Loyola University Chicago

University Core


Education Essentials

The University Core Curriculum includes 16 required courses spread across 10 Knowledge Areas. Additionally, an Engaged Learning requirement integrates the values of a Loyola education into a student's undergraduate studies

Welcome to Loyola's Core and University Curriculum Requirements website. This site is designed to help you understand your Core and University requirements as an essential part of your Loyola education.  The Loyola University Chicago Core Curriculum seeks to play a key educational role in every Loyola student's undergraduate experience. Designed to provide both breadth and depth to a student’s program of study, the Core Curriculum introduces students to key concepts and modes of thought in a variety of areas of human intellectual endeavors.

Core Knowledge Areas
In particular, the Core introduces students to ten central Knowledge Areas of university learning, with a consistent focus on learning outcomes for those Areas. Core coursework develops students' understanding through knowledge and experience in the Knowledge Areas of Artistic, Historical, Literary, Quantitative Analysis, Scientific Literacy, Societal and Cultural, Philosophical, Theological and Religious Studies, Ethics plus written communication.  These requirements  reinforce the development of six Skills crucial to facing the challenges of contemporary society. Each course promotes at least one of the following skills: communication, critical thinking, ethical awareness and decision-making, information literacy, quantitative and qualitative analysis and research methods, and technological literacy.

Values Areas and the Core:  Diversity, Justice, Spirituality and Faith, Engaged Learning
Finally, Core courses integrate the understanding and promoting of four Values essential to a Loyola education: understanding diversity in the US or the world; understanding and promoting justice; understanding spirituality or faith in action in the world; and promoting engaged learning.  Recent events in our community, nation and world underscore the importance of diversity and why it has been a foremost value of Loyola's University Core for many decades.  Many courses in the Core were specifically designed to highlight this important value.  You may see the complete list of diversity courses here‌.  In addition, these courses are designated with a (D)  in the course listings for each Knowledge Area.

To complete the Core and University Curriculum, students will take 16 courses across ten Knowledge Areas. Two courses are required in six of these areas (Historical Knowledge, Literary Knowledge and Experience, Scientific Literacy, Societal and Cultural Knowledge, Philosophical Knowledge and Theological and Religious Studies Knowledge) Students will begin their studies in these six areas with a foundational (or Tier I) course that will introduce them to critical ideas and methods of analyses in that area.  After completing the foundational course, students will have an array of options to further their studies by taking one of a variety of Tier II classes to pursue their particular interests in more depth.  The other four areas (College Writing Seminar, Artistic Knowledge and Experience, Quantitative Literacy and Ethics) require one course each. 

In addition to the Core Curriculum,  students will have the opportunity to apply their Loyola educations to real world experiences through the Engaged Learning University requirement.  This requirement is designed to support the mission of Loyola University Chicago to "expand knowledge in the service of humanity through learning, justice, and faith".  Students can satisfy this requirement by taking an Engaged Learning course/s that total three credit hours or more.  This course may be within the Core Curriculum, in a student's major or minor, or an elective.

What's next? Head to the Core Curriculum Guide to find out more about the specific Core requirements and learn about courses being offered.