Political Science

Chairperson: Stacy Taninchev 
Professors: L. Brunell, B. Garvin, J. Isacoff, M. Leiserson (Emeritus)
Associate Professors: M. Connolly, S.J., J. GardnerC. Stavrianos, S. Taninchev, M. TreleavenR. Waterman

The department offers one major and one minor:

Bachelor of Arts, Political Science major
Minor in Political Science

Political science courses invite students to examine political thought and systems past and present. A major or minor in political science provides an enduring political education for citizens, a solid basis for graduate work, a fine background for the study of law, the teaching or practice of politics and social and economic organization, and change.

Our faculty believes that public-spirited participation in civic affairs serves the department’s mission and the mission of Gonzaga University. So, we encourage majors to do politics in our public affairs internships and other forms of experiential learning as well as in pursuing their own political interests and passions. In the fall or spring semester of their senior year, all political science majors must take POLS 499, Preparation for the Comprehensive, a one credit seminar that helps students review their departmental and related studies in preparation for comprehensive examination in November or April. Students base the examination on the special interests and thematic questions they have discovered in their courses as well as in their own political engagement, service learning, internships, study abroad, etc.

The faculty also provide guidance and advice about applying to graduate school or law school and pursuing careers in politics, public administration, or international affairs.


B.A. Major in Political Science: 31 credits

Lower Division
POLS 101 American Politics 3 credits
POLS 102, POLS 103 or POLS 104
if taken in the freshman or sophomore years
0-6 credits
Upper Division
POLS 300-329; POLS 484 U.S. Government and Politics 6 credits
POLS 330-349; POLS 486 Political Thought 6 credits
POLS 350-389; POLS 487-488 Comparative Government/International Relations 6 credits
POLS Electives 3-9 credits
POLS 499 Comprehensive Exam Preparation 1 credit

Minor in Political Science: 18 Credits

Lower Division
POLS 101 American Politics 3 credits
POLS 102, POLS 103 or POLS 104
if taken in the freshman or sophomore years
0-3 credits
Upper Division
POLS 302-329; POLS 484 U.S. Government and Politics 3 credits
POLS 330-349; POLS 486 Political Thought 3 credits
POLS 350-389; POLS 487-488 Comparative Government/International Relations 3 credits
POLS Electives 3-6 credits
Lower Division
POLS 101 American Politics
3.00 credits
The American Constitution: the evolution of democracy and the structure of the national government. Congress: the Presidency and the courts. Political parties and interest groups. Public policy in domestic and foreign affairs. How to think about politics.
POLS 102 Political Thinkers & Actors
3.00 credits
Treatment of six distinctive figures in political life: philosopher, saint, prince, revolutionary, statesman, and citizen, in order to determine their characteristic contributions to an understanding of politics. Examples: Socrates, Thomas More, Machiavelli's Prince, American Founding Fathers, Marx and Engels, and the students of the 1960's. Uses a variety of materials, including pamphlets, philosophical dialogues, essays, and dramas.
POLS 103 People & Politics World Wide
3.00 credits
Comparison of key political institutions, political attitudes, patterns of interaction, and long-term quarrels in selected countries from Europe, Middle East, Asia, Africa and Latin America. How legislatures, executives, and political parties work and the influence of culture, social structure, ideology, and nationalism.
POLS 104 International Politics
3.00 credits
This course is designed to be an introduction to the political science subfield of international relations. The course will cover the major theoretical perspectives in international relations, security and economic relations between states, and global challenges that states face from non-state actors and the environment.
POLS 190 Directed Study
1.00- 4.00 credits
Topic to be determined by instructor.
POLS 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.
Upper Division
POLS 301 Politics of Food
3.00 credits
Examines the nature and origins of local, state, and federal policies impacting the U.S. food system. Major topics include food safety, nutrition guidelines, the problems of hunger and obesity. Significant attention is paid to the interplay of ordinary citizens, corporations, and local, state and federal governments and the role of each in the policy making process. Spring, alternate years.
POLS 303 Const Law:Civil Liberty&Rights
3.00 credits
A case-based examination of Supreme Court decisions treating aspects of the Bill of Rights and the Fourteenth Amendment. These decisions cover topics such as freedom of speech, freedom of the press, religious freedoms, the right to privacy, and questions of discrimination in its many forms, including racial, sexual, and voting rights.
Equivalent:
WGST 343 - OK if taken since Fall 2009
POLS 304 Crim Just Amends & Courts
3.00 credits
Study of the 4th, 5th, 6th and 8th amendments to the constitution and how they are applied in the criminal justice system. Focus on relevant case law, operation of the courts and law enforcement in the criminal justice system.
POLS 306 Congress and the Presidency
3.00 credits
The Congress, its rules and procedures, committee and party leadership, and the influence of Congress on national policy. The Presidential office, its constitutional powers and its evolution over the years. The "modern presidency" since Franklin Roosevelt. Conflict and co-operation between the Congress and the President.
POLS 309 Political Parties and Election
3.00 credits
How our nation's political parties are organized inside and outside government. Whether they are weak or strong. Occasional efforts to reform parties. Their role in elections. Other influences on presidential and congressional elections. The conduct of election campaigns. How voters make up their minds. Explaining election outcomes.
POLS 310 Native American Govt & Politic
3.00 credits
This course will see Native American government and politics in a milieu of intergovernmental relations, of community to community connections, or the lack of such relationships. Taking social justice as importantly about relationships, and doing so in respect of governing, this course will to study how (or how not) federal, state, and municipal governments interact with Native American governments. Spring, even years.
Equivalent:
ENVS 325 - OK if taken since Spring 2019
NTAS 311 - OK if taken since Spring 2019
POLS 311 State & Local Government
3.00 credits
Surveys state and local government: intergovernmental relations, finance, state sovereignty, shifts in federalism and social policy, politics of urban and rural regions. State election systems may be studied for their significant influence over national elections.
POLS 312 Urban Politics
3.00 credits
Explores city life and all the elements that define it, the problems and prospects of the urban policy that surround, influence, constrain and color city life. When cross listed with WGST 341, special attention is paid to the role of women as citizens and activists in the urban context.
Equivalent:
WGST 341C - OK if taken since Spring 2010
POLS 317 Ecological Thought & Politics
3.00 credits
This Service Learning course focuses on the writings of seminal figures in American ecological thought, such as John Muir, Gifford Pinchot, and Aldo Leopold. Examines the history and politics of land use and wilderness planning. Class will go on field trips in partnership with the United States Forest Service (USFS) and local environmental groups to learn first-hand about the politics of local land use.
Equivalent:
ENVS 321 - OK if taken since Fall 2007
POLS 319 American Foreign Policy
3.00 credits
Evolution of American foreign policy, with emphasis on contemporary issues, national interests, interrelationship with domestic politics, and the decision-making process. Evaluation of Nationalist, Revisionist, and Realist views of foreign policy. How foreign policy may do justice.
POLS 320 Bureaucracy & Citizens
3.00 credits
From a citizen's viewpoint, the need for public bureaucracy, its politics, improvement, and relations with citizens.
POLS 321 Politics & Public Admin
3.00 credits
The way American public bureaucracy operates.
POLS 322 Women and Politics
3.00 credits
History and dynamics of women's political movements (both conservative and liberal) in the U.S. Survey of women's current levels and styles of participation in U.S. government and politics.
Equivalent:
SOSJ 342 - OK if taken since Fall 2015
WGST 340 - OK if taken since Fall 2009
POLS 323 Constitutional Law:Inst Powers
3.00 credits
A case-based examination of Supreme Court decisions treating the structure and distribution of power among government institutions. These decisions treat the powers of the national government (the legislative, executive, and judicial branches) and issues arising out of federalism: The powers of the states and the interplay between state and national institutions.
POLS 324 Grass Roots Politics
3.00 credits
Examination of past town-meeting and recent theory and practice aimed at increasing direct use of political power by ordinary American citizens. Emphasis on the possibility of a new model of democratic government. Upon sufficient demand.
POLS 325 Selected Topics: Amer Politics
3.00 credits
The study of selected topics in American politics. Upon sufficient demand.
POLS 326 Race & Ethnicity Politics
3.00 credits
Examines the conditions facing selected racial and ethnic groups in the U.S., with African Americans being the primary case for analysis. Topics include the social construction of race and ethnicity, the wide range of political strategies and tactics employed by racial and ethnic groups in pursuit of equality, and U.S. immigration policy.
Equivalent:
SOSJ 343 - OK if taken since Fall 2015
WGST 345C - OK if taken since Spring 2010
POLS 327 American Social Policy
3.00 credits
Examines the origins, patterns, reforms, and criticisms of American social policy, the ties between knowledge and social policy; the impact of education, health care, and welfare policies on women, children, different racial and ethnic groups, and the middle class. Reviews normative claims for the proper role of the state and capitalism. Compares other western, capitalist societies and their policy regimes.
Equivalent:
WGST 344 - OK if taken since Fall 2009
POLS 328 Politics of the Pacific NW
3.00 credits
State and society in the Pacific Northwest: government, parties, reform movements, regionalism, and social forces in the U.S. Pacific Northwest, and British Columbia and Alberta. Regional issues such as taxation, health care, urbanization, land use, education, the environment, and resource-based economics are addressed in a comparative Canadian-U.S. context.
Equivalent:
ENVS 380 - OK if taken since Fall 2013
POLS 329 N Amer Environmental Policies
3.00 credits
Study of local, regional, and international environmental policy, its challenges for not only administration and understanding, but also citizenship and accountability. Topics include water, ecosystem management and sustainability in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.
POLS 330 Ruling Well:Plato-Machiavelli
3.00 credits
Great political theorists have criticized rulers and proposed alternative ways of ruling. In short, they have tried to change the world. This course examines the efforts of Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Aquinas and Machiavelli to teach rulers how to do their job well.
POLS 331 Modern Political Thought
3.00 credits
The rise and development of British and French liberalism from the 17th through the 19th centuries. How freedom became the central issue in political thought, traced through consideration of Hobbes, Locke, Montesquieu, Rousseau, Paine, and Mill – plus a nod to Burke, a conservative critic of these developments. Consideration of the influence of liberalism on America.
POLS 332 Amer Polit Thgt: Founding Era
3.00 credits
Political thought of the Puritan founders of Massachusetts. The American Revolution and the Constitution. Federalists and Anti-Federalists. Tocqueville's Democracy in America.
POLS 333 Am Thght Civil War & After
3.00 credits
Political thought from the Progressives through the rise of Neoconservatism and the newly emergent Republican majority. Relies on political documents such as speeches and essays, fiction with political overtones, and scholarly writing about American politics and thought.
POLS 335 Marxism
3.00 credits
Foundations of Marxism-Leninism. Major writings of Marx, Engels, and Lenin. Significance of Marxism in light of the apparent collapse of world communism. Marxism as a critique of American liberalism.
POLS 336 Selected Texts In PolThgt
3.00 credits
Intensive look at a single writer or group of writers; designed to achieve greater understanding than is possible in a broad survey course. Upon sufficient demand.
POLS 337 Ethics and Politics
3.00 credits
Problem of "dirty hands" in politics and why it occurs. Three different ways politics can be ethical. How the separation of powers in the American Constitution is a distinction of moral authorities. Close reading of classic works including Machiavelli, Just War, the Lincoln-Douglas debates. Spring.
POLS 338 20th-Century Political Thought
3.00 credits
Treatment of 20th-century authors who examine the difficulties for democratic political life in contemporary mass society. Fall.
POLS 340 Christian Political Thought
3.00 credits
Examines Protestant and Catholic theologies of politics: ancient, modern, and contemporary. Variety of Christian reactions to politics: power, authority, social justice, freedom, rights, obligations, citizenship, sin, and grace in history and institutions. Considers secular critiques of Christian thought. Upon sufficient demand.
POLS 341 Feminist Thought
3.00 credits
Analyzes several varieties of feminist theory to explore how conceptions of women, gender and feminism have changed and have structured women’s opportunities to participate fully in politics and the economy. Central questions include: the nature of sex/gender and sex/gender difference; what is feminism; who identifies as a feminist; and how gender identities are mediated by our class, race, and ethnic identities.
Equivalent:
WGST 401 - OK if taken between Fall 2011 and Spring 2014
POLS 343 War and Peace
3.00 credits
Analyzes several political philosophers' writings about war and peace, such as Kant's Perpetual Peace; also looks into recent case studies about establishing peace in various parts of the world.
POLS 345 Machiavelli & The Romans
3.00 credits
An extended examination of Machiavelli's political thought. The course will focus on The Prince, The Discourses (including some treatment of Livy's Discourses) and other relevant works (including Plutarch's Essays).
POLS 346 Tocqueville and America
3.00 credits
Close consideration of perhaps the greatest book on America politics and society. Tocqueville’s trip to America. His two volume work, Democracy in America. Tocqueville as a 19th century theorist of revolution. How far America today resembles Tocqueville’s description in the 1830s. What Tocqueville can teach us today about the link between political participation and freedom.
POLS 350 Survey of Internatnl Studies
3.00 credits
Contemporary global issues and background information for all courses in International Studies. Studies the wisdom of the world's main civilizations, comparative economic systems and ideas, international politics, and the potential for international integration.
Equivalent:
INST 301 - OK if taken between Fall 1996 and Fall 2018
POLS 351 International Relations
3.00 credits
Theory and practice of the international political system and the behavior of the participating nations.
Equivalent:
INST 342 - OK if taken since Fall 1996
POLS 352 Latin American Politics
3.00 credits
Impressive contributions and drawbacks of the caudillo or leader in Latin American history, culture, and society, in the range of contemporary forms of government-democratic, dictatorial, revolutionary. Some treatment of U.S. foreign policy.
Equivalent:
INST 385 - OK if taken since Fall 1996
POLS 354 Comparative European Politics
3.00 credits
Survey of the parties, institutions, political processes, issues and policies of the major western European industrialized nations. Special focus on England, France, and Germany, but coverage extends to the other European democracies as well.
Equivalent:
INST 395 - OK if taken since Fall 1996
POLS 355 Post-Soviet Russia and China
3.00 credits
Focus on the pre-1985 Soviet political system; how Gorbachev's six-year reform program led to the unraveling of the Soviet Union; and the difficult transition to democracy and a market economy in post-Soviet Russia. Similarly, contrasts Maoist China with the uneasy mixture of economic reform and political repression coexisting in China today.
Equivalent:
INST 325 - OK if taken since Fall 1996
POLS 356 Area Studies in Politics
3.00- 4.00 credits
An analysis of selected foreign governments.
POLS 357 Italian Political System
3.00 credits
Constitutional principles and governmental agencies in Italy today. Taught only at Gonzaga-in-Florence.
POLS 359 Third World Development
3.00 credits
Focus on political development in the Third World. After examining the making of the Third World through imperialism and colonialism, analyzes key political institutions (the state, political parties, the military), the international economic context of dependency and vulnerability. Several case studies follow a common analytical framework to trace experiences with democratic and authoritarian rule and assess the underlying causes of democratic success and failure.
Equivalent:
INST 310 - OK if taken since Fall 1996
SOSJ 329 - OK if taken since Fall 2017
POLS 360 Parliamentary Government
3.00 credits
Parliamentary or Cabinet government contrasted with the American government. Focus on disciplined parties, prime ministers, civil servants, and elected politicians, written and unwritten constitutional rules, parliamentary supremacy and rights-based politics. Usually features Canada but draws examples from Great Britain, New Zealand, India, and Australia.
Equivalent:
INST 346 - OK if taken since Fall 1996
POLS 361 European Relations
3.00 credits
Offered in Paris only.
POLS 363 Global Gender Regimes
3.00 credits
Compares the lives of women around the world: their public and private roles and responsibilities, positions in government, the economy, and the private sphere. Seeks to explain women's status differences in various regions and societies by looking at the influence of culture, religion, economics, and politics.
Equivalent:
INST 326 - OK if taken since Fall 1996
WGST 342 - OK if taken since Fall 2009
POLS 364 Politics of the Pacific Rim
3.00 credits
Focus on the role played by the East Asian capitalist development states (Japan, South Korea, Taiwan) in the accelerated economic growth of the Pacific Rim; a consideration of the Philippines or Indonesia as a representative of ASEAN; analysis of the Asian financial crisis and its impact on Hong Kong, USA, Russia, and China.
Equivalent:
INST 389 - OK if taken since Fall 1996
POLS 365 African Politics & Development
3.00 credits
This is a course on the political economy of, largely, sub-Saharan Africa. Poverty is Africa’s overriding moral, economic, and political challenge. Topics treated include: state-society relations, civil society, institutions, incentives – political and economic, concepts and experiences of development, violence and ruling practices, trade and investment, urban and rural issues, formal and informal economies, social movements and political parties, inequality and justice, accountability of power, capacity building and corruption.
Equivalent:
INST 390 - OK if taken since Fall 1996
POLS 366 Perspectives on Global Issues
3.00 credits
Critical analysis of vital global issues from the different perspectives of realists, idealists, and system-transformers. Exploration of competing worldviews and value systems, weighing of evidence from differing ideological, cultural, and gender perspectives. Introduces major analytical perspectives and organizing concepts fashioned by scholars to make these issues comprehensible.
Equivalent:
INST 401 - OK if taken since Fall 2017
POLS 367 New Europe
3.00 credits
Studies the "new Europe" that has emerged since 1989 as integration through the European Union deepens and widens. Explores contemporary issues that European integration and globalization have fostered in the new Europe such as the resurgence of nationalism and extreme right-wing parties, the increased salience of local and regional identities, the need to build a supra-national European identity, increasing cultural diversity and the need to better manage immigration and migration, and Europe's place in the global economy and foreign affairs as it challenges American hegemony and seeks to continue to be a major player in world affairs.
Equivalent:
INST 393 - OK if taken since Fall 1996
POLS 368 Tyranny to Democracy 21 C.
3.00 credits
Between 1974 and 2000 more than fifty countries in Southern Europe, Latin America, East Asia, and Eastern Europe shifted from authoritarian to democratic systems of government. This course examines the causes and nature of these democratic transitions and investigates several case studies of democratic transitions in different areas of the world; in order to understand the factors responsible for the democratic trend and to ascertain which key variables best explain completed democratic transitions and democratic consolidation. Spring, alternate years.
Equivalent:
INST 392 - OK if taken since Fall 1996
SOSJ 346 - OK if taken since Fall 2015
POLS 369 The Politics of Eurasia
3.00 credits
We will begin by developing our understanding of democracy and then proceed to explore the political, economic and social development of several countries of Central and Eastern Europe, Russia and Central Asia over time. What explains the various fates of the countries in this region? Political culture/history? Political agency? Proximity to "the West" and diffusion of norms? Spring.
Equivalent:
INST 355 - OK if taken since Fall 2014
POLS 370 Modern Democracies
3.00 credits
Selected foreign democratic systems; constitutional and ideological principles; governmental forms, practices, and problems. Taught at Gonzaga-in-Florence.
POLS 371 International Law
3.00 credits
International law with an international relations focus. How and why international treaties and other sources of international law are created; actors who create, interpret, and enforce them. Structures for increasing compliance and their effectiveness. Variety of major international treaties and laws: war, sea, trade, and human rights.
Equivalent:
INST 345 - OK if taken since Fall 1996
POLS 372 Middle East Politics
3.00 credits
Shows the Middle East is more than a region fraught with violence, ethnic hatred and the struggle for control of oil by examining the modern Middle East's history and context, a diverse set of country case studies, and current issues including the role of women, Islamic fundamentalism, terrorism, and peace in Israel-Palestine.
POLS 373 Arab-Israeli Conflict
3.00 credits
Why is there an Arab-Israeli conflict? The question is much-discussed but not very often answered. Comprehensive effort to understand that question as well as the intense political debates surrounding it. Interdisciplinary, touching on the historical, political, and sociological origins and trajectory of the conflict.
POLS 375 Global Environmental Politics
3.00 credits
Unique interdisciplinary examination of the historical, philosophical, and moral consequences of human interaction with the global environment by focusing on the relevant local, national and international governments, national and indigenous peoples, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), regimes and industries.
Equivalent:
ENVS 322 - OK if taken since Fall 2007
POLS 376 International Organizations
3.00 credits
Examines why intergovernmental organizations exist and whether they make a difference in solving global problems. Questions to be addressed include: Where does their power come from? Why are some designed differently than others? Why do countries use international organizations to achieve their goals? Are they effective? Practical knowledge about the major ones such as the U.N., the European Union, and the World Trade Organization. Their successes and failures about specific global problems such as conflict, human rights and development.
Equivalent:
INST 344 - OK if taken since Spring 2011
POLS 377 International Treaties
3.00 credits
Examines International Treaties: why they exist, origins of their power, different designs, uses made of them, effectiveness. Covers such examples as NATO, NAFTA, Kyoto Protocol. Their successes and failures about specific problems.
Equivalent:
INST 347 - OK if taken since Fall 2011
POLS 378 Climate Change Sci. & Politics
3.00 credits
Equivalent:
ENVS 324 - OK if taken since Fall 2019
POLS 390 Directed Study
1.00- 3.00 credits
Topic to be determined by instructor.
POLS 395 Topics in Political Science
3.00 credits
Selected questions in the discipline.
POLS 396 Service Learning Public Affair
1.00 credit
Field work by arrangement with a community organization. Must be taken together with a designated service learning course. Requires a comprehensive internship report. Normally limited to upper division students but, in special cases, first and second year students may be granted authorization by the Department Chair.
POLS 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.
POLS 484 Seminar in American Politics
3.00 credits
Selected topics.
POLS 486 Seminar in Political Thought
3.00 credits
Selected topics.
POLS 487 Sem in International Relations
3.00 credits
Selected topics.
POLS 488 Seminar: Comparative Politics
3.00 credits
Selected topics.
POLS 490 Directed Readings
1.00- 3.00 credits
Credit by arrangement for directed reading and reports on selected topics. Requires completion of a form, Department Chair permission and cannot be registered for via ZAGWEB.
POLS 492 Indep Research or Study
1.00- 4.00 credits
Credit by arrangement for research or study. Requires completion of a form, Department Chair permission and cannot be registered for via Zagweb.
POLS 497 Pub Aff Intrn:
.00- 9.00 credits
Field work by arrangement with a public agency or political party. Requires a comprehensive internship report. Normally limited to upper division students; in special cases freshman and sophomores may be allowed. No student may earn more than nine credits. Requires completion of a form, department permission and cannot be registered for via Zagweb.
POLS 499 Comprehensive Exam Preparation
1.00 credit
Required of all Political Science majors in their final year; students must register during regular registration.
 

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.