Four Areas of the Core

Core Curriculum Graphic

The USD Core Curriculum is divided into three curricular areas known as Competencies, Explorations and Foundations. The fourth curricular area, Integration, acts as a bookend to the Core with students taking their introductory Integration course in their first year at USD and an advanced Integration course providing their culminating Core experience at or near graduation.


INTEGRATE across the curriculum by examining global issues or problems from multiple disciplines. Integrative learning shows us that different perspectives can enhance one's understanding of current problems and the solutions needed to resolve them.

BECOME individuals who, through the search for truth and goodness, uphold the dignity and aspirations of all people; and who critically and creatively explore the “big questions” about God, personal identity and social identity.

EXPLORE knowledge both critically and creatively as a means to understand our great literary texts, historical actions and artistic expressions. Understand human behavior and discover scientific methods for advancing knowledge and technology.

LEARN ESSENTIAL SKILLS of written communication, mathematical reasoning and problem solving, second language, oral communication, critical thinking, information literacy and quantitative reasoning in order to become effective leaders.

Core Flowchart

Visit the current catalog to access record of courses approved for core attributes at