The Core Curriculum
Offering sustained study in a broad range of disciplines, the core curriculum provides students with an opportunity to build a strong educational foundation for the future. Guided by La Salle’s heritage as a Catholic university, the core curriculum reflects La Salle’s strong commitment to the interdependence of intellectual and spiritual growth.
Its aim is to help students find an engaging living as part of an engaged life. As future competitors in a rapidly re-forming world, students need intellectual resources that keep pace with current innovations; as future innovators, students need spiritual resources that guide human beings toward humane reforms.
The core curriculum clusters requirements into areas defined by educational objectives: “Powers,” “Frameworks of Scientific Understanding,” “Patterns of Meaning,” the “First Year Odyssey,” and “Understanding at Home and Abroad.”
“Powers” refers to competencies that enable students to learn, to think, and to communicate. With this coursework, students will emerge from the core curriculum possessing a strong set of skills in reading, writing, oral communication, and mathematics. They also will learn how to use computer technology to aid their work in each of these areas. These competencies will be integrated in courses in all areas of the core, but will be taught directly in courses in writing, public speaking, mathematics, and computer science.
“Frameworks of Scientific Understanding” refers to concepts and methods learned in courses in the natural and social sciences. In these courses, students will become familiar with the scientific method and sharpen their understanding of the natural processes and the social developments that shape the world in which we live. The “Frameworks of Scientific Understanding” category includes courses in economics, political science, psychology, sociology, biology, chemistry, geology, and physics.
“Patterns of Meaning” refers to a set of capacities students must acquire to engage the moral, aesthetic, and spiritual significance of human events and achievements. Courses in the humanities (religion, philosophy, literature, history, fine arts, and foreign languages) will enable students to develop these capacities.
The “First-Year Odyssey” refers to the one-credit program that introduces students to La Salle University and the city of Philadelphia through activities such as field trips and campus-wide programs. Students participate in the First-Year Odyssey in special First-Year Odyssey sections.
“Understanding at Home and Abroad” refers to fostering the Christian Brothers’ ideals of community, social justice, and compassionate understanding across barriers dividing human beings. Students are required to enroll in one course in the Academic Bulletin designated by the symbol of a “house” (H Understanding at Home) and one course designated by the symbol of a “plane” (Q Understanding Abroad). Some students may fulfill the Understanding at Home or Understanding Abroad requirement through an independent project with the approval of the Department Chair and the Core Director. Faculty and staff will mentor a limited number of such projects.
All courses in the core curriculum may be counted toward any minor or major, barring exclusions by the academic departments sponsoring the minor or major. To complete the core requirements, most School of Arts and Sciences majors must complete a maximum of 19 courses, School of Business majors, a maximum of 16 courses, and School of Nursing and Health Sciences majors, a maximum of 15 courses. See sections on the School of Business and the School of Nursing and Health Sciences for additional information about the core requirements for majors in those fields.
- English 110 (may be waived by the English Department)
- English 210
- Mathematics 150 or 114, or HSC 217
- Communication 150 or 153 or Business 150 (Education and School of Nursing and Health Sciences students exempt)
- Computer Science 151, 152, 153, or 155 (may be waived through an exemption exam)
FRAMEWORKS OF SCIENTIFIC UNDERSTANDING COURSES
Natural Sciences (one course from the following disciplines)
- Biology 157 or 158
- Geology 150, 152, 153, 154, or 155
Social Sciences (two courses, one from each area)
- Economics or Political Science
- Psychology or Sociology
PATTERNS OF MEANING COURSES
(two courses in each of five areas, followed by a third course in one of the five areas—for Arts and Sciences majors)
Fine Arts or Foreign Languages