At the heart of who we are

Just as Loyola continues to shape its campuses to improve its students’ university experience, the Core Curriculum is helping students better meet their academic, spiritual, and intellectual needs. The Core will not only influence our students as they earn their degrees, but it will provide them with the skills they’ll need after they leave school and pursue their careers.

One of these skills is understanding diversity and the appreciation that different cultures bring different perspectives to many situations. Without being aware of that in the workplace, students are going to miss something extremely important. That is not a skill you can easily put into a class, but it is one you can promote in a curriculum and educational program.

Another skill is being able to examine the ethical dimensions of every issue. It is one thing to ask if a practice is legally acceptable, but it is another thing to say, “This is an area that could lead us into greater risk-taking than is warranted.” We want to form graduates who are responsible for the society around them.

It’s called a Core Curriculum not just because it’s central to a Loyola education, but because it deals with what is at the core of a well-rounded person. The Core also encourages analysis across branches of learning. The ability to understand what different disciplines bring to an issue—how business or philosophy or the sciences might approach the same questions of truth or goodness or beauty—is invaluable. Those are the kinds of things you want to give in a broadly liberal education, and many schools miss the mark by training students for only one area of expertise.

Take, for example, a finance student. She will not graduate from the business school with just a degree in finance—she will have had as many hours of Core Curriculum as her major. Students graduating today will very likely have a number of careers, and we want to prepare them for that. That’s the liberalization of the program.

We hope our students will use the Core to begin to question how they can affect the world. We want them to ask, “What are our responsibilities to one another? What builds the human person and what detracts from that? What role do the arts play in making our daily life individually and collectively richer and more humane?”

By the end of their time at Loyola, they will have built up a set of skills and values that will help them far beyond the confines of the classroom. The Core Curriculum prepares our graduates to give back to their communities, to promote global and social justice, and to make a difference in the lives of others. Or, as we say: It prepares people to lead extraordinary lives.

Learn more about Loyola’s Core Curriculum here.