Liberal Arts CORE Curriculum

The CORE Curriculum (General Education) is rooted in the Liberal Arts and our Franciscan heritage.  It is designed to create a framework to develop knowledge, skills, and responsibilities necessary to educate students so that they will make contributions to the world guided by a concern for issues of justice and ethical behavior.

Goals of the CORE Curriculum

The CORE Curriculum has three main goals: 
  1. Acquisition of knowledge (what students know)
  2. Cultivation of intellectual and practical skills (what students are able to do)
  3. Demonstration of personal and social responsibilities (what students are committed to).

CORE Curriculum Student Learning Outcomes

Students will acquire knowledge of:

1. Aesthetic Values: Critical reflection on art, culture, and nature
2. Physical and Natural World: The natural order, including earth and its systems  
3. Human Societies: Values and histories underlying cultures, societies, their traditions, and the relationships between them
4. Cultural Awareness: Cross-cultural knowledge to interact effectively with people from diverse communities
5. Spiritual Understanding: Reflection on the relationship between personal and communal faith and life choices that support justice, reconciliation and peace

Students will cultivate the following intellectual and practical skills:

6. Effective communicationoral, reading, and writing
7. Quantitative and technological literacy:
8. Critical and reflective thinking, problem-solving and decision-making:

Students will demonstrate personal and social responsibility for: 

9. Franciscan heritage and values:
10. Moral and ethical reasoning:
11. Local and global community engagement:



The advanced core certificates allow students to explore an area of interest.  Each certificate offers a carefully selected mix of courses that is bound together with a common theme and teaches to the learning outcomes of Franciscan heritage and values and local and global community engagement.  Completing an advanced core certificate requires the successful completion of four of the courses offered in the certificate (one from each department).  Students who complete all six courses (18 credits) offered in a certificate will receive a minor.  All traditional undergraduate students may complete an advanced core certificate, but it is required for all students seeking the Bachelor of Arts and Fine Arts degrees. 

The eight Advanced Core Certificates and associated minors are, by nature and design, quintessentially Stritch.  Each interdisciplinary certificate brings together courses offered by four different programs and is more than the sum of its parts.  Rather than being a set of isolated courses, each Advanced Core Certificate consists of courses that have been carefully designed to be part of an integrated whole.  Each course teaches to the certificate’s theme through the lens of the discipline from which the course is offered and through the lens of the Franciscan value linked to the certificate.  Because the certificates and associated minors have been crafted in this way, there are no substitutions permitted in the advanced core.  This restriction includes alternative courses at Cardinal Stritch University as well as courses at other institutions – however similar they may appear to be to a certificate course.  When scheduling conflicts lead to the inability of a student to complete a certificate, they may have to complete the graduation requirement without completing a certificate (by taking four courses from multiple certificates with certain restrictions).  Students who find themselves in this position should talk with their academic advisor to discuss their options.

Engaging in the study of art, dance, language, song, theater, and writing, students will immerse themselves in a landscape of intercultural experiences, leading to an enhanced awareness of cultural diversity.  With the Franciscan value of showing compassion at its core, the Arts and Cultural Studies Certificate reveals the unique meaning and character alive in the diverse communities of life’s rich pageant. Concurrently, students will develop the heightened interpersonal skills necessary for impactful local and global community engagement.
Required courses: ART 210, SPN 312, THR 215 or 304, EN 219 or 308
This certificate in Digital Citizenship focuses on the creation of a caring community in the digital age, through an exploration of universal digital access, literacy, rights, security, and etiquette. Students will explore the use of social media through the lens of technology, communication, social and cultural revolution, and interactive design.
Required courses:  ART 203, SC 204, CA 252 or 270, and CS 230 or 235
This certificate in Diversity Studies explores the Franciscan value of reverencing creation by providing opportunities to appreciate and respect diversity in its varied forms.  Students will explore issues of diversity, including those of culture, race, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality, in the United States and throughout the world, through a study of literature and film, intercultural communication, psychology of gender, and sociology.  This interdisciplinary study will lead to a better understanding of the self in juxtaposition to the other, while also teaching students to understand differences within and among human societies.   Likewise, students will develop cultural awareness that will help guide interactions with communities of diverse peoples.  This certificate will provide experiential learning opportunities for students.
Required courses:  CA 331, PS 260, EN 213 or 303, SC 203 or 301
The Energy and Sustainability Certificate enhances understanding of the Franciscan value of Reverencing all of Creation through an exploration of the scientific, economic, political, and ethical/religious dimensions of the environmental challenges facing the local and global communities.  Students will develop an awareness of the human impact on nature and learn the importance of responsible stewardship of the Earth’s resources.  Completing this certificate will position students to better address some of the most pressing issues of the 21st century.
Required courses: EC 200, POLS 312, PL 206 or REL 220, CH 208 or 209
The Inter-America Studies Certificate helps students to understand the Americas and advance peacemaking between individuals, communities, and nations.  The classes explore the music, culture, history, contemporary issues and business climate of the many cultures and nations in the Americas and foster an appreciation of the diversity of the region.  The courses will also survey the ways American communities and nations interact and relate to one another examining both conflicts and cooperation.  This certificate prepares the student for effective engagement in a multicultural world.
Required courses:  BU 205, MU 212, HS 263 or HS/POLS 341, SPN 300 or 313
The certificate in Interfaith Studies explores the Franciscan value of showing compassion by developing deeper understanding and analysis of the unique contribution that global and local faith traditions and spiritualities have made to society, especially through music, literature and film, history and theology.  Focusing on both dialogue and conflict this interdisciplinary certificate examines historical and contemporary interfaith issues and includes experiential learning opportunities.  The Interfaith Studies Certificate prepares students to engage with others in respectful, compassionate discourse regarding faith, religion, and spirituality in the 21st century.
Required courses:  MU 213, EN 218, HS 209 or 306, REL 312 or 316
This certificate in Health and Wellness explores the Franciscan value of Creating a Caring Community by developing an understanding and appreciation of the physical, psychological, aesthetic, and scientific dimensions of mental and physical wellbeing of individuals and communities.  Through an interdisciplinary study of human physiology and nutrition, health psychology and lifespan development, and physical fitness, students will explore the concept of mindfulness as it relates to personal health and wellness, creativity and the vitality of communities of people. Students will participate in experiential learning opportunities that help foster a caring community.
Required courses:  PE 205, ART 301, PS 221 or 280, BL 216 or BL 217
“If you want peace, work for justice” (Pope Paul VI).  This certificate explores issues of peacemaking through the lens of social justice and social change.  Students will examine the dynamics of peace and justice from the interpersonal to the international.  Through the study of rhetoric, politics, mediation, and religious principles of social teaching, the student will integrate the personal with the political.
Required courses: CA 347, EN 307, REL 243 or 343, POLS 210 or 221