Core Curriculum

The University of San Francisco, as a Jesuit, Catholic, urban University with a global perspective, is committed to educating leaders who will fashion a more humane and just world. The University's Core Curriculum embodies the Jesuit, Catholic tradition that views faith, reason, and service to others as complementary resources in the search for truth and full human development. The Core promotes these values through their integration across the curriculum. As it develops its course offerings, the University affirms its commitment to provide our students with learning opportunities that embrace the fullness of the Catholic intellectual tradition.

Learning Goals for the Core Curriculum

The following general learning goals guide the development of the curriculum:

  • Students should be able to speak and write effectively.
  • Students should be able to express ideas in an articulate and persuasive way.
  • Students should be able to understand a mathematical problem and design a solution.
  • Students should be exposed to a wide breadth of disciplines, as a foundation for a general liberal arts education.
  • Students should understand the process of seeking truth and disseminating knowledge.
  • Students should understand historical traditions.
  • Students should appreciate and be able to critically evaluate the arts.
  • Students should understand the nature of society and the relationships between individuals and groups.
  • Students should understand the nature of the physical world, the uses of the scientific method, and the implications of technology.
  • Students should comprehend the variations of people's relationship with God and develop respect for the religious beliefs of others.
  • Students should understand the moral dimension of every significant human choice, taking seriously how and who we choose to be in the world.
  • Students should understand and value cultural and ethnic differences in a multicultural society and globalizing world.
  • Students should gain the skills and experiences necessary to link education to service.
  • Students should be exposed to opportunities to work for social justice.

Core Curriculum Requirements

The University requirements for the baccalaureate degree include completion of the Core Curriculum.

Students must check with their advisors to determine which courses meet the requirements in each Area.

Area A: Foundations of Communication (8 credits)

  • Public Speaking (4 credits)
  • Rhetoric and Composition (4 credits)*

*Minimum grade of C- or better

Area B: Math and the Sciences (8 credits)

  • Math or Quantitative Science (4 credits)
  • Applied or Laboratory Science (4 credits)

Area C: Humanities (8 credits)

  • Literature (4 credits)
  • History (4 credits)

Area D: Philosophy, Theology and Religious Studies, and Ethics (12 credits)

  • Philosophy (4 credits)
  • Theology and Religious Studies (4 credits)
  • Ethics (4 credits)

Area E: Social Sciences (4 credits)

  • Social Sciences (4 credits)

Area F: Visual and Performing Arts (4 credits)

  • Visual and Performing Arts (4 credits)

Total Core Curriculum Requirements: 44 credits

Integration of Service Learning and Cultural Diversity

Additional University Mission Requirements

In addition to completing the Core Curriculum requirements, the baccalaureate degree candidate will have completed a minimum of two courses within the Core or within his/her major that integrate two mission-driven characteristics:

Service Learning and Cultural Diversity. These requirements may be met by completing course sections designated as "SL" and"CD". Courses that integrate service learning as well as courses that meet the Cultural Diversity designation are offered across disciplines and schools.

The Cultural Diversity Requirement will be met by courses that promote understanding and appreciation of the richness and diversity of human culture. The Service Learning Requirement will be met by courses that integrate a form of community/public service into the academic undergraduate learning experience.