Loyola University Chicago

School of Communication

Degree Requirements

Students must fulfill the following requirements in order to graduate from the School of Communication with a bachelor's degree:

Core Requirements

The university 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. 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, scientific, societal and cultural, philosophical, theological and religious studies, and ethical learning, plus written communication. In addition, the Core reinforces the development of six Skills crucial to facing the challenges of contemporary society. Each core 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. Finally, the Core integrates 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.

To complete the Core 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 Knowledge Areas (College Writing, Artistic Knowledge and Experience, Quantitative Analysis, and Ethics) require one course each.

Additionally, students will have the opportunity to apply their Loyola education to real world experiences through the Engaged Learning requirement. This requirement may be satisfied by a course within the Core Curriculum, or in a student’s major or minor, or through an elective course.

Note: As of Fall 2005, students must earn a 2.00 overall cumulative GPA in Core Knowledge Areas and Engaged Learning courses. To calculate your cumulative Core GPA, use the GPA calculator available at http://www.luc.edu/advising/gpa_calculator.html.

Click on the links below to view the guides and worksheets about Loyola's Core Curriculum and Values Across the Curriculum requirements.

School Requirements

All SOC students are required to complete a language competency requirement and two writing-intensive sections of curses. These courses must be completed with a C- or better.

Writing Intensive Sections

Students should expect that virtually all of their courses will include a writing component. In addition, the college requirement for writing intensive courses is a means of strengthening the writing of all students throughout their years at Loyola.

In order to graduate with a degree from the School of Communication, students ordinarily must complete three writing courses. These include:

  • UCWR 110 (3 credit hours) (Core Curriculum requirement)
  • Two writing-intensive sections

Writing-intensive sections are designated sections of courses that are taught with a special emphasis on writing. They are identified by a "W" in the section number. Students in these course sections will have a variety of writing assignments that will be integrated closely with the learning objectives of the course. Often, students will be able to complete a writing-intensive course within their chosen major(s) and minor(s). The purpose of the program is to assure that students continue to give attention to writing as an essential component of education throughout their years at Loyola. Note: UCWR 110 must be taken in the freshman year and must be completed with a grade of "C-" or better before any writing-intensive course may be taken.

In order to ensure that training in writing is spread throughout the undergraduate years, the program specifies that no more than one writing-intensive course per semester may be applied to this requirement. Students must earn a C- or better in each writing intensive course in order for the requirement to be satisfied.

Transfer students who have taken and passed (with a C- or higher) both semesters of a two-semester requirement in college composition at their previous institutions or who have taken a composition course that is equivalent to UCWR 110 are not required to take UCWR 110 at Loyola. Transfer students with 59 or fewer transfer credit hours (completed prior to matriculation) must take two writing-intensive courses during their undergraduate career at Loyola; transfer students with 60-89 transfer credit hours must take one writing-intensive course during their undergraduate career at Loyola; transfer students with 90 or more transfer credit hours are exempt from taking writing-intensive courses. For further information, transfer students should consult their academic advisor.


Competency in reading, writing, and speaking at the 102-level or higher in a language other than English is required for all SOC students. Students may complete this requirement in one of two ways:

Earn college credit with a C- or better at the 102-level or above in a language other than English at Loyola (or the equivalent in transfer credit from another college). If a student wishes to study a language for which they have no background, this equates to taking two semesters of the same language, i.e. 101 and 102.

If a student wishes to continue studying Chinese, French, German, Italian, Russian, or Spanish, they may complete an online computerized exam that helps place them into the most appropriate language course. Average duration is 25–40 minutes, and scores are recorded for future reference, and are valid for 15 months. (Past 15 months, students should retake the exam.) Students who take this exam must adhere to the Loyola policy on Academic Honesty--test takers should try their best, but not receive help. This placement exam cannot be used to fulfill a language requirement. Rather, it determines at what level of a language a student should begin taking coursework.

Earn a score of 4 or 5 on an Advanced Placement examination (a score of 3 on an AP exam will satisfy the Language Requirement, but will not award academic credit). (At Loyola, students may study any language offered through the Modern Languages department or study Latin (LATN) or Ancient Greek (GREK) offered through the Classical Studies department.); or

Demonstrate competency by passing a CAS 102-level language competency examination.

Students are permitted to take only one competency exam, and the exam may only be taken once. Multi-lingual students who wish to take a competency exam should request to take a language competency exam in the language they know best. 

Beginning-Level Language Competency Exams (to satisfy 102-level language requirement)

The School of Communication currently offers the following beginning-level language competency exams (please note that this list is subject to changes/availability):

Chinese (Cantonese)
Chinese (Mandarin-Simplified)
Chinese (Mandarin-Traditional)
Greek (Ancient)
Greek (Modern)
Isizulu (Zulu)

For instructions on scheduling an appointment to take a language competency exam in any other languages listed in the table above, please send an e-mail request (specifying the language test requested) to Michelle Bukowski, mbukowski@luc.edu.

Note: Competency test results may take up to six weeks to return. In order for students to plan their course work accordingly, students who wish to take a language competency exam (that is offered at Loyola) are strongly encouraged to schedule the exam as soon as possible upon entry to the School of Communication and no later than the end of their junior year.

Elective Courses

Students must complete at least 120 credit hours (as of Fall 2011) to graduate from Loyola. By definition, electives are courses not used toward completing the major, minor, or Core requirements, and which students take to complete the graduation requirement of 120 credits. We encourage students, when choosing electives, to think of the knowledge, values, and skills you hope to gain in exploring a particular academic interest or in anticipation of a career after graduation. For undeclared students, elective courses present an excellent opportunity to develop academic interests leading toward a major or minor. General electives also present an opportunity to broaden your liberal arts education, add to your skill set, or simply try a new subject for the joy of it.

Residency Requirement (Required Hours in Residence)

In-residence hours refers to the course credit hours taken at Loyola University, the Rome Center, or taken from any of the Loyola sponsored study abroad programs through the Office for International Programs.

Students must take their final, uninterrupted 45 hours of instruction or a minimum of 60 hours in residence at Loyola University Chicago.