Disciplinary goals

Divisional goals

  • Natural Science (1 course)
  • Humanities (2 courses)
  • Social Science (1 course)
  • Fine Arts (4 credits)
  • Fine Arts Experience (8 events)

Courses which meet disciplinary requirements are designated in the class schedule. A student's academic major may fulfill some of these requirements. Students are advised to consult with their faculty advisor about Common Curriculum requirements fulfilled in their particular major. Descriptions of each disciplinary goal are included below.

Natural Sciences (NS)

Natural science is a systematic, empirical study of our universe. Common Curriculum natural science courses are designed to introduce students to: the scientific process, scientific literature, laboratory investigation, and the application of science to real life. Each course will have disciplinary content.

Humanities (HM)

The Humanities disciplines constitute a way of thinking, talking and writing about what it means to be human. Study in the Humanities disciplines introduces us to people we have never met, places we have never visited, times in which we have not lived, perspectives we have never taken, and ideas that may never have crossed our minds. Through careful and rigorous engagement with texts produced by (and about) those other people, places, and ideas, we explore issues of identity, community, and culture, as well as values, purpose, and meaning. With perspectives thus enlarged and enriched, and with the skills to explore these questions further, the Humanities invite and equip us to live an examined life.

Courses that satisfy the Humanities requirement will be either upper or lower division four-credit courses with no more than one course from a single humanities discipline.

Social Sciences (SS)

The social science requirement challenges students to think critically and to make informed personal, social, political and economic decisions. The social sciences apply scientific methods to the study of human beings, their attitudes and behaviors, the social forces that shape their lives and the social institutions they create. The study of social science requires students to examine both the theories that have been developed to understand human beings and the methods of knowing and testing upon which these theories are based. What makes the social sciences unique is that human beings are both the agents and the objects of study; the object of study can, and often does, change as a result of the knowledge that is generated in the social sciences. For this reason, personal, social, political and economic life can all change (for better or worse) as a result of the knowledge produced by the social sciences.

Students majoring in one of the social science disciplines will be required to take a social science course from a discipline other than their chosen major.

Fine Arts (FA)

Art, music, dance and theater enrich our lives by exploring what it means to be human. In its own way, each of these arts nourishes our intellect, stirs our emotions, and touches our spirits. The creative impulse is a vital force within each of us, and its manifestation in the arts can both shape and reflect our lives in the modern world. Learning to understand the fine arts is a gradual process that becomes increasingly meaningful as one gains knowledge and experience.

Fine Arts Experience (FAE)

The Fine Arts Experience will expose students to a wide variety of artistic expression through attending Fine Arts presentations on the CSB/SJU campuses and reflection upon those experiences. Students will learn appropriate audience decorum for Fine Arts events and have opportunities to demonstrate this behavior. Students will better understand and appreciate the visual and performing arts as an expression of the human condition.

The requirement will be satisfied by attendance at eight approved Fine Arts Events over the course of their first two years at CSB/SJU (any combination of 2 visual arts and 6 performing arts events). Students are encouraged to finish this requirement during their first year, but must complete it by the end of their sophomore year.

Departmental goals

  • Mathematics (1 course)
  • Theology (2 courses; one upper and one lower)

Mathematics (MT)

The course will address the contemporary role of mathematics. It will also stress mathematics as a conceptual discipline and will demonstrate to students the aesthetics and value of mathematics. The course will be structured so that students are actively involved in doing mathematics and demonstrating their understanding of concepts appropriate to that course in various ways. The specific content, the questions, and the examples used in the class should begin with ideas familiar to the students.

The course will enable students to understand and use mathematical language and notation and to appreciate the need for that language and notation. It will also address the power and limitations of mathematical reasoning as a tool for solving problems from other disciplines and from everyday life. The course will focus on student involvement, understanding and appreciation for mathematics rather than on computational rigor.

Theology (TH & TU)

Lower Division (TH): Because of our Benedictine Catholic institutional commitment, the first theology course for all students will be an introduction to the Christian tradition, with special emphasis on the Biblical tradition. The first required course in theology is a common one-semester, four-credit course (THEO 111, The Biblical Tradition) in which all students enroll, optimally in their first or second year, and it will be taught solely within the Department of Theology.

Upper Division (TU): Theology 111 will be a prerequisite requirement for this course. Courses fulfilling the Upper Division Theology requirement must focus primarily on religious phenomena: texts, images, artifacts, ideas, practices. They may analyze these phenomena from a variety of disciplinary perspectives: theological, historical, literary, philosophical, sociological, psychological, exegetical, ethical, pastoral.