Loyola University Chicago

University Core

Diversity and the University Core

The current Core, which was launched in Fall 2012, introduces students to ten central Knowledge Areas of university learning, with a consistent focus on learning outcomes for those Areas.  In addition to the content of the specific Knowledge Areas, 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
  • Civic Engagement and Leadership (Satisfied by Loyola's Engaged Learning requirement)

With regard to the Value, Diversity in the US or World,  courses in the current Core were specifically designed to address this important value and allow students  to develop the specific competencies that are shown below.  Currently 31% of all courses in the University Core curriculum are diversity-designated (48 courses).**

Demonstrate an understanding of diversity in the United States and the world.
By way of example, Loyola graduates should be able to:

  1. Recognize that human diversity is complex and variegated.
  2. Distinguish the various factors that inform and impact individual identity formation.
  3. Comprehend how group identities are formed in a heterogeneous society.
  4. Identify distinctive patterns of thought and behavior that contribute to the formation of a culture different from one's own.
  5. Perceive the interdependence of cultures in domestic and global terms.

Recent events in our community, nation and world have served to underscore the critical importance of diversity and why it has been a foremost value of Loyola's University Core for many decades.  In response to these events, and in support of Plan 2020 and strong student interest, a group of faculty, administrators and students began working together in Spring 2016 to reaffirm and support Loyola's commitment to diversity by enhancing the diversity of the University Core. These revisions include:

1.  Increasing the number of diversity courses in the Tier 1 Foundational offerings

  • Tier 1 Historical Knowledge Area:  HIST 103: American Pluralism and HIST 104: Global History Since 1500 have been added as two course options to the Tier 1 Historical Knowledge Area.  There will now be four courses that will satisfy the Tier 1 Historical Knowledge Area requirement.
  • Tier1 Societal and Cultural Knowledge Area:  WSGS101: Introduction to Women’s Studies and Gender Studies: A Global Perspective has been added to the Core Curriculum as an option for the Tier1 Societal and Cultural Knowledge Area.

2.  Increasing the number of diversity courses in Tier 2 course offerings

  • Tier 2 Theological and Religious Studies Knowledge Area:  Three new Theology courses have been added as course options for Tier 2 of the Theological and Religious Studies Knowledge Area:
    • THEO 203: Social Justice and Injustice
    • THEO 204: Ethics and the Ecology Crisis
    • THEO 299: Religions of Asia
  • Tier 2 Societal and Cultural Knowledge Area:  Three new Criminal Justice and Criminology courses will be added as course options for Tier 2 Societal and Cultural Knowledge Area (effective Fall 2019):
  • CJC 345: Social Justice and Crime
  • CJC 370: Women in the Criminal Justice System
  • CJC 372: Race, Ethnicity and Criminal Justice

In addition to these changes in the structure of the Core, academic departments that contribute diversity courses to the Core curriculum (i.e. Anthropology, English, History, Modern Languages, Philosophy, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology, Theology, and Women's Studies/Gender Studies) have begun to increase the number of sections of Tier 2 diversity courses offered each semester.  17% of all Core sections and 22% of all Core seats offered for Fall 2017 were diversity-designated.

The Loyola University Chicago Core Curriculum is a critical element in a student’s transformative education that serves as a framework for learning, reflecting and experiencing, as Loyola students prepare for lives seeking knowledge in the service of humanity.  The integration of diversity as a core value in this curriculum is an essential component of this enterprise.


**Core diversity courses are designated with a (D) in the course listings for each Knowledge Area so that they can be easily identified,for example: Theo 297: Introduction to Buddhism (D).