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Core Curriculum

Core Curriculum

Santa Clara University's Core Curriculum provides a humanistic education that leads toward an informed, ethical engagement with the world.

Core Requirements


These sequences introduce students to university learning in the context of complex, multidimensional topics and a rigorous intellectual environment in and outside the classroom.


Explorations courses, taken throughout the four years of study, build on the Foundations component of the Core and foster the breadth of knowledge, habits of mind and heart, and values needed for contemporary life.


Integrations courses reemphasize engaged learning, critical thinking, civic life, communication, and intentional learning. They help students discover and explore additional connections among courses in the Core or major and are most often components embedded in other Core courses and courses required for majors.

Integrations are generally elements within existing courses for the Core or your major.

Because a liberal education in the Jesuit tradition is oriented toward particular ends, the Core Curriculum affirms a set of central learning goals. These goals are divided among three broad categories—Knowledge, Habits of Mind and Heart, and Engagement with the World.

To be prepared for well-informed engagement in society, students must comprehend the forces that have shaped the world they have inherited and the ways the world is interpreted and understood. They must also understand how they might transform the world for the better. The Core Curriculum deepens students' knowledge of the ideas and ways of knowing that emerge from the arts, humanities, and natural and social sciences.

To contribute to a rapidly changing, complex, and interdependent world, students must develop ways of thinking, feeling, and acting that allow them to educate themselves for the rest of their lives with passion and purpose. By attending to the cognitive and affective dimensions of human experience, the Core Curriculum enables students to think more deeply, imagine more freely, and communicate more clearly.

To engage with the world in meaningful ways, students need opportunities to explore and refine self-knowledge in relation to others. The Core Curriculum enhances students' understanding of the integrity of their own lives and the dignity inherent in the lives of others, especially the impoverished, suffering, and marginalized.