Students chat and laugh at a cafeteria table.

Core Curriculum

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.

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  • 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.

First-Year & Transfer Seminars

Karen Fraser

Karen Fraser

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."

Karen Fraser

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.

student listening to lecture in classroom


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.

Student volunteering building a house

Community-Engaged Learning

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.

A number of students pass each other on the stairs leading to Lone Mountain.

Cultural Diversity

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.