The Core Curriculum

Saint Peter’s University offers more than 50 programs leading to the Bachelor’s degree and six leading to the Associate’s degree. These programs are built around two concepts: the core curriculum and the major. The core curriculum provides students with the opportunity for breadth of knowledge while the major concentrates on specialization in a single field of study.

The curriculum at Saint Peter’s University is enriched by opportunities for students to develop composite majors, double majors, and minors; to participate in an honors program and foreign study opportunities; and to become involved in cooperative education and internships.

The Core Curriculum

The core curriculum, required for all undergraduate degree programs offered by Saint Peter’s University, provides opportunities for study in a variety of disciplines. The basic purpose of the core is to address issues intrinsic to a humane education through a liberal arts program committed to the pursuit of knowledge in its fundamental unity, intelligently appreciative of a common cultural heritage, conscious of social and moral obligations, and respectful of the traditions of the Judeo-Christian value system and of Jesuit education.

The objectives and outcomes of the core curriculum, achieved through study of the humanities, the natural and social sciences, the fine arts, philosophy, and theology, and incorporating issues related to values and pluralism, are fundamental to the development of the well-educated person. Through the core curriculum students will be expected to be able to do the following.

Objective 1

Develop intellectual and communication skills so that one is able to:

1.1 Problem solve and analyze quantitative information.
1.2 Formulate, critique, and analyze an argument.
1.3 Utilize effective critical thinking skills.
1.4 Demonstrate effective oral communication skills.
1.5 Read and write critically and cogently.
1.6 Synthesize knowledge from the core to major.

Objective 2

Explore humanistic and social disciplines in order to:

2.1 Critically think about ideas and events that have shaped the humanistic tradition.
2.2 Distinguish behaviors and characteristics that support effective and appropriate interaction in a variety of cultural contexts.
2.3 Discern ethical and moral principles in order to more fully understand one’s role as an individual in a larger community

Objective 3

Explore scientific disciplines and technology in order to:

3.1 Apply fundamental scientific principles and methods of inquiry to understand the impacts of the scientific research technology.

Objective 4

Exhibit leadership based upon one’s ability to:

4.1 Recognize the role of service, leadership and Ignatian ideals in the realization of a just, civil society.

The core curriculum for the Bachelor’s degree for students consists of 54-57 specified credits plus a Values course, a Capstone Experience, a Writing Intensive course and a Pluralism course that for most students, will be satisfied within the major.

Some majors require students to choose particular core courses, so students should consult their major requirements before choosing core courses. According to the new core requirements, a single course may be required for a given major, and it may also satisfy one or more of the following requirements as well: Values, Capstone, Writing Intensive, and Pluralism. To complete some majors within eight semesters (4 years), major courses and core courses need to be taken in a particular sequence. Suggested sequences for taking the core curriculum and major requirements are available in the departments and the appropriate Dean’s Office.

In their first semester of enrollment, all freshmen must register for courses in English Composition and in Mathematics, based on their placement test results. Students who do not complete these requirements satisfactorily and in a timely fashion may be subjected to restricted registration. More specific information is available from faculty advisors and the Deans. As determined by placement results, students who are not adequately prepared may be required to take zero-credit developmental courses prior to beginning the core requirements in composition and mathematics.

The waiver of any core curriculum requirement can be granted only through the office of the appropriate Dean for traditional day students or the Director of the School of Professional & Continuing Studies for SPCS students.

Core Requirements Checklist (PDF)

Core Requirements for Traditional Day Students

English Composition (3 or 6 credits, depending on placement) 1
Take one of the following sequences in freshman year:
Introduction to English Composition I
and Introduction to English Composition II
English Composition for Nursing Majors (Nursing Students Only)
English Composition
Literature (6 credits): Take two from the following 2 6
English Literature I
English Literature II
American Literature I
American Literature II
Survey of World Literature
Fine Arts (3 credits)
Take one of the following courses: 3
Introduction to the Visual Arts
Introduction to Music
History (6 credits)
Take one course from each category 6
Pre-Modern History (Choose a 100-level HS course)
Modern Global History (Choose a 200-level HS course)
Mathematics (6 or 8 credits) 3
Take one of the following sequences, based on major requirements 6
Mathematics for the Liberal Arts
and Probability and Statistics for Liberal Art
Elementary Applied Mathematics
and Introduction to Probability and Statistics
Mathematics for Educators I
and Mathematics for Educators II
Medical Dosage Calculations for Nursing
and Elementary Statistics
Elementary Calculus I
and Elementary Calculus II
Statistics for the Life Sciences
and Calculus for the Life Sciences
Differential Calculus
and Integral Calculus
Elementary Statistics
and Quantitative Methods for Business
Elementary Statistics
and Intermediate Statistics
Multivariable Calculus I
and Multivariable Calculus II
Modern or Classical Language (6 credits) 4 6
Modern or Classical Language I
Modern or Classical Language II
Level based on prior language experience
Cultural Language Course I
Cultural Language Course II
Two courses in the same language over the 200-level may substitute
ML-125 American Sign Language (intensive six credit course)
Natural Science (6 credits)
Take one course in Biology (BI-), Chemistry (CH-), or Physics (PC-). 3
Take one course in Biology (BI-), Chemistry (CH-), Physics (PC-), Psychology (PS-), Computer Science (CS-), EV-100, or EV-101. 3
Social Sciences (6 credits) 5
Choose two courses from the following areas: 6
Take one of the following courses
Macroeconomic Principles
Perspectives on Politics
The Contemporary City
Take one of the following courses
Introduction to Africana Studies
Introduction to Sociology
Introduction to Latin American and Latino Studies
Introduction to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered Studies
Introduction to Women’s Studies
Exploring American Identities
Philosophy (6 credits)
PL-130 Introduction to Philosophy 3
PL-140 Introduction to Ethics 3
Theology (6 credits)
TH-110 Religious Faith in the Modern World 3
TH-120 Introduction to the Study of Christianity (or any 200 or 300-level TH course) 7 3
Values Distributive Requirement 6
Capstone Experience
Take a designated Capstone Experience within the major. 3
Writing Intensive
Take a designated Writing Intensive course. Depending on the major, this course may be a required course for the major as well. 3
Take a designated Pluralism course. Depending on the major, this course may be a required course for the major as well. 3
Total Credits 60



SPCS Core Requirements For Bachelor’s Degrees

AR-127 Introduction to the Visual Arts 3
or AR-128 Introduction to Music
CM-120 English Composition (or equiv) 3
Take two EL courses 6
HS-121 The Western Tradition 3
HS-200 World Perspectives 3
MA-106 Introduction to Probability and Statistics 3
Modern Language 3
Select two Social Science courses from the following: EC, PO, SO, UR, CJ 6
Natural Sciences: select two courses (Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Physics, Psychology, NS-110, EV-100, EV-101) 6
PL-130 Introduction to Philosophy 3
PL-140 Introduction to Ethics 3
TH-110 Religious Faith in the Modern World 3
TH-120 Introduction to the Study of Christianity 3
Total Credits 48

Core Requirements Checklist (PDF)

Christina Mortellaro, Ph.D.
Director, Core Curriculum & Student Learning Outcomes Assessment
(201) 761-6439