Forty to fifty percent of the courses needed for the bachelor’s degree are in the area of general education, or the Core Curriculum. These are in academic areas considered by the faculty to be indispensable to a liberal arts education. Ordinarily, most of these Core Curriculum requirements are completed by the end of the fourth semester. The Core Curriculum is composed of three principal sections, each with its own curricular objectives.
|Core Curriculum||Required Units|
|Written Literacy (Lower–division Composition and Literature Course)||3 units lower–division and 3 units upper–division|
|College Algebra or Higher Level Math||3 units|
|Critical Reasoning or Logic||3 units|
|Foreign Language*||3rd semester competency|
|Theology and Religious Studies||6 units lower–division and 3 units upper–division|
|Philosophy||3 units lower–division 3 units upper–division|
|A. Humanities and Fine Arts|
|Fine Arts (Art, Music, Theater)||3 units|
|B. Natural Sciences|
|Physical Science** (Chemisty, Physics, Astronomy, Geography)||3–4 units|
|Life Science** (Biology, Marine Science)||3–4 units|
|C. Social Sciences|
|Behavioral Science (Anthropology, Sociology, or Psychology)||3 units|
|Economics, Political Science, or Speech||3 units|
|D. Diversity of Human Experience|
|See Below***||3 units|
Typically a semester long course is equal to 3 units.
* Students whose native language is a cultural language other than English and high school education has been wholly or largely in the native language, have in many cases already fulfilled the equivalent of USD’s foreign language requirement.
** At least one Natural Science course must include a laboratory.
*** Students will take at least one 3–unit course that focuses on the variety of experiences and contributions of individuals and social groups in the United States, especially of those traditionally denied rights and privileges.