Computer Science and Computational Thinking

Chairperson: Shawn Bowers
Program Director: Robert Bryant
Professors: S. BowersR. Bryant, P. De Palma, K. Yerion (Emerita)
Associate Professors: D. Hughes (Emeritus), Y. Zhang
Assistant Professors: D. SchroederG. Sprint

The department offers one major:

Bachelor of Arts, Computer Science and Computational Thinking major (concentration required, see options below)

Computational thinking and processes permeate our daily lives, transforming our understanding of both the natural world and of ourselves. Career opportunities in computing are substantial and include some of the fastest growing occupations nationally including software engineering, system support specialist, web development, technical support staff, software product management, and database administration. In addition, knowledge of computer science has become highly valued in such diverse fields as psychology, biology, sociology, and even philosophy. A degree in Computer Science gives one both marketable skills and the intellectual breadth that can be applied to any career choice. Upon graduation, students with a B.A. can present themselves as entry-level software developers, and their degree will provide sufficient background for further training later in their careers.

The Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science and Computational Thinking serves those students with an interest in computing who would like to obtain the breadth of study in the humanities and social and natural sciences provided by the College of Arts and Sciences. An English major, for instance, will be able to explore his love of literature while at the same time acquiring a directly marketable skill, or a sociology major can combine her depth of knowledge in the social sciences with practical skills in computational thinking. The potential to combine a practical skill with significant study in the humanities, social sciences, or natural sciences makes the B.A. in Computer Science and Computational Thinking an attractive option for students in Arts and Sciences.

The curriculum provides all majors with a foundation in computing through 25 credits in mathematics and computer science courses. Students select a Discipline for Computational Thinking (DCT), or concentration, consisting of at least 12 credits in a field in the College of Arts and Sciences. In consultation with their advisor, students also choose an additional 18 credits in computer science courses, which include computer science courses relevant to the student’s selected concentration. Each student’s concentration will be overseen by a DCT Committee consisting of the Program Director, the Chair of the Computer Science Department, and the DCT concentration Chair (or Chair’s designate). Students are encouraged to complete the courses in their choice of DCT as well as the computer science courses specific to that DCT before their senior year. 

B.A. in Computer Science and Computational Thinking: 55-59 credits

Lower Division
CPSC 121 Computer Science I   3 credits
CPSC 122 Computer Science II   3 credits
CPSC 223 Algorithm/Abstract Data Structures   3 credits
CPSC 224 Software Development   3 credits
One of the following two courses:   3-4 credits
MATH 148 Survey of Calculus

MATH 157 Calculus and Analytic Geometry I

MATH 231 Discrete Structures   3 credits
Upper Division
Computer Science Electives*
18 credits
  * Any CPSC 200, 300, or 400-level course.
    At most three elective courses (9 credits) may be taken at the 200-level.
    9 of the 18 elective credits will be determined by the DCT
    Committee to best coincide with the chosen concentration.
CPSC 491 Software Engineering
2 credits
CPSC 491L Senior Design Project Lab I

1 credit
CPSC 492L Senior Design Project Lab II
3 credits
CPSC 499 Computers and Society
1 credit
Concentration requirements (DCT specific courses)
12-15 credits
  Art  12 credits
  Biology  14-15 credits
  Communication Studies  12 credits
  Economics  12 credits
  English  12 credits
  Environmental Studies  15 credits
  Philosophy  12 credits
  Sociology  12 credits
  Theatre Arts  12 credits

*No more than five computer science courses in the entire degree are to be at the 200 level. Many upper division computer science courses require CPSC 260 as a prerequisite (see the list of course in the University Catalog for details).

Art Concentration:

12 credits
VART 101 Drawing I 3 credits
One of the following two courses: 3 credits
VART 112 Design Fundamentals

VART 230 3-D Design

One of the following upper division Art History courses: 3 credits
VART 393 Modern Italian Art (taught in Florence)

VART 394 Special Topics in Art History

VART 395 Art in the 19th Century

VART 396 Art in the 20th Century

VART 397 Renaissance Art

VART 398 Roman Art and Architecture

VART 401 Renaissance Architecture

VART 402 The Image of God

VART 403/HIST 302 The Ancient City

VART 404/HIST 307 Archaeology of Ancient Greece

VART 405/HIST 308 Archaeology of Ancient Rome

VART 406/HIST 366 American Culture and Ideas

VART 407/WGST 350 Women Artists

VART 408 History of Photography

One of the following:
(Note: Some of the courses below have a prerequisite.
Check the undergraduate catalog.)
3 credits
VART 141 Ceramics I

VART 201 Drawing II

VART 221 Painting I

VART 350 Beginning Printmaking

VART 351 Beginning Screen Printing

Biology Concentration:

14-15 credits
BIOL 105/BIOL 105L Information Flow in Biological Systems 4 credits
BIOL 106 Energy Flow in Biological Systems
     (Note:  CHEM 101/101L is a prerequisite)
3 credits
Choose one of the following four options:
(Note: Some of the courses below have a prerequisite.
Check the undergraduate catalog.)
8 credits

Option A: Choose two of the following three courses:


  BIOL 205/BIOL 205L Physiology and Biodiversity


  BIOL 206/BIOL 206L Ecology


  BIOL 207/BIOL 207L Genetics

Option B:



BIOL 205/BIOL 205L Physiology and Biodiversity


BIOL 451/BIOL 451L Comparative Endocrinology (when offered)

Option C:



BIOL 206/BIOL 206L Ecology


One of the following six courses:


  BIOL 303/BIOL 303L Population Ecology (when offered)


  BIOL 305 Biological Data Analysis


  BIOL 333 Community Ecology


  BIOL 340/BIOL 340L Field Botany


  BIOL 344/BIOL 344L GIS and Ecological Techniques


  BIOL 360/BIOL 360L Plant Biology (when offered)

Option D:



BIOL 207/BIOL 207L Genetics


One of the following four courses:


BIOL 305 Biological Data Analysis




BIOL 335 Advanced Genetics




BIOL 337/BIOL 337L Developmental Biology (when offered)




BIOL 351/BIOL 351L Advanced Cell Biology (when offered)
    (Note: CHEM 230 is a prerequisite)


 

Communication Studies Concentration:

12 credits
COMM 210 Understanding Meaning-making 3 credits
COMM 230 Understanding Identity 3 credits
COMM 370 Digital Culture/Networked Self 3 credits
Choose one of the following four courses: 3 credits
COMM 340 Encounters in Public Spheres

COMM 350 Politics of Social Memory

COMM 360 Media Aesthetics 
 
COMM 450 Justice and Arts of Civic Life

Economics Concentration:

12 credits
ECON 201 Microeconomics  3 credits
ECON 202 Macroeconomics 3 credits
ECON 451 Econometrics* 3 credits
Choose one of the following two courses: 3 credits
ECON 303 Game Theory and Economic Applications

ECON 351 Managerial Economics

*Note: ECON 201, ECON 202, (BUSN 230, MATH 121, or MATH 321), and (MATH 114 or MATH 148 or MATH 157) are prerequisites for ECON 451.

English Concentration:

12 credits
Any combination of four 300- or 400-level English courses

Environmental Studies Concentration:

15 credits
ENVS 101 Introduction to Environmental Studies 3 credits
ENVS 103/ENVS 103L Environmental Biology and Lab 4 credits
ENVS 104/ENVS 104L Environmental Chemistry and Lab 4 credits
ENVS 200 Case Studies in Environmental Science 4 credits


Philosophy Concentration:

12 credits
Four 400-level Philosophy courses chosen by the DCT Committee.

Sociology Concentration:

12 credits
Any four Sociology courses at the 100-, 200, and 300-levels.

Theatre Arts Concentration:

12 credits
THEA 100 Introduction to Theatre Arts 3 credits
One of the following two courses: 3-4 credits
  THEA 132 Stagecraft

  THEA 332 Scenic Design

THEA 235 Design Process 3 credits
THEA 239 Lighting Design 1-4 credits
THEA 260 Technical Lab 1 credit
Lower Division
CPSC 105 Great Ideas in Comp Sci
3.00 credits
Computer science is the study of what is computable. Students will be introduced to computing technologies and learn how these technologies are applied in today's world. The course will focus on the relationship between computation, technology, and society. Topics could include robotics, artificial intelligence, bio-computing, media computing, technology from the movies, and technology and art. On sufficient demand.
CPSC 107 User Centered Web Site Design
3.00 credits
Introduction to quality design principles and user-centered development techniques used in creating a web site. Topics will include human-computer interaction, graphical design, prototyping, and introduction to web programming. On sufficient demand.
CPSC 110 Special Topics for Non Majors
1.00- 3.00 credits
Computer Science topics of special interest to students majoring in other disciplines. Sample topics include principles of programming, web programming, and media computing. May not be counted towards a major in Computer Science. On sufficient demand.
CPSC 121 Computer Science I
3.00 credits
Techniques of problem-solving and algorithmic development. An introduction to programming. Emphasis is on how to design, code, debug, and document programs using good programming style. Fall and Spring.
CPSC 122 Computer Science II
3.00 credits
A continuation of CPSC 121. An examination of dynamic memory management and recursion; an introduction to basic data structures and algorithmic analysis. Fall and Spring.
Prerequisite:
CPSC 121 Minimum Grade: D
CPSC 211 Algorithmic Art
3.00 credits
Algorithmic Art sits at the intersection of mathematics, programming, algorithms, and art. The primary goal of the course is to teach computational thinking to liberal arts students. Student motivation is achieved by presenting programming and math concepts in the context of the visual arts. The assignments use the programming environment called Processing which was developed specifically for visual artists. Fall.
CPSC 212 Computational Modeling
3.00 credits
This course introduces students to the modeling process and computer simulations. It considers two major approaches: system dynamics models and agent-based models. A variety of software tools will be explored. Applications will be chosen from ecology, medicine, chemistry, biology, and others. Spring.
CPSC 213 Special Topics
3.00 credits
Topic to be determined by instructor.
CPSC 214 Special Topics
3.00 credits
Topic to be determined by instructor.
CPSC 215 Special Topics
3.00 credits
CPSC 222 Introduction to Data Science
3.00 credits
This course provides an introduction to the underlying ideas, concepts, and techniques used in data science. Students gain skills in statistical and computational thinking, and their practical application to real-world, data-driven problem solving and decision making.The course teaches important concepts and skills in both statistical reasoning and computer programming for the purpose of analyzing real-world datasets. Examples are drawn from diverse areas such as economics, social science, health and wellness, climate science, and education. Students gain experience using the Python programming language, Pythons standard libraries for data science applications and computational notebooks (e.g. using Jupyter). The course also raises important social questions concerning privacy, social inequality, and professional ethics related to data science and its applications.
CPSC 223 Algorithm&Abstract Data Struct
3.00 credits
Algorithm analysis using O-notation, sorting, heaps, balanced binary search trees, and hash tables. MATH 231 is a co-requisite or pre-requisite for this course. Fall and Spring.
Prerequisite:
CPSC 122 Minimum Grade: D and MATH 231 Minimum Grade: D and MATH 231 Minimum Grade: D
CPSC 224 Software Development
3.00 credits
This course covers topics in object-oriented programming, user-interface design and development, and software construction including program design, development tools, and basic concepts in software engineering. Students work on hands-on development assignments and projects throughout the semester. Fall and Spring.
Prerequisite:
CPSC 122 Minimum Grade: D
CPSC 260 Computer Organization
3.00 credits
This course covers basic topics in the design of modern computer systems. Topics include digital logic, computer system components, machine-level code, memory organization and management, computer arithmetic, assembly-language programming, and basic connections between high-level and low-level languages (C and assembly). This course also serves as a foundation for courses on networking. security, operating systems, and computer architecture, where a deeper understanding of systems-level issues is required. Fall and Spring.
Prerequisite:
CPSC 122 Minimum Grade: D
CPSC 290 Directed Reading
.00- 3.00 credits
Individual exploration of a topic not normally covered in the curriculum.
Upper Division
CPSC 310 Special Topics
3.00 credits
Topics that reflect the current interests and expertise of the faculty. On sufficient demand.
Prerequisite:
CPSC 122 Minimum Grade: D
CPSC 311 Special Topics
3.00 credits
Topics that reflect the current interests and expertise of the faculty. On sufficient demand.
Prerequisite:
CPSC 122 Minimum Grade: D
CPSC 312 Special Topics
3.00 credits
Topics that reflect the current interests and expertise of the faculty. On sufficient demand.
Prerequisite:
CPSC 122 Minimum Grade: D
CPSC 313 Special Topics
3.00 credits
Topics that reflect the current interests and expertise of the faculty. On sufficient demand.
Prerequisite:
CPSC 122 Minimum Grade: D
CPSC 314 Special Topics
3.00 credits
Topics that reflect the current interests and expertise of the faculty. On sufficient demand.
Prerequisite:
CPSC 122
CPSC 315 Special Topics
1.00- 3.00 credits
Topics that reflect the current interests and expertise of the faculty. On sufficient demand.
Prerequisite:
CPSC 122 Minimum Grade: D
CPSC 321 Database Management Systems
3.00 credits
Introduction to database concepts. A study of data models, data normalization, relational algebra. Use of data definition and data manipulation languages including embedded SQL. File and index organization. Fall.
Prerequisite:
CPSC 122 Minimum Grade: D or CPSC 222 Minimum Grade: D
CPSC 322 Data Science Algorithms
3.00 credits
This course provides a detailed overview of the processes and techniques used in creating data science applications. Emphasis is placed on popular algorithms for the analysis, classification, and mining of relational data. Students learn to implement data science algorithms and techniques over real-world data sets through assignments and projects in Python. Topics include data preparation and cleaning, summary statistics, basic data visualization techniques, feature selection, discretization, k nearest neighbors, naive bayes, decision trees, ensemble methods, apriori rule mining, and k-means clustering. On sufficient demand.
Prerequisite:
CPSC 122 Minimum Grade: D or CPSC 222 Minimum Grade: D
CPSC 323 Machine Lrng & Intllgnt Systms
3.00 credits
This course provides a detailed overview of topics in machine learning with an emphasis on algorithms and techniques for unstructured and complex datasets. Students implement and apply machine learning algorithms to examples drawn from time series, image, audio, textual, and numerical data. Topics include regression analysis, support vector machines, genetic algorithms, neural networks and heuristic search. Concepts and issues in building intelligent systems and the role of machine learning are also discussed. On sufficient demand.
Prerequisite:
CPSC 322 Minimum Grade: D
CPSC 324 Big Data Analytics
3.00 credits
This course covers tools and techniques used in applying statistical and machine learning approaches to large, real-world datasets. Through hands-on assignments and projects, students learn popular programming models and toolkits for performing large-scale data analyses. The course also explores distributed and high-performance frameworks that can be used in data-intensive applications for filtering, clustering, and classifying data. Advanced analytic approaches discussed include data sketching, principle component analysis, recommendation algorithms, topic modeling, Bayesian networks, and deep learning. On sufficient demand.
Prerequisite:
CPSC 322 Minimum Grade: D
CPSC 326 Organization of Program Langs
3.00 credits
Examination of the structures and concepts of procedural, functional, and logic-based programming languages. Spring.
Prerequisite:
CPSC 223 Minimum Grade: D
CPSC 346 Operating Systems
3.00 credits
Study of operating systems internals. Topics include concurrent programming, memory management, file system management, scheduling algorithms, security. Fall.
Prerequisite:
CPSC 122 Minimum Grade: D and CPSC 260 Minimum Grade: D or (CPEN 231 Minimum Grade: D and CPEN 231L Minimum Grade: D)
CPSC 348 Computer Security
3.00 credits
Study of security and information assurance in stand-alone and distributed computing. Topics include ethics, privacy, access control methods and intrusion detection. Fall.
Prerequisite:
CPSC 223 Minimum Grade: D and CPSC 260 Minimum Grade: D or (CPEN 231 Minimum Grade: D and CPEN 231L Minimum Grade: D)
CPSC 351 Theory of Computation
3.00 credits
Study of the theory of computation. Regular grammars, finite state automata, context-free grammars, pushdown automata, Turing machines, parsing, normal forms, and the Chomsky hierarchy. Fall, odd years.
Prerequisite:
CPSC 122 Minimum Grade: D and MATH 231 Minimum Grade: D
CPSC 353 Applied Cryptography
3.00 credits
Introduction to applied cryptography. Topics could include classical cryptosystems (shift, affine, Vigenere, Playfair, Enigma), modern cryptosystems (DES, AES, RSA, El Gamal), key exchange protocols, digital signatures, security protocols, and zero-knowledge techniques, along with their applications in e-commerce and intelligence. Spring, even years.
Prerequisite:
CPSC 122 Minimum Grade: D
CPSC 360 Intro to Robotics
3.00 credits
Computational techniques used in the development of intelligent, sensor-based robotic systems. Topics include manipulators, and mobile robots, forward and inverse kinematics, sensors, intelligent architectures, control approaches, environment mapping, and motion planning. On sufficient demand.
Prerequisite:
CPSC 122 Minimum Grade: D and CPSC 260 Minimum Grade: D or (CPEN 231 Minimum Grade: D and CPEN 231L Minimum Grade: D)
CPSC 410 Advanced Topics
3.00 credits
Topics that reflect the current interests and expertise of the faculty. On sufficient demand.
Prerequisite:
CPSC 223 Minimum Grade: D
CPSC 411 Advanced Topics
3.00 credits
Topics that reflect the current interests and expertise of the faculty. On sufficient demand.
Prerequisite:
CPSC 223 Minimum Grade: D
CPSC 412 Advanced Topics
3.00 credits
Topics that reflect the current interests and expertise of the faculty. On sufficient demand.
Prerequisite:
CPSC 223 Minimum Grade: D
CPSC 413 Advanced Topics
3.00 credits
Topics that reflect the current interests and expertise of the faculty. On sufficient demand.
Prerequisite:
CPSC 223 Minimum Grade: D
CPSC 414 Advanced Topics
3.00 credits
Topics that reflect the current interests and expertise of the faculty. On sufficient demand.
Prerequisite:
CPSC 223 Minimum Grade: D
CPSC 415 Advanced Topics
3.00 credits
Topics that reflect the current interests and expertise of the faculty. On sufficient demand.
CPSC 425 Computer Graphics
3.00 credits
Introduction to the use of graphics primitives within a higher level language to produce two and three-dimensional images; underlying mathematical operations used to implement standard graphics packages; practical experience with current graphics systems. Fall, even years.
Prerequisite:
CPSC 223 Minimum Grade: D and MATH 231 Minimum Grade: D
CPSC 431 Computer Architecture
3.00 credits
Introduction to fundamental concepts in the design and implementation of computing systems. Topics include fundamentals of computer design, performance and cost, instruction set architecture, computer arithmetic, data path control, processor technology, pipelining, memory system (caches, virtual memory). Spring.
Prerequisite:
CPSC 260 Minimum Grade: D or (CPEN 231 Minimum Grade: D and CPEN 231L Minimum Grade: D)
CPSC 435 Parallel & Cloud Computing
3.00 credits
Parallel Programming platform; principles of parallel algorithm design; basic communication operations' analytical modeling of parallel programs; programming using the message-passing paradigm (MPI); programming on shared address space platforms (POSIX Thread and OpenMP); and other advanced topics. On sufficient demand.
Prerequisite:
CPSC 260 Minimum Grade: D or (CPEN 231 Minimum Grade: D and CPEN 231L Minimum Grade: D)
CPSC 436 Biomedical Informatics&Comput
3.00 credits
Investigation of the role of computers in the provision of medical services; study of the nature of clinical data, medical information exchange standards, data storage, retrieval, integration and analysis and privacy issues; medical decision-making support; design of healthcare information systems' genomic medicine and its techniques. On sufficient demand.
Prerequisite:
CPSC 260 Minimum Grade: D or (CPEN 231 Minimum Grade: D and CPEN 231L Minimum Grade: D)
CPSC 447 Computer Networks
3.00 credits
Study of main components of computer communications and networks; communication protocols; routing algorithms; machine addressing and network services. Spring, odd years.
Prerequisite:
CPSC 223 Minimum Grade: D and CPSC 260 Minimum Grade: D or (CPEN 231 Minimum Grade: D and CPEN 231L Minimum Grade: D)
CPSC 450 Design & Analysis-Comp Algorim
3.00 credits
Advanced study of computer algorithms not covered in CPSC 223 along with principles and techniques of computational complexity. Topics could include dynamic programming, B-trees, minimum spanning trees, Floyd and Warshall algorithms, various string matching algorithms, computational geometry, exponential growth of round-off errors, NP-completeness and reducibility. Spring, odd years.
Prerequisite:
CPSC 223 Minimum Grade: D and MATH 231 Minimum Grade: D
CPSC 455 Chaos & Dynamical Systems
3.00 credits
Introduction to the study of discrete nonlinear dynamical systems and their chaotic behavior. The course will focus on investigation s through computer experiments- both numerical and graphical- and the corresponding mathematical analysis of the observed behavior. A significant portion of the course will be devoted to designing graphics programs. In the humanistic tradition of Gonzaga, students will also learn the historical development of the modern science of chaotic dynamical systems. On sufficient demand.
Prerequisite:
MATH 231 Minimum Grade: D and CPSC 122 Minimum Grade: D
CPSC 475 Speech&NaturalLangProcessing
3.00 credits
Computational approaches to language processing: morphology, phonetics, speech recognition, syntax, and semantics. Emphasis on statistical language processing. Fall, even years.
Prerequisite:
CPSC 223 Minimum Grade: D or CPSC 322 Minimum Grade: D
CPSC 490 Directed Reading
1.00- 3.00 credits
Individual exploration of a topic not normally covered in the curriculum. Arrangement with an instructor.
CPSC 491 Software Engineering
2.00 credits
A survey of approaches used in software engineering focusing on software development processes, requirements engineering, estimation, scheduling, risk analysis, testing, version control, and project management. Students apply the techniques and practices learned in their senior design projects, including the development of a detailed project plan and a functional software prototype. Fall.
Prerequisite:
CPSC 223 Minimum Grade: D and CPSC 224 Minimum Grade: D
Concurrent:
CPSC 491L CPSC 499
CPSC 491L Senior Design Project Lab I
1.00 credit
First semester of a two semester senior design project in which students work in teams to develop a large software product. Teams meet weekly with their faculty project advisors. Fall.
Prerequisite:
CPSC 223 Minimum Grade: D and CPSC 224 Minimum Grade: D
Concurrent:
CPSC 491 CPSC 499
CPSC 492L Senior Design Project Lab II
3.00 credits
Second semester of a two semester senior design project in which students work in teams to develop a large software product. Teams meet weekly with their faculty project advisors. Spring.
Prerequisite:
CPSC 491 Minimum Grade: D and CPSC 491L Minimum Grade: D
CPSC 495 Thesis I
1.00 credit
First of a two semester senior thesis project. Requires arrangement with a faculty supervisor.
CPSC 496 Thesis II
1.00 credit
Second of a two semester senior thesis project. Requires arrangement with a faculty supervisor.
Prerequisite:
CPSC 495 Minimum Grade: S
CPSC 497 Computer Science Internship
.00- 3.00 credits
Computer Industry Internship.
CPSC 499 Computers and Society
1.00 credit
This course discusses ethical, societal, security and legal issues in computing, including their relationship to professional development. Topics are examined within the context of students' senior design projects. Fall.
Prerequisite:
CPSC 223 Minimum Grade: D and CPSC 224 Minimum Grade: D
Concurrent:
CPSC 491 CPSC 491L
 
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.