The Core Curriculum

The 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:
CM-104 & CM-115: Introduction to English Composition I & II
CM-116: English Composition for Nursing Majors (Nursing Students Only)
CM-120: English Composition

Literature (6 credits): Take two from the following 2
EL-201: English Literature 1
EL-202: English Literature 2
EL-203: American Literature 1
EL-204: American Literature 2
EL-205: World Literature
EL-206: Poetry
EL-207:  Drama
EL-208: Fiction

Fine Arts (3 credits)
Take one of the following courses:
AR-127: Introduction to the Visual Arts
AR-128: Introduction to Music

History (6 credits)
Take one from each category:
Premodern History (Select a 100-level HS course)
Modern Global History (Select a 200-level HS course)

Mathematics (6 or 8 credits) 3
Choose a sequence (Major specific):

Level determined by placement test and major.
MA100 and/or MA101 may be required before beginning calculus.
Integrated review may be required in some courses:
MA-102 & MA-103 Mathematics for the Liberal Arts & Probability
and Statistics for the Liberal Arts
MA-105 & MA-106 Elementary Applied Mathematics & Introduction
to Probability & Statistics
MA-108 & MA-109 Mathematics for Educators I & II
MA-115 & MA-212 Medical Dosage Calculations for
Nursing and Elementary Statistics
MA-123 & MA-124 Elementary Calculus I
& Elementary Calculus II
MA-132 & MA-133 Statistics for Life Sciences
& Calculus for the Life Sciences
MA-143 & MA-144 Differential Calculus &
Integral Calculus
MA-212 & MA-218 Elementary Statistics &
Quantitative Methods for Business
MA-212 & MA-222 Elementary Statistics
& Intermediate Statistics
MA-273 & MA-274 Multivariable Calculus I
& Multivariable Calculus II

Modern or Classical Language (6 credits) 4
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

Natural Science (6 credits)
Take one course in Biology (BI-), Chemistry (CH-), or Physics (PC-).
Take one course in Biology (BI-), Chemistry (CH-), Physics (PC-),
Psychology (PS-), Computer Science (CS-), EV-100, or EV-101.

Philosophy (6 credits)
PL-130: Introduction to Philosophy
PL-140: Introduction to Ethics

Social Sciences (6 credits) 5
Choose two courses from the following areas:
EC-101: Macroeconomic Principles
PO-100: Perspectives on Politics
UR-151: The Contemporary City
SO-121: Intro to Sociology – Options available:

AS-177: Introduction to Africana Studies
SO/LS-101: Introduction to Latin American
and Latino Studies
SO-136: Introduction to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual
and Transgendered Studies
SO/GS-140: Introduction to Women’s Studies
SO-206: Exploring American Identities

Theology (6 credits)
TH-110: Religious Faith in the Modern World
TH-120: Introduction to the Study of
Christianity (* Any 200/300 level Theology course
can count as either the second

Theology Core requirement OR as a Values
course, but not both)

Distributive Requirements6
Capstone Experience
Take a designated Capstone Experience within the major.

Writing Intensive
*May not be taken during freshman year.

Values-designated Course
*Prior to taking a Values course, students must complete 6-credit
sequence of PL-130/140 or complete 6 credits in Theology

Take a designated Pluralism course. Depending on the major,
this course may be a required course for the major as well.

Total Credits: 60