Undergraduate Admissions

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General Requirements

In order to complete a bachelor’s degree at USD, students must complete the requirements for the major, a minor if applicable, and the Core Curriculum. In addition, students may need to complete elective units in order to complete the 124 units required to earn a bachelor’s degree.
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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
Indispensable Competencies
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
History 3 units
Literature (in any language) 3 units
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.