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 core curriculum for the Bachelor’s degree for students consists of 45 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, the appropriate Dean’s Office and the Center for Academic Success and Engagement (CASE).

Within the first year of enrollment, all students must take their English Composition and Mathematics courses based on their placement test results. Additionally, all first year students must register for a First Year Seminar course (Ignatian Seminar) within their first semester. 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 “foundations” courses prior to beginning the core requirements in composition and mathematics.

The waiver or substitution of any core curriculum requirement can be granted only through the office of the appropriate Dean.

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.


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.


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


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.


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.

Core Requirements Checklist (PDF)


COMPOSITION1 – 3 credits
additional Composition course(s) may be required based on placement testing

  • CM-102 English Composition II

CORE REQUIREMENT 1.12 (select one 3-4 credit course)
SLO 1.1: Problem solve and analyze quantitative information based on placement testing and major

  • MA-103 Probability & Statistics for Liberal Arts 
  • MA-106 Intro to Probability & Statistics 
  • MA-107 Topics in Contemporary Math 
  • MA-123 Elementary Calculus I 
  • MA-124 Elementary Calculus II 
  • MA-132 Statistics for Life Sciences 
  • MA-133 Calculus for Life Sciences (4 cr) 
  • MA-143 Differential Calculus (4 cr) 
  • MA-144 Integral Calculus (4 cr) 
  • MA-210 Math for Health Sciences
  • MA-212 Elementary Statistics
  • MA-218 Quantitative Methods for Business 
  • MA-222 Intermediate Statistics 
  • MA-273 Multivariable Calculus I (4 cr) 
  • MA-274 Multivariable Calculus II (4 cr)

CORE REQUIREMENT 2.1 (select one from each field)
SLO 2.1: Critically think about ideas and events that have shaped the humanistic tradition

  • Literature3 – (3 cr)
    • EL-201 English Lit I 
    • EL-202 English Lit II 
    • EL-203 American Lit I 
    • EL-204 American Lit II
    • EL-205 Survey of World Literature 
    • EL-206 Poetry 
    • EL-207 Drama 
    • EL-208 Fiction
  • Social Sciences4 – (3 cr)
    • PO-100 Perspectives on Politics 
    • UR-151 The Contemporary City 
    • UR-125 Intro to Social Work 
    • EC-101 Principles of Macroeconomics

History – any 100 or 200 level course – (3 cr)

CORE REQUIREMENT 2.2 (select one from each field)
SLO 2.2: Distinguish behaviors and characteristics that support effective and appropriate interaction in a variety of cultural contexts

  • Arts/Languages – (3 cr)
    • AR-110 Art in the City 
    • AR-127 Intro to Visual Arts
  • Additional Humanities – (3 cr)
    • AR-110 Art in the City
    • AR-127 Intro to Visual Arts
    • AR-128 Intro to Music
    • EL-201 English Lit I
    • EL-202 English Lit II
    • EL-203 American Lit I
    • EL-204 American Lit II
    • EL-205 Survey of World Lit
    • EL-206 Poetry
    • EL-207 Drama
    • EL-208 Fiction
    • HS-100/200-level
    • Modern, Classical or Cultural Language
  • Additional Social Sciences – (3 cr)
    • SO-121 Intro to Sociology
    • AS/AT/LS/SJ/SO-101 Intro to Latin American and Latino Studies
    • AT/GS/SJ/SO-136 Intro to LGBTQ Studies
    • AT/GS/LS/SJ/SO-140 Intro to Women’s Studies
    • AS/LS/SJ/SO-177 Intro to Africana Studies
    • SO-206 Exploring American Identities (CELAC students only)

CORE REQUIREMENT 2.3 (select one from each field)
SLO 2.3: Discern ethical and moral principles in order to more fully understand one’s role as an individual in a larger community

  • Philosophy – (3 cr)
    • PL-130 Intro to Philosophy 
    • PL-140 Intro to Ethics
  • Theology – (3 cr)
    • TH-110 Religious Faith in the Modern World 
    • TH-120 Intro to the Study of Christianity
  • Any 200 or 300-level Philosophy or Theology (3 cr)

CORE REQUIREMENT 3.1 (select one from each field)
SLO 3.1 Apply fundamental scientific principles and methods of inquiry to understand the impacts of the scientific research technology

  • Natural Sciences – (3 cr)
  • Biology
    • BI-122 Nutrition
    • BI-123 Concepts of Biology
    • BI-124 Human Structure and Function
    • BI-125 Heredity
    • BI-126 The Human Environment
    • BI-130 Natural History of New Jersey
    • BI-140 Introductory Astrobiology
    • BI-171* Anatomy and Physiology I (4 cr)
    • BI-172* Anatomy and Physiology II (4 cr)
    • BI-183 General Biology I
    • BI-184 General Biology II

* required lab (171L/172L) must be taken concurrently

  • Chemistry
    • CH-108 Science for Educators
    • CH-110 Chemical Principles
    • CH-129 Science Fact or Science Fiction?
    • CH-130 Chemistry and Cooking
    • CH-131 General Chemistry I
    • CH-132 General Chemistry II
    • BI/CH-237 Forensic Science
    • CH-238 The Science of Art
  • Physics
    • PC-110 Science Goes to the Movies
    • PC-130 Technology in the 21st Century
    • PC-140 How Stuff Works
    • PC-150 The Gene
    • PC-185 General Physics I
    • PC-186 General Physics II
  • STEM – (3 cr)
    • PS-151 Intro to Psychology
  • Computer Science
    • CS-150 Intro to Comp & Info Processing
    • CS-157 MS Excel & Accounting
    • CS-177 Intro to Comp Sci & Cybersecurity
    • CS-180 Intro to Programming
    • CS-190 Software Secure Development
    • CS-231 Software Engineering
    • CS-241 Python Programming
  • Environmental Studies
    • EV-100 Intro to Environmental Studies
    • EV-102 Intro to Climate Change
    • EV-125 Environmental Chemistry I
    • EV-126 Environmental Chemistry II
    • MA-123 or higher
  • Biology*
  • Chemistry*
  • Physics*

*see Natural Sciences requirements above

CORE REQUIREMENT 4.1 (select one from each field)
SLO 4.1 Recognize the role of service, leadership and Ignatian ideals in the realization of a just, civil society

  • Ignatian Seminar (FY-100 level) – (3 cr)
    required for all students entering Fall 2023, with the exception of transfer students.
  • Interdisciplinary-designated course
    required for all graduated beginning May 2024

In some cases, these may be satisfied as part of the major requirements. Some courses may satisfy more than one of these requirements.

  • Pluralism-designated course
  • Values-designated course
    prior to taking a Values course, students must complete at least one PL and one TH course
  • Writing Intensive-designated course
    may not be taken during the first year
  • Oral Communications-designated course
    required for all students entering Fall 2022

For more information about specific requirements for your major, please check with your academic advisor prior to registration.

1 The appropriate level of the Composition course requirement is determined by a placement test. The prerequisite for CM-102 Introduction to English Composition II is CM-101 Introduction to English Composition I. Some students may be required to take CM-100 English Fundamentals before taking CM-101. Any prerequisites for core Composition may be applied towards open electives but may not be used for core credit.

2 Satisfactory completion of a mathematics course with integrated mathematics reviews, such as MA-103 Probability and Statistics for the Liberal Arts, may be required based on placement test results. Students intending or expected to take calculus courses may first be required to take MA-100 Fundamentals of College Algebra and/or MA-101 Precalculus, unless exempted by placement test results.

3 English Composition (CM-102) may be taken previously or concurrently with the Literature Requirement.

4 Majors in one of the social sciences must select two courses outside the major to fulfill the core requirements.

Total Credits: 45


When is the new core effective?

The New Core is effective for all students beginning Fall 2023, with the exception of continuing students who have chosen to opt out.

When is the deadline to opt-out of the new core?

The deadline to opt-out was on October 2, 2023.

What if I’m not sure if I should opt-out?

We strongly encourage reviewing your current academic evaluation with your academic advisor to discuss your options.

HELP! I’m graduating, but I missed the deadline to opt-out of the new core. What should I do?

Please email us at to inquire about next steps.

I previously completed CM-104 and CM-115. Am I required to fulfill the new requirement of CM-102?

No, CM-102 is equivalent to CM-115.

I took TH-120 in the old core. Can this fulfill the 200/300-level Philosophy or Theology requirement under Core 2.3?

No. PL/TH-200 or higher is required to fulfill this requirement. For a list of courses available, please visit Student Planning.

I’m a continuing student. Do I need to complete an Ignatian Seminar?

No. The Ignatian Seminar is only required for new students entering Fall 2023 and beyond, with the exception of transfer students.

I’m a continuing student graduating in May 2024. Do I need to take an Interdisciplinary course?

Yes. The Interdisciplinary course is required for all students graduating in or after May 2024.

Can PL-140 (Ethics) count as a values course? 

No, PL-140 only fulfills the PL requirement under Core 2.3

How do I know which courses fulfill the Interdisciplinary requirement?

Using the “Catalog Advanced Search” option in Student Planning, select “Interdisciplinary” under Course Type and it will list all of the courses available.