daily basis. We will examine a range of contemporary theories and issues surrounding digital media including how cultural values are embedded in digital technologies and how we manage identities across multiple digital contexts. We will explore ways to successfully and critically navigate an array of personal, professional, and civic responsibilities in a globally networked world.
Prerequisite:
COMM 230 Minimum Grade: C and COMM 285 Minimum Grade: C
COMM 401 Communication & Leadership
3.00 credits
A critical examination of the reciprocity between effective communication and successful leadership. Includes an historical examination of leadership styles, theories, and research. Includes an analysis of motivation, power, and organizational culture. Writing and speaking assignments are designed to cultivate leadership skills. Fall.
Prerequisite:
COMM 184 Minimum Grade: D
Equivalent:
SOSJ 464 - OK if taken since Fall 2015
COMM 420 Critical / Cultural Comm
3.00 credits
This course invites students to integrate their communication studies knowledge with a broad, interdisciplinary conversation on critical theory, and to understand how communication scholars engage with other disciplines and thinkers in struggles for social justice, social change, and solidarity. The course will address a range of critical theories that have influenced and been influenced by the study of communication such as Marxism, the Frankfurt School, postcolonial theory, feminist theory, critical race theory, and queer theory. Students explore how critical theory is linked to and emerges from socio-political struggle in different historical moments. In addition, the course invites students to apply critical theory to contemporary social debates and challenges to better understand questions of power, civic participation, identity, and social organization.
Prerequisite:
COMM 310 Minimum Grade: C or COMM 320 Minimum Grade: C
COMM 430 Intersectional Communication
3.00 credits
The study of communication and culture in a global world cannot and must not be apolitical, ahistorical, or blind to the messy entanglements of power and privilege. Therefore, this course will focus on the intersections between critical race theory, feminist theory, and critical intercultural communication in order to interrogate and examine the ways in which our social identities and locations affect the contexts of our lives including our opportunities, relationships, and overall understanding of the world. Specifically, this course will engage the work of Black Feminist scholars and ongoing scholarly conversations on intersectionality to analyze intercultural encounters and engagement.
Prerequisite:
COMM 320 Minimum Grade: C or COMM 340 Minimum Grade: C
Equivalent:
SOSJ 466 - OK if taken since Fall 2018
COMM 432 CIS:
3.00 credits
The Core Integration Seminar (CIS) engages the Year Four Question: “Imagining the possible: What is our role in the world?” by offering students a culminating seminar experience in which students integrate the principles of Jesuit education, prior components of the Core, and their disciplinary expertise. Each section of the course will focus on a problem or issue raised by the contemporary world that encourages integration, collaboration, and problem solving. The topic for each section of the course will be proposed and developed by each faculty member in a way that clearly connects to the Jesuit Mission, to multiple disciplinary perspectives, and to our students’ future role in the world.
COMM 440 Rhetoric of Social Change
3.00 credits
Public expression and discourse can affirm, complicate, challenge, and even radically revolutionize our shared values and ideals over time. Arguments and symbolic actions in communal spaces prompt individuals and groups to rethink, redevelop, and reestablish potential modes of identity, participation, and interaction within a society. Students in this course will closely examine specific social movements (including, potentially, civil rights, gender rights, indigenous rights, and environmental movements) to better understand the plurality of voices and modes of public expression in dialogue and competition that contribute to, resist, and ultimately shape societal change. Students will then build upon historical knowledge and perspective to engage in an immersive study of an ongoing contemporary social controversy, ultimately creating an informed rhetorical intervention of their own, participating in the social issues and changes of the current day.
Prerequisite:
COMM 320 Minimum Grade: C or COMM 340 Minimum Grade: C or COMM 350 Minimum Grade: C
COMM 450 Justice and Arts of Civic Life
3.00 credits
Ethical communication and intentional civic engagement fosters vibrant democratic life. As civic actors, we deliberate and contest policies, advocate for justice, and attempt to foster cooperation among a multiplicity of voices. This course synthesizes theories of ethics that students grapple with to examine relationships between rhetoric, democracy, and justice. Specifically, we will address questions of how we should practice rhetoric in ways that refine our capacities for ethical discernment, build inclusive communities, promote social justice, and ultimately enrich democratic life. Spring.
Prerequisite:
COMM 340 Minimum Grade: C
Equivalent:
SOSJ 465 - OK if taken since Fall 2018
COMM 480 Themes in Communication
3.00 credits
Special topics courses are one time course offerings that include courses that address a current or timely topic or a special interest which will not be made a regular on-going part of the curriculum. Occasionally, a special topics course may be used to offer an experimental or “pilot” phase course before it is subsequently proposed as a regular course. Special topics course offerings vary from term to term. See current semester course listings for topics. This course may be repeated once for credit. Once a year. Fall or Spring
Prerequisite:
(COMM 210 Minimum Grade: C or COMM 220 Minimum Grade: C) and (COMM 275 Minimum Grade: C or COMM 285 Minimum Grade: C)
COMM 484 Senior Seminar
3.00 credits
In this capstone course for the major, students demonstrate their proficiency in oral, written, and visual communication by adapting their senior thesis to multiple communication platforms. The seminar is also designed to help students reflect on their education and develop a personal philosophy of communication. Spring.
Prerequisite:
COMM 184 Minimum Grade: D
Equivalent:
SPCO 489 - OK if taken between Fall 2012 and Summer 2014
COMM 485 Communication Abroad
3.00 credits
This course provides transfer credit for students who have arranged an intensive experience studying abroad and will be taking a humanities-based communication course that explores themes of rhetoric, media, and cultural studies that deepens their understanding of the foundation they’ve received at Gonzaga. This course may be repeated once for credit.
COMM 490 Crafting Professional Identity
1.00 credit
In this course, students connect their communication studies knowledge and skills with their civic and professional goals during and after college. Students compose narratives highlighting their proficient use of communication skills within their personal organizational experiences, at school, at work, and within their communities. Building this portfolio of materials helps students translate and articulate their skills and ambitions into new organizational contexts post-graduation. A series of professional speakers, including alumni, will model communication in developing a career path. Students apply a social justice perspective to professional life and consider how to integrate a Catholic, Jesuit, humanistic educational experience in a professional context. Fall. Spring.
COMM 491 Directed Study
.00- 10.00 credits
Directed Study requires completion of a form, department permission and cannot be registered for via Zagweb.
Prerequisite:
SPCO 101 Minimum Grade: D or SPCO 102 Minimum Grade: D and COMM 101 Minimum Grade: D
COMM 497 Internship
.00- 6.00 credits
Professional experience in a communication related fields. Students must take the initiative to contact an agency or business and find a Communication Studies department faculty member willing to supervise the internship. Fall, Spring, and Summer.
 
Lower Division
Upper Division
 
Second Language Competency

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.

Additional information on this requirement can be found at

Language Requirement Information

 

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.