Core Curriculum

The University Core Curriculum, re-envisioned in 2016, animates our Catholic, Jesuit and humanistic heritage and mission. As a four-year, cohesive program completed by all Gonzaga students, the core grounds, extends, and enriches each student’s major area of study.

The core is anchored by this 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?, which is progressively addressed by yearly themes and questions that create cohesiveness in students’ core experience (see below). Students also complete broadening courses, which intersect with the core themes and extend students’ appreciation for the humanities, arts, and social/behavioral sciences. Courses designated as writing enriched, global studies, and social justice taken throughout the core and in the major reinforce essential knowledge and competencies.

New additions to the University core are two courses, one taken during the first-year and the other taken toward the end of the curriculum: the First-year Seminar, designed to help students make the transition to university intellectual life, and the Core Integration Seminar, designed to help students pull together the threads of their core experience alongside their major as they “Imagine the Possible.”

The University Core Curriculum helps us achieve our Baccalaureate Learning Goals to cultivate reflective, responsible individuals rooted in Jesuit, Catholic, humanist traditions, whose knowledge, skills, habits of mind and spirituality enable them to grow in the service of faith and the promotion of justice.

 

University Core

The university core curriculum is a four-year, cohesive program of study anchored by this 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? Each year, as students progress through the program, they will address a main theme and question that support the anchoring question.

Year One

“Understanding and Creating: How do we pursue knowledge and cultivate understanding?” Students will examine this question through courses that encourage intellectual engagement and curiosity and provide a broad foundation of fundamental skills. First-year core courses include:

  • First-Year Seminar
  • Writing
  • Reasoning
  • Communication and Speech
  • Scientific Inquiry
  • Mathematics

 Year Two

“Being and Becoming: Who are we and what does it mean to be human?” In their second and third years of the core, students will explore themes and questions through courses in philosophy and religious studies. These courses include:

  • Philosophy of Human Nature
  • Christianity and Catholic Traditions

Year Three

“Caring and Doing: What principles characterize a well lived life?” In their second and third years of the core, students will explore these questions through courses in philosophy and religious studies. These courses include:

  • Ethics
  • World/Comparative Religion

Year Four

“Imagining the Possible: What is our role in the world?” Students will address this question through the culminating core course, the Core Integration Seminar. In this seminar, students integrate the principles of Jesuit education, prior components of the core, and their disciplinary expertise.

Broadening Courses and Course Designations

Broadening courses intersect with the core themes and extend students’ appreciation for the humanities, arts, and social/behavioral sciences. These courses can be taken at any time throughout the four years. Courses designated as writing enriched, global studies, and social justice taken throughout the core and in the major reinforce essential knowledge and competencies.