Academic Course Catalogs

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Bachelor's Degree

The University of San Diego is committed to a program designed to acquaint every student with the intellectual, cultural, and moral life of our civilization, while providing at the same time the opportunity to add to this knowledge special career-centered competencies. Normally, the student is in residence through eight semesters, during which he or she is enrolled in approximately 44 courses, carrying minimum credit of 124 units. USD students who wish to earn a second bachelor's degree (as opposed to one degree with two majors) are required to complete a minimum of 30 units beyond the first USD degree (thus, at least 154 units are needed), to be seeking a different degree (for example, a BBA for a student who has already earned a BA degree), to fulfill the core curriculum requirements for the second USD degree (if these are different from the first degree), and to meet all prerequisite and major requirements for the second degree. Transfer students who already have a bachelor's degree and wish to earn a USD baccalaureate degree in another major must meet all of USD's core curriculum requirements, meet USD's residency requirement of a minimum of 30 units, and meet all requirements (including prerequisites) for the degree and major sought.Each student is responsible for his or her own academic program, and for satisfying requirements listed in this bulletin.

Programs of Study Undergraduate Majors

College of Arts and Sciences

BA in Anthropology
BA in Art History
BA in Architecture
BA in Biochemistry
BA in Biology
BA in Chemistry
BA in Communication Studies
BA in Computer Science
BA in English
BA in Environmental Studies
BA in Ethnic Studies
BA in French
BA in History
BA in Interdisciplinary Humanities
BA in International Relations
BA in Liberal Studies
BA in Marine Science
BA in Mathematics
BA in Music
BA in Philosophy
BA in Physics
BA in Political Science
BA in Psychology
BA in Sociology
BA in Spanish
BA in Theatre Arts
BA in Theology and Religious Studies
BA in Visual Arts

School of Business Administration

BA of Accountancy
BA in Economics
BBA in Business Administration
BBA in Business Economics
BBA in Finance
BBA in International Business
BBA in Marketing
BBA in Real Estate
BS/BA in Electrical Engineering
BS/BA in Industrial and Systems Engineering
BS/BA in Mechanical Engineering

Undergraduate Minors

College of Arts and Sciences

Art History
Asian Studies
Catholic Studies
Classical Studies
Communication Studies
Computer Science
Environmental Studies
Ethnic Studies
Information Science
International Relations
Latin American Studies
Marine Science
Medieval – Renaissance Studies
Peace & Justice Studies
Political Science
Theatre Arts
Theology and Religious Studies
Visual Arts
Women's and Gender Studies

School of Business Administration

Business Administration
Information Technology Management
International Business
Law and Ethics
Real Estate
Supply Chain Management

School of Leadership and Education Sciences

Leadership Studies
Naval Science

Graduate Degrees

College of Arts and Sciences

MA in History
MA in International Relations
MFA in Dramatic Arts
MS in Marine Science

School of Business Administration

International Master of Business Administration (IMBA)
Master of Business Administration (MBA)
MS in Accountancy
MS in Executive Leadership
MS in Global Leadership with Certificate in Project Management
MS in Real Estate
MS in Supply Chain Management
MS in Taxation

Dual Degree Programs

MBA or IMBA and MS in Accountancy and Financial Management
MBA or IMBA and MS in Real Estate
MBA or IMBA and MS in Taxation
MBA or IMBA and MS in Global Leadership
(See also Inter-School Concurrent Degree Programs)

School of Law

Juris Doctor (JD)
LLM in Business and Corporate Law
LLM in Comparative Law (for international lawyers)
LLM in International Law
LLM in Taxation
General LLM (concentrations as approved)

School of Leadership and Education Sciences

MA in Counseling
MA in Higher Education Leadership
MA in Leadership Studies
MA in Marital and Family Therapy
MA in Nonprofit Leadership and Management
MA in Teaching (MAT)
MEd in Curriculum and Teaching
MEd in TESOL, Literacy, and Culture
MEd in Mathematics, Science and Technology Education
MEd in Special Education
MEd in Special Education with Deaf and Hard of Hearing Credential
PhD in Leadership Studies

Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science

MS in Nursing (MSN)
PhD in Nursing
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) (pending WASC approval)

Peace Studies

MA in Peace & Justice Studies

Inter-School Concurrent Degree Programs                 

JD/MA in International Relations
Dual Degree Programs
University of San Diego with Tecnológico de Monterrey (Tec)
Tec: MBA, MS in Finance, or MS in Marketing

Requirements for Major and Minor Concentrations

The professional schools and the departments of the College of Arts and Sciences may designate specific courses for majors or minors or both, and may prescribe certain lower-division prerequisites.

Core Curriculum

Forty to 50 percent of the courses needed for the bachelor's degree are in the area of the core curriculum (CC). These are in academic areas considered by the faculty to be indispensable to a liberal education, and therefore not to be left wholly to student election. The student must demonstrate competency in fundamental academic skills and must fulfill distribution requirements in the major areas of knowledge. Ordinarily, most of these core curriculum requirements are completed by the end of the fourth semester.


Twenty-five to thirty percent of the courses a student takes are designed to fulfill the major concentration requirements. The faculties of the various departments have prescribed these courses to insure that each student will do intensive work in one special area (the "major") so as to gain a useful command of its facts, interpretations, insights, and methods. Such concentration requirements are usually met in the junior and senior years, although certain preparatory courses are commonly taken earlier.

Students exceptionally well qualified may fulfill the requirements of a double major. Students are permitted the counting of upper-division courses to more than one major. Departments retain the option of restricting students from double-counting departmental courses to separate majors offered by that department.

The College of Arts and Sciences requires that a minimum of 50 percent of upper-division work in a major must be taken at USD.

Those intending to pursue graduate studies are advised to familiarize themselves with the requirements of the graduate school of their choice.


The student may specialize to a lesser extent in another area (the "minor") ordinarily related to the area of primary interest. The minor is optional, although most departments urge their students to earn credit in such a concentration. Courses in the minor may not be counted toward the major, but may be used to satisfy preparation for the major and core curriculum requirements.


The remaining courses which students take are electives and may or may not be in areas related to the major subject. Electives allow students to choose courses either to satisfy their intellectual curiosity or to enlighten themselves in areas largely unfamiliar to them.

Faculty Advisor Program and Preceptorials

In order to assist students in maximizing their collegiate experience, an academic advising program exists that specifically suits the needs of the USD community. The program is consistent with the university's desire to foster a supportive, interactive environment that regards all students as individuals. In academic advising, each student works individually with an advisor both on procedures for completion of the degree and on development of the skills needed to make informed decisions. Therefore, advisors assist with information about academic policies, course selection, class reservation and registration procedures, and graduation requirements, as well as facilitating decision making about educational goals, alternatives, and career needs. This program initially involves faculty advisors for incoming freshmen in a small class called the preceptorial. The preceptorial class provides an opportunity for first semester freshmen to meet with their faculty advisor frequently to exchange thoughts on the student's intellectual and academic progress.

After the first year, all students who have declared their majors are assigned to a faculty member in that discipline. Advisors in the major can offer the depth of knowledge about their field needed to crystallize ideas about internships, independent study courses, application to graduate or professional schools, and career opportunities.

Transfer students often arrive at USD with intentions to major in a given area, and are therefore assigned advisors in that major. For transfer students who have not decided upon a major, advising will be done for a period of time by the academic deans in the College of Arts and Sciences, Founders Hall, Room 114. Prior to their first semester, they meet with a dean to initiate the advising process and to register for their classes. All students need to declare their major on a Declaration of Major form, which is available in the Registrar's Office, Founders Hall, Room 113.

Junior and senior students who have not yet declared a major are advised by the Dean's Office of the College of Arts and Sciences. Appointments can be arranged. The hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The telephone number is (619) 260-4545.

Faculty advisors and students can consult the Counseling Center, Serra Hall, Room 300, and Career Services, Hughes Administration Center, Room 110, for interest assessment, major and career planning, special workshops, and other related services.

All advisors are available to students on a regular basis for assistance; however, each student is ultimately responsible for initiating advising meetings and for his or her academic progress.

Applicability of New Academic Requirements

Lower-Division Requirements

Changes in lower-division requirements, including prerequisites for a major, are not applicable to students already enrolled at USD.

Upper-Division Requirements

Changes in upper-division requirements, including requirements for a major, are:

applicable to freshmen, and to sophomores who have not yet enrolled in upper-division courses in their major, provided that the new academic requirements do not affect prerequisites for the major not applicable to juniors and seniors except in the Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science.

A student who so chooses may elect to fulfill new rather than previous requirements, except that the student may not intermingle previous and new requirements.

When a department/school deletes one course and substitutes a new one, only those students who have not completed the deleted course will be required to take the replacement course.

If new requirements are favorable to the student, the university may make them immediately applicable, unless the student objects.

General Requirements for the Bachelor's Degree

The university will confer the bachelor's degree upon candidates who satisfactorily complete the following:

  • 124 semester units of credit, with at least 48 units in upper-division courses
  • the core curriculum program
  • a major concentration including at least 24 units of upper-division work, and satisfying the requirements of the department/school in question
  • a minor field, if one is required by the department/ school in which one takes a major; a minor field includes 18 or more units. At least 6 units in the minor must be in upper-division courses, and these units require a grade point average of 2.0 with C– or better
  • Maintain a grade point average of 2.0 or better in courses at USD and in upper-division courses in the major, and a grade of C– or better in a minimum of 24 upper-division units in fulfillment of the requirements for the major. Courses transferred to USD in which the student earned a grade of C or better may be counted toward this requirement, subject to possible limitation by a department/school as to the number of units from such courses which may be accepted for this purpose
  • The residence requirement (completion of the final 30 semester units at the University of San Diego)
  • Settlement of all financial obligations to the university.

Core Curriculum

Mission Statement

The USD core curriculum fosters the pursuit of knowledge through active student and faculty participation in a broad and richly diverse academic experience. The core develops indispensable competencies, explores traditions of thought and belief, and probes the horizons of the liberal arts and the diversity of human experience. The core promotes critical appreciation of truth, goodness, and beauty in the context of engagement with the Catholic intellectual tradition and diverse faith communities. The core instills habits of thought and action which will serve all students in their academic majors and throughout their lives as reflective citizens of the world.

I. Indispensable Competencies

Goal: To insure that students have those competencies necessary to succeed in their university studies and to plan and pursue their personal, professional, and career goals.

A. Written Literacy

1. At the lower-division level, students must demonstrate competency in written expression either by successfully completing a three unit English course titled "Composition and Literature" or by passing an examination in composition. The course will emphasize instruction and practice in composition in response to complex literary texts. Readings will be drawn from a range of genres and periods and will include voices and perspectives traditionally underrepresented in the American canon. (Students who demonstrate competency without taking the "Composition and Literature" course are required to pass a literature course taught by the English department to fulfill the literature requirement specified in Section III-A below.)

2. At the upper-division level, students must demonstrate advanced proficiency in written English either by completing successfully an approved upper-division writing course or by passing an upper-division proficiency examination. Upper-division writing courses will be offered by various disciplines and can be identified by the suffix "W" in the course number.

B. Mathematical Competency

Students must demonstrate competency either by completing one of the approved mathematics core curriculum classes or by passing an examination in mathematics. The mathematics core curriculum classes are MATH 112, MATH 115, MATH 130, and MATH 150.

C. Logic

Students must demonstrate competency either by successfully completing PHIL 101, MATH 160, or a more advanced logic course, or by passing an examination in logic.

D. Second Language

Third semester competency in a second language is required for students seeking the bachelor's degree. Students may demonstrate competency either by successfully completing a third semester course in a second language or by passing an examination at that level. This requirement, like that in written literacy, is designed to increase the student's ability to participate more fully in diverse U.S. and global societies. (Students are advised to fulfill their language requirement in successive semesters. For students with high school credit in a second language, see the languages and literatures section in this bulletin for appropriate course placement.)

Note: Students who wish to attempt examinations to satisfy any lower-division competency requirements must take those examinations within their first two semesters of full-time enrollment at USD.

II. Traditions

Goal: To examine major systems of thought, belief, and practice, with emphasis on the Judeo-Christian tradition and on ethical decision making.

A. Theology and Religious Studies

Nine units, including at least three units at the upper-division level.

B. Philosophy

Six units (excluding Logic), including one upper-division ethics or applied ethics course. Only three units of ethics may be used to satisfy the philosophy requirement.

III. Horizons

Goal: To foster an understanding of how the humanities and the natural and social sciences explore the range of human experience and knowledge.

A. Humanities and Fine Arts

Nine units, consisting of three units in history, three units in literature in any language, and three units in fine arts (art, music, or theater). Students should select courses from each of these programs in consultation with a faculty advisor using the list of approved core courses.

Note: The "Composition and Literature" course does not satisfy the literature requirement in the humanities.

B. Natural Sciences

Six units, including three units from the physical sciences and three units from the life sciences. In addition, at least one of the courses must include a laboratory.

1. Physical Sciences:
Chemistry 101, 103, 105, 111, 151
Environmental Studies 104, 109, 110
Marine Science 101, 120
Physics 101, 107, 117, 136, 270
Electrical Engineering 102

2. Life Sciences:
Biology 101/111, 102/112, 103/113, 104/114, 105/115, 106, 110, 118, 190, 221, 225
Environmental Studies 102, 112, 121

C. Social Sciences

Six units from two different programs among the following: anthropology, communication studies, economics, ethnic studies, political science, psychology, or sociology. Students should select courses from each of these programs in consultation with a faculty advisor using the list of approved core courses.

D. Diversity of Human Experience

Students will take at least one three 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. The courses are designated by the suffix "D" in the course number. The core curriculum's commitment to an examination of the experiences of diverse populations within the United States and internationally is evident at three different points in its requirements: in the "D" course; in the "Composition and Literature" course, which includes texts by authors representing the kaleidoscope of voice of the United States; and in the study of a second language, where attention is given to the interrelationship of issues of cultural diversity within the United States and internationally.

The core curriculum is a crucial part of the undergraduate program at USD. It is designed to help students recognize and experience diverse ways of knowing, thus providing the tools needed for choosing and achieving success in a major field of study and for making a wise and engaged choice of elective courses. The core curriculum also helps students in finding and pursuing careers that will be intellectually meaningful and spiritually rewarding. Finally, the core curriculum is designed to instill in students an abiding intellectual curiosity, a respect for the diversity of human experience, and a willingness to participate as thoughtful, bold, and contributing citizens of the world.

Preparation for Health Profession Programs

For students planning a career in medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, optometry, veterinary medicine or other health professions such as physical therapy or nursing (including the accelerated USD BA/BS to MEPN track), the Health Professions Advising Office guides students toward preparation for the professional or graduate school degree. Health Professions students seeking to further their education in a professional or graduate school program, complete the course requirements for their USD degree as well as the prerequisites for their health professions program. The services offered by the Health Professions Advising Office include assisting students with prerequisite information, clinical and internship opportunities and the professional school application process. The Health Professions Advising Office is located in Founders Hall 114. For more information please go health profession preparation website.

Preparation for Law School

The Pre-Law advising office provides students with information on preparing for and applying to law school through one on one advising, workshops and lecture series. For more information about Pre-Law advising go to

For changes to this page, please contact Annie O'Brien. For all other questions, please contact the above department/office.