Stretch your brain and expand your skills. Discover subjects you never even considered. Explore all of your options through the core curriculum, the heart and soul of our liberal arts education.
Thinking Outside of the Checkbox
At universities around the country, you’ll find variations of a core curriculum. But at USF it’s different: Here, the core is the heart of who we are and our unique style of education. It’s where students unearth new passions, satisfy their curiosity for complex questions, and challenge the boundaries of their values and traditions.
First Year & Transfer Seminars
Examine the culture, politics, environment, people, and history of the Bay Area. In small classes led by expert faculty, first-year and transfer students are introduced to new surroundings and new interests in an urban academic environment.
Podcasts: Eloquentia & Audio
Analyze the ways that podcasting operates as a mode of public speaking in the 21st century. Develop skills in speaking, listening, writing, and audio production. Leave class with your very own podcast episode.
Golden Gate Park
Learn about historical peoples' relationships to Bay Area nature and natural resources, the development of Golden Gate Park, and contemporary uses of the park. Be ready for field trips from the panhandle to Ocean Beach — and take deep dives into the Japanese Tea Garden, the de Young Museum and Cafe, and the National AIDS Memorial Grove.
What is Wisdom?
What is wisdom? Does wisdom make us happy? Is ignorance bliss? Ask these and other questions while drawing upon renowned philosophers to help you explore life's big questions. A trip to the Asian Art Museum will also take you steps away from ancient objects related to Confucianism.
Opera: Love, Death, & Intrigue
Explore the world of opera. Study, discuss, and view performances in and outside of the classroom with opportunities to attend three performances at the San Francisco Opera.
Law & Order: San Francisco
Discuss, analyze and write about social justice as practiced in our society and as depicted in movies and television. Make first-hand observations about the criminal and civil justice systems by taking field trips to local state and federal courtrooms to attend arraignments, hearings, trials, and sentencing.
Explore texts by Octavia Butler, Ray Bradbury, Pat Murphy, and more. Make trips off-campus for movies and readings by science fiction authors.
- All seminars count toward the core curriculum requirements or as a prerequisite for your written communication requirement.
- In selected classes, student assistants provide valuable peer mentoring.
Assistant Professor of Asian Art
In the Asian Art in San Francisco seminar, students get some unique opportunities, such as a private Japanese print viewing at the Legion of Honor. This way, students experience art rather than just looking at images in a book."
Assistant Professor of Asian Art
Additional Graduation Requirements
The full USF experience goes beyond the core and challenges students to step outside of their own realities to think critically about the world around them. Explore three additional requirements that round out the undergraduate academic experience.
Language nurtures relationships, unlocks opportunities, and invites new experiences around the world. That’s why we require our undergraduate students to study a foreign language offered by the university.
Community-Engaged Learning courses are a cornerstone of the university’s undergraduate curriculum, providing students with opportunities to engage in activities that address community needs and promote personal development.
Our students consider the world from a diversity of perspectives, graduating with the skills to think critically about how gender, race, class, and ethnicity shape our culture and values.