Santa Clara University

Study Abroad

Planning for Core Requirements

Tips for students who plan to fulfill University Core Curriculum requirements on an approved study abroad program as provided by Dr. Phyllis Brown, Director, Core Curriculum. Please check the official Core Curriculum website for the most updated information. Last updated: February 10, 2012.

Before you study abroad...
you should plan to have completed the following Foundations Core requirements:
  • Critical Thinking & Writing 1 and 2
  • Cultures & Ideas 1 and 2
  • Second Language
  • Mathematics
  • Religion, Theology & Culture 1

You are likely to have begun satisfying Explorations requirements such a Diversity, Natural Science, and Social Science. Those Core requirements are only rarely satisfied with courses offered through study abroad.

However, keep in mind that it is best to "save" some Explorations requirements for the study abroad experience. A variety of study abroad programs offer opportunities to satisfy two Core areas in particular:

  • Religion, Theology & Culture 2
  • Cultures & Ideas 3

Some programs will offer opportunities to satisfy the Arts and Ethics requirements. Opportunities to satisfy Civic Engagement; Science, Technology & Science; and Experiential Learning for Social Justice (one of the Integrations requirements) through study abroad are likely to increase over the next few years.

After you check the database of courses pre-approved for Core requirements (, you may discover that a program you are interested in offers a course that has not been pre-approved but seems appropriate for a Core requirement. After consulting your Core Guide (an electronic version can be found HERE if you can't find your print copy) to familiarize yourself with the learning objectives for each Core area, send requests for new approvals to the Director of the Core Curriculum, Professor Phyllis Brown (


The Religious Studies department will not approve any study abroad courses for RTC 3. If you satisfy your RTC 2 requirement before you study abroad, you will have one fewer opportunity to satisfy a Core requirement through study abroad.

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